Spring Reverbs

Damn, that seems like the way to go, even if you end up needing to get a cheap preamp to drive it.

I use the Moog Grandmother for it’s spring reverb alone from time to time. I routed an aux out from my mixer to the audio input, so when I don’t use it as a synth I just put it in drone mode and open it’s channel to send stuff throught the reverb (and filter hehehe)

If you want something inexpensive (but good) there is lots of information online on DIY spring reverbs.

But if not, on the high end, Gamechanger Audio, who also make the Motor Synth, is just about to start selling their Light Pedal. It costs $300, i think. They have changed the design of the spring reverb to improve the harmonic response. I posted about it before in the NAMM 2020 thread.

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Yes, this thing sounds very good although it is a bit noisy without preamp. I was never happy with most spring emulations in reverb pedals. I route my spring tank back to a line input for additional eq.

You would never buy it for just the spring reverb, but I have found on the Syntrx that the spring reverb in conjunction with audio routing, feedback and reverb mix modulation, it really is a great on the master bus. You can still send your signals through dry at the same time in stereo or effect them in other ways with the Syntrx. Expensive but great.

This one seems like it could be a great option for a lot of people, if they are after some extras also.

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If you include the Dust Collector (there’s a thread for it too) then for completeness let’s also add the Dreadbox Hypnosis.

Hypnosis Thread

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I just picked up The Dust Collector and I’m using the spring reverb a lot with my synths. It does the trick for me. I prefer very mild spring reverb settings and combining a small amount of this mixed with the right setting of the tone knob makes it really easy to dial in. It can also do extreme settings. I haven’t really found much use for scraping the springs and whatnot. As an added bonus the phaser on the Dust Collector sounds extraordinary on synths. I’m running the Prophet 5 Rev4 through it and it sounds really superb. Honestly, every effect on this thing is pretty usable. The delay is dirty as hell though (in a good way IMO).

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Also interesting: Benidub Spring Amp

a bit pricey and comes without tank, but seems to be pretty good/flexible

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The best spring reverb I’ve used is in the echofix EF-X2. It’s better than my previous standalone vermona spring reverbs and IMO way better than the grandmother spring reverb. Funny, because I bought the unit for the tape echo but the spring reverb is insanely good. I spoke to Shane the owner of exhofix and he said they custom designed the tank with accutronics.

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For those who might wonder how the Moog Grandmother sound when used as the main reverb in a track, check out this little jam:

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you can open up the Grandmother and put in a larger tank for more springiness…

I think I have to open mine anyway as it seems the springs are getting blocked on some frequencies since a few weeks. Might need some cleaning inside …

I made a no solder DIY spring reverb. It’s not very pretty, but this is MKII - by far, better than my first attempt (sound wise).

A little taste of a 707 rim hit while slowly adding the FX send.

The trick is really 1. getting the agitator to properly move the spring which probably requires a bit of extra amplification, and 2. getting a good signal from the spring.

Anyone know a super small/compact amplifier? Currently using a little amplifier effect box I had lying around.

My first attempt had way too much noise. The pickup was too big. I went with a much smaller one this time. The signal seems really nice.

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Dat sht be dope.

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Some people use headphone amps or record preamp. I have used one channel of a mixer with the gain high and the fader low and then out of the direct out into another channel.

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Huh that is sweet! Pretty smooth sound for a spring actually

What kind of agitator/transducer/make-spring-vibraty-thing did you use? How much watt is it receiving? How are you picking up the signal from the piezo?

Sorry for blasting you with questions hahaa. Played with the idea of making a tiny plate reverb for metal clangs, but haven‘t gotten around to it

I‘ve read – or heard on some video? – that reverse-using headphones instead of piezo pickups makes a smoother treble for some electrical reason.

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I’ve been wrestling with this idea of getting a spring reverb for a while now. I was on the verge of selling most of my equipment to fund a Syntrx because it simply has one integrated. But my desire for digital synthesis cordoned off too large a chunk of my budget to manage it.

I really wish that The Dust Collector had a more robust overdrive/saturation section. If it did, it would be the perfect option. Having distortion, delay, phaser, and spring reverb all in one analog unit (with CV control) would be outstanding.

Cool looking reverb.
Thinking about your challenge in actuating the spring;
-I’ve often used headphone amps that I remove from consumer electronics (walkmans, TVs, dead laptops, etc) which are great because they’re low voltage and current, small, and usually stereo. The problem with them is that they are usually designed to power higher impedance drivers so in a way it’s more about finding an amp and driver pair that work well together.
-The other suggestion I might make would be to make sure that your driver is optimally coupled to your spring mechanically. I’m not positive from the picture but it looks like you’re driving the spring with a small paper cone type speaker. The goal is to transfer as much of the cone’s kinetic energy to the spring as possible while not impeding the motion of the spring. The more efficient this transfer, the less power you need from the amp.
I don’t mean any of this critically, just sharing a couple of things I’ve realized while building spring verbs out of junk.

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True-ish. The frequency response curve of piezo transducers heavily favors treble compared to a speaker wired in reverse (which is essentially a dynamic microphone).
Piezos are a lot easier to work with in this kind of scenario and the excessive highs can be rolled off with eq plus they have almost total isolation from all sound who’s source is not in physical contact with them making them highly controlled. I’ve usually (not always) found these aspects a worthy trade off but tiny speakers wired as mics sound more natural for sure.

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I just used a super cheap little speaker. I superglued 2 tiny cut up pieces of a spring to it.

I could certainly believe that, but it might require more gain. I haven’t tried it yet.