Other Equipment

Spring Reverb Pedals — Opinions??

1

I keep finding myself less than happy with the sound & tone of digital reverb pedals. My most recent experience has been with a Boss FRV-1 ('63 Fender Reverb). At low levels it is OK, but as I crank it, the sound takes on the digital harshness that (IMO) is a tone killer.

I've been thinking about a (1) Carl Martin Head Room or (2) Vanamps Sole Mate. Both have analog spring reverbs. Some of the reviews posted on the web about the Carl Martin have indicated quality control problems -- units arriving with broken internal wiring connections, with some suggestions that the problems "are being corrected".... (whatever that means).

Has anyone here had experience with either of these pedals and/or advice to offer?

2

Buy a Little Kahunna, 63´s ressiue reverb tank sounds dirty and flat, the Boss emulation even worst, Sole mate not up to scratch, you finish buy buying lots of pedal and reselling them because nothing compares to a true reverb tank, the Little kahuanna really splash and at very moderated setting, no to mention what happens when you pull the button, BZ graciously in the depth button as wrote pull to surf and yes it surf when you pull this button and with very big waves :)

3

I've never tried the Sole Mate or the Head Room, but I'll testify to the Demeter Reverbulator from the same ballpark. It's transparent, and it functions well with both clean and dirty signals.

I've been using it for about 6 months, although it feels like longer; I guess that's a good sign - I sometimes feel I'm still getting used to some bits of kit, years after purchase, whereas the Reverbulator fitted right in.

The only issue I had was that the power supply it came with was pretty low-rent - I'm sure it's great for office equipment, but I wouldn't trust it to more than a few weeks of being plugged and unplugged, tossed in a box, wound and unwound.

4

I own the Van Amps Sole Mate and I absolute LOVE it. My local shop had just gotten a used Fender tweed reverb tank in on a trade that matched my 59 Bassman RI perfectly. I was about to take it home without even playing it because I was so GASd up about getting a matching tank. My friends at the store suggested I A/B it with the Sole Mate. I pluged in the Fender unit first because my initial thoughts were screw this Van Amps deal Im getting my matching tweed tank! The Fender sounded pretty damn good, and I was so hung up on the fact that this thing was tweed that I wanted to hate the Sole Mate. When I finally plugged in the sole mate I was blowen away. I couldnt believe how much better the Van Amps pedal sounded. Ive never experience such a drastic difference from one effect to another, when I plugged the Fender back in it wasnt doing it for me at all. Super disappointed in how this Fender didnt match up to some pedal I had never heard of I then proceeded to try another 2 Fender reverb tanks they had in stock, both brown one used and one new. All 3 of them sounded identical, they didnt sound bad, but they didnt measure up to the Van Amps in my opinion. I still want a tweed reverb tank, and I just may buy that one at my local shop just because I dig it. I dont have any experience with other manufactures tube reverb tanks, but the one mentioned a couple posts above sounds interesting. I also saw a thread somewhere on here about the Nocturne pedals guy is making his own reverb tank clones that look super bad ass. Also a lot of my friends are raving about the Blue Sky from Strymon. I have not had an opportunity to try one yet because Motor City guitar cant keep them in stock LOL. Hopefully Ill be able to check it out soon!

Cheers 8-)

5

Some other things worth saying about the Sole Mate. You can stack other pedals on top of it, they sell a bracket if you want to mount them securely which is a cool feature. And I also dig the aux switch which I am currently using to toggle my tube tape echo on and off. In the beginning I was worried about the concept of steping on a spring tank as everyone knows what happens when you bump your amp around with the reverb on. I have to say you really have to nail this pedal hard to make the springs bang around in it. One thing that pisses me off about this pedal are the random jack locations. The Input and AUX are on the front, the output on the rear and the power on the right side. I have not taken the pedal apart so I dont know if this was a necessity or not. Also if you are using any type of amp with multiple inputs or want to run stereo Van Amps makes a pedal called the Reverbamate. I should point out that the SoleMate says Reverbamate series on it, the other pedal actually has the name on it twice. So its a Reverbamate from the Reverbamate series if that make sense. Anyhow the Reverbamate pedal has 2 outputs one wet one dry I think if your into that. I didnt care about that feature as I split my signal with my tape echo anyway and MCG did not have the stereo model in stock.

I run all my other effects into the tape echo, and then the wet signal goes directly to the Normal 1 input on the Bassman. The dry out runs to the SoleMate and then to the Bright 1 input at the amp. This allows me to really mess around and blend things together. I cant wait to get another amp so I can split into Stereo.

7

A friend of mine owns a Vanamp, which sounds really impressive. I just miss the tubes there...so I stick with my brown reissue modded Fender Reverb Unit, or once it's serviced my 65 vintage one.

