Enjoying a Behringer RV600…it is Officially the Apocalypse

See, I think it’s the names of these boutique pedals. Radical Red Reverberator. Now that’s like, really retro-classy cool. Reverb Machine? Verbzilla? What is going on here?! Those are the worst names of all the names ever. However…that is what I’m demo’ing this time around. Just one pedal, but which is in reality both pedals as Behringer completely ripped off Line 6. Bad form. But it makes for a very inexpensive pedal; hence, I bought one. I am a terrible person.

So, here’s the demo. Overall, there are some decent sounds, but they are kind of hidden amongst some cheap knobs, a terrible layout, and some really, really poor sounds. Like, 1998 Zoom multi-effects pedal sounds. But, the alright sounds are there; and for $50 new, it’s worth it to spend the time finding them. See, it’s not as if all of a sudden all these cheap effects now sound good. It always seems as if we want to jump to one extreme or the other. Let me be clear…this Behringer is not a replacement for the spring in your ’67 GIbson Falcon. But for me right now, my perspective has shifted from trying to get the best sound possible, to trying to get the best sound I can from what I can afford. Well, now that I think about it, that’s always been my perspective. It’s just the ‘what I can afford’ part that has shifted. Immensely. lol So I won’t tell you this is a great reverb pedal; but I will tell you that it is possible to get some good sounds from it.

Base Tone

Godin SD fat strat–>

Fender Blues Junior (Celestion V30)

Pedals Used

Delays: Boss DD20, MXR Carbon Copy, and Arion SAD-1

Drives: Fulltone Fatboost at 12 volts (2 of ‘em stacked at one point), Ibanez TS7

Demo:

The Good

The octave up/shimmer/space mode is not great…but you can get it to sound good with a proper mix…especially an external mix pedal to allow the reverb to get fully wet. Also, I thought the cave, plate, and ’63 modes sounded good. The decay is able to get really long and saturated, which was actually awesome. It has trails which is great, and a blue led. (See, the mass-production companies are catching on!)

The Bad

Knobs are cheap and either too loose or too stiff, and the mode knob fuzzes in-between settings. The space mode has a weird crackling sound when trying to track chords, and 6-7 of the reverb modes just aren’t good. Oh, and I had no idea what ducking mode was when I recorded the video…it sounded like it increased reverb as you played harder. I just read the manual, and it’s actually supposed to be the opposite. So…not a great ducking mode. Oh, and it says Behringer on it. ;)

The Verdict

I’ll keep it for a while. See how the shimmer and cave modes work out live. And when I can, I might buy a different reverb pedal. But who knows? The shimmer actually sounded alright, so maybe I’ll keep this one along with other reverb pedals. Definitely a pedal that does have some good sounds in it; provided you take the time to find them, and provided you use a parallel mix pedal. For the tone suck, and to keep the dry signal analog; but also, to be able to get the reverbs wetter without having them too high in the mix.

Oh, and because it’s called ‘The Machine’, it reminded me of that part in Matrix where they say, ‘He’s like…a machine.’ You know, the part right after Keanu says ‘I know kung fu.’ And then it’s all crazy and symbolic, because really, he is a machine. Oh! Bet you didn’t see that coming. But in reality (or…in…the matrix?…hmm…), I just wanted to play this again. This is ‘Keanu’ calling in to a morning talk show around where I live. And it is superb.

‘allo.
Karl.

58 thoughts on “Enjoying a Behringer RV600…it is Officially the Apocalypse

  1. Repent, the end is nigh! Karl has a Behringer Pedal. The apocalypse is upon us!

    Even worse, Blue LEDs are now no longer cool because a Behringer pedal has one. With that revelation, I think my rig just lost at least 20% of it’s now-no-longer-magical-blue-LED-magical-pixie-dust-tone. Thanks a lot Karl! ;)

    On a brighter note, I just managed to get VIP tickets for U2 playing in Johannesburg here in South Africa in February. Same stadium as the soccer World Cup final, so it’ll be at least 97000 people. So stoked! On the other hand, they cost a fortune, so it looks like it’ll be hard tack and gruel for me for the rest of the year…mhmm…

  2. that sounded better on the video than what i have expected … but i’ll take your word for it that it’s not great based on your past life … you know, the one with the great setup, albeit, a little on the pricey side ;)

  3. Are you sure that’s really Keaneu Reeves? That sounds like an impersonator (which isn’t unusual in these radio morning show comedy segments).

