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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Spring reverb from a light bulb?

Discussion in 'Burnt Fingers DIY Effects' started by Flakey, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

    Recently I was at a music store in town trying some overdrive/distortion pedals looking to get that Badfinger "No matter What/Baby Blue" sound. I was trying a particular pedal through a Tweed Twin Reissue. (I use Fender amps for my main amp because we don't do that many songs that require that much breakup and use pedals when we do.)

    Anyways I'm play No Matter What (on a tele of course) and this guy comes over and starts watching me play, looks at the amp, the pedal and back at my hands and does this through the whole song.

    He then says to me in a Liverpool accent (I've been to the UK a few times when I was stationed in Europe during my Army days and this much I can tell) anyway he say "Oh man what a nice sounding amp!"

    I agree and explain why I was trying out the pedal and the sound I was looking for. He says to me "Oh that was George Harrison's AC30 and a 1962 SG, but you played the song correctly. Most people don't play the B Major higher on the neck like you do but you got it right." I thanked him for his input and then he gets real close, smiles and says "I should know I'm Joey Molland's brother".

    I knew Joey lives in town and I've crossed paths with him at the various music stores in town 20 years ago but I've always left him alone.

    So he called Joey (who is recording in Nashville for 3 weeks) on his phone to verify the AC30 SG combination and Joey called back and confirmed that was what he used. We talk gear some more and he invited me to come by to see his band that was playing at a local club that Saturday and would introduce me to Joey and gave me his phone number and e-mail address. He said his brother loves to talk about all that stuff. Kinda nice of him I thought.:)

    While we were talking about gear he said that they made their own external reverb at that time by running the signal thru a light bulb and using its filament as the spring. Any one know if that is really possible and how it can be done?

  2. 3 Chord

    3 Chord Friend of Leo's

    Mar 20, 2007
    Billings MT
    I have no idea but wouldn't the "spring" be a little short to be effective? Or is he talking about some big industrial type of bulb?

  3. sirbergersworth

    sirbergersworth Tele-Meister

    Aug 30, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    Now that sounds like a fun project. Hopefully someone knows something.

    Sent from my iPhone using TDPRI

  4. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    On its own a light bulb would just be a resistor, perhaps a bit microphonic but still only a resistive element. The valves we use were essentially invented by studying faulty light bulbs.

    I have seen a diy spring reverb that used a vinyl record stylus pickup as a transducer against a long spring - essentially what an Accutronics tank is anyway.

  5. limbe

    limbe Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2009
    Sounds very strange.That you can use a light bulb as a variable resistor is no news.
    When you apply enough voltage,making the bulb glow,the resistance will be much higher.
    You can use this to make a simple compressor/limiter but spring reverb?

  6. BiggerJohn

    BiggerJohn Friend of Leo's

    Jun 1, 2009
    No man I have a hard time buying into that. A reverb spring has transducers on each end, one to vibrate the spring and one to sense the vibrations.

    An incandescent filament has no transducers it's just a resistive element made from tungsten.

  7. limbe

    limbe Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2009
    Maybe we should just wait until 1st april and all the pieces will fall into place?

  8. Keyser Soze

    Keyser Soze Tele-Holic

    Oct 13, 2009
    Johnson City, TN
    This. An electric signal passing through a filament remains just that - a signal.

    It is the transducers that convert the signal into a physical movement of the spring(s) and then convert that physical movement back into a useable signal.

    If they ever used a light bulb in some sort of sonic apparatus my guess would be that it was either acting as a variable resistor (to create sag/compression) or as a current limited (to protect some other device from being over-powered.)

  9. limbe

    limbe Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2009

  10. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

    Nov 20, 2007
    Newbury, England
    I was going to ask what kind of bulb was it anyway?

    The answer is not the ordinary incandescent kind but the new energy-saver fluorescent replacement types for incandescent bulbs.

    Which means using the electronic components found in the base rather than the lamp "bulb" itself ... to make a box of tricks.

  11. 74 Deluxe

    74 Deluxe Tele-Meister

    Jun 27, 2011
    Quite possibly he was confused... He may have seen a light bulb, but I believe I've seen an attenuator made from a light bulb... then again I may be wrong too...

  12. Sandia Man

    Sandia Man Tele-Meister

    Nov 17, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    I sense a new market for NOS light bulbs, to get that authentic Badfinger reverb tone you've ALWAYS WANTED

  13. davmac

    davmac Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 15, 2003
    Wirral, UK
    As somebody who has to "suffer" the inhabitants of Liverpool on a daily basis I'm pretty sure this was an attempt at humour.

  14. Flakey

    Flakey Friend of Leo's

  15. limbe

    limbe Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 4, 2009

  16. espdeangibson

    espdeangibson TDPRI Member

    Dec 7, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI

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