tube spring reverb

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by liquidstudios, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. can anyone recommend a high quality tube spring reverb?
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Does it have to be a tube spring reverb or can be just any ol' high quality reverb?
  3. i know the fender '63 is a tube reverb. but im not sure if it is spring as well. numerous guitar amplifiers use spring tube reverb, but i was wanting something more along the lines of outboard. and of great quality
  4. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Well, it most definitely is a spring as that's the only thing that would be able to create a reverb in a guitar cabinet from that time.

    I don't know of any outboard spring reverbs. I would guess that if they exist, they would be all but forgotten by now. Spring reverb sounds...well...springy and I don't think that they would stand the test of time.
  5. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    There's plenty of digital reverbs that sound plenty better than a spring reverb. Definitely more real. If you're dead set on finding a quality unit go look for a Lexicon 960L or the like.
  6. dude....i'm aware that there are good digital reverbs out there. namely lexicon. but thank you for the outstanding insight.

    so do any of you know if the fender '63 outboard tube reverb, implements springs? or should i do google hueseph
  7. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

  8. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Back in the 60's, all reverb units in guitar and organ amps utilized spring tanks that were made by Hammond (now Accutronics). These are very limited in their performance. Studios, as a whole avoided the design, favoring large plate reverb systems, buried gasoline tanks, treated rooms and stairwells, etc.
    There are still spring units (rack-mountable) on the market, made by Demeter. Jim Demeter is mainly known for wicked tube amps and studio processors. The reverb is a solid-state affair that rocks for guitars. Soldano made a tube spring reverb recently, too. Back in the 70s and 80s, AKG and MicMix made rack-mount and stand-alone spring units, and these are coveted by many "surf guitar" producers.
  9. thanks for the info, what exactly are the plate reverb systems, i've used grated reverb, and halls, and this and that. is it an outboard piece? who makes the good ones if so, and do you know if that fender 63' utilizes springs, inferring that like you said all units in the sixties did, however i believe this is a reissue, so i'm not sure. but do you know of any tube reverbs that are better than the 63?
  10. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    (Dead Link Removed)
  11. so you're inferring that it is noisy?
  12. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I could provide a better answer if you provided more information about your situation (and that remark applies to a lot of the questions that you have asked recently on the board). The Fender Reverb tank's noise floor is not considered remarkable in the world of tube powered guitar effect units. Nor is it's bumpy frequence response or its harmonic distortion level. However, for a standard vocal recording they'd all be considered a joke. They are not "audiophile" standard in any way. Think of playing your CDs through you Marshall. So it depends on what you are looking for, and only you can tell us that.
  13. im sure it is more noisy, for guitar no doubt most of the fender amps have spring tube reverb implemented, some other amps as well. so i would be using this for guitar, but yeah also for outboard stuff with other instrumentation, drums, bass, vocals. i checked out the demeter RV-1, its a nice spring unit. no tubes though, for an outboard tube reverb let alone springs, after a short search this '63 was all i could find. maybe you can find some more.

    yeah well im not contesting the nature of it standing up to "hi fi audiophile" gear, as most stuff isnt technically considered audiophile in the recording studio.
  14. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Cool. BobRogers let us know that the 63 reissue indeed does have a tube spring reverb. Moonbaby covered a lot of the outboard spring reverb units that are/were available.

    Your initial question mentioned high quality and that too has been covered as best it could. I think that spring reverb has been relegated to more of a performance effect and not really used as a recording effect which is why many of us would recommend other types of reverb units over a spring unit, high quality or not.

    Now on to the plates. If you don't mind me asking, are you curious about them because you want one, because you want to know about how they work or just because they were mentioned in this thread?

    Anyway, click this to learn all about how a plate reverb works...and before you ask...EMTs are the best.'s a gated reverb. It's not a separate type of reverb, it's just a reverb with the decay cut off, by a gate.
  15. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    " It's moments like this that I really do miss the wit and wisdom of Shotgun... That's one cat that I'm sure would enlighten you on a number of subjects that interest you. "

    I've tried to get in touch with him....Of course the summers are beautiful in Alaska......or he might be drunk....

    Its true that he would have a GREAT time with all of this.

    As would we..............
  17. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member


    Don't know if you get over to PSW too much, but evidently Aardvark's heard from him...

    Ti's indeed a sad truth... if real.

  18. truly sorry PRO audio members. i should have known plate reverb was literally plates, and i could have guessed.
  19. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    OK'd kids! Now here is a more worthless information about reverb units.