      • LOL! I somewhat suspected that was Karl’s intent. I was reluctant to point out that the Behringer still suffers to the same degree the Keanu impersonator does. Real close, but not the same… However, you do what you need to do to get the job done. Even I own and ocassionally use a cheap Digitech pedal when I’ve got to fly some place for a low budget gig. LOL!

        Hang in there Karl… Things will change!

  4. I know people who love Behringer (not the cheap white zin) and those who don’t. I haven’t had any experience with them until recently. I worked a gig where a Behringer Ultra-DI was being used on the stage. Now while I know a channel should be muted before anything is unplugged or plugged in on stage, what happened with the Ultra-DI was explosive.

    Typically, when I hear something unplugged, it pops. Not real bad, just enough to be annoying. No one should be plugging or unplugging stuff but you know how at some gigs, the sound guy only has so much control. Anyway, when the Ultra-DI was unplugged (or was it plugged in) to the source by the musician…it sounded like gunfire. I mean the “hey who is shooting me” type. This happened twice. One time the mains were muted and it came through the monitors.

    Yeah, I know about the whole pre/post fade setup on the mixer. I just couldn’t get past the sheer loudness of it. Maybe it’s the nature of an active DI – I’ve got limited experience with those. Just seemed wrong.

  5. With you looper you could really get the most out of that RV! For those with out loopers it is a no go mostly. I just re bought the verbzilla, going to stick it in the loop of my GT, specifically for shimmer only, because the GT has everything the RV-5 has, love that modulated delay.

  6. what you said about the ducking mode was interesting. on the zilla (yep, I’m so cool i abbreviate my pedals names) the ducking mode actually decreases the reverb when you play so it doesn’t get muddy and when you stop playing it boosts the reverb for my sustain, kinda cool.

  7. How did you get one, I’ve been waiting for 6 weeks and the distributor still hasn’t shipped to my local store. Hopefully you will have figured out all the good sounds so I can just copy your settlings and roll. Personally I see the RV as a transitional reverb, I want to experiment with the shimmer thing and see how it works, if I use it a lot I’ll upgrade to the ‘zilla or possibly the Strymon which seems to have a shimmery mode. If not I’m only out $50.00. I’ll probably put it in a bypass loop with my one delay and see how that works. Can’t wait to get home to check out your demo.

  8. I’m not a big fan of Behringer at all so I’m not really surprised that it’s not that great of a pedal. I also have a ‘zilla (thanks for not being the only one to abbreviate your pedal names Nater!) and I’ve found it to be a pretty decent unit. Although, I really only ever use it for the octo/shimmer.

  9. No way!!! Someone else actually bought an RV600?! And KARL nonetheless?!!!??!!!?!!!!!!??? Woohoo!

    I have one. Use it strictly for shimmer and I’ll use cave until I can afford an RV-5. No one seems to believe me on this, but I prefer the RV600′s shimmer to both the Verbzilla AND, yes, the Strymon Blue Sky. The Verbzillas shimmer sounds more Edge-y than the BSR to me, and the RV600 is more present and obnoxious sounding, so I kinda dig it. :-)

  10. MikeZA–stoked for that U2 show! Man, you’re gonna have a great time!!

    And ya…I’m just killing the blue led, one pedal at a time. haha

    KennyG–comment of the day. :D

    Rhoy–unfortunately, it did sound better than I expected. hahaha

    Mike Oliver–nah, that’s Ralph Garman; he does all these celebrity voices on that show, and his point is not necessarily to do a dead-on impression, but to bring up funny little nuances in their characters. Hence, Keanu’s ‘Whoa’ from Matrix, Point Break, Bill and Ted’s, and pretty much every movie he’s ever been in. lol

