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Why the spring/ surf/ slapback "tone" thing is so revered (and hideously overrated)? Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Nut
 

Unhappy Why the spring/ surf/ slapback "tone" thing is so revered (and hideously overrated)?

Hi all!

I was searching around for some modulation effects (reverb and delay). A quick search on the web about the most transparent and natural reverbs and delays available ...

And in MANY cases the responses with "natural" reverbs and delay were actually what's perhaps the most dated ever sound in electric guitar's history (along with the 80s overprocessed digital): the spring, surf and slapback thing

So why is so revered?. I simply don't get it

Even high end boutique brands still put that shrill, metallic, unnatural, distorted, harsh, thin, trebly, tone-changing spring reverbs on their priced tube amps. Ruining the sound all over. And there're brands that makes separate spring reverb tanks units.

Same some delays (to less extent, fortunately).



Old 1 week ago
  #2
I am 100% with you but be warned, we are the minority The example you posted is perfect. It sounds absolutely hilarious. Reminds me of some 8-bit computer sounds layered on top of a perfectly fine clean guitar tone.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Lives for gear
 
kennybro's Avatar
It's an established culture. You are either into it or you are not. Originally, spring verb and tape slap was all they had, so they poured it on heavy, just to have something unique and "signature" happening. Initially, this was surf/beach/ocean culture music, and there was a happy coincidence that it made the guitar sound "wet" (ever wonder where that slang term started?).

I'll use it where it fits. It's one of those things... "If you don't get it, don't fret it." Pun intended.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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RicTone's Avatar
 

The discussion is reverb. I suggest we take a few minutes and enjoy the Surfrajettes.



I love reverb but I don't use it anymore. I prefer dual delay with a Strymon Timeline.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Spring reverb is like any other "flavor":

...For instance, I really like Chili, and I really like Caviar.

...But I don't put Caviar in my Chili!
.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Spring reverb is the most unnatural sound in the world. I would imagine of you connected a piezoelectric element directly to a piece of machine code, the result would be very close to spring reverb.

I need a break...
Old 1 week ago
  #7
I love spring reverb and love slap back. What the hell is wrong with you people lol???

Jokes aside, it's a certain esthetic and can be a bit much. I don't find most guitar amp manufacturers really focus on spring anymore unless they're aiming for a vintage vibe. More modern types of amps don't tend to have a tank at all.

Not all springs are thin sounding - I have a Lonestar special from mesa and its much smoother than a fender.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Hjortnaes View Post
Spring reverb is the most unnatural sound in the world. I would imagine of you connected a piezoelectric element directly to a piece of machine code, the result would be very close to spring reverb.

I need a break...
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Hjortnaes View Post
Spring reverb is the most unnatural sound in the world.
Electric guitar is not all that natural
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Electric guitar is not all that natural
I knew that was coming... but I haven't managed to prepare an answer yet!
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

So the OP and Ennio Morricone and Quentin Tarantino walk into a bar...
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RicTone View Post
The discussion is reverb. I suggest we take a few [more] minutes and enjoy...
The definitively Finnish art of Spaghetti-Surf known as Rautalanka.

Old 1 week ago
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
Spring reverb is like any other "flavor":
Yes, of course is another flavor

But it's like it's the ONLY flavor allowed in so many amps and pedals. As if it was the only reverb that matter.

Again, why is so overrated in general?. Don't get it.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
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12ax7's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ponkine View Post
[...] But it's like it's the ONLY flavor allowed in so many amps and pedals. As if it was the only reverb that matter.

Again, why is so overrated in general?. Don't get it.
Hmmm...
ALLOWED???

..."Allowed" by WHOM?
I'll damn well use whatever reverb I want whenever I want!!!
.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
I actually like spring reverb which sounds more like plate or chamber... without this surf drip or how does it called

I believe akg spring reverb more like a big chamber rather then a reverb-for-surf-guitar

all the demo of mix room spring reverb sounds lovely to me wnd I would like to have this unit
Old 1 week ago
  #16
I grew up playing surf music here in So Cal. in the early 1960's. Fender spring reverbs were that sound. I gave up on surf music and spring reverbs in 1967 when Jimi Hendrix told me to.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponkine View Post
Yes, of course is another flavor

But it's like it's the ONLY flavor allowed in so many amps and pedals. As if it was the only reverb that matter.

Again, why is so overrated in general?. Don't get it.
Well for amps it's a simple design that works and is analog. Most people love the sound and it s crucial to many retro tones from blues to rock and roll. You can't fit a plate reverb in an amp. That being said, there are amps with digital reverb or no reverb.

For pedals you aren't making any sense - there are very few purely spring reverb pedals - most reverb pedals have various reverb types - hall etc. Nearly all reverb pedals are digital.

Usually people who like a specific type of reverb will buy a pedal or multi fx.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponkine View Post
Hi all!

I was searching around for some modulation effects (reverb and delay). A quick search on the web about the most transparent and natural reverbs and delays available ...

And in MANY cases the responses with "natural" reverbs and delay were actually what's perhaps the most dated ever sound in electric guitar's history (along with the 80s overprocessed digital): the spring, surf and slapback thing

So why is so revered?. I simply don't get it

Even high end boutique brands still put that shrill, metallic, unnatural, distorted, harsh, thin, trebly, tone-changing spring reverbs on their priced tube amps. Ruining the sound all over. And there're brands that makes separate spring reverb tanks units.

Same some delays (to less extent, fortunately).



