Using a reverb pedal can be intimidating, especially if you have never used one before. Reverb pedals have so many different parameters around them and if you don’t know how to properly use one, you may not get the dramatic effect or overall sound you are looking for.
One of the most popular reverberation pedals in the entire world is the Red Panda Context reverb pedals; while the Red Panda isn’t a reverb pedal that’s highly talked about, it is a pedal that you’re going to find in many guitar players arsenals all around the world.
The tone on the Red Panda is amazing, but it is a pedal that is less versatile than other pedals on the market.
There are six delay modes on this pedal, which are all familiar options to any experienced reverb pedal user. The true bypass is switchable internally, which allows you to have a tail if you prefer. In order to consistently maintain the clarity of the notes, the Red Panda pedals comes with a dedicated dry path.
The Red Panda Context Reverberation Pedal had four controls. These controls are:
The Red Panda Context Reverberation Pedal also has six different modes. These modes are:
- Delay: Adjustable delay time with repeats
- Plate: Dense and bright reverb that also has an adjustable reverberation time with a low and high-frequency response
- Cathedral: Bright reverb with an extended response
- Gated: Adjustable gate time with a nonlinear decay
- Room: Fast build up
- Hall: Slow buildup with a moderate diffusion
The Room mode gives users an expected sound for reverb that also comes with a quick commencement. If you are looking for a snappy, short reverb that adds just a little bit of dimension and presence to your sound, the Room is the mode that you’re going to want to use.
If you are looking for an infinite reverb ambience, turn up the Decay while in Room mode.
When you push the Delay past twelve o’clock, you’re going to receive an echo that sounds as if your sound was bouncing right off the wall and back at you. By pushing the Decay, you’re going to extend the reflections and muffle the sound. If you don’t like this because the sound is too bright, you can push up the Damping.
The Hall mode begins to pick up right where the Room mode left off, just be offering a more substantial set up for your guitar’s sound to bounce around. If you turn up the Delay up to 12 o’clock and turn the Decay all the way down, you’ll create a burst of echoes, which sounds really cool.
As for the Cathedral mode, this is an infinite, expansive, reverb that will make your guitar sound like it’s traveling all around in outer space. This mode is bright and fluffy, so if that isn’t something that you’re into, you should try turning the Damping knob if you are looking to darker up your tone.
Gated mode is an interesting reverb, as it makes the reverb more prominent while you are playing and it silences any space in between.
In other words, the Gated mode creates a small burst of ambience and begins to trail off to a quick stop when you stop playing, even if you are on a high Decay setting. If you are looking for something that’s a little eerie or different, the Gated mode will quickly become your favorite mode.
The Plate mode offers the huge plate-style reverb, without having the large plates around. This mode provides you with a smooth extension of the reverb, while also elongating your guitar’s sound with a reverb trail.
As for the Delay mode, this is one of the most surprising parts of the Red Panda context, because it gives you with a clean digital delay, with the option of having reverb.
That’s right, there isn’t a spring mode on this reverb pedal. The Red Panda Context isn’t traditional enough to have a spring setting, but you will find other familiar modes on this reverb pedal, such as Room, Plate, Hall. Just to make things a bit more exciting on this reverb pedal, Red Panda has added a delay mode with a modulated reverb.
The Red Panda Context also has a minimal parameter layout that is comparable to some of the more complex reverb pedals on the market today. Most guitar players don’t play with two maps or even use their effects loop, so Red Panda only made this mono. For such a minimalist reverb pedal, the Context has a unique collection of reverberation sounds.
It is most definitely easy to become overwhelmed by the massive reverb pedal; market that’s available; there are a countless number of reverb pedals available in every single style in the world.
In order to know how to evaluate a reverb pedals’ quality to make sure that the reverb you’re looking at is the proper one for your needs, you need to understand what criteria is used to evaluate a reverb pedal’s quality.
This review of the Red Panda Context Reverb Pedal will look at the following criteria:
- The quality of sound produced
- The materials that the pedal is made from
- Who the Red Panda Context Reverb Pedal is best suited for
- How easy the pedal is to use
- The value of the Red Panda Context Reverb Pedal for your money
The Red Panda Context is an amazing reverb pedal, especially since it performs like a high-end reverb pedal that costs double of what the Red Panda Context does.
This reverb peal is one of the best reverb pedals for guitar players that are looking for a large ambiance or just a subtle space for your guitar, especially if you are someone who is just plugging your guitar into a single amp or just using an effects loop.