    Ben G–spot on! :)

    Mike Oliver–thanks, man! Ya, it’s gonna be interesting to see how some of these pedals sound when I get my amp and guitar back. Some may actually still be here in a couple years…I’m very much enjoying the DD20 right now. Perhaps it’s just that I’m still in euphoria over having a bpm readout. haha

    Chris–lol Ya, I’ve heard the gunfire thing! I think it’s just the active DI’s. I’ve heard it on some more expensive ones like the LR Baggs Acoustic Pre/DI and the same with the Taylor. The LR Baggs sounded like a plane crash. hehe

    Guy–yep, you’re totally right! Gotta love the versatility those parallel dry mixers give ya! :)

    Kenrick–lol Yes!!! So stoked someone else listens to them!

    Couple!

    Nater2–ya, that’s what the manual says the RV600 does…I just didn’t hear it do that at all. haha

    Craig–hehe Used on ebay. I’m a slummer. :)

    KennyG–ya, that seems to be the consensus on these and the Verbzilla. Shimmer only. hehe

    Andrew–haha Ya, I think the shimmer is very decent on this. I haven’t tried a Verbzilla in a while, and the Strymon, well…we’ll just leave it at the fact that I had one a while back and sold it.

    The RV600 does get a pretty thick shimmer sound.

  11. Hey Karl are you running an external tap tempo for the dd20? I’m finding mine much harder to use than the m13 but maybe it’s because I’m trying to switch back and forth between tap tempo and selecting presets? Also which delay settings on it do you use?

  12. Yep! External tap with the DD20 just takes the functionality of that pedal up like, 50%. Loop-Master and This1smyne make them for really cheap.

    Also, if you hold down the ‘Select’ button while powering the DD20 on, you can then use the select button to scroll over to ‘Pdl3′. Then press ‘Write’. This will allow you to keep the right pedal on ‘Tap’ and then scroll through the presets by pressing both the left and right footswitch at the same time. It’s a little sketchier, because if you miss-hit, you end up turning the delay off. But it might be worth a shot.

    Personally, I like the external tap pedal. :)

  13. also just curious, what is the best buffer you’ve found so far. well the best cheap buffer. i noticed that This1smyne has one for $45 and i was wondering if it’s any good or if there are better ones close to that price. thanks

  14. Nice! Not sure if I could get away with that on stage at church, though. ;) hehe

    And my favorite buffer is the Fryette Valvulator. I’ve tried a ton, and really haven’t liked any until that one. It’s a little more expensive, but when you consider that you also get 4 isolated outlets to power pedals, it’s a pretty good deal.

    As for the This1smyne, I know Dan’s a great guy and makes some great stuff. His buffer doesn’t sound as good to me in my particular rig as the Valvulator, but that could just be my rig. :) Dan’s awesome, and has some great prices for quality stuff!

  15. Hey Karl,

    Glad you’re doing some cheaper pedals now. Lot’s of great info here, but not so practical when my guitars are cheaper than your pedals. This helps out a lot, I hope you plan to do more cheap pedal demos.

  16. Craig–thanks!

    Andrew–yep, lot more cheap demo’s to come! haha :) Glad they can be somewhat useful. Been really enjoying some of them!

    Nater2–oh! You know what, I did like the Axess buffer. I forget the name…the BF2? It might be around $80 used!

    • Actually got to listen to some of the demo, and it sounds pretty good. Actually thought the RV sounded batter with the delay.

      Have you considered a/b ing some of your old demos with some of the new “inexpensive” demos? Might be interesting to see how much it really changes.

  17. You would think if someone was to copy something, they would copy something good.

    For those wondering about the Blue Sky by Strymon. I’ve had mine for a couple of months now and it’s killer.

