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DIY Plate Reverb - Plans and Details
Old 28th December 2016
  #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
Wow well done! Could u put a link to the actual Visaton speaker u are using? There are heaps of them.....
It's a VISATON BG 17
Old 9th January 2017
  #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
"(aux output is after the buffered preamp in the DI - the buffered preamp a requirement to achieve the proper impedence). ".

From their website, it looks like the aux out is instrument level, rather than mic level, which is probably why it's hot.

I am almost done with my homemade reverb, and will post some pics and samples, perhaps in a new thread when I am done with my experiments and tweaking. Thanks for the tips.
Old 9th January 2017
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
From their website, it looks like the aux out is instrument level, rather than mic level, which is probably why it's hot.

I am almost done with my homemade reverb, and will post some pics and samples, perhaps in a new thread when I am done with my experiments and tweaking. Thanks for the tips.
It's actually line level. For my particular application I had to drop the signal down with the caps at the pickups because of the lower input level my wireless transmitters wanted to see.

For those who are running typical +4 I/O that shouldn't be an issue.

Cheers,
Brock
Old 5th July 2017
  #124
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I've been threatening to make one of these for years. Would love to finally start. Unfort in Australia u can't get cold rolled steel under .7 mill. Could anyone give specifics of where they got their actual plate in USA. We can have it shipped to Australia for not too much.
Old 5th July 2017
  #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
I've been threatening to make one of these for years. Would love to finally start. Unfort in Australia u can't get cold rolled steel under .7 mill. Could anyone give specifics of where they got their actual plate in USA. We can have it shipped to Australia for not too much.

Hi Moondog -

I got all of my metal for this project from these folks:
https://www.metalsupermarkets.com/

I purchased from a local branch in Austin, TX - but I get the feeling the stores are all franchises so imagine ordering from their main site should fix you up. Note that you should be able to order the sheet metal precut to your exact dimensions.

I see that they have UK stores as well so it may be worth going through the ordering process with both to see which is cheaper for shipping to AUS.

Hope this helps,
Brock
Old 6th July 2017
  #126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
Hi Moondog -

I got all of my metal for this project from these folks:
https://www.metalsupermarkets.com/

I purchased from a local branch in Austin, TX - but I get the feeling the stores are all franchises so imagine ordering from their main site should fix you up. Note that you should be able to order the sheet metal precut to your exact dimensions.

I see that they have UK stores as well so it may be worth going through the ordering process with both to see which is cheaper for shipping to AUS.

Hope this helps,
Brock
Awesome thanks so much. I notice that 24AWG on their site equates to .6 mill. Is that thickness of ur plate? Some people say 24AWG is .5 mill. Confusing.... EMT was .4mill. Sorry about the metric system here.
Old 6th July 2017
  #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
Awesome thanks so much. I notice that 24AWG on their site equates to .6 mill. Is that thickness of ur plate? Some people say 24AWG is .5 mill. Confusing.... EMT was .4mill. Sorry about the metric system here.
My understanding was that it was .5mm. I do remember it was a hair thicker than the EMT. I listed the thickness earlier in this thread somewhere I think.
Old 6th July 2017
  #128
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Ok cool... Thanks
Old 6th July 2017
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
Ok cool... Thanks
Hey man -

It isn't in the thread, but I went back and checked my info and the smallest Cold rolled was .609mm and is the 24gauge. Little thicker than the EMT. I remember thinking maybe I wouldn't need the reinforcements on the sheet but you definitely do.

The plate cut to size was about 35 bucks, so
As long as you are ordering one you might as well get two and have a spare.

Cheers,
Brock
Old 25th September 2018
  #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
Hey man -

It isn't in the thread, but I went back and checked my info and the smallest Cold rolled was .609mm and is the 24gauge. Little thicker than the EMT. I remember ...
Okay so this is basically right.... Unless you really, really look. I've found a source for 26ga cold rolled steel in North Carolina. It's actually not on their web site but I called and they do have it in 4x10 sheets that they cut down.

