Analog vs digital reverb with a tube amp

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Acidic25, Apr 23, 2020.


  1. Acidic25

    Acidic25

    Feb 6, 2020
    Hello all!

    I’m looking to get a reverb pedal for my bass but am not sure if I should go digital or analog because of my amp. Specifically, I’m looking for a spring reverb. There’s a tune that my band does and I think adding a spring reverb into the mix will give it a nice early 60s surfy Vibe considering that it already sounds like something that would come from Dick Dale’s era.

    Being a bass player, I know reverb is mostly used for guitars to give more of a whole sound. But since my guitar player doesn’t really use reverb I think it would be cool to have the twang that spring reverb applies to the bass underneath.

    My only concern is that, from what I’ve been told, you want to try to use analog pedals as much as possible with a tube amp. My amp is a 1970 all tube SUNN amp that is just a killer tone machine. Would having a digital reverb pedal really degrade the signal that much?

    For reference, I play a combination of a Guild Starfire Bass II and a Squier jazz bass. Any thoughts/pedal suggestions are much appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2020
  2. gh0st42

    gh0st42 Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2019
    Colorado
    Digital will actually "degrade" the signal less from a pure audio standpoint. Digital will be a more exact copy on delayed signal you feed into it for Delay and Reverb.

    Depending on the tone you are after, Digital can sound more "cold" and "sterile" because of how closely it copies the original signal vs Analog.

    Analog will "degrade" the signal more, but does impart more "character", "warmth" and "blurry softness".
    Analog delay will typically sound more "out of focus" and gets progressively more "blurry" or "smudgy" sounding the longer it repeats.

    I'd compare it to listening to delays/reverb through a Hi Fi Stereo (Digital) vs through a old Radio or Turntable. (Analog). The Hi Fi is more accurate, but the Radio/Turntable is more "vintage" sounding.
     
  3. lyonaudio

    lyonaudio

    Apr 16, 2019
    France
    Does anyone make a real analog reverb pedal these days? I know that VFE used to make one that was based on multiple analog delay lines. It sounded awesome but I doubt that you'd find one now.

    Just get a good digital reverb pedal and make sure that it has analog pass-through for the unaffected signal. Strymon reverb pedals are great, if expensive. The TC Hall of Fame and Hall of Fame Minis are almost as good for about 1/3rd the price (or less) of a Strymon.

    Have a look at the HOF2 Mini. It comes with a very nice hall reverb "installed" but you can change that to any one of a number of different reverbs (including spring) using a computer or a smartphone. It will only "contain" one kind of reverb at a time where the HOF2 has 12 different reverbs with four "slots" that are changeable with the TC Toneprint system.
     
  4. Acidic25

    Acidic25

    Feb 6, 2020
    I guess what I mean by “degrade” is that I do t want a digital effect to ruin the warmth that my amp provides when the bass signal is dry. Is this even really a problem anymore when it comes to effects in general?
     
  5. Acidic25

    Acidic25

    Feb 6, 2020
    Yes actually! But you’re going to have to pay. Danelectro makes the Spring King, which is actually not badly priced. There’s also the Crazy Tube Circuits White Whale, which also comes with a built in analog trem. That’s the one I was eyeing, because I was also toying with the idea of getting a trem as well.

    I want to avoid having to do any sort of configuration. I just want to able to plug and go.
     
  6. lyonaudio

    lyonaudio

    Apr 16, 2019
    France
    Then I suggest that you look at a Strymon Flint, digital of course. It has three flavors of great sounding reverb and a tremolo half with three kinds of trem (Flint - Tremolo Effect Pedal and Reverb Effect Pedal - Strymon). I have one on my guitar board and I love it. It's well worth the $300 that is asked for it.
     
  7. Acidic25

    Acidic25

    Feb 6, 2020
    I’ll have a look. The white whale is about the same price so I’ll have to look at videos of each.
     
  8. gh0st42

    gh0st42 Supporting Member

    Oct 25, 2019
    Colorado
    With a good Digital Reverb in your effects loop, it's going to pretty much Reverb exactly what you feed it. If it sounds good warm and tubey going in, it will sound like Reverbed good warm and tubey coming out.
     
  9. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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