Video: 4 Reverb Effects Pedals with Real Springs

Most guitarists are familiar with spring reverbs from the built-in units found in some amplifiers. And back in the 1950s and early '60s, before Fender made it commonplace to find them inside amp chassis, spring reverb tanks could only be found as separate units.

You can still find plenty of these vintage spring reverbs on our marketplace. And today, there's no limit to the number of pedals that offer spring reverb sounds by way of digital emulation. But what about the real deal? Are any companies offering reverb stompboxes with actual springs?

In the video above, Andy Martin takes a look at four options from Crazy Tube Circuits, Danelectro, Spaceman, and Anasounds. Each offers a different take on real spring reverb.

Crazy Tube Circuits' White Whale—perhaps named for the difficulty of putting a real spring tank into a pedal—has three different springs for various reverb depths, as well as a tremolo effect that emulates the tremolo style of Fender's classic black- and brownface amplifiers.

Why, you may be wondering, is it difficult to put real springs in a pedal? Because the springs, by their very nature, have a tendency to be sensitive to vibrations, which can cause unwanted noise. Think of how your reverb-equipped amp sounds if you accidentally kick it. Now imagine having that same sensitivity in one stompbox on a pedalboard full of stompboxes. You'll have to be careful how you step, or the pedal company will have to take great pains to limit the interference.

Danelectro leans into this side-effect with its Spring King pedal, which features a Kick Pad that at least gives you a target if you want easy access to the spring-shaking noise.

The Spaceman Orion, on the other hand, takes great pains to isolate the springs inside. You can get the spring clang, but you'll really have to wind up and kick the pedal. It features a Blend knob to find the balance between dry and wet signals, a Tone knob lets you dial in lows and highs to help clean up or accentuate the effect, and a Dwell control lets you independently adjust how much of the effect is being applied.

The newest pedal on the list—the Anasounds Element—takes a different approach entirely. Instead of placing the springs inside the pedal, it offers three different spring reverb tanks you can place away from your pedalboard. The pedal itself has Low and High tone knobs, as well as a Mix knob. Depending on which setup you buy, it can connect to one of three tanks—"The Good," "The Bad," and "The Ugly"—that offer various sizes of springs.

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