Unfortunately, I'm in NYC. The shipping is gonna be expensive.

If anyone local wants to partner up and split shipping costs, they told me that the freight cost is basically the same as long as it fits on a 4x8 pallet. I imagine there's a limit but it's higher than the 4 or 5 people who might be into doing this. If you want to build the most EMT-like plate, this is a good thing I think. Lemme know if anyone is interested.

Great thread, by the way. Wonderfully informative.
Old 25th September 2018
  #131
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Oh one more thing. .607 doesn't seem like it's a lot thicker than the EMTs ~.5 in absolute terms, but in terms of ratio it's 20% thicker. I can't imagine that doesn't have a somewhat significant effect on tone. But I could be wrong. I'm just speculating.
Old 29th September 2018
  #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattwa1sh View Post
Oh one more thing. .607 doesn't seem like it's a lot thicker than the EMTs ~.5 in absolute terms, but in terms of ratio it's 20% thicker. I can't imagine that doesn't have a somewhat significant effect on tone. But I could be wrong. I'm just speculating.
True on all counts. Also keep in mind the composition of cold rolled steel just isn't the same as what was available back in the day (which I believe makes a bigger difference than the dimensional differences).

However, the whole purpose of the system is to inject the soundwaves into a foreign alien environment and then transduce the result of what is happening inside that alien environment. So while compositions have changed, the dimensions of the design presented here are smaller in perimeter but larger in thickness, and so forth - the basic concept remains unchanged. So you could say the results are the same but different. Much like the results from EMT to EMT.

After putting mine together one thing became apparent to me - even if I could find the right thickness of steel I'm not sure my welding setup and skills would allow me to reinforce it adequately for proper tension. I was already having trouble getting my reinforcement in place without burning through the plate. Again, this is more a reflection of my skills than the material, but something to keep in mind.

Finally - tension is everything in respect to the smoothness of the tails. With lighter gauge I imagine that you would not need as much tension to crank it up to smoothness. But I think with the slightly smaller dimensions of this design coupled with the slightly increase of mass of the plate the results are quite acceptable. Certainly light years beyond any of the plate reverb plugins that are out there.

I love that people are experimenting and building their own out there. I'm about to start on a couple of other similar projects and if there is anything worth talking about afterwards I'll come share the results.

Cheers and happy building!
Brock
Old 29th September 2018
  #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
True on all counts. Also keep in mind the composition of cold rolled steel just isn't the same as what was available back in the day (which I believe makes a bigger difference than the dimensional differences).
Brock
You know, I spoke to Gene Lawson yesterday -- maker of the Lawson plate in the 70s and now maker of fine microphones. He was very cool and very helpful.

He confirmed what you said about cold-rolled steel. He also mentioned that towards the end of his production run, he had a really hard time finding flat enough (ie non "lumpy") steel, and as a result he switched to stainless.

Here's the thing he said that really made me think. He said that the driver *has* to be like the EMTs and Ecoplates, etc, whereby nothing rigid is affixed to the plate, and of extremely low mass. Basically, he affixed a driver to the frame the same way it is in the EMT, and then MADE a new voice coil-- weighing less than 2 grams-- screwed to the plate that went into the gap between magnet and pole piece. This voice coil was made out of an aluminum cigar tube. The pointy end was attached to the plate via a screw that was epoxied to the tube.

Check out what a moon gel in the center of a drum does. That would be dead as heck. And the shipping weight of 6 moon gels is 25g or so. That's the shipping weight. And individual moon gel probably weighs like a gram or 2 and that can kill most of the high frequencies of a drum head. Of course, the plate is larger and heavier. but the moon gel is also not rigid, like the exciters people are using. Even if you lightly put yr finger in the center of the plate it sound duller. That's why I think my own plate and so many DIY plates sound far too dark compared to an Ecoplate or even an EMT. Besides the fact that Gene's built hundreds of plates, it makes a lot of sense.

