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Van Amps Sole-Mate vs Fender Reverb Tank
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Zeppelin
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#1
25th December 2011
Old 25th December 2011
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Van Amps Sole-Mate vs Fender Reverb Tank

I want to get a good spring reverb for studio use and amps without their own tank.

When using, say a Fulltone TTE or Echoplex EP-2 and maybe a pedal or two the noise easily adds up.

So I was wondering if anybody knows if the Van Amps Sole-Mate is more quiet than a Fender Reverb Tank?

It could be that the Fender looks cooler and more familiar when clients enters the room. I don' know. Any thoughts?
#2
26th December 2011
Old 26th December 2011
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Bump for help. I'm still on the fence re: spring verb. Ask yourself if you could find the fender for cheap used would you buy that? Cause my answer is yes.
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26th December 2011
Old 26th December 2011
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I think some compromises have been made with the Sole Mate. It's a short spring design for a start, and built small... The Fender has long springs, Hammond standard so that you can tailor the sound to what you want (2 vs 3 springs, short, medium or long decay, change tubes for more richness etc). They aren't particularly noisy. I would recommend a few other things worth looking into (check threads on the "Too Much Gear section"):

Peavey Valverb: very quiet, killer EQ, great for vocals, synths or guitars, and includes a nice tremolo. Gonna be about $250 if you can find one.

PA style, rackmount reverbs: some of these can sound great on guitar or vocals. They're higher fidelity than any of the guitar stuff, but EQ can knock that down if you need. Built by a bunch of companies over the years: Demeter, DOD, Boss...
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27th December 2011
Old 27th December 2011
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I prefer the sound of the sole mate. I don't find it to be too noisy. I'm also not super uptight about a little hiss. Analog is a little new noisy then digital. The improvement in tone almost always out weighs any extra noise.

In general tho, the sole mate is quiet if you have good power. I don't hear any compromises really. I understand they are shorter sprints, but it's got such a cool vibe it doesn't matter. I run the TTE with it a lot. Nobody has ever complained about noise and I do a lot of sessions.
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27th December 2011
Old 27th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drbob1 View Post
I think some compromises have been made with the Sole Mate. It's a short spring design for a start, and built small... The Fender has long springs, Hammond standard so that you can tailor the sound to what you want (2 vs 3 springs, short, medium or long decay, change tubes for more richness etc). They aren't particularly noisy. I would recommend a few other things worth looking into (check threads on the "Too Much Gear section"):

Peavey Valverb: very quiet, killer EQ, great for vocals, synths or guitars, and includes a nice tremolo. Gonna be about $250 if you can find one.

PA style, rackmount reverbs: some of these can sound great on guitar or vocals. They're higher fidelity than any of the guitar stuff, but EQ can knock that down if you need. Built by a bunch of companies over the years: Demeter, DOD, Boss...
F. Someone on cl us selling a peavy valveverb but he sure doesn't want 250 and I think I pissed him off. That or woke him from hibernation at noon!
Now you have me gassing for one :(
Zeppelin
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27th December 2011
Old 27th December 2011
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I know a guy selling a Fender reverb tank for 335USD.
Would you rather go for that?

I am using it in the studio only. So portability is not an issue.
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27th December 2011
Old 27th December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeppelin View Post
I know a guy selling a Fender reverb tank for 335USD.
Would you rather go for that?

I am using it in the studio only. So portability is not an issue.
That's a great price! If I were in your shoes id check it out and buy it
You mentioned a wow factor for clients and that will wow over the soulmate. "It looks all old and stuff "
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28th December 2011
Old 28th December 2011
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Update!
The sleeping bear was nice!!
I bought the peavy valverb. It's fing sweet!!
We're celebrating our trip to Atlanta with some Thai. To the op. I'll give you a more in depth if ya want when I get time
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28th December 2011
Old 28th December 2011
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Conrats!
Yeah let me know..
I'll call the guy with the tank tomorrow.
#10
28th December 2011
Old 28th December 2011
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Ok, so the Peavey Valverb is, in internet parlance, full of win!

I was semi freaking out cause it was behaving strangely at first. When I would turn up the reverb the sound disapeared and reappeared in a few seconds and it was noisy. After poking around I realized the 12at7 tube was not glowing at all. Kind of strange that it still worked, but hey i'm no electronics guru. My Tech friend/acquaintance had me swap a tube from my princeton reverb to test it, and lo and behold it works great!
I'm gonna swap out all the crappy original tubes and have my tech (I say my like I own him, pfft) see if anything else needs to be addressed.

The sound is really glorious. I needed it for a boutique champ clone I bought a while back, and now it's like I have two Princeton Reverbs!! The tremelo goes to a full cut off unlike my princeton which seems like a softer attenuation. Plus as the great drbob1 said there is hi mid lo eq and a drive which doesn't quite distort, but does drive. With the drive knob up high and the master volume low it is suuuper quiet. And the reverb gets very, well, wet. and it has full wet (I think) so it will be useful for recording duties too.

I paid $360 for it which I think was a good deal

You should update when you get something you like!!
#11
1st February 2012
Old 1st February 2012
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Hey!

I figured I'd update this thread cause this section moves pretty slowly

I know it got derailed from the original vs., between the sole-mate and fender tank.

I've had the 63 fender reverb tank reissue for a few weeks now (in true gearslutz fashion...). Got it for a good deal.

It was stock and an earlier one from maybe 2003. Had Groove tubes 6v6. I stumbled upon a bunch of old radios and scored some nice 6v6, 6k6, and 5y3 tubes. According to Fender the 6G15 circuit (o.g. fender tank reverb) is unchanged except replacing the old hard to find 6k6 reverb drive tube with the 6v6.
Stock it's kind of harsh sounding (still very usable and fine), and the 6k6 brings it a little (maybe alot I don't know to compare) closer to the original sound. It's a lot mellower, I think in part because the reverb isn't driven as hard (not sure maybe a wizard can jump in )

I like it and the Peavey alot! They're different.
I do think the Peavey Valverb is a very good studio companion, it's clean and does wonders for a guitar amp that's missing verb too. I haven't used it for vocals or other duties, but I know it will work well, the tremelo is really fun to abuse too. However, maybe it's kind of delicate and should be kept in the studio at this point?
I've racked mine up (sadly haven't been recording much cause i'm learning electronics and amp repair from a friend).

The fender tank turns my champ (clone with a "10 speaker) into a princeton reverb (sans trem) which makes me happy too. Plus it's just really rugged and ready for shows etc. The tube sockets at least are mounted to the chassis and not direct to a pcb (sadly unlike the Peavey).

If some total electronics Wizard did a hand wired Peavey Valverb, I could see that being a knockout studio must own. Maybe something like that already exists, i don't know.
#12
1st February 2012
Old 1st February 2012
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dimag333 is offline
I had a van amps, they are nuts!
Zeppelin
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1st February 2012
Old 1st February 2012
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Very interesting stuff!

The Fender tank I was looking at was sold to someone else.
So unfortunately, I haven't really done anything about it.
Guess I just have to go for something.
#14
1st February 2012
Old 1st February 2012
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True. If you're patient, hopefully another good deal will come around. It's (the 63 ri) definitely nice to have.
I'm going to leave well enough alone, but if a sole-mate pops up for cheap somewhere......
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