    The shimmer mode is brilliant and the tone shaping comes in handy too. I was completely blown away at how good the modulated reverb sounds, so much so as I assigned it as my favourite preset. The selectable buffer is really high quality too, it sounds amazing.

    The Blue Sky is kind of like the best parts of the Verbzilla and the Boss RV-5 put into one pedal, then made higher quality.

  18. Can’t we substitute “economical” or “best bang for the buck” for “cheap”? It is funny that a German company would have such a bad rap — I always think of them being the world’s great engineers. It is great to see Karl and others reviewing things that don’t break the bank.

    I was just watching a youtube video where Robben Ford was saying how his Dumble is great but we mere mortals could get by just fine with a Fender twin. I want to study this guy more: seems like a logical step up from basic pentatonic stuff to a touch of jazz.

    I had a couple of the Ultra G DIs but the combination of phantom power and my rig generated a buzz I couldn’t get rid of. The Whirlwind Imp 2 eliminated that, although I still have to use the ground lift. Even at that it seems every time I hook up in church I have to “stroke” the jack of my guitar cable a few times where it goes into the guitar to make it dead quiet. It’s either my electric personality or the fact that our church building must be grounded using a plastic straw stuck in the ground.

  19. I’m still looking for a decent reverb pedal…this is off topic, but Karl, you should check out the Reason Bambino amp. It’s handmade, tube 5/2 watts…perfect for church. I have been using it a few months…a big step up from my Night Train, which I’m putting for sale. Reason makes top -notch stuff in St. Louis. Not trying to be a commercial; but I think you’d really dig this amp.

  20. So, Karl… for longer, more ambient and post-rockish reverbs… this or the Boss RV? I’m thinking about RV-5, i think that every band i love for it’s reverb sound uses them… but is the Boss worth the extra cash? And the shimmer sound sounds really nice, so that is a pls for the RV600!

    I know you had the RV-3… you can compare RV600 to RV-3, whatever…

    oh, and by the way – did my last email get to you?

    • This is just my opinion but, the only good thing about the RV-5 is the modulated reverb, which is really good. On the other hand, the only good thing about the Verbzilla/RV600 is the shimmer. If I was to pick one, it would be the RV-5.

      Just a thought here… Godzilla is awesome and reverb is awesome, but the two together is just awful. Does there awesomeness cancel each other out?

  21. Wow, behringer …
    Have a VT911 pedal that sounds really good for Black Keyish retrofuzz. Problem is I have to carry a backup since the pedal literaly tends to break in the worst moments.
    Don’t be too extreme, there isn’t only Cochrane and Behringer ;D

  22. Craig–ya, I’ll do that when I get my amp and guitar back, so that those are constant. :)

    haha The ‘actually’ part was awesome!

    Don–thanks! :)

    Sal–I know, I know…I’m lame. hehe

    Sam–haha True…I didn’t mind it so much, though. I actually sold my Blue Sky, but maybe it deserves a second shot. :)

    Cory–lol You are so right!!

    Randy–haha Ya, ‘economical’ is better, but doesn’t grab the attention as much. hehe

    And interestingly enough, I can’t get into Robben Ford or his tone. There’s some other jazzy guys I can dig a bit, like Landau or Eric Johnson, but I just can’t seem to enjoy anything I’ve heard from Ford. Are there a couple clips you could direct me to that make help me understand him a bit more?

    Oh, and your plastic straw comment was awesome!!

    Steven–cool! I’ll check it out. Thanks, bro!

    Honza–I’d go with the RV5 for the modulated reverb sound, unless you really need shimmer…then go for the RV600. And then of course, I personally think the RV3 sounds better than the RV5…just to throw that in there. haha

    And ya, your last email did get to me as I recall. But the tone and guitar questions/emails have been flooding in, and I’m way behind. I should be catching up to it pretty soon here.

