Buy new amp or Buy reverb unit?

old soul

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The musicmasters have really gone up the last couple years. It may be a good time to sell it if you're really considering it
 

David Barnett

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I´ve tried a boat-load of reverb-pedals, and this is (still) the nicest (for me) - perhaps with the exception of the Van-Amps "Reverbamate/Sole-Mate". But these are - again - quite big, and are not readily available...
They do sound nice, though 👍


View attachment 1055391

cheers - 68.

It may be big, but it looks like you could use it as a mini pedal board. At least three normal-size pedals could fit on that flat surface, maybe four.
 

sudogeek

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I have used tube reverb units for years since the late 60s and I still have one (a homebrew mix of a 6G15 and SF). For surf music I think this is essential. The SurfyBear can get pretty splashy but not as much of the cavernous echoes of the SF; The “drip” is there in the SB but I thought it was better in the tube reverb unit. I’ve tried a bunch of reverb pedals over the years but the only one I have now is the Topanga. Good emulation of a spring reverb sound and good for slight to moderate reverb. It’s interesting that the preponderance of opinion in this thread also agrees on the Topanga.

tldr: Tube reverb unit for surf, otherwise the Topanga.
 
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danpc

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Thanks everyone. I guess my ideal set up is just one overdrive pedal. I've been finding a pedal board clunky and space consuming, most bars provide a tiny floor space for bands as you all know So I was looking to get away from that. I think I'll try a boss frv1 into a tubescreamer, both take batteries therefore less cables to trip on and will take up minimal space, the frv1 has a good reputation too I believe. They're pricey but a lot less than a reputable tube amp, especially a vintage one
 

Sea Devil

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The Topanga is very good. The SoleMate is better. Never tried the Surfy Bear, but the demos sound fantastic. Another option is the amazing UA Golden Reverb. That's it when it comes to authentic-sounding spring reverbs and emulators (IMHO, anyway), other than the Fender tank and various permutations thereof, with Billy Zoom's Kahunas being the best of the bunch.
 

Milspec

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I have a custom outboard reverb unit that I love. They do more than just add reverb, they add to the amp's tone by way of the extra 12ax7 stages. No pedal will match it in my view.

That said, I haven't used it outside the home in years. It really does sound better, but it is not more convenient. You have another amp in essence to worry about and then there is the "sproing" sounds you get if you bump the device or shake it. I would stick to a pedal for stage use.
 

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63 vibroverb

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I own a SurfyBear Metal and love it - with a Mod 4ab3c1b tank, it can get real cavernous. With the 3-spring Mod 9ab3c1b tank, it will get extreme cathedral type echoes and plate reverbs but can be tamed easily by the controls.

All that said, I still just use the reverb in my amps because they sound great. Tailoring it with different tubes and tanks is worth it, in my experience. And it’s less stuff to carry and less connections to make.

The MXR M300 Reverb is really under appreciated and sounds wonderful. The analog dry signal leaves your tone alone. The plate, spring, and room sounds on it are worth it. I don’t own one, but would take a strong look at it if my amps didn’t have reverb.
 

Patshep

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I have been using a tweed deluxe lately and I ended up getting a neunabor reverb that is pretty cool. I keep it at minimal settings, but it’s been great
 

Sea Devil

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A lot of the various pedals sound good at low settings. My test issimple: I play Baja by The Astronauts, and I can tell within five seconds whether it's good or not.

I've been playing in surf bands for over twenty years, and I prefer the amp reverb myself. I hate the extra drive and low-end loss that comes from a typical Fender unit. YMMV...
 

zhyla

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There are so many good reverb pedals these days. I’m a little confused by OP saying he’s tried “vintage analog” reverb pedals — there aren’t any.

I like built in real spring reverb in an amp but it’s not any better than modern pedals, and if we’re honest, pedals are more flexible (control over both decay and mix).
 

loopfinding

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the driver being SS or tube doesn't really bear as much on the right sound as the spring size.

a ton of amps and most actual spring pedals use a puny 9 inch spring tank, which is fine for ambience but never going to give you the proper drip sound. you need fender size (16 inch) to get the proper drip thing going on. case in point - the surfybear stuff is SS, the big classic does it, but the compact doesn't really do it.

if you aren't going to go 16 inch, then you're better off using a good digital emulation of spring, rather than an amp or pedal with an actual tank that won't deliver.
 
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BorderRadio

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Thanks everyone. I guess my ideal set up is just one overdrive pedal. I've been finding a pedal board clunky and space consuming, most bars provide a tiny floor space for bands as you all know So I was looking to get away from that. I think I'll try a boss frv1 into a tubescreamer, both take batteries therefore less cables to trip on and will take up minimal space, the frv1 has a good reputation too I believe. They're pricey but a lot less than a reputable tube amp, especially a vintage one
I had several FRV-1s, and they really get you into the 6G15 drip. They are also shrill at high volume and do not sound that great with dirt in front, from personal experience. I've tried to love em, sold and bought them back before prices took them out the game. I also give props to Source Audio Ventris and True Spring, owned both, and they emulate a spring reverb better than anyone else IMHO, but they still don't have that 'feel' of the Topanga, or my Surfy Bear and tube DIY builds. That being said, I'm looking for trashy surf reverb, nothing 'smooth' or 'realistic' except faithful to the old crappy tech of spring reverbs in general.
 

Sea Devil

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I agree that a solid-state driver can sound great. I have the Sole Mate Jr., which is solid state, and I love it. I screwed the tank to the (inner) side of my amp and velcro'd the controller to the top so that I can chuck it inside the amp on the rare occasions that I gig with it. It doesn't drive the amp hard or color the tone at all.
 

dogmeat

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dunno about you but I set the reverb and leave it on. if you do that, it doesn't have to be on the pedal board, it can be behind the amp, or even in the bottom. I have the Flint & like it a lot. it IS on my board because it also has a great tremolo that use occasionally
 




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