Best spring reverb pedal — Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

The spring reverb for musicians seems to be such an trivial effect that many people do not even think about the possibilities and nuances it conceals. Indeed, who hasn’t heard the spring reverb pedal in action? It has gained wide popularity nowadays thanks to guitar amplifier manufacturers, who has recently started to built in spring reverb even in cheap devices. Thus, spring reverb started to be perceived as another effect “for volume”. For that category of musicians who do not have enough money or imagination for shimmers, reversers with modulation and other high-tech stuff.

The very sound

Spring reverb pedal sound is filled with the spirit of vintage blues improvisations and is full of classic electric guitar sound. You can hear this sound first of all from surf artists like John Severson, Kelly Slater, John Van Hamersveld etc. – they made this sound popular. However, in any modern track focused on the raw dirty rock sound of the 60’s, spring reverb pedal sounds naturally and appropriate due to the bright and expressive reverb tails that transform the guitar sound. In general, this sound should be well known not only to “Beach Boys” fans, but also to fans of retro garage rock like “Black Angels” (here you can even hear “drips” on the tambourine).

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What does spring reverb pedal actually do? It adds an echo effect to the signal, but it doesn’t do it as “delay”. Delay “copies” the signal and “inserts” these copies with a delay after the main signal and after the previous such “inserts”. What does the reverb do: it passes the signal through itself and leaves no signs of a pure signal (depends on the design of the reverb), it only outputs a signal with certain harmonics. To understand what it is and what the difference is, remember when you stand in a large empty room (for example, a warehouse) and say something – you have the same reverberation effect.

When a spring is not actually a spring

First, let’s find out what types of spring reverb pedal exist. The main criteria is the way how each unit simulates drips.

1. Pedals based on a real, physical spring. Yes, there are such things. The main problem with such pedals is that the spring is actually small and, as a result, the desired depth can not be reached. For example, “Vanamps” pedals sounds quite refined, and for “Spring King” from “Danelectro” we had to add a digital delay.

2. Pedals with digital sound processing. Getting the spring reverb pedal to produce” the same” drips without spring is tricky. Therefore, in this category — big companies – leaders of digital tech market. The very companies that can afford unique software solutions. The most popular pedal reverbs without spring are “Strymon Flint”, “Boss FRV-1”, “Digitech Polara”and “Digitech RV-7”. The sound of such devices is flatter, but more balanced and moderate. It sounds like an audio player, not a real rock guitar.

3. All other pedals. Here we have a wide variety of technical solutions based on ready-made electronic chips and delay processors. The manufacturers of such pedals use a tricky approach – they simulate drips with a short delay, such as a “slap-back”. If you do not chase authenticity, it sounds (especially with a band) quite acceptable. Moreover, the outstanding “Topanga” reverb from “Catalinbread” belongs to this category – perhaps the brightest and most “real” device on the market. Other decent options are “Malekko Spring Reverb”, “Subdecay Super Spring Theory”, “Solidgold FX Surf Rider”.

TOP 6 best spring reverb pedal

If you are a real musician and decided to abandon the pathetic fakes and use real old school stuff for playing the guitar, here is the TOP 9 best spring reverb pedal on market with actual springs.

White Whale” from “Crazytubecircuits

“White Whale” from “Crazytubecircuits” is fantastic 3-spring reverb tank, which provides mellow analog sound. Tone (signal brightness), speed, dwell (length of reverberation echo), depth (reverb depth), volume (input signal gain) and mix (the ratio of processed and “dry” signals) controls are in stock. As well “White Whale” equipped with 2 knobs. One of them is analog tremolo and the other will let you switch between opto and bias shifting style. As well this spring reverb pedal let you bypass each effect – appropriate option included. This option is implemented by onboard footswitches or remote units.

Crazy Tube Circuits White Whale tremolo + spring reverb


The original functionality of this device consists of two independent inputs for pedals. Using this option a musician able to separately operate with two different parameters in one time – increase reverb mix and lower tremolo speed for example. This device would be ideal choice for real fans of classic effects in old school surf vibes.

Danelectro Spring King Reverb Pedal

“Danelectro Spring King Reverb Pedal” recognizable by a splashing and deep sound. “Danelectro” offers musicians affordable and high-quality guitar effects at the same time. All of them are silent, compact, light, combining new technologies with a striking sound of the 50s and 60s. It is worth saying that this is a very old company that produces guitar equipment, guitars and accessories for them since 1947. Daneelectro Spring King Reverb Pedal is a comeback to retro and pure vintage sound.

Danelectro Spring King Reverb Pedal

Best spring reverb pedal — Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

The palette of sound is simply amazing from dark and dreary to bright and saturated colors. The device is controlled by three knobs: volume, tone and reverb. Also it equipped with a pedal to turn off the reverberation. The device would be ideal choice for real fans of classic effects in old school surf vibes for those musicians who love experiments with the sound of the guitar.