Last edited by mattwa1sh; 30th September 2018 at 12:39 AM..
Old 30th September 2018
  #134
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I just ordered 2DI boxes "Bumblebee Bb-D1". They have 10MOhm input and jensen transformer. They are diy, but easy to build and much cheaper than the radial ones.
Old 1st October 2018
  #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RudiBrueller View Post
I just ordered 2DI boxes "Bumblebee Bb-D1". They have 10MOhm input and jensen transformer. They are diy, but easy to build and much cheaper than the radial ones.
On my plate, I used a Mackie 402VLZ4 using the instrument input instead of the line. (The button looks like a gibson explorer I think!) I was able to put it really close to the plate and it is dead quiet and sounds spot on. Then I fed the outputs of that to my desk at line level. It's easy and cheap.
Old 7th January 2019
  #136
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post

I love that people are experimenting and building their own out there. I'm about to start on a couple of other similar projects and if there is anything worth talking about afterwards I'll come share the results.

Cheers and happy building!
Brock
hi Brock,

first off: best wishes for 2019!!

secondly: thank you for everything that you have shared here!! seriously!!
people like you put a smile on my face, because you have good knowledge and the kindness and patience to share it with others.

and finally: I'm a master-student in Fine Arts and for my master-project, I want to build a plate reverb, without a driver. (so, no input, only output)
but I was wondering if perhaps you could tell me whether a plate picks up any sounds from it's direct environment? I would imagine so, but as my budget is very limited, I turn to the almighty interwebz and I humbly seek your guidance.
also; I was thinking of using a brass plate, would that affect anything sound-wise?

kind regards,

Henri

Last edited by Stickr; 7th January 2019 at 11:17 AM.. Reason: forgot one key-ingredient
Old 7th January 2019
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stickr View Post
hi Brock,

first off: best wishes for 2019!!

secondly: thank you for everything that you have shared here!! seriously!!
people like you put a smile on my face, because you have good knowledge and the kindness and patience to share it with others.

and finally: I'm a master-student in Fine Arts and for my master-project, I want to build a plate reverb, without a driver. (so, no input, only output)
but I was wondering if perhaps you could tell me whether a plate picks up any sounds from it's direct environment? I would imagine so, but as my budget is very limited, I turn to the almighty interwebz and I humbly seek your guidance.

kind regards,

Henri
Yes it does for sure. It's like a big microphone. I have one.
Old 7th January 2019
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moondog007 View Post
Yes it does for sure. It's like a big microphone. I have one.
Definitely.

Adds to what you can do experimentally as well as placement to reject unwanted ambient sound sources.

In respect to materials - everything makes a difference. The speed of sound in Brass is approximately 3,500 to 4,700 m/s depending on the alloy. Stainless is 5,790 m/s. Various standard steel materials can vary from 4,880-5,050 m/s. So just from that perspective alone, not including what happens with specific frequency attenuation, you will achieve varying results.

It was mentioned the difference in the typically available thickness of cold rolled steel and the original EMT specs - but I suspect the 20% difference in material thickness is not as big a sonic difference as the differences in metal composition available to them vs. what is available commonly on the market today. Depending on if you go with a slightly scaled down version, such as the diagrams at the start of this thread, the overall mass probably ends up around the same.

But the magic is not necessarily in recreating what has been done before, but to use the principles to create something equally as cool and useful. The underlying principles are the same: injecting sound into an alien (to us) environment and extracting the results. To say that one material or methodology of injecting, or picking up that sound, is "wrong" isn't the approach I would suggest is most effective. It is to recognize what the underlying principle is and to use that to create something that (so far) just isn't available outside of those mechanical processes.

From that perspective you can use any manner of materials that wouldn't have normally been considered. Tension being a critical element in material choice as I can't stress enough how much tension makes a difference when tuning to adjust the quality of the decay.

Happy 2019!
Old 7th January 2019
  #139
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Save yourself some time and money and do what i did. Get a piano harp (the guts:sound board and strings), get a contact speaker like the mighty dwarf, and some piezos. Yes, it doesn't sound like a plate, it's more like a hall, but it sounds so much better IMO. Especially if you tune the piano to the song. Imagine a huge hall whose modes are in tune with the song. And you can get one for free easily off CL or pay a few bucks from a used piano shop. a spinet piano is fine and easiest to move, I got an upright piano harp for free on CL (and somehow conned my neighbor and his dad into picking it up for me).