    Sam–haha But…did you ever see Godzilla 2000? Not so awesome. ;)

    Ben–haha Ya, there is more to life than the Cochrane/Behringer extremes. Like Cornish and Danelectroc. ;) hehe

    Nater2–for some reason, they are one of those pedal companies that are just so fun to hate! haha But honestly, if I found a good price, I might go with a Verbzilla. And an M9 was extremely close to getting itself on my board last week. ;)

    • So the M9 seductively beckons you for space on your board. I have to say I’m probably headed there eventually. What they need is one without the distortion/overdrives that is even smaller.

  23. I didn’t know you owned a BSR. What didn’t you like about it?

    Godzilla 2000 was tragic to be kind, but from what I’ve seen, the new one should be pretty darn awesome.

  24. This video of Robben Ford has some pretty good tone, and illustrates throwing some “jazz” notes into what could be played with just pentatonic stuff.
    Plenty of other examples of him on youtube — this one was live so it had it’s strong and weak passages. Check at 1:50 and 3:20

  25. Well great now i have to go out and change the LED’s on my DL4 from blue to something else… It did not sound all that bad but i really can agree with you on its not the greatest. Question for you tho in looking for a decent reverb pedal what are your thoughts on either going with a line 6 verbzilla or something like the boss re20?

  26. I own the zilla and I absolutely love it. It’s shimmer is not the best but it is great if you want some really thick organ sounds or if you playing without a keyboard. it’s not the best but for $80 I’d say it’s worth it. I also really enjoy it’s 63 spring and cave settings. Just my opinion

  27. Hey Karl!

    Love reading your blogs… you had some great insight. My whole quest in the “pusuit of tone” is based on what I can afford. I have used your site-and others- to get my tone… I recently purchased a DeltaLab Tube Overdrive. The best overdrive! I personally think it is better than the fulltone OCD! Plus, it is only $40!

    Do you need a chorus pedal when you have a delay? I was just wondering… b/c I don’t really want to have to buy one… Do delays produce a chorus type sound when they are engaged?

  28. Sorry to interrupt but I have a question. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do a pickup swap on a hollowbody guitar? There is no compartment to get to the electronics so I’m kind of frightened about it :D

  29. Have not had happy memories using Behringer pedals. Bought a Delay pedal that crapped out just over a year, a Chorus pedal that lasted close to 2 years and the AB200 2 channel footswitch that is a bit temperamental.

    I have Boss pedals from 20 years ago, frequently used and still work well.

    Currently using a Digitech Hardwire RV7 and Boss Delay DD7.

  30. Craig–haha You’re probably right! ;)

    Sam–just sounded synthetic to me. Probably just my rig. Although, I’m sure it sounds a good deal better than the Behringer I’m using now! haha I’ll probably give it another shot. I love their OB1!

    Randy, Rhoy, Nater2–thanks! Checked out one of them…love Larry Carlton! And gotta say that he just sounds so much less clinical than Ford. But I’ll watch the others soon! Thanks!

    Nathaniel–haha That’s awesome!

    I think the Verbzilla is great for a cheap reverb with shimmer. If you don’t need shimmer, you can get a Hermida reverb or Boss RV3 or RV2 for around the same price. :)

    Nater2–agreed for sure. :)

    Kevin–ooh, nice! Let us know how it sounds when you get it!!

    Brandon–thanks, bro! :)

    And some delays have a modulate feature that adds a chorusy effect to their delayed sound. Personally, I don’t have chorus on my board currently. What delay are you using?

    Ben G–hmm…never tried that…not sure I would do one without a compartment, either! I’m not good enough. hehe

    James–hmm…good point. Maybe I’ll sell it in a couple weeks before it breaks. hehehe

    • I bought it solely for the shimmer mode and it’s the mode I use least. I love shimmer when other people use it, but when I do it, not so much. I had trouble getting the shimmer to sound good at first, but after a couple of months of ownership, I’ve dialed in a shimmer tone I like. Now all I need to do is learn how to use shimmer tastefully.

      I have to admit, I prefer the tone of your Pog/RV-3 shimmer.

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