I ordered my DigiTech RV-7 from Musician's Friend and paid $149.99 for it with free shipping. Since I already own and have extensively
used the Boss RV-5, I'll be making some comparisons between the RV-7 and the RV-5. Check out the pictures below and you can see that the
RV-7 has a somewhat larger footprint (5.25"L x 3.5"W x 2.15"H) than the RV-5 but stands at about the same overall height. It also weighs a bit more (at 1.3 pounds).
The controls are very similar also. Both have level controls (Level/E. level), Tone (Liveliness), Decay (Decay/Time) and various Modes. Both feature Plate, Hall, Gated, Spring, Room and Modulated reverbs. The RV-7 adds a Reverse reverb. Neither unit features an echo or delay like the Boss RV-3 offered. The control knobs on the RV-7 are metal and a little larger in diameter with noticeable detents every few degrees whereas the RV-5 has plastic knobs. The RV-7 I/O connectors are spaced a little farther apart making it a bit easier to plug and unplug adjacent connectors. The RV-7 has a much larger LED indicator. Both of these units will run just fine off of a standard 200ma to 300ma 9.6 volt wall wart and the the RV-7 only requires 75ma of current allowing you to run more than one stomp pedal off of one wall wart. My setup uses the Danelectro Zero hum model DA-1 AC-DC adapter (about $7 on ebay) with no audible hum in either the RV-5 or RV-7 pedals. The Boss power adapters that I have used do have audible hum so I no longer use them.
The RV-7 has some unique features!
Overall this reverb pedal's reverb is much smoother than the RV-5! The highs are not grainy or harsh at all. However, the RV-7 changes the tone of my overall setup, making it much muddier than the RV-5. Adjustments in the amp EQ just don't seem to get the sparkle and life back into my sound that I had with the RV-5. You can increase the overall highs in the reverb effect but the overall sound just remains muddy and at times seems like it's somewhat compressed. This is not a small effect. It is very pronounced! Your mileage may vary based on your setup and the anount of highs in your guitar but the overall difference in the tone of the RV-5 and RV-7 remains. Both are fine units but I prefer the overall sound of the Boss RV-5.
Since everyone is looking for something a little different in a reverb I should state that I actually like the RV-5 much better than the RV-7, the Steel King Reverb, my 1965 Fender Deluxe Reverb reissue amp reverb, the Verbzilla or my Lexicon MPX-1. To my ears the RV-5 is bested only by the blackface fender Deluxe and Super Reverb amp reverbs. Now of course these units all sound different and if you prefer one of them more than I do, you might love the RV-7.
I am going back to the RV-5 for steel and will keep the RV-7 for my lead guitar setup.
No doubt, in a live club or stage setting, it's not gonna matter much what reverb box you use as no one out in the audience will hear much difference. The RV-7 is a high quality effect and you should try one out yourself and form your own opinions of whether it suits your needs. I have never used the RV-3 so I can't comment or compare it to the RV-5 or RV-7. I use the Guyatone MD-3 delay with the RV-5 reverb to essentially get the reverb + delay combo. These give me the reverb I like, a smooth analog like delay, and an overall sound that suits my ears.
|Spring Reverb||Hall Reverb||Gated Reverb||Modulated Reverb|
|Reverse Reverb||Plate Reverb||Room Reverb|
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