The Workbench

Best Reverb in a tube amp you heard in your life so far.

1

I want to decide what reverb to add to one of my test amps.

Rather than to just follow what I believe is the best, i would really be interested to hear what the Gretsch community regards as their best reverb experiences and why. Amp/model/speakers are important as well to mention as it could be used to figure which design and which kind of tank was used.

The why part is important as it will show the context the reverb was used in, which is as important as the reverb circuit design itself.

Thanks

2

My '64 Twin Reverb had the best in-amp reverb I ever remember having. It had slightly later...late 60's I think eminence brown label speakers I was told. I don't know what the tank would have been. It just sounded much deeper and more lush than a '65 Twin Reverb reissue of a friend's that I inherited. I sold the amp as it started to go wrong. I get by now with my 70s Fender Reverb Unit which is the best sounding reverb I've owned in or out of an amp. I love huge surfy reverb...even though the twin didn't have the "drip" and ability to control more parameters of the unit verb it was beautiful.

3

I think a 61 reverberocket. Second maybe a 66 super reverb. But every fender I’ve owned reverb sounds so different .same circuit... but some sound better. Though the reverberocket reverb is almost an echo. It’s deep and dark

4

I love the reverb sound Jeff Buckley got out of his Vibroverb '63 RI. It's big and complex without being distant. The one specimen I played had this also. I can't imagine how lovely an original must be.

5

Ampeg had it in an amp first -- speakers have an effect on reverb.Still -- a tough question

6

I had an Ampeg B-18X. Best tube/spring reverb I've ever had. My '77 Fender Deluxe Reverb would be second.

8

In my humble opinion, the Blackface Fenders are hare to beat for reverb.

A Fender stand-alone reverb unit is great as well.

9

1966 Ampeg Gemini 2.

– Baba Joe

These Ampegs do have a unique reverb. Used a mid 60s Gemini II at a recording session and loved it.

11

And for the opposite, recently discussed here -- mid 60s Dano reverb like on the Silvertone amps ... suckiest, one tiny short spring in a litte metal enclosure.... sorta like It Came From Outer Space. The stand alone Dano reverb unit no better.

13

This one.

3 x 10" Eminence "Blue Frame" speakers.

14

This one.

3 x 10" Eminence "Blue Frame" speakers.

– Yavapai

my first thought as well!...tho not true vintage...90's..bruce zinky designed it with the reverb in front..so it hit the amp like it was an outboard

the amp went thru some changes during it's release..and has even been reissued

here's what premier guitar said about it (the 2013 reissue)

*Good Reverberations

In order to replicate the amazing sounding reverb tanks of the early ’60s, Fender placed the tube-driven reverb before the preamp circuit—just as if you had an old Fender tank sitting on your amp. This small, but important, difference means the reverb compresses the tone a bit more at higher volumes

With controls for dwell, tone, and mix and a 6V6 tube driving the works, the reverb can move from washed-out ambient textures and dark, brooding soundscapes to bright-and-springy surf tones that just beg for heavy strings and fast picking. Cranking the dwell and mix knobs gets you the chaotic and organic crashing sounds that few reverbs apart from a Fender can provide. The tone knob is arguably the MVP of the reverb control trio. And it’s especially useful on the darker side of the spectrum when you want the reverb to work more seamlessly with a delay. In total, it’s about the best, and most useful, reverb I have found on any of Fender’s latest amp offerings*

cheers

15

Thanks all for responding this far. I will definately try to listen first hand to the non-fender amps listed. They are just darn hard to come by.

Restricting it to Fender; A lot of the response in this thread coincide with my decision I made before starting this thread. In the two classes of Reverb the 2xAT7 and the 6v6 driver versions, the best I found in the 2xAT7 was Pro Reverb. Unfortunately I cant remember the exact chassis number. My all time favorite is the Fender Standalone, which is great but unfortunately cannot be used to its full potential until it is basically integrated in the amp. the standalone adds a lot of extra tubes which are unnecessary. That is what brought me a while ago to the Vibroking. The vibroking is basically an integrated implementation of the standalone 60s Reverb unit right down to the 6v6 driver section. So I was basically opting for a Vibroking reverb circuit for this reason. The Vibroking is to me a true to the vintage amps "NEW" design, and fender should be applauded for the Vibroking. It seemingly unfortunately did not sell well.

Clearly some responses mentions the standalone vintage and the Vibroking which are in principle the same design applied differently. This was my conclusion too.

The 6V6 is a huge overkill but there is no lack of power and very low switch on impedance compared to 12AX reverb drivers which will give a better quality reverb signal to the tank.

Here are the circuits

The Pro reverb Reverb driver (2x12AT7) receives it's signal after it passed through the channel tone controls.

The Standalone, has it's own post-reverb tone-controls.

The Vibroking reverb driver get's its signal straight from the input tube (the 6v6 needs be driven with a 12AT7 as it is not a sensitive tube) so the 12ATX preceding it is part of the reverb driver. The Vibroking implements it's own single tone control before mixing with the original signal. The signal is then passed to the main tone controls.

So there is very little difference between the Vibroking and the early 60s Stand Alone, except that with the vibroking you can now achieve the same as the standalone without the need for the high extra tube count of the Stand Alone.

So I will at this stage definitely go with my original conclusion of the Vibroking circuit with one big difference. I will replace the 6V6 with an EL84, since I then dont need the extra 12AT7 that needs to drive the 6V6. The EL84 is similar power, but orders more sensitive and do not need an extra input driver tube.

