• New Sponsor: ShipNerd, Ship Your Gear with Us... for less! Click Here.

Are high quality reverb tanks a thing of the past?

Rotten

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,451
My amp tech is of the opinion that the only tanks currently available are cheap, inconsistent Chinese-made ones. I would think some boutique maker would be making something great, but perhaps I am wrong. Anyone.
 

calfzilla

Cynical Hack
Messages
3,865
This is TGP. If there was a boutique reverb tank that was worth it in some capacity, I think you would have heard of it. I mean, what is a tank? A box and some springs? Isn't all the "tone" coming from the circuits, tubes, and transformer?
 

broken_sound

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,320
This is TGP. If there was a boutique reverb tank that was worth it in some capacity, I think you would have heard of it. I mean, what is a tank? A box and some springs? Isn't all the "tone" coming from the circuits, tubes, and transformer?
I know what my side job is going to be......Raw vintage springs, billet proprietary alloy chassis, monster RCA jacks, calibrated tension clips, and a drip of snake oil.
 

PurpleJesus

Moderation is key
Staff member
Messages
8,682
I know what my side job is going to be......Raw vintage springs, billet proprietary alloy chassis, monster RCA jacks, calibrated tension clips, and a drip of snake oil.
You got me w the proprietary chassis. That's what I've been waiting for in a reverb. I'll take one.

Can you put $500 worth of nos chicken head knobs? I'd hate to go through all that expense and then have something new to touch to control it. Yuck.
 

bgmacaw

Member
Messages
8,080
I know what my side job is going to be......Raw vintage springs, billet proprietary alloy chassis, monster RCA jacks, calibrated tension clips, and a drip of snake oil.
Be careful if you do that. Based on what I've seen here many times, being a boutique guitar gear builder puts your health and/or family life at risk thus making you incapable of shipping products or even answering emails.
 

broken_sound

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,320
Be careful if you do that. Based on what I've seen here many times, being a boutique guitar gear builder puts your health and/or family life at risk thus making you incapable of shipping products or even answering emails.
My paint guy sent me a bad batch of enclosures already, I'm going to have to push these things out another 3 months.
 

C-4

Member
Messages
14,226
I am probably in the minority here, but I've been playing since 1957. Reverb tanks did in fact sound great when there were no other foot toys around. This was especially true with Fender and Ampeg amps. Now, with the release of so many great sounding alternatives, such as the Neunaber reverbs and Source Audio Nemesis, H9, et. al. I actually prefer to use those for my time-based effects, and not clutter the chassis of the amp with non-essential wiring. Of course combo amps, imho, would benefit from a tank reverb unit if they are self-contained, but I use heads these days, as I like to keep the valves separate from the vibrations a speaker cab causes.

From the early 1970's onward, the only reverb tanks I preferred were in Fenders until I played a Diezel with their reverb tanks in the Einstein and Schmidt. Still, I found that using a more flexible foot toy, or rack effect to achieve the time-based effects for a given setup and for live playing, gave me more control and options which a simple tank could not.

I use a Marshall JMD-1 50 w head at times, which has built in effects. While I have heard complaints, not only about the amp itself from various players who have "tried it out in stores", but also about the built in effects, my experience has shown me that too much of any effect can ruin a beautiful tone. I have used any effects I have bought very judiciously. Overuse, or heavy employment not only washes out the amp's tone, but gets really tiring after a short period. It's like a PA system with an over-exaggerated delay or reverb on the vocals. How much of that can anyone take before it becomes annoying?

As with anything else, when a new effect is purchased, naturally the players needs and wants to try it out in as many senarios as possible to determine where the effect is best used. The time for that is not at a job, but at practice, or in one's home where they can try out a lot of different settings.

If a new and improved version of the classic tank reverb can be achieved, that would be a significant advancement, considering how many manufacturers have reduced the size, and imo, the importance of the tank reverb, as a functional part of an amp.

Of course, ymmv. :)
 
Last edited:

Bertiman

Member
Messages
2,035
Folks, I've been successfully selling these for several years now. I only use Unabtainium springs and Unicorn jizz impregnated 1923 newspaper capacitors. All top notch components. I know that there have been delays, but I expect the first units to start shipping in about around roughly 3 weeks. As many of you know, personal matters (Internet Texas Hold'em), have interfered with production, but have recently been resolved (ran out of credit). Thank you for patience and continued support.
 

keithb7

Member
Messages
1,421
A tank that I recently bought was $24. Made in S. Korea. Works fine. For $24? I really don't care that it was made in S Korea.
Will it last 50 years? Doubtful.
 

pedalcr8z

Member
Messages
3,448
Not sure I agree as every Carr amp I've owned (4 Ramblers) have had tremendous reverb and trem.
 

Aquinas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,772
My amp tech is of the opinion that the only tanks currently available are cheap, inconsistent Chinese-made ones. I would think some boutique maker would be making something great, but perhaps I am wrong. Anyone.
Weirdly, I actually know a couple of "boutique builders" who are of the same opinion - yet, they don't want to do it themselves!

The reason for that is that a reverb tank, while a trivial device from both an electrical and mechanical standpoint, is actually a rather painful thing to build with any consistency. You'd have to get the transducers - any pickup manufacturer, for instance, could do that, but it would require some tweaking to set up and therefore $$$ - the pan (easy enough, sheet metal), and the springs (not nearly as simple as it seems - lots of trial and error, therefore time, therefore $$$), and likely have to do all 3 custom. Then you'd actually have to build the thing, which is easy enough but not free (probably around an hour a pan for a single person, including testing). You'd also have an appreciable non-compliance rate on the transducers and the springs (more $$$, nature of the components)...

Most boutique builders, and quite a few "on-the-cusp" builders, are very pressed for time and money as it is. On top of that, it'd cost somewhere around $20k minimum to do R&D on the tank, then another $20-40k to establish manufacturing, which would have to be made up for in price - and very few builders would want (or be able to, for that matter) to pay $200 OEM for a part that can be had for $20-100 elsewhere, no matter how much better it is than the other options. Even at $200 each, $250 for end-users, you'd be looking at selling 500 units before you even began to break even, which is actually far harder than it sounds...

Do you know who could do it, though? Celestion or Eminence. They could generate the appropriate economy of scale to make it work, and would have all the proper equipment already. Why don't they? I'm not sure, but I wouldn't ever be surprised to see them making a pan, especially given the quality of current offerings.
 

woof*

Member
Messages
8,785
After my reverb tank died last year in my 66 Super Reverb i tried two different Mod tanks. Both had shrill and way too powerful reverb..and worst off all wasn't linear as it came on....harsh and overbearing.
After a few months of trying to adapt i gave up and called Larry Rogers. He had a like new 67 tank he'd been saving and shipped it to me. My amp was exactly like it was before the old tank died..perfect.
This was about a month before Larry passed away..Rip.
I have heard theory's that the new tanks impedance is off from the originals...but who knows.
But in my eyes the new ones sound nothing like the originals.
 






Trending Topics

Top Bottom