One of the best things about continuous advancement in technology is the availability of high quality gear at affordable prices. Brands like Donner, in particular, have been putting out some excellent pedals, at incredibly low prices, the Donner Vintaverb is a great example.
The Vintaverb is one of their newest pedals from their Vivid series, and offers 7 different reverb effects in one convenient unit. We got the chance to spend some time with the Vintaverb, and in this KillerGuitarRigs review, we’ll be letting you know just what we thought.
Want to learn more about guitar pedals?
Check out our ultimate guide to guitar pedals to find more jumping off points.
Who Is this for?
Reverb is a must have on any pedal board, and the Donner Vintaverb is a great way for guitarists at all stages of their journey, from absolute beginners through to professional musicians to add it.
Appearance / Features / Controls
The Vintaverb is a fairly hefty full size pedal. Unlike some other budget pedals, it comes with an all metal body, which really adds to the overall durability. Make no mistake, this pedal is built like a tank.
It’s activated with a well made footswitch that also doubles up as a freeze switch. The freeze functionality indefinitely holds the trail of the reverb effect in use at that time for as long as you hold down the button.
It also features a true bypass function that allows a dry signal to pass through the pedal without having any impact on the tone. In addition, it even offers full stereo output.
There are 4 control dials; the first is a tone preamp control, this works like any other tone dial, cutting or opening up the treble frequencies to darken or brighten the sound.
The next dial is the mix control, this feature allows you to blend the effect into the tone, and gives you control over how obvious, or how subtle the reverb effect is. The decay knob controls how long the reverb trails last.
Finally, the 4th dial is there to switch between the 7 reverb modes, which include:
- Room – Small room reverb effect
- Studio – Studio reverb effect
- Hall – Large hall reverb effect
- Plate – Plate reverb effect
- Spring – Vintage spring reverb effect
- Mod – Modulated reverb effect
- DSVerb – Distorted reverb effect
This pedal also features a predelay switch, which allows you to control how long it takes the pedal to start replaying the original input. Short is 20ms, long is 40ms.
We spent a good amount of time experimenting with multiple settings in each of the Vintaverb’s 7 modes, and found that it’s overall, a very useable pedal.
The room setting was very subtle, and offered “barely there” reverb. This is a good option for simply adding a little texture to a clean tone. In studio mode, it was a little warmer than the room setting, but still quite subtle.
As expected, hall was much more pronounced, and gave our tone significant presence. We did find that it got quite muddy if the decay was set past noon, but otherwise this was a great setting, especially with predelay in short.
Plate mode was very rich, and added a lot of depth to rhythm guitar. Like the hall reverb, it got quite muddy with the mix and decay set high, but with the dials around 10 o clock we found it was effective without being overpowering.
The Spring reverb mode was one of the least impressive settings. After recently reviewing the Supro Delta King, with its authentic spring reverb, it’s hard to enjoy digital reproductions, which are notoriously hard to get right.
With the modulated reverb activated, we got some really unique tones. With the decay maxed out and the decay at 3 o clock, it almost sounded like a church organ playing behind the guitar. It was haunting and ethereal, and it was one of our favorite settings.
Finally, we tested the distorted reverb (DSVerb), which was perhaps our least favorite of the settings. The distortion that it adds clips easily, and we’d recommend running this pedal in the room or studio setting together with an overdrive pedal rather than using the DSVerb if you’re looking for a distorted reverb tone.
The freeze function was a real surprise, it worked really well, and because this is such a rare feature on an effects unit at this price, some might consider it to be worth the price of entry alone.
Despite having a couple of shortcomings, we did enjoy the Donner Vintaverb. Having 7 distinctly different modes really increased the value factor, and there were some really cool tones in some of the settings. If you’d like to hear them for yourself, check out our demo over on the Killer Guitar Rigs YouTube Channel.
Final Thoughts on the Donner Vintaverb Pedal
Having effectively 7 different reverb effects in one low cost (and highly robust) unit will undoubtedly be an attractive feature for many. As highlighted in this review, we weren’t blown away by every setting, but those we didn’t like were definitely in the minority. For the most part, it offered some really neat effects, and allowed for a lot of creativity in shaping the sound with the built in controls.
Looking for more Donner gear? Check out: