Other Amps

Hey reverb dudes

1

Are there any reverb mini-pedals that are any good? I have and like the EH Nano reverb, but don't need the hall reverb or flange settings. If there were a good 1-knob spring reverb in one of those little mini-size boxes, I would like to know. AC supply no problem and no reverbs run on batteries anyway. I am sure there is tons of stuff from China, but may even a US build. Irecall someone @ EH saying reverb was the hardest sound to digitally re create.

2

Pretty much every digital reverb pedal sucks for credible spring reverb emulation. The TC Electronic Nova Reverb sounds quite good, IMO, but the HOF version isn't as good. The Catalinbread Topanga is superb, but it's not a mini; the Malekko Spring Chicken is barely adequate, but it has the form factor you're looking for.

3

Everybody bags on pedal emulations of spring reverb...so why keep trying? Never mind that spring reverbs themselves vary wildly from amp to amp, so we have to ask which spring are we trying to get in a smaller, cheaper form factor?

It's generally the early Fender outboard unit. Of which numerous people make truly stellar reproductions or inspired-bys. Billy Zooms Little Cahuna and the Surfy Bear come to mind, but there are others. To get that sound in all its glory - if that's what you're after - it appears to take the necessary hardware, components, circuits, size, and expense.

The alternative - simulations - are a bit like Leslie simulators: they may get close to the recorded sound of the effect in question, but they don't capture the live reality of being in the room with it.

That said, bajillions of amps have some sort of spring reverb built in, and it's sufficed for an awful lot of players over lo these long many decades. When I first saw a Reverb pedal, I was completely baffled as to what it's purpose was: my AMPs had reverb...and I liked it fine. The Ampeg sounds different from this Fender, and that Fender sounds different from the other Fender, and the Peavey has its own (not terribly lush, but sufficient-to-most-nonsurfpurist-purposes). But hey. To my uncritical self, they all made reverb. I could tell the really cheesy ones (the low bar to hurdle being whatever it is in the Silvertone Twin Twelve), and the really lush ones (closer to the Fender outboard gold standard) - but as long as they fell beween those extremes, I found amp reverb usable.

I think they STILL make amps with spring reverb built in! Some of us may have them!

The joy in reverb pedals for me (and I practically have a fetish about them) is all the OTHER stuff a spring reverb never dreamt of doing. Most of them have competent springulations...but I really don't much care. I like the variety and the differences.

My point: if only spring will do, you'll probably have to buy an actual spring 'verb. Most of the mini emulators are springy in name only, and many of the full-size entries as well. Even if you get one that turns the trick for you, the first spring purist you run into is going to sneer. I find the venerable Strymon Flint pretty passable.

It's a mind game. If, for whatever reason, you MUST have gen-u-wine accept-no-substitutes authentically spring reverb...buy a good outboard spring reverb and be done with it for once and all. It costs more, and it's bigger. But it's exactly what it is, and it objectifies your commitment to That Tone.

4

Many pedals feature a great plate reverb simulation. It might not be what used to work in classic guitar amps but I much prefer it over a lousy spring setting.

The ultra-cheap digital ‚Mosky Spring Reverb‘ mini pedal does an okay job on my home amp, though.

And if you are willing to tinker a little you can „program“ your own Toneprint setting for a TC Hall of Fame.

5

Many pedals feature a great plate reverb simulation. It might not be what used to work in classic guitar amps but I much prefer it over a lousy spring setting.

A-double-men to that.

I'm clearly not a surf purist, but what the two guitarists in my band at the time most enjoyed when we made our first trip to a "pro studio" in 1979...was the plate reverb in place of amp 'verb. It's my default reverb setting on most pedals.

6

I''m just looking for something that reasonably approximates Fender reverb on 4. May check some stuff out;

7

I have an Outlaw 24k reverb that allow selection of hall, plate or spring reverb. I find both hall and plate barely usable, but the spring can be tweeked for something decent.

8

The new EHX Oceans 11 reverb pedal isn't a mini but it has been getting raves on Surf Guitar 101 and those guys are picky when it comes to reverb. Check out the demos on YouTube, especially the one from Big Ryan. The tube driven spring sound is excellent and it gets the wet, drippy, surf tone you can only get with a real outboard spring unit. The wet, drippy surfy tone is better than the Catalin Bread Topanga. Does a bunch of other reverb tones well also and it goes out the door for under $150.00. If I didn't have an outboard Tank, I would get one w/o hesitation.

9

Like the equally capable Canyons, the Oceans is almost a mini - it's smaller than a Boss and most other pedals, anyway. About the size of the original MXR pedals from decades ago.

