Donner has recently introduced Vintaverb, a super affordable stereo reverb with 7 algorithms for 50€. Here is my full review & sound demo.
Stereo reverb pedals are available in every price range. From extremely cheap (Behringer DR600) to high-end like the Strymon Big Sky or Source Audio Ventris. There is something for every budget. Anyone who follows the Synth Anatomy YouTube knows the small, nice-sounding pedals from Donner. There are videos about the Yellow Fall and Wave Delay as well as the Tutti Love Chorus.
Recently, the Chinese company entered the stereo pedal business with a new super affordable delay and reverb. Out of curiosity, I pressed the order button on Amazon.de to test it out for you. Donner promises the buyer 7 world-class reverbs in one pedal. Spoiler: this is wrong, they are far from world-class.
Inexpensive effect pedals from China are often clones from well-known manufacturers such as Boss, MXR, and others. I can neither confirm nor deny whether the Vintaverb vom Donner is a clone. There is no information on this. Visually, it is not directly reminiscent of a well-known stereo reverb pedal. It has a classy aluminum housing with a black interface with silver lettering. Four knobs, a toggle switch, and a footswitch are also part of the interface. The built quality of these is great. The knobs are easy to turn with a bit of resistance and don’t feel cheap.
For 50€ the Donner Vintaverb has a lot on offer here: 7 different reverb algorithms, a freeze function for algorithms, as well as a good range of parameters. The mix knob is a classic dry/wet mix control, decay is the reverb decay, tone acts as a filter, and with the fourth parameter, you can choose the parameter. The toggle switch in the middle sets the pre-delay of the reverb from short to long.
The footswitch has two functions. With a short press, you switch the pedal on and off, with a long and constant press you activate the freeze function. A bit of shame, the effect only remains active as long as you press it. Unfortunately, there is no way to adjust the effect. So you take what you get.
Donner promises 7 world-class reverbs in one pedal: room, studio, hall, plate, spring, mod, and a DSverb. As I said before, these are very far from world-class. The reverb algorithms work in stereo, with no mono splitting on two channels (L/R).
Room and studio sound okayish. Not very good but not bad either. The change from short to long pre-delay makes them sound better in my opinion, especially with synthesizers. The hall algorithm sounds very solid, even better with a long pre-delay. The plate is huge, lush, maybe a little too big for a classic plate reverb sound. A bit more subtle wouldn’t be bad in this case.
The spring algorithm is probably the weirdest that Donner planted in the Vintaverb. Sounds very unusual, a bit like the broken weird brother/sister of a classic spring reverb. Mod is a modulation reverb that sounds pretty solid in combination with synths. It has a slight movement in the reverb signal. Last but not least, we have the distorted ambient reverb. It sounds surprisingly good. The distortion, however, comes out less intensively in synth signals. You can notice it more clearly with guitars.
All 7 reverb algorithms are not “world-class” as advertised by Donner but are in the lower field. All have a lo-fi, almost bit-crushed touch and are reminiscent of cheap pedals from the past. The freeze function is a nice extra function, it’s useable but not super versatile. The DSverb with freezing is a perfect match. All 7 seven algorithms start to resonate relatively quickly with synth sounds, something I don’t like in the Vintaverb. So be careful with the settings.
Sound Demo & Video Review
Sound demos for all 7 available reverb algorithms in combinations with various analog and digital synthesizers can be found here in the video review.
All in all, the Donner Vintaverb convinced me. Yes, it does reverbs, yes you can use it for sound design. However, compromises have to be made in the quality and flexibility of the algorithms. The Behringer DR-600 which is a clone of a Boss reverb is more versatile and sounds better, but it’s a plastic bomb. The Vintaverb has an entire aluminum body which doesn’t make the pedal feel cheap.
If you like lo-fi, bit-crushed-like, unclean reverbs you are welcome to take a look at the Vintaverb. For experimental or noise musicians who like things a little rawer, the pedal could be interesting. Vintaverb with synths sounds okay, I think it works better with guitars. The pedal has a lot of value. At 50€, it is a very affordable stereo reverb with a lot of functionality. t In terms of sound, it could be better, but for the price, you can’t expect an Eventide or Strymon sonic level.
Availability & Alternatives
Donner Vintaverb is available now for +/- 50€. Unfortunately, the pedal is often sold out, especially on Amazon.de. Alternative stereo reverb pedals with a similar feature set and at this price point there are very few:
- Behringer DR-600: stereo, Boss clone, 6 algorithms, and an unbeatable price of 23,50€.
- Mooer ShimVerb Pro: stereo, 5 algorithms, shimmer, 89€
Another alternative is to use an iOS device with a simple class-compliant audio interface. There are countless excellent sounding reverb apps, often for less than 10 € on the Apple AppStore.
More information here: Donner
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