8

Since you are looking for a pedal that comes close to the spring reverb of a Fender amp, try the Wampler Faux Spring Reverb pedal. It is the closest I've found, lately I leave my Fender reverb unit more and more at home. The Strymon is a great unit, but it doesn't really do a good job on the spring reverb sound. I liked the Sole Mate, but preferred the Wampler. It is a one trick pony, but if the spring reverb is all you are looking for it is a nice little pedal.

9

Have you tried the Digitech Digiverb pedal? Got mine in mint condition used from GC for $20. It was Tavo's recommendation for an inexpensive but reliable reverb pedal that does the drippy springy thang. Very convincing, with other usable settings. Church verb sounds HUGE and not sterile like some digital verbs at all.

Anyway, it may be worth a try given the low price point. Personally, if I were gonna get close to $200 for a verb pedal I'd probably wait a bit and save up for a Little K.

10

Thanks everyone -- this is all very good and helpful information and I truly appreciate your time and input!

One thing that I have learned over the years -- If one wants information to narrow down choices, GDP is NOT the place to go... With all the knowledge and experience gathered here, I keep learning about "new" things and end up with MORE things to consider, rather than fewer...!

11

Per Johnny2009's comments on the reissue '63 Fender Reverb Tank -- I have tried these and have been unimpressed, especially given typical street prices of around $650.

Several things I've read about them suggest they are trouble-prone and have a relatively high rate of returns to the factory for repairs. Some of the positive reviews have indicated that good results have been realized after swapping out stock tubes. IMO, if I'm going to spend $650 to buy the thing, I should not have to spend even more money to make it sound good.

12

Per Johnny2009's comments on the reissue '63 Fender Reverb Tank -- I have tried these and have been unimpressed, especially given typical street prices of around $650.

Several things I've read about them suggest they are trouble-prone and have a relatively high rate of returns to the factory for repairs. Some of the positive reviews have indicated that good results have been realized after swapping out stock tubes. IMO, if I'm going to spend $650 to buy the thing, I should not have to spend even more money to make it sound good.

– Senojnad

Per Johnny2009's comments on the reissue '63 Fender Reverb Tank -- I have tried these and have been unimpressed, especially given typical street prices of around $650.

Several things I've read about them suggest they are trouble-prone and have a relatively high rate of returns to the factory for repairs. Some of the positive reviews have indicated that good results have been realized after swapping out stock tubes. IMO, if I'm going to spend $650 to buy the thing, I should not have to spend even more money to make it sound good.

– senojnad

Well I can speak only from my experience about the reissue reverb tank. I bought mine in 1994, the year Fender reissued it. I gig with it ever since and never had any problems with it. I use Fender outboard reverb tank since more than 30 years and have several vintage ones as well. They all sound different and there are bad old ones and new ones. The tank is the biggest contributor to how they sound. Accutronics makes their tank now in China, maybe this is one reason. Yes, there are some changes I made. I installed all NOS tubes incl. a 6K6. I also made that little cap mod and I like the reissue as much or better than my vintage ones. Reliability was never an issue with the reissue tank.

14

I own the Van Amps Sole Mate and I absolute LOVE it. My local shop had just gotten a used Fender tweed reverb tank in on a trade that matched my 59 Bassman RI perfectly. I was about to take it home without even playing it because I was so GASd up about getting a matching tank. My friends at the store suggested I A/B it with the Sole Mate. I pluged in the Fender unit first because my initial thoughts were screw this Van Amps deal Im getting my matching tweed tank! The Fender sounded pretty damn good, and I was so hung up on the fact that this thing was tweed that I wanted to hate the Sole Mate. When I finally plugged in the sole mate I was blowen away. I couldnt believe how much better the Van Amps pedal sounded. Ive never experience such a drastic difference from one effect to another, when I plugged the Fender back in it wasnt doing it for me at all. Super disappointed in how this Fender didnt match up to some pedal I had never heard of I then proceeded to try another 2 Fender reverb tanks they had in stock, both brown one used and one new. All 3 of them sounded identical, they didnt sound bad, but they didnt measure up to the Van Amps in my opinion. I still want a tweed reverb tank, and I just may buy that one at my local shop just because I dig it. I dont have any experience with other manufactures tube reverb tanks, but the one mentioned a couple posts above sounds interesting. I also saw a thread somewhere on here about the Nocturne pedals guy is making his own reverb tank clones that look super bad ass. Also a lot of my friends are raving about the Blue Sky from Strymon. I have not had an opportunity to try one yet because Motor City guitar cant keep them in stock LOL. Hopefully Ill be able to check it out soon!

