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FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / Talk about splashy reverb!


Columbus, Ohio

Jun 24th, 2015 10:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My 81 vibrolux reverb has quite a bit more reverb on tap than my 75 Princeton Reverb. I wonder why? Man, vintage Fender amps sound awesome IMHO.

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Jun 25th, 2015 09:41 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

There are such a wide variety of reverb tanks out there. Over the decades of amp building, repair and modding, I've seen a lot.

I've had "identical" tanks (make, model and specs) that sounded different.

I've seen old tanks with stretched out springs that were longer and splashier than they did originally.

I've two springs that are deeper and fuller than three springs (often called 6 springs, as each spring is two strung together) and vice versa.

Tanks come in varying decays. I've seen mostly medium decay, but some with long decay.

Since tanks are pretty cheap (under $20) it is easy and fun to experiment.


Columbus, Ohio

Mar 17th, 2016 09:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Do pedals sound as good as a tank reverb?

Steve Dallman
Contributing Member

Merrill, Wisconsin

Age is just a number...mine is big
Mar 18th, 2016 09:06 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I personally am not a great fan of spring reverb. It is an old, pretty crude design that works well, but sounds little like actual reverb.

There are lots of pedal reverbs that are excellent. I bought a cheap Behringer pedal reverb years ago...not long after they first came out. I was using a couple rather expensive rack reverbs with my Mesa Dual Rectifier. I actually liked the cheap Behringer better, and still love it. It's a cheap knockoff of an older Boss Reverb.

Many newer pedal reverbs are based on Belton reverb "brick" modules. The early bricks were preset decays, long, med or short. The newest are smaller and have adjustable decay. These are available for DIY builders and are used in many "boutique" reverb pedals. (Amplified Parts and AES carry the Belton "bricks", I believe.)



Mar 18th, 2016 09:16 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Do you have a model number or name on the Behringer pedal? I am always on the lookout for good cheap pedals!

Contributing Member

It's not just good..

...it's good enough.
Mar 18th, 2016 11:03 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Do pedals sound as good as a tank reverb?"

Depends on the tank and then pedal...and what sound you're going for.
For example, hard-core surf players will tell you that a stand-alone Fender Tank Reverb unit is a must.

Me, I have a Digitech Hardwire RV-7 pedal that has Lexicon reverb algorithms and I think it's better than any amp reverb I've heard. Certainly more tweakable.
And it'll even do the splashy surf thing, which a lot of digital reverbs fall short on.

As Steve said, there are a lot of really good-sounding reverb pedals out there, today.

Contributing Member

Eat. Sleep. Guitar.

Mar 18th, 2016 12:57 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If you have a vintage amp and the reverb is not plingy and splashy, try this:

Remove the screws that secure the bag to the bottom of the cab, carefully disconnect the cables, and remove the reverb unit from the bag.

Flip the unit over and inspect the springs. Chances are good there are spider webs and other insect remnants interfering with the springs.

best way to clean them is with a very soft paint brush. Gently brush off each spring its entire length. Inspect the coils for bug stuff inside the springs too.

Treat the springs gently because their connections at each end are extremely fragile.

Gently blow out all dust bunnies and spider egg sacs, slip the tank back in the bag, hook it back up ('reverb send' to IN and 'reverb return' to OUT), screw the bag back in place, and try it out.

I've seen some reverb tanks from amps that were stored in damp basements that had rusted springs. No fix for this, and replacing the springs is akin to nerve splicing (not kidding). It's much easier to replace the entire tank. They run ~$25 or so.

Antique Electronics (sponsor above) is a great source. Call 'em and they can match the proper tank to your specific make/model/year amplifier.

FDP Forum / Fender Amps: Vintage (before 1985) / Talk about splashy reverb!

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