The only complaint that I have about the Red Panda Context Reverb pedal is that it doesn’t come with an Expression pedal control to use over the Decay or Blend; this would have been nice to use to have an extra momentary foot-switch for the infinite Decay.
Core features of the Red Panda Context Reverb Pedal:
- Blend control allows you to adjust your wet/dry blend
- Blend controls also allows you to adjust your blend up to 100% wet
- Decay adjusts your reverberation time, from very light to incredibly large
- Delay sets your pre-delay, which simulates natural spaces
- Damping adjusts your high-frequency response; this is to create a dark ambience
- Minimal signal path
- Mono in/out
- 7” x 3.7” x 2.4”
- WIMA poly film caps
- Neutrik jacks
- Burr-Brown op amps
- Comes with top mounted jacks
- D/A converters
- 2 bit A/D
- Does not take batteries
- Requires 9V center negative 100 m A power supply, this is not included
- True bypass switching which is selectable via an internal switch
- 100% made in the USA
Who is Red Panda Context Reverb Pedal best suited for?
I would personally suggest the Red Panda Context Reverb to both beginning pedal users and expert reverb users. It’s a simple reverb pedal to use if you’ve never used a reverb pedal before; it’s really difficult to make anything from this pedal sound bad.
However, if you are a beginning reverb pedal user, I would suggest that read the manual in order to understand how the six modes properly work.
If you are an experienced reverb pedal user, theRed Panda Context Reverb Pedal is a stunning pedal to use at a decent price range. I have tried other reverb pedals that left me underwhelmed, especially when they are compared to the Red Panda Context. While this pedal doesn’t have a Spring mode, the other modes and options on this pedal really make up for this.
Does the Red Panda Context Reverb Pedal work as advertised?
Yes, the Red Panda Context Reverb Pedal does work as advertised; it’s a reverb pedal that’s easy to use, yet covers a lot of ground. Even if you don’t take time to read the manual that it comes with, you can go through and select any mode and be introduced to a whole world of usable sounds in an instant.
Even if you have no reverb pedal experience, using this pedal is super easy; it’s really hard to make anything on this pedal sound bad. However, it is important that you understand how each of the six modes works, especially if you are looking for the top quality sound to be produced.
Pros of the Red Panda Context
- The Red Panda is comparable to the DigiTech Polara, but the Red Panda Context Reverb Pedal has a longer decay time, which gives you the option of having a huge reverb without having to sacrifice any of your note clarity.
Cons Red Panda Context
- Is very minimalistic
- A bit on the pricier side
Other alternative reverb pedals
TC Electronic Hall of Fame
If you are interested in something that’s a little bit less complex to use, the TC Electronic Hall of Fame may be something that you’re interested. The basic setup of this reverb pedal is a pedal board friendly, compact, battery powered pedal that has been loaded up with new sounds; these new sounds are now called Tone Prints.
Each pedal has a small number of several sound variations that you can choose from; one of these variations being Tone Print. Tone Print allows you to download the settings that celebrity guitar players have designed and upload them to your pedal by using a mini USB cable or by using your smartphone.
You can use your smartphone by aiming the speakers on your phone to your pickups; this beams the data directly to the pedal.
DigiTech Polara Reverb Pedal
The DigiTech Polara is best suited for reverb users who are looking for a pedal that has a fit more accessories than a basic reverb pedal does. With the added Stomplock knob guard added into the creation of the DigiTech Polara, this reverb pedal is perfect for traveling guitar players.
Maybe you don’t do a whole lot of traveling, but enter yourself into competitions to play, or play at a lot of concerts, I would also really suggest this reverb pedal to you, especially if you aren’t looking for anything that has a whole lot of bells and whistles.
Final Take: The Red Panda Context Reverb Pedal
The Red Panda Context is a great reverb pedal that copies the reverb algorithms of pedals that are at a much larger price range. All six modes of this pedal are very useful and a lot of guitar players appreciate how easy it is to dial the pedal in a great reverb space without menu diving.
Not to mention that this is an excellent pedal that boosts reverb algorithms, which is a trait commonly found is reverb pedals that are a lot more expensive. Not only is the Red Panda Context Reverb Pedal easy and simple to use, this reverb pedal is one of the best digital reverberation pedals that you can find for your mono guitar rig.
That’s all for this Red Panda Context Reverberation Review. If you are interested in knowing more about finding the best guitar pedals, feel free to check this link.
Danny grew up playing anything that looked like a guitar. Since some kids just don’t know how to grow up, he continues to write about guitars because you can do that these days.