Cheers 8-)

– Jason F

I own the Van Amps Sole Mate and I absolute LOVE it. My local shop had just gotten a used Fender tweed reverb tank in on a trade that matched my 59 Bassman RI perfectly. I was about to take it home without even playing it because I was so GASd up about getting a matching tank. My friends at the store suggested I A/B it with the Sole Mate. I pluged in the Fender unit first because my initial thoughts were screw this Van Amps deal Im getting my matching tweed tank! The Fender sounded pretty damn good, and I was so hung up on the fact that this thing was tweed that I wanted to hate the Sole Mate. When I finally plugged in the sole mate I was blowen away. I couldnt believe how much better the Van Amps pedal sounded. Ive never experience such a drastic difference from one effect to another, when I plugged the Fender back in it wasnt doing it for me at all. Super disappointed in how this Fender didnt match up to some pedal I had never heard of I then proceeded to try another 2 Fender reverb tanks they had in stock, both brown one used and one new. All 3 of them sounded identical, they didnt sound bad, but they didnt measure up to the Van Amps in my opinion. I still want a tweed reverb tank, and I just may buy that one at my local shop just because I dig it. I dont have any experience with other manufactures tube reverb tanks, but the one mentioned a couple posts above sounds interesting. I also saw a thread somewhere on here about the Nocturne pedals guy is making his own reverb tank clones that look super bad ass. Also a lot of my friends are raving about the Blue Sky from Strymon. I have not had an opportunity to try one yet because Motor City guitar cant keep them in stock LOL. Hopefully Ill be able to check it out soon!

Cheers 8-)

– Jay

Jay, checkout the tweed Sole Mate sold through Vintage47 amps

http://www.vintage47amps.co...

15

I own the Van Amps Sole Mate and I absolute LOVE it. My local shop had just gotten a used Fender tweed reverb tank in on a trade that matched my 59 Bassman RI perfectly. I was about to take it home without even playing it because I was so GASd up about getting a matching tank. My friends at the store suggested I A/B it with the Sole Mate. I pluged in the Fender unit first because my initial thoughts were screw this Van Amps deal Im getting my matching tweed tank! The Fender sounded pretty damn good, and I was so hung up on the fact that this thing was tweed that I wanted to hate the Sole Mate. When I finally plugged in the sole mate I was blowen away. I couldnt believe how much better the Van Amps pedal sounded. Ive never experience such a drastic difference from one effect to another, when I plugged the Fender back in it wasnt doing it for me at all. Super disappointed in how this Fender didnt match up to some pedal I had never heard of I then proceeded to try another 2 Fender reverb tanks they had in stock, both brown one used and one new. All 3 of them sounded identical, they didnt sound bad, but they didnt measure up to the Van Amps in my opinion. I still want a tweed reverb tank, and I just may buy that one at my local shop just because I dig it. I dont have any experience with other manufactures tube reverb tanks, but the one mentioned a couple posts above sounds interesting. I also saw a thread somewhere on here about the Nocturne pedals guy is making his own reverb tank clones that look super bad ass. Also a lot of my friends are raving about the Blue Sky from Strymon. I have not had an opportunity to try one yet because Motor City guitar cant keep them in stock LOL. Hopefully Ill be able to check it out soon!

Cheers 8-)

– Jay

Jay, checkout the tweed Sole Mate sold through Vintage47 amps

http://www.vintage47amps.co...

– Brian Blaut

I own the Van Amps Sole Mate and I absolute LOVE it. My local shop had just gotten a used Fender tweed reverb tank in on a trade that matched my 59 Bassman RI perfectly. I was about to take it home without even playing it because I was so GASd up about getting a matching tank. My friends at the store suggested I A/B it with the Sole Mate. I pluged in the Fender unit first because my initial thoughts were screw this Van Amps deal Im getting my matching tweed tank! The Fender sounded pretty damn good, and I was so hung up on the fact that this thing was tweed that I wanted to hate the Sole Mate. When I finally plugged in the sole mate I was blowen away. I couldnt believe how much better the Van Amps pedal sounded. Ive never experience such a drastic difference from one effect to another, when I plugged the Fender back in it wasnt doing it for me at all. Super disappointed in how this Fender didnt match up to some pedal I had never heard of I then proceeded to try another 2 Fender reverb tanks they had in stock, both brown one used and one new. All 3 of them sounded identical, they didnt sound bad, but they didnt measure up to the Van Amps in my opinion. I still want a tweed reverb tank, and I just may buy that one at my local shop just because I dig it. I dont have any experience with other manufactures tube reverb tanks, but the one mentioned a couple posts above sounds interesting. I also saw a thread somewhere on here about the Nocturne pedals guy is making his own reverb tank clones that look super bad ass. Also a lot of my friends are raving about the Blue Sky from Strymon. I have not had an opportunity to try one yet because Motor City guitar cant keep them in stock LOL. Hopefully Ill be able to check it out soon!