You have to spend time tuning and muting it, but it is an amazing tool, you can even use it as a delay for guitar, or in my case, minimoog. Once I have time i will upload some samples, it's sick!
Old 8th May 2019
  #140
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speaker alignment, tension, damper

Im currently working on my own plate reverb. I find this thread is one of the best about diy plate reverbs. I recommend to read bstappers posts carefully.



- The size of my plate is 1mx2m and 0,4mm thick - cold rolled steel. I bought it from a local dealer (Berlin).
- I let a local locksmith build (weld) the Frame out of 6cmx6cm steel. That was a little more than 200€ - not too much. He also strengthened the edges of the plate.
- The amp is 60W, 25V with 4-8Ohm and balanced inputs which was important to me, because i want to have the plate outside my room. ATM im troubleshooting my amp, its a diy kit from jlmaudio
- The speaker is an 30w exciter from visaton, which is the lightest i could find (60gr). This is way too much weight so i try to install the cone of a 50W Visaton speaker soon. Im a little bit afraid because i didnt see any clear information about how to extend the coil to the plate? Which Material to choose? I know it has to be a cone, but how to get it? How do you lign it without having the coil rubbing to the magnet? I know there is the information about speaker alignment discs online, but not a clear "how to use them" guide.
- As piezos i bought some with a resonance frequency outside the audio range of the plate (>about8khz) and with an output impendance of 1Mohm. Unfortunatelly the minus part of the piezo didnt hold any solder so i bought new piezos with presoldered wires and a lower output impendance.
- As a DI i bought the Bb-D1 DIY Active DI Kit from bumblebee with 10Mohm input impendance. While searching for piezos i found a lot that would work with lower impandance DI Boxes. I dont know if these are new to the market or if im missing something in understanding?

While starting with a already welded frame, everything was easy so far. While putting tension on the plate some things happened: 1) My ringbolts bended:



I replaced them by stronger ones. On the next try the frame itself bended. This makes me really sure a wood frame will never work because the wood will bend way earlier. The supplier said the frame was 4mm thick. I replaced the washers trough 10mm steel that is 2cm longer than the frame so it can lay on the edges of the frame:



Now on the third try two of the snap hooks broke. They are rated to 350kg each so i wonder if i should replace them by stronger ones or is it just the sign that there is enough tension on the plate?



The most diy threads i found are finished without having the damper build. It should be a plywood plate (or better mdf) with the same size as the plate and with damping material attached to it. Moving the dampler closer or more far away from the plate effects the reverb time. As damping materials compressed fiberglass, styrofoam, or foam rubber are recommended (http://www.realoldiesradio.com/docs/...ate_Reverb.pdf)
But what is the best? And if i choose fiberglass which ratio of compression is recommended and which fiberglass exactly (there are big differences)?
Attached Thumbnails
DIY Plate Reverb - Plans and Details-20190504_161752.jpg   DIY Plate Reverb - Plans and Details-20190504_161807.jpg   DIY Plate Reverb - Plans and Details-20190504_161828.jpg   DIY Plate Reverb - Plans and Details-20190504_161905.jpg  
Old 8th May 2019
  #141
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In respect to tension my opinion is that you can never caution on the side of over-rated hardware when it comes to the frame (and especially the turnbuckles). First turnbuckles I used were rated for something like 250-350 lbs and they sheered in half by the time I approached the tension I wanted on the plate. Fortunately I found a rigging store in Austin that specialized in rigging cable, turnbuckles and such. going with Forged turnbuckles over cast upped the rating considerably and I've never had an issue since. I would sheer right through the reinforced edges of the plate before anything happened to them or the frame. The hardware you are showing in the pics is insufficient. I have no doubt on that count. They may be rated for 350 lbs but in no way are they rated at that spec for the type of force that is being applied. You will need something much more industrial and it won't be chrome plated... ;~) Look for forged hardware if you can.

