Best "drip" reverb pedal for surf style sounds?

I'm looking for a pedal to do that cool 'drip' that a Fender Reverb tank does, but in a single size pedal. I know Boss makes a tribute pedal but it seems to get bad reviews, what about the Topanga? Will it drip??
I've read a lot, and thanks for that link. It seems the Topanga doesn't quite get the job done and the Boss is too shrill. I really don't want to pay for or have room for a Fender tank but I need that sound. I have no access to any of these pedals other than buying them and I'm not buying 10 pedals (cant afford that!) so I thought I'd see if anyone ever figured out what pedal actually worked.
the boss is worth giving a shot. i read it was too shrill, then went and played one. it was lovely by my ears. i love spring splash, and i've found you need a bit of high-end content to make that happen.

i ended up with the hardwire rv-7, but only because the boss wouldn't work in my line level effects loop. still a lovely spring algorithm. but given the choice, i'd get the boss.


The Boss pedal sounds killer to me. I love that pedal. I've had plenty of opportunities to compare to real units (well, various reissues and a no expense spared DIY 6G15) and I think Boss is right on the money. I could afford a tank if I wanted one, but I don't see the point when I can have it all in the convenience of this pedal.

Maybe struggles to go toe to toe with a 6G15 lushed out to the far side of the dials, but even a tank is an unusable mess when you crank it too hard. When riding the surfin' drip-verb sweet spot though, the Boss can hold its own.


Gold Supporting Member
Check out the Supernatural, the spring sound on it is outstanding. It has all the drip, sproing, pop, and splash you are looking for (those are all technical terms).


I own a Topanga. To me it sounds like a tank. I don't have a tank to directly compare it to, so there may be something I'm not getting besides the clang. But, I don't know what it is.

The Topanga is the best sounding reverb pedal I've ever heard and the first one I ever bought, in thirty years of playing. Nothing else sounded good enough to me.

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I've tried almost all of the pedals and out of sheer disappointment I built a DIY 6G15 and never looked back. There really is something special about the real thing. It's in the dynamics and the attack, almost all the pedals lack this. Disclosure: I do play surf inspired music and the drip and splash of a tank are very important parts of my sound.

Here's my run down of the pedals:
Topanaga - actual reverb sound is good, just seriously lacks the drip of the real thing.

FRV-1 - Drip is there, a little fake sounding and the decay is not as long or smooth as the real thing. Sounds more like the reissue Fender tank than a vintage or boutique one. Also, doesn't seem to like getting hit with hot fuzzed signals. A real tank handles this so much better.

Supernatural - Decay is way too long to emulate a tank. Can't be adjusted.

RV-7 - does an okay spring, wouldn't replace a real a tank.

Belkin Brick based reverbs (i.e. Spring Chicken, Surf Rider etc .. ) - not really tank like. Lacks the drip and are generally warmer sounding than a tank. Great for most things, but I wouldn't use one in place of my tank.

Big Sky - I've only heard demos. I hear a digital sheen, but that could be the digital audio. Worth a try

SubDecay Spring Theory II - The demos sounds cool. Not exactly like a 6G15, but has drip and is tweakable. Could be something that is tank-like that would be a bit different than the Fender tank.

My suggestion is to see if you can find a tank to try and then compare the pedals to that. It's never really apparent what's missing with the pedals until you play through a real tank and experience it for yourself.


I agree with everything deadlands has said. I'm in the same situation, wanting a pedal that does the tank reverb thing and have come to the same conclusions about the FRV-1, RV-7 and Topanga.

As my pic shows, I A/B'd my Fender tank (with 'vintage' tubes) with the Topanga, and while the Top' doesn't have that same full-on 'drip', it's been the best pedal for capturing the 'feel' of a tank. Most subtle settings (or playing softly) and I'd forget which I had turned on.

If Cbread bring out a v.2 that emulates the spring splash a little better, and that sorts out the little bit of hiss that can creep in at higher settings I'd be all over it.

At the moment, it looks like there's no pedal that will match a tank 100% although I've not tried the Bigsky, which sounds great, but is way too big/complicated for me.