Cheers 8-)

– Jay

Jay, checkout the tweed Sole Mate sold through Vintage47 amps

http://www.vintage47amps.co...

– BrianBlaut

I KNOW RIGHT! That thing was awesome. Unfortunately they only had black, blue and cream in stock at Motor City and I am not exactly known for being patient LOL so I went with the black one. It will look pretty sweet when I get around to pinstriping it out. The tweed is sick, so is the orange, the surf green, the red. I dont think I would have been able to decide if they had them all in stock. :P

17

Per Johnny2009's comments on the reissue '63 Fender Reverb Tank -- I have tried these and have been unimpressed, especially given typical street prices of around $650.

Several things I've read about them suggest they are trouble-prone and have a relatively high rate of returns to the factory for repairs. Some of the positive reviews have indicated that good results have been realized after swapping out stock tubes. IMO, if I'm going to spend $650 to buy the thing, I should not have to spend even more money to make it sound good.

– Senojnad

For a little more you get the LK from Billy Zoom, 750/800$ not sure if you live in the U.S if you are European the budget can be a lot more Tax+shipping, the reissue is a crappy motherboard with a crappy transformer and bad tubes, it sound better than any pedals to me but the construction makes me think it is a racket, i get panic when i take off the chasis and see what it was inside :( so i sold it soon, loosing 200 euros also i wasn´t satisfied with the sound, dark dirty and unlush, here a reissue cost 650 euros i sold mine for 450, what i want to point is take care do not buy things that you don´t gonna like even if they are cheap, you will never be satisfied and be spending money to finnally end with a true reverb tank, also if you are planning to gig with it, i would not recomend to put a tank in a stage at least not in the kind of stage i use to play :) bars and disco clubs, for that purpose any pedal is better, i use my LK for recording and enjoying at home

19

I had a Boss 63' Fender Reverb and i didn't like it at all. I currently have a Hardwire RV-7 on my board and i love it! It's got a great variety of diffrent reverbs, but best of all, a very convincing and drippy Spring reverb, which is what sold me. If i was going the route of a spring reverb tank, Billy Zoom's Little Kahuna sounded pretty awesome when i test drove it at NAMM.

20

I got a Danelectro Spring King, it has that drip in spades, can be had for cheap 2nd hand. On youtube there's a pretty cool comparison of the spring king, spring king with long tank and the Boss FRV.

Long tank wins in my view: http://www.youtube.com/watc...

21

What's the deal with those inexpensive tank 'verbs you find on the bay? No enclosure, just a tank and a box connected by cables.

22

A little spendy, but I find the demos of the Strymon Blue Sky very impressive.

23

Senojad, the Boss reverb really seems to be the worst one of the bunch - I have one, and I really don't like it much. At very low settings it's passable, but turn it up any higher and it's just a weird, harsh sounding pedal IMO.

Nothing like the dynamics of a real spring with tube input and output, but most of the other reverb pedals I've tried were much more useable than the Boss - the cheapo digitech, the T-Rex tonebug, etc...

The Sole-Mate IS a really nice reverb pedal though, that comes awful close to a typical on-board Fender blackface combo reverb - but it's fairly big and expensive, and getting awful close to the price of a decent tube/spring unit.

24

Dan,

I use the Sole-Mate with the Standel and I feel it is worth you trying. As Walter says it is a really nice reverb pedal. Although when I say pedal it is in reality an outboard spring reverb (yes it has three springs inside). Last night I was playing live and many musicians mentioned how much they enjoyed the sound of my set up which the Sole-Mate is part. I also own a mid 60's Blackface Deluxe and again I agree with Walter the Sole-Mate is very, very close. Another good thing about the Sole-Mate is they do it in a range of different coloured coverings - one of which I am sure will be close to the covering on your Standel.

I would like to try the Little Kahuna as it has tremolo also but at this time my finances are not there yet and also in terms of gigging it is another thing for me to carry. But I have heard some sound clips and it does sound fantastic. Also I am sure Walter can share some details on his reverb/trem unit as that, I am led to believe, sounds incredible also.

Yours

Drew

25

Yep, I love the reverb/trem unit I have. It's not really trying to be a copy of anything, except maybe the 'verb/trem section out of a blackface amp. And it's beautifully made, not a cheap part or PC board in sight, and not expensive at all considering.

Mergili "Admiral Girth" reverb/tremolo unit


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