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About to fork out for a spring verb, need advice.

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 1:47 am
by AnalogousGumdropDecoder
This is my first post to the board, and I've tried to read everything that might be relevant including the dub scrolls before asking any dumb questions. I just bought a 16 track 1/2" tape machine and a 24 channel board, and I need a couple of pieces to get going. One of the next things I will need is going to be a reverb unit and I was thinking of getting a spring unit instead of a digital muli-fx because I tend to like the warmth and simplicity of analog sounds and well... I can't afford a plate. I'm not a reggae artist per se but I am influenced by a lot of the dub producers and engineers like Scratch, Tubby, Scientist, and was excited to learn that most of these guys made their great sounds with equipment not much more advanced than what I have right now... including spring reverb! I've decided to go the spring route, but I have a couple of questions for you guys before I spend too much hard-won cash.

1) I was originally thinking of getting a Fender Reverb unit based on the sounds I've heard from them on old surf records. However they're kind of pricy and I figured there might be some better, more interesting, or more cost-effective alternatives. Does anyone have experience with the Fender tanks to give me advice on this?

2) What can you tell me about the Tapco 4400?

3) Is the Fisher K-10 Spacexpander really as amazing as I hear or does it just happen to be the one King Tubby had lying around? I've heard it was for car stereos; is it equipped with the correct inputs and outputs to hook it up to a board or does it require work to get started? I'm shaky and am not good with a soldering iron.

4) Any other advice and input is welcome. I'm interested in vibe and soul and tone and character way more than I care about the unit sounding immaculate and clean. Like I said, I love the big crashing reverb tones in old dub, surf, and spaghetti western soundtrack music.

Thanks all for your help and patience.

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 2:01 pm
by Neil C
The Spacexpander manual (there's a link to it on the relevant pages on this forum) says it was designed for 'all types of home music systems'. I would have thought it would be slightly tricky to incorporate it into a car stereo - and the car movement would cause constant crashes in the springs (in short it was very much not designed I think with car stereos in mind).
The connectors on the Spacexpander are phono/rca connectors. If you have all 3 parts of the system there is no difficulty making it work or connecting it to your equipment (you might need phono to jack leads). No electronic fiddling needed if you have a working unit.

Not all the dub producers used a spacexpander and they got the sound we want from spring reverb, so I think the Spacexpander isn't the only option. ... .php?t=725
4FB2B1C is the correct code if you want to order a new tank.
are the people who do them.

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:17 pm
by AnalogousGumdropDecoder
Thanks for the help. Any word on the Fender units?