In respect to piezos working with lower impedance direct boxes - I'm not sure what specific products you are referencing or the applications for which they are intended. All I know is what happens with a piezo doesn't see a really high impedance which is nasty and erratic. But those preamps you went with seem to be the ticket so it seems you are good there. I would be curious as to what you are referencing as it sounds like there is something new for me to learn there.

For the spike attached to the plate (for those heading in that direction - and logically so) I have typically witnessed folks using the largest nail they can find and welding to the plate. Easy to shape for the position of the driver.

I have no idea how much force is on the frame that I built, but I am way over what your hardware will support and there is absolutely no danger of the frame bending.

Keep refining and please keep us updated!

Cheers!
Brock
Old 8th May 2019
  #142
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re: direct boxes - I use two para acoustic DIs with an echoplate and they work great for this plus they have EQ.
They have 10Mohm inputs but didn't see that until I dug up the manual..
Old 9th May 2019
  #143
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Hi Brock. Thanks for your post. One thing: mine where not rated to 350lbs, they are rated to 350kg which is around 772 lbs. But anyway, I got your point.
Old 9th May 2019
  #144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RudiBrueller View Post
Hi Brock. Thanks for your post. One thing: mine where not rated to 350lbs, they are rated to 350kg which is around 772 lbs. But anyway, I got your point.
Doh! I was on "Freedom Units"! ;~)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #145
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I haven't tried something till now (well, fixed my problem with the amp) but I've found these forged in Germany called "schäkel"

https://m.edelstahl-niro.de/schaekel...0aAvcfEALw_wcB

They are rated to 5,8tons which is a lot more then my 350 kg rated carabiner I have atm. Should be enough or should I go with the thicker ones rated to 7t?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RudiBrueller View Post
I haven't tried something till now (well, fixed my problem with the amp) but I've found these forged in Germany called "schäkel"

https://m.edelstahl-niro.de/schaekel...0aAvcfEALw_wcB

They are rated to 5,8tons which is a lot more then my 350 kg rated carabiner I have atm. Should be enough or should I go with the thicker ones rated to 7t?
You should be fine. Your plate, even with reinforcement, will fail before those will.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #147
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Dear BTSTOPPER DIY PLate dude!

Everyone should pretty much follow your advice because you nailed all the key points. I have restored and tuned several EMT plates. Earlier this century I had a lengthy conversation with the late Jim Cunnigham (he did the ECHOLPATE when EMT's patent expired) about his forays into plate manufacturing.

The plate does not need much power to drive it - EMT used a 1-watt amplifier - and the Piezo pickups need a very high input impedance - a JFET-based preamp is pretty much essential because it really opens up the sound.

EQ in and out of the reverb is helpful. EMT had a high pass filter going in. Most of the time, anything up to 320Hz can high-passed at 6dB / oct. A peak limiter on the input would be nice.

tuning does not have to be super tight. The stories of tightening until the clips break was from back in the day before bottom-micing the snare became a thing. Jim C's tuning method was to press on each center with his simple spring-loaded tool. The plate would deflect a 1/4 inch or so on the short sides and slightly more on the long sides. This gets you in the ballpark. For fine tuning, Use a click (metronome) - one that has no obvious pitch (like the old UREI analog metronome). Alternate listening to each output. You are shouting for minimum flutter and a similar pitch. When done, a close-mic'd piano thru the plate should sound like you are standing at a far doorway in a large room within which the piano is being played...

good luck!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddieaudio View Post
For fine tuning, Use a click (metronome) - one that has no obvious pitch (like the old UREI analog metronome). Alternate listening to each output. You are shouting for minimum flutter and a similar pitch.
Thank you for the kind words and the first hand information! That is always appreciated so much as first hand experience is golden.

Really like your comment regarding using a click (or similar impulse) for tuning. Wonder why I didn't think of that! Brilliant way to tune until the tails are smooth and flutter free.

Cheers!
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