Other Equipment

Rockabilly Surf Pedal


Greetings Gretschlings! Looking for a pedal to help develop Rockabilly and Surf. Mind, I hate pedals as a rule. Just need a tweek. I've a g5422 and an Am Strat Fat 50s PUPS. Love both, though a bit partial to the Gretsch more these days. Cheers.


Strymon Flint. Three different reverb types and three different tremolos in ONE pedal. Easily and effectively tweaked and adjusted. Sounds very good (this is from a person who owns vintage Fender amps). My two cents!


I have a Strymon El Capistan (and a Deco) that handle most situations. Obviously the ElCap has variable delay and has a reverb on the secondary function. All of my amps have trem so that suits my needs.


The Strymons are great pedals. I swear by'em. (But I like pedals.)

If you MUST have the MOST authentic drippy-sounding spring reverb (short of an actual spring tank and the expense that goes with it), that might be the Source Audio True Spring. It's also loaded with tremolos, but they're harder to access and tweak than in the Strymon.

You don't tell us what effects you feel you need for rockabilly and surf. Fuzz has been used in surf. Slapback delay is next to mandatory in rockabilly, and a touch (or more) of overdrive is common.

And when you mention rockabilly...are we talkin' 50s rockabilly, or 80s-present rockabilly revival? One of the benchmark tones for the latter is Brian Setzer's - and that's essentially the preamp and slapback delay from his Roland Space Echo into a slightly-driven Fender amp.

Nocturne Brain makes a pedal called the BS-301 Mystery Brain - which is a convenient modern pedal-version emulation of the Space Echo. It has the preamp section which provides a distinctive edge and bite, as well as the delay section with the necessary modulation to get all Brian.

Without more details of what you're after - and a price range - we can't help you much. It would be useful to know what amp you use, and some of the rockabilly/surf artists whose tones you might be chasing (or just inspired by). And whether this is for gigging or just home use.

Also, "I hate pedals as a rule" is a fairly threatening opener!


If you’re amp has verb and Trem you could just get a delay. If it doesn’t and you don’t like pedals an old tape echo can be great. Copicats are not high maintenance and ez to get tape for. With multiple heads you can really get a verblike erfect


I am spoiled - I have a beautiful Gretsch 6120SSLVO and a few great amps to choose from. I found that i could probably do an entire rockabilly gig with these and a Strymon Deco. The "overdrive" in the Deco is surprisingly good - not my ultimate overdrive but certainly usable and good enough for a gig. And the slapback delay is excellent. I like a little dirt - not too much - but enough to give a little bite to the tone and help smooth things out just a little. A super-clean tone can get a bit lost in a band setting - the note attack is much louder than the sustained note, so some form of compression is useful to allow you to be heard. Hence the popularity of overdrive.

What I have used for a long time for rockabilly gigs where I did even play a few surf instrumentals was simply a decent low-gain overdrive and a simple slapback delay. My recommendations for an overdrive to use with a Gretsch would be a Rockett: I like the Majestic but the Blue Note is excellent too. And for slapback delay a TC Mini Flashback is all you need and more. The sound quality of both the delay and the straight though signal are excellent.

A boost/overdrive for a Strat might need to have a little more midrange as Strats can be a little thin sounding, especially after you have gotten used to a Gretsch! I's probably suggest a Thorpy Peacekeeper for a Strat. The presence knob adds some lovely midrange and there is enough low-end to fill out the Strat's sound. It will go from a clean boost through to gentle overdrive and should be amazing for surf tunes.

The Strymon Flint is an excellent suggestion too - I have one and the reverbs are top-notch, especially the plate - which you could easily use for surf. I do! I have heard great things about the Source Audio True Spring but haven't tried one myself yet.

You don't need much. Get the right ones first and you won't need to spend more later.


I’ve gone through an insane amount of pedals and I’m as happy with my sound as ever. NUMEROUS vintage and boutique pedals. I’ve narrowed it down to I needing four things.

1) reverb, 2) delay (slapback), 3) tremolo, 4) boost/drive/level control

My pedalboards get huge, then I pare it down, then it starts getting bigger again.

This is simplest rig ever. And it is pretty cheap. I’m using a Zoom ms50g. It is multi effect pedal with 140 different effects. You can use up to six at one time. It took me a few hours to really get it dialed in. There is only one problem and it is a pretty big one. It is very difficult to adjust on the fly. I’ve got the verb, slap, and trem dialed in, but level and EQ requirements are different for different rooms/guitars/amps. So I’ve set up a few patches with nearly identical sounds but this one has more treble or more bass or whatever. That way I’m not trying to adjust the pedal at the gig, just use another patch.

It has a great echoplex setting, a great fender reverb spring sound, and is very configurable.

I thank Link Rayford of the Rayford Brothers for hipping me to this little box.


The the Flint is incredible! Kinda pricey to me. Hopefully somone will post one here or Reverb. Thx again!


The Flint is pricey but cheaper pedals don't sound as good - and you are getting two excellent FX in one. The only thing I don't like about Strymons is that they are sometimes fussy about power.

There is of course the Source Audio True Spring which may be worth a try and it's a fair bit less $$. I have only heard good things about it.

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