I'm highly impressed with the Canyons, which earns its keep even among other much more expensive delays - and if the Oceans shares those genes, it's bound to be good.

Just please, don't make it good enough that I have to buy another reverb.

10

This is a pretty hard - nigh on impossible - requirement you have set.

The sad reality is that only a real spring reverb tank will act like a spring reverb.

SO.... buy an amp or a head with one and forget about the pedal.

I have several reverb pedals and delay/reverb pedals as well as amps with spring reverb units (65 twin reverb / '75 JC-120, FM100H)

One of the things I learned early on is that for reverb, only a true spring can give those warm tones. I have digital reverbs and surprisingly the ones I really like have no real spring or no spring option. If you want to do the reverb thing and it's part of discovering sound, then I'd recommend a big sky first, an RE-201 (or RE-20 COSM) and a Fender marine layer at the budget end. Then add some delay before the reverb - something like a carbon copy or if you're flush, an empress echosystem or a TimeLine... or a DD500... a binson Echorec 2(cause youre rolling in $$$$$) or a Boonar - if you can find one.

I run a horrible experimentation board, which always has an RE-20, a carbon copy, a bigsky, a marine layer, timeline and mobius (phase and rotary, autoswell etc) plus mxr flanger on it - plus whatever else I'm 'experimenting' with. These all go into wet/dry/wet (65 twin, vox night train/fm100h, JC-120) and the reverb is kicked on the 65's wet signal, and occasionally I add reverb or chorus to the JC120. Neither of those amps have effects loops, so everythign has to go into the front 'as-is' and part of this means loads of tweaking the pedals to find a sound.

It's highly worthwhile to experiment. I have disappeared for hours in reverb trails and flanger/delay/reverb combos... Better still, if you're unsure about particular reverb pedals then perhaps check out Dan Steinhardt and Mick Taylor's "That Pedal Show" on youtube and have a listen to their reverb and delay vids, they are truly insightful.

11

Used to be for me an amp had to have built in reverb and trem/vibrato. Good news - it limited my choices and kept my craziness at bay. Bad news - it limited my choices. I am a reverb junky but not a reverb purist. I have never heard a reverb in an amp or pedal that didn't work for me in one form or fashion.

My current list of pedals (artificial cut-off price sub $150)

  1. Digitech Digiverb - My first but not often used
  2. BiYang Tri-Reverb - Cheesy and a little over the top also not often used
  3. HoTone Eko - Use occasionally. Really small but works well
  4. HoTone Verb - Use 2nd most. Really small but works well
  5. Keeley Omni Reverb Pedal - Use the most. Regular size pedal but does what I need.

Others have come and gone.

Again my preference is a built in reverb. One less thing to deal with. Guitar-cord-amp.

12

For me as a surf guitarist, the only purpose of a reverb pedal is for playing parades - springs don't like moving trucks.

There are a number of acceptable pedals, all mentioned over at SG101. Really though, if you want a spring reverb, get a spring reverb.

If you're willing to do a little DIY work, the SurfyBear solid state spring reverb kit is a great choice. It's essentially a solid state version of the 6G15. I built one into a wood box, but many people at SG101 put them in toolboxes so it's even simpler to get up and running.

Shameless plug: An added benefit of using a SurfyBear (or 6G15) is that you can use my Drip Switch pedal to control the reverb level on the floor.

13

I'm just glad that I bought a reverb tank (Clark built) years ago.......and have kept it through numerous amps that have come and gone in my old barn.

14

Oh God, I hate myself sometimes. I have an oceans 11 reverb pedal. And I prefer the Boss FRV-1.... opposite of every one elses seems to think. Yeah, digital 1s and 0s but I can't honestly hear any detrimental affect on my chain when it's there compared to not there. Actually like it! But then again, the troll within me also prefers GFS surf 90s to most other pups. I'm a lost soul, happy in my cave though

16

Oh God, I hate myself sometimes. I have an oceans 11 reverb pedal. And I prefer the Boss FRV-1.... opposite of every one elses seems to think. Yeah, digital 1s and 0s but I can't honestly hear any detrimental affect on my chain when it's there compared to not there. Actually like it! But then again, the troll within me also prefers GFS surf 90s to most other pups. I'm a lost soul, happy in my cave though

– Vince_Ray

I’m with Vince. The Boss is the only pedal I’ve found that I like regardless of what others say. It doesn’t drip for days but very easy to get a good sound

17

Ah cool Paul. I was beginning to feel like 'billy no mates!


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