Surfy Industries Surfybear Compact Reverb

A distinctive feature of “Surfy Industries Surfybear Compact Reverb” is the opening in the back cover through which you can see the springs. The body is made of durable aluminum. Knobs in retro style are made of durable plastic. In addition to the standard “tone”, “volume”, “decay”, and “dwell” controls, the reverb features two mixer controls.

Surfy Industries - SurfyBear Compact Reverb

Introducing the SurfyBear Compact Reverb unit

By pressing the “Mixer 1-2” pedal, you can switch between the two previously configured modes. Also, there is a “Bypass” pedal. On the back cover there is an input for the guitar and an output to the amplifier. The case is made in two colors: black and red. What is the brand setting for “Surfy Industries Surfybear Compact Reverb”? Simple. Just put all the knobs in the maximum position, and put mixer knob in 50% position. This way you will achieve a bruatl, voluminous and elegant sound with “Surfy Industries Surfybear Compact Reverb pedal”.

Anasounds Element

“Anasounds Element” is a spring reverb pedal that brings the musician back to the roots, creating an atmosphere of immersion in creativity. This reverb is simple. No frills. It is minimalistic in everything from the design of the box, made in the style of wood carving, to the small size of the case and simple, only necessary knobs.

Anasounds - Element Spring Reverb

The element is a pedal that takes back the very essence of the analogue reverb, which is obtained by physically stimulating springs thanks to the guitar signal. Simply. No artificials. No calculations. From beautiful mechanics coupled to analog signal processing.

The “Anasounds Element” features a two-band treble and bass equalizer. It also has a volume knob and a mix knob. The embedded saturation switch is located in the center. Knobs are made of durable transparent plastic. Compared to other reverbs, the “Anasounds Element” features plug-in tanks with springs inside to generate an analog reverb effect. Tanks have three sizes: medium (La Brute), small (Le Bon) and large (Le Truand). They differ in reverb power and connected to the “Anasounds Element” with a help of RCA cable.

Spaceman Effects Orion Reverb

At first glance, the “Spaceman Effects Orion Reverb” might seem like the smallest spring reverb pedal on the market. Well, it’s true. But does the size affect the sound quality? “Orion Reverb” prove that the size does not affect the sound. The small six-by-four-inch box held the real power. Control panel are represented by four knobs. “Volume” control controls the overall output volume of the reverb. Blend control (similar to mix control) allows the musician to mix wet and dry signals and adjust the depth of each in a single mix. “Tone” control is responsible for the pitch. The extreme right position is the highest tone.

Spaceman Effects Orion

Orion is a true analog spring reverb, and at only 6 ¼ by 4 ¾ inches, it’s the smallest real spring reverb pedal this solar system has ever seen. Finally, real analog reverb that will fit on your pedal board!

The extreme left position is the lowest tone. Finally, the “dwell” handle is responsible for swinging the spring controlling the reverb section. Practically every spring reverb pedal have one significant disadvantage – due to external vibrations, the reverberation sound deteriorates. It could be a stomping on the stage or even the strong sounds of percussion instruments. “Spaceman Effects Orion Reverb” prevents the effect of external vibrations. The sound inside any chaos remains flat and smooth. Special attention should be paid to the assembly. “Spaceman Effects Orion Reverb” is a hand-made product from Portland. As for the sound, it is characterized by an incredible density and a wide range of tones. Long, massive, cascading, lush reverbs create a powerful sound that sends the listener back to the heyday of vintage grooves.

Carl Martin Headroom Reverb

“Carl Martin Headroom Reverb” is classical two channel spring reverb pedal with some cool features. The main thing with this reverb that musician could go between two completely different reverb settings using true bypass switching. That means two independent sets of level and knobs to set up. It is totally unique feature among spring reverb pedals. On the back panel the device got an input and output jack for the guitar and nine volt DC power.

Carl Martin Headroom Reverb Demo

This is a demo of Carl Martin Reverb

Instead of DC power adaptor musician could use 9-volt battery. As well “Carl Martin Headroom Reverb” provides the possibility for remote switching (toggling)between the A and B presets and also bypassing the unit. It let’s switch it from RJM or Julia for example. The sound could be described as warm lush integrated reverb. “Carl Martin Headroom Reverb” easy to configure. You don’t need to press a lot of buttons or constantly turn knobs in order to achieve the desired sound. It’s simple and reliable. Best chaise for aspiring musicians.

Update - 2021.03.31


I have a question about Danelectro. I didn’t quite understand whether it’s digital or analog pedal?

Danelectro Spring King is a reverb with a real spring. No emulation. So we can say it’s an analog pedal.

Whether Danelectro DSR-1  has a high quality casing or note?

Speaking about Danelectro DSR-1 Spring King Reverb it is safe to say that there will be no problems with the case. It is made of durable thick aluminum. Particularly noteworthy are the rotary switches, which were used in technology in the fifties and were renowned for their durability.

Spaceman Effects Orion Reverb