I'm tempted to try out the Subdecay ST II, as the original was pretty good. I prefered it to the Boss FRV-1. It didn't emulate the spring splash as well, (which in fairness they openly stated at the time that wasn't their intention, it was the general tone and 'feel' they where going for) but it just sounded sweeter. It didn't have that touch of pre-delay that the Topanga has, and it compressed the tone a little, but if those aren't issues with the new version that would be worthwhile looking into. The Room was great too.

Also, you might want to try the Surfy Bear project: which gets a lot of love with surf purists. It's basically a tank just without the tubes, can be built in a slightly smaller enclosure, and is way cheaper.


Silver Supporting Member
Also, you might want to try the Surfy Bear project: which gets a lot of love with surf purists. It's basically a tank just without the tubes, can be built in a slightly smaller enclosure, and is way cheaper.
Agreed. The electronics for the Surfy Bear can fit in a pedal sized enclosure (1590bb) and the tank (depending which size you choose) can fit under the larger PedalTrains or on top of most boards, or in/on most amps if you don't want it clanking when you step on/kick your board.

dharma one

build the one with tanks. OR buy a spring reverb unit from ebay (rack mount), i've got about 3 different ones, you can pick em up for about $50-100

Ain't nothing like a spring verb.. except maybe a real plate


I too have been on the hunt for good spring reverb in a pedal.

Check out the danelectro spring king it's got a spring in it and responds really cool to kicking it for some of those great spring kicky sounds.

The boss rv-5 has a really neat spring. Very plastic-like and fake sounding but drips nicely and sounds great regardless. Mixed it with a spring 63 verb from my line 6 m9 and it dripped for days sounded great!

Line 6 spring 63 and spring reverbs. These algorithms sound different on whatever platform you use them from. M9, verbzilla, pod's, etc. still very cool, I like to blend it with my other spring reverbs usually. It is more subtle definitely, no drip small baby shakes can be heard though.

I have a '68 bandmaster with a tube preamped spring reverb. Yes, it is natural and the real thing. But extremely unreliable, tube preamps are not transparent so if you're running pedals into it, it'll fudge up. Basically it sounds great but only by itself, plugged straight into the amp with at most a delay or mod pedal nothing else.

Strymon bluesky spring is interesting. It'll require some tweaking but you can get it to sound like a shaky spring, it doesn't really drip, but sorta. Very high quality sound regardless.

Strymon Flint, I'm getting one in the mail in a couple days. I'm pretty sure that thing will do some goodness, still doesn't have a real spring that can be kicked like the danelectro.

Digitech digiverb can do some cool plastic like drippy sounds similar to the boss rv5 maybe better, depending on your taste.

Source audio dimension reverb: I just got this pedal. I love it, it's the best of all the verb pedals I've had. Can't really say enough. Extremely versatile, has 2 spring algorithms and you can easily manipulate the sounds to do whatever you want. 56bit dsp count me in! Again mixed with a line 6 63 spring it sounds better than my tube spring all day long and more controllable/manipulatable.

Hardware supernatural: extremely disappointed with this reverb. The mix controls suck and the eq sucks. It's completely true bypass to where you lose your original signal when you mix in a decent amount of reverb. Pointless. Would be cool if it were dsp bypassed and buffered your original signal. I had this pedal for a long time until I realized it barely does anything. It's very ambient though. Cool only if you wanna shell out $160 on a pedal that'll barely be heard.

Hardwire rv7: a friend of mine has it, it's better than the supernatural. Basically an upgrade of the digiverb so it doesn't sound as plastic like and doesn't drip as well either.

Strymon big sky: it'll do whatever you program it to. Very complex algorithms and powerful dsp. Making it extremely complicated but versatile. If you know how to program the sounds in your head and want to shell out $450 get one.

Eventide space: same as the big sky essentially but it has even more parameters. Extremely deep pedal. Only for people that want to program their sounds down to the exact frequency and shell out $400 to do it.

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Strymon Flint sounds great and gets the drip. Bigger than you're looking for but a great pedal.

What about the Solemate?

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