First, reverb and delay are not modulation based effects, they are TIME based effects. Modulation based effects are things like tremolo, vibrato, and phase shifting. Flanging is a combination of modulation and time, as is chorus.

Second, the answer to your main question:

Because (A) not everybody shares your narrow tastes and
(B) There are lot of different spring reverbs ranging from absolutely fantastic (which you've probably never knowingly heard, like an AKG BX-20) to really terrible, like that execrable piece of crap that Danelectro sells in a pedal. Even the reverb tanks built into many guitar amps have a wide range of variability.

Last edited by John Eppstein; 1 week ago at 08:19 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Hjortnaes View Post
Spring reverb is the most unnatural sound in the world. I would imagine of you connected a piezoelectric element directly to a piece of machine code, the result would be very close to spring reverb.

I need a break...
Ignorance is bliss.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponkine View Post
Yes, of course is another flavor

But it's like it's the ONLY flavor allowed in so many amps and pedals. As if it was the only reverb that matter.

Again, why is so overrated in general?. Don't get it.
It was the only kind of reverb that was possible in a portable device for a long, long, LONG time. The world did not begin last week, you know.

Practical, affordable digital reverb has only been around for around 20-25 years as best. Before that digital verb was REALLY expensive and before that it didn't exist. And cheap digital verbs often don't sound all that great, especially on guitar, where most of the time I'd prefer a good spring, most cheap digital verbs sound fake, mainly because they attempt to imitate natural reverb and fail miserably.

Decent pedal verb has really only been around for maybe 10 years. That's like yesterday.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponkine View Post
Yes, of course is another flavor

But it's like it's the ONLY flavor allowed in so many amps and pedals. As if it was the only reverb that matter.

Again, why is so overrated in general?. Don't get it.
The digital reverb modules they sell for building into guitar amps suck. They just don't sound right.
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Ignorance is bliss.
I knew you'd bite.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Gear Nut
 

In today's world, why so many amps are still offering spring reverb as standard is beyond me

It's the plate reverb that was used for all the classic rock albums we love, not the spring, which already sounded dated by the early 60s

Yet now with all today's technology, brands keep insisting with spring reverb emulations, and not plate or room.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
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kennybro's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henrik Hjortnaes View Post
I knew that was coming... but I haven't managed to prepare an answer yet!
That would be because... there isn't one!
Old 1 week ago
  #25
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RicTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
The definitively Finnish art of Spaghetti-Surf known as Rautalanka.

Very enjoyable, thank you.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponkine View Post
In today's world, why so many amps are still offering spring reverb as standard is beyond me

It's the plate reverb that was used for all the classic rock albums we love, not the spring, which already sounded dated by the early 60s

Yet now with all today's technology, brands keep insisting with spring reverb emulations, and not plate or room.
This has been answered by like 5 different people - people like the sound, it's the only easy affordable analog reverb to make and it was the only portable reverb for many years. Fender literally became one of the top amp manufacturers because of their spring reverbs. It defined their amps and still does today. No one lugged around plate reverbs and digital was a hot mess for years.

Blues, jazz, country, rock, surf - they all use the sound heavilly. A slightly driven clean tube amp on the edge of breakup with spring reverb is one of the most popular and sought after tones in guitar driven music, even today. It's by far the most common reverb type used live for guitar.

I am frankly baffled how a guitar player could not like a good spring reverb driven amp. It's like being a chef and hating butter as an ingredient.

Last edited by Reverb; 1 week ago at 03:28 AM..
Old 1 week ago
  #27
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audioforce's Avatar
 

@ the OP

To begin with, kudos for coming up with the phrase "hideously overrated". Just outstanding, I must say.

Best,


audioforce
Old 1 week ago
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by ponkine View Post
In today's world, why so many amps are still offering spring reverb as standard is beyond me

It's the plate reverb that was used for all the classic rock albums we love, not the spring, which already sounded dated by the early 60s

Yet now with all today's technology, brands keep insisting with spring reverb emulations, and not plate or room.
Reverb in a guitar amp does not serve the same function as a plate reverb in the studio. And I'd really like to see you squeeze a plate reverb, even the "miniature" EMT gold foil into the back of a combo amp.

Spring reverb emulations suck. They don't behave like a real spring, not a studio quality one, not a crappy Chinese knockoff. Emulations don't cut it for spring reverb. The physics is wrong and you can't kick 'em and make thunder.

That being said, I would bet money that you have never heard a high quality spring that you were aware of and I'd go a bit further and venture that you have in fact heard a high quality spring that you thought was something else, possibly a plate. The AKG BX-20 oil damped spring reverb stands about 4 feet tall and goes for anywhere from $1,500 to more than twice that, assuming you can actually find one - which is difficult because people that own them don't often sell. But that's not a spring designed for guitar amps. It's a high end studio verb.
Old 1 week ago
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reverb View Post
I am frankly baffled how a guitar player could not like a good spring reverb driven amp. It's like being a chef and hating butter as an ingredient.
My guess is that he hasn't played long enough to know better.

In fact I'd bet on it, considering that he doesn't know the difference between spring reverb and slapback, which is echo, traditionally tape echo but now often digital.
Old 1 week ago
  #30
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audioforce's Avatar
 

@ the OP

Additional kudos for starting [whether intentionally or not] a thread that promises to be, dare I say, epic?

Pro tip: Hopefully you're up to it.



Looking forward to contributing to the impending chaos and frivolity,


audioforce
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