All that said, Dwell is to me very important, but sadly most Fender amps do not implement it. That is what makes the Vibroking absolutely awesome in my view together with the other points listed.

All this said, I am going to do my best to go listen to the non-fender amps listed in this thread and if anything really bowls me over I will implement that too to see if I get a more interesting result.

16

My buddy has two '62 Ampeg Reverberockets, and they have the most natural decay that I've heard. My Dirty Girl gets very close to that too...

17

Gee Daniel, that is a beautiful amp. Looks like new !

I went and looked at the reverb rocket schematics and it seems that the tank is driven transformerless with capacitive coupling rather than inductive. In that case they would use high input impedance reverb tanks. They seem to call a reverb tank an echo-unit on the schematic.

Capacitive coupling is going to sound different. I would really like to hear that amp in person. But, what is the chance !?

18

Princeton Reverb 65

19

I mostly use an external Fender Reverb Unit ('64) or a variety of decent modern reverb pedals (with a SurfyBear Spring Reverb on my GAS list).

For internal reverb units, my '65 Reissue Fender Twin Reverb was great, but then I got a 90's Fender Vibro-King and it was like they shoved a Fender Reverb Unit into that beast. Sounded even better than the Twin.

A decent runner-up would be my formerly owned Fender '63 Reissue Vibroverb that I used to gig with - it did the job well.

20

I mostly use an external Fender Reverb Unit ('64) or a variety of decent modern reverb pedals (with a SurfyBear Spring Reverb on my GAS list).

For internal reverb units, my '65 Reissue Fender Twin Reverb was great, but then I got a 90's Fender Vibro-King and it was like they shoved a Fender Reverb Unit into that beast. Sounded even better than the Twin.

A decent runner-up would be my formerly owned Fender '63 Reissue Vibroverb that I used to gig with - it did the job well.

– Surfysonic

That is in fact exactly what they did with the Vibro King. Integrated the Stand alone Reverb Unit into the VibroKing. that is why the VibroKing is so unique. It is clear from the schematics in the links I posted that this is the case.

21

I really liked my Ampeg Reverberocket II until the movers got too rough and broke it. Up until then, I thought the tone of the amp paired perfectly with the reverb and gave everything a very pleasant feel. I'm truly shocked these amps didn't make more of a splash in the guitar world.

22

In person, my Jim Campilongo special edition ORANGE PRRI. Interestingly, my current PRRI's reverb does not sound quite as good.

In sound clips, the Swart AST... and it's one of the reasons it's a bucket list amp for me.

23

I had the Fender Custom Shop Dual Professional, not to be confused with the older amp of the same name. It was a 2X12" 100-watt version of the Vibro King circuit, and it sounded great when it was turned up to an impractically high level. It was just too loud and too heavy (76 pounds, IIRC).

To my ears, the VK circuit is actually superior to the standalone unit, which always seemed to rob the dry signal of some body, clarity, and dynamics in comparison to in-amp reverb.

When you're dealing with any tube-driven reverb, the individual tubes obviously have a lot to do with the sound, but so does the pan itself. Different pans, even ones by the same manufacturer with the same nominal specs, even ones made in the same factory on the same day (I compared two!), can sound different. MODs are more like the Ampeg "echo" than they are like the Fender reverb - deeper EQ and longer tail, a little smoother with fewer random artifacts.

24

Retnev,

I've had the VK in my pic for 20 years and it was already 7 years old when I got it so it already has the EL84 reverb tube in the circuit. Some users had reliability problems with that so Fender switched to the 6V6 circuit but I discovered early on that if the EL84 circuit is set up properly then it's not a problem. Mine was adjusted at Vic Mason's "Plexi Palace" back in 2002 and I've never had a problem since.

Since the reverb circuit comes first in the signal chain, the use of good NOS 12AX7 tubes there makes a real difference in the amp's tone, especially on the dwell and tone settings as in addition to driving the reverb tank it's acting as a preamp to the main preamp and power section.

The VK also has an effects loop which is inserted just in front of the phase inverter so a patch cable inserted there can take the reverb circuit out to another amp for alternative tone experiments.

It sounds as if you are on the right track so have fun!

25

Seadevil wrote I had the Fender Custom Shop Dual Professional, not to be confused with the older amp of the same name. It was a 2X12" 100-watt version of the Vibro King circuit, and it sounded great when it was turned up to an impractically high level. It was just too loud and too heavy (76 pounds, IIRC).

Now I learned something. I have been looking for a 2x12 version of the Vibroking.. Thanks a lot for this great info!! Never could have dreamed that option exists! You have photos ?

To my ears, the VK circuit is actually superior to the standalone unit, which always seemed to rob the dry signal of some body, clarity, and dynamics in comparison to in-amp reverb.

That is exactly my experience too. Superior depends on application, but the integrated standalone reverb in the VibroKing gets rid of the less than unity gain and tone reduction of the dry signal in the standalone, having as I can remember, a cathode follower in the dry signal path with less than unity gain and unfortunate choice of decoupling capacitors can make the dry signal sound a) weaker than directly plug and b) less pleasant due to the capacitor value choices. They had to use a cathode follower for phase considerations. I try not to use the dry signal if I can Regardless of that the standalone is special and one of the ultimate greatest. If you use it in an amp with send & return with parallel loop setting with the mix set on reverb only it is absolutely spectacular.


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