    The Spring reverb units in the early electric guitar cabinets were powered by the guitar amplifiers tubes and later by transistors depending on whether you purchased a tube or transistor guitar amplifier. The springs themselves are just passive devices and so have no actual association themselves to tubes or transistors. There were 2 springs within a single pan because one sounded a lot worse than two. You needed an amplifier to "excite" them to make them vibrate. The amplifier can be made with tubes or transistors. To pick up the very low level signal of the vibrating springs requires a high gain preamplifier similar to what is used to pick up a phonograph cartridge or dynamic microphone. The Springs in guitar amplifiers created a unique sound that is much different from that of a quality studio reverberation system that also included the notorious "Pop Sproing" effect when you hit the guitar just right. Believe me, you never want to put drums through these things, unless it is for that very specific sounding effect. Otherwise it's just good for a laugh! In general, they also had a very limited frequency response and were not really considered high fidelity reverbs.

    As noted by the other posters, there were various other spring reverberation devices made that utilized the same kind of "spring pan" that was used in guitar amplifiers. One of the oldest ones I remember from the mid-1960s was the Fairchild Reverbatron. I don't quite remember whether Fairchild used tubes or transistors for that unit?

    Then, back in 1958 Dr. Kuhl (Khul?) of West Germany invented the plate reverb for EMT. It was quite a large and cumbersome device that required its own quiet room since it was electromechanical. Its dimensions in its heavy wooden enclosure and steel frame resembled a device similar in size to a queen-size mattress on its edge and approximately 300 pounds! The plate was actually a piece of coldrolled steel sheet metal. It had a speaker like voice coil that was screwed to the metal plate. Back in 1958, the first ones were monaural with a single pickup and all tube electronics. The tubes were noisier than transistors and so later they made the electronics with transistors and installed a second pick up in a different location on the plate so as to simulate a spacious stereo environment. Still today, one of the best sounding devices ever created. Much copied but never matched.

    Later, AKG created a new type of spring reverb unit. It was the model BX20E. It was smaller and lighter in a beautiful teak wood box. There were 2 springs within, one for each channel. What set this device apart from the springs utilized in guitar amplifiers, organs and other similar permutations was its extended frequency response and smooth lush quality without the nasty artifacts that the Hammond guitar and organ spring reverbs had. How did they accomplish this?? Each spring was 3 meters long! That's right, 9 feet! How do you get a 9 foot spring into a 3 foot tall box?? Simple? You fold it over 3 times. Yup, that's right in not only that, one of the ways they avoided the terrible artifacts were to feed the signal into both ends and pick up the signal also from both ends. How could that possibly work? By exciting both ends of the spring they were able to get twice the density out of a single 9 foot spring. They would actually feed the signal in and pick up the signal at the same place the signal was being fed to. They canceled out the feeder signal by picking it up at both ends and combining them together out of phase. All that was left was the reverbs signal that was completely random and so was picked up twice, once at each end! They referred to this technique as the "TTL" or, the Tortional Transmission Line system. Unlike its 1 foot long guitar cousin, this unit not only sounded stellar, its decay time was also adjustable from quite short to quite long and was done so electronically, whereas the EMT plate reverb time was adjustable through a mechanical system by what was basically a piece of compressed fiberglass ceiling tile that was brought close to our own way from the plate and so varied its reverb time acoustically.

    As noted by the other poster, there was a Texas-based company called "MicMix" who made a couple of popular studio spring reverb systems. I never actually crossed paths or used any of these quite popular transistorized units and unfortunately, the owner of the Company met with an early demise and death. The Company closed upon his death.

    Of course later on came the digital units which pretty much revolutionized effects processing since they could do things with time and mathematics that were not possible in the real world. Unfortunately, many of these companies have made digital units that all try to emulate the plate. Again, much copied but never equal. Cool, different but not a plate.

    So again as noted by other posters, references to "surfer music" was made popular by the little 1 foot long, dual spring reverb, from Hammond industries that found its way into both tube and transistorized guitar amplifiers as they made that funky artifact that made surfer music popular.

    I think it rather funny that all of the manufacturers that have made digital units have all tried to emulate, "The Plate" but none of them have ever tried to emulate the "Hammond Spring". I don't think they were ever successful in trying to make anything sound that horrible, with that many artifacts successfully?? There you go, a product you can invent to make millions of $$ by making a really bad digital reverb that emulates a "Tube Spring"??

    And how do I know so much about reverbs?? When I was five years old, I had a serious health condition, that caused undue pressure in my brain. As a result, everybody and everything sounded like it was in a huge cathedral or at the bottom of a deep well not to mention a loss of lip sync. At age 7 I had surgery that relieved the pressure in my brain and when I awoke, I not only regained lip sync, I lost the reverb sound and so, I began my quest to find that reverb sound I had lost. I built my first reverb unit by purchasing 2 of those Hammond Springs, using a transistor amplifier to excite them and a Shure tube preamplifier as the pickup, when I was 14 years old.

    I could go on but I think I'm starting to decay???
    Ms. Remy Ann David

    I'm still decayingggggggggggggg
  20. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    So when does the steamy tell-all book about your affair with Phil Spector some out...,"and so I said, 'Phil, you can never turn turn that knob up enough..'"

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