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

Spring reverbs - What is the gold standard?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by gmm52, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. powerwagonjohn

    powerwagonjohn Tele-Meister

    Apr 30, 2013
    I have an original 1964 Fender Reverb Unit that usually lives on top of my 1962 Fender Pro and it is a great sounding reverb. I also have a 1966 Ampeg Gemini II that has absolutely great sounding reverb that is quite different from the Fender Reverb. Not better or worse but different. I have a 1976 Sano 250R that has a loud and overbearing reverb that I am not crazy about. When I want something completely different yet, I have a Catlinbread Talisman that is their take on a plate reverb which spot on. Each has its own uses and except for the Sano each gets used in it own place.
    Thanks John
    KyAnne likes this.
  2. gmm52

    gmm52 Tele-Meister

    Sep 23, 2016
    Southern Ontario
    Sure, as a rule the best gear is going to be expensive, and perhaps it's that way for a reason, but I was so far out of the loop on what the best reverbs might sound like, I thought I'd solicit the opinion of the fine TDPRI crowd rather than just stab in the dark at the most expensive units. Mind you, I'm not buying one anytime soon. I just wanted to start the learning process. Now I can go to youtube and listen to what are purportedly great reverbs to get an idea of what to listen for.

    One thing I am still wondering about is how owners of these first class reverbs are using them. I've always liked a bit of space to my sound, but in a pretty subtle way, lately with a dash of EH Holy Grail and a hint of delay from a Boss DM2. Maybe with a great reverb I might be inclined to dial it up more. Of those that have replied with suggestions, I am now wondering, do you use your reverb judiciously in a mainly inconspicuous way, or do you use it with heavy settings for big space?
  3. muscmp

    muscmp Tele-Holic

    Jul 1, 2008
    as with everything on the internet, it is all subjective so there is no gold standard. i have a fender reverb unit from 1965 that is great. i have a 1966 gibson reverb unit that is different but still great. i have vox and fender and gibson amps with built in reverb and all are great. i have the strymon big sky reverb that is great. it all depends upon when, where and how you use it. try them all and see if you can choose the one that appeals to you.
    play music!
  4. Jack S

    Jack S Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Sep 25, 2008
    Berwyn, IL
    If I could afford it I would get a standalone unit like the 6G15, but I will say that I used an Ampeg VT40 and its reverb on a recording a few years ago and absolutely loved it.
    Gibsonsmu likes this.
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Tele-Holic

    Feb 21, 2004

    I think the "gold standard" is a tube driven outboard unit. I have one of these. No longer available new, they came from the factory with NOS vintage tubes. The Marshall styling isn't my favorite, but it sounds fantastic. I paid $315 used.
    radiocaster and Hexabuzz like this.
  6. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    A "gold standard" is just an idea. From what I've experienced, actual reverb sound and quality varies tremendously device to device. Best I've heard so far:

    - Texotica outboard reverb
    - Victoria Reverberato
    - Reverb unit built into the back of a Clark Tyger
    - in amp reverb, a '67 Super Reverb
    - in amp reverb, my Gries 20
    - in amp reverb, '67 Ampeg Gemini II

    Tried several Fender outboards, old and new. No luck so far. Heard a great Premier outboard, but every one I try personally is so noisy as to be unuseable. I'd love to get my hands on a Gomez outboard. In the meantime, the CB Topanga pedal subs so well for good outboard, I'm not likely to own another of the large units.

  7. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2014
    Mesa Boogie reverb in my old MK3 is very nice. I've modded it to allow far more range of the depth control. It does subtle to very springy but without the OTT discordant 'splash' of some Fender amp verbs. Not sure how many springs, it's the original tray. I assume two.

    I use it on a low level almost all the time to round out notes and then supplement it with a lexicon rack unit if I want it huge and lush.
  8. Ripradiant

    Ripradiant Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 31, 2014
    Alberta Canada
    The one that comes in any of the original hand wired Fender amps has always worked for me. Twin, Super, Deluxe, Pro. Reverbs. What more would I need?
  9. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

    Dec 13, 2014
    Northeast PA
    My Mesa Boogie Quad Preamp actually has TWO internal spring reverbs, one long pan, one short, and they do some voodoo that combines the signal for an AMAZING spring 'verb.

    Lef T likes this.
  10. TeleFunk Man

    TeleFunk Man Tele-Afflicted

    There's nothing like the "real" thing. Although pedals will get ya pretty damn close.

  11. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

    Oct 3, 2009
    The city
    Fender Twin Reverb, hands down for onboard. I was at an independent shop looking at reverb prdals for a non reverb amp I had at the time. Very honest, knowledgeable owner who had a used Holy Grail he handed me. I remember him agreeing with me and saying, “best one out there for under 100 bucks. Sounds like the springs in my TR.”.
  12. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 17, 2003
    Spring City, Pa
    The Holy Grail is a great sounding pedal that, IMO, has a design flaw that makes it un-roadworthy.
    Either keep it home, or fix the's quite easy.
  13. KyAnne

    KyAnne Tele-Afflicted

    What do y'all think of the Fender/Boss '63 FRV-1 reverb pedal??
  14. gmm52

    gmm52 Tele-Meister

    Sep 23, 2016
    Southern Ontario
    What's the flaw?
  15. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Peavey used to make a Valverb that was a tube driven spring reverb and opto Trem. They sound pretty cool if not quite Fender outboard. Plus the preamp gives a nice tubeiness to the input.
    asnarski likes this.
  16. ifallalot

    ifallalot Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 24, 2012
    Huntington Beach, CA
    It comes pretty close to the real thing, but it’s not quite as warm

    Some people complain of some digital artifacts but i can’t hear them.

    It’s not for any kind of subtlety, it is for surf-style splash

    I have an unused Surfy Bear kit that id sell if anyone is interested
  17. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 3, 2015
    Winchester, VA
    I had a MESA/Boogie Studio 22 combo and I remember the reverb as one of the smoothest spring reverbs I've ever heard.
    Lef T likes this.
  18. mad dog

    mad dog Friend of Leo's

    Jun 27, 2005
    Montclair, NJ
    When I had a Holy Grail reverb, it burned out 4 power supplies. Pedal replaced by the company. Kept sending add'l plugs. Every one burned out. This was before I started using a Godlyke powerall for power. Let's just say no reverb is worth that trouble. Nice sound, endless aggravation. I'll never buy EH anything again.
  19. Bob Womack

    Bob Womack Tele-Holic

    Nope, nope, nope.


    Gold standard.

    I want one just for the label.

    Nightclub Dwight, rob2 and imwjl like this.
  20. imwjl

    imwjl Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 21, 2007
    My mom's basement.
    For me it was (is?) something that came from Gibbs, Accutronics, O.C. Electronics. Something stamped "Made by Beautiful Woman in Janesville, Wisconsin.".

    I grew up in the industrial scrap business and our family business served the factory that made the classic era reverb tanks. Sure I have electronic things that do reverb I like but I like amps with a spring reverb much like I'm fond of fountain pens and other retro things.

    Of course in those days I did not imagine the epicenter of reverb moving to Korea, most of the world not caring about Janesville's long gone pens, or the Chevy truck plant disappearing too. I'm glad I changed course and don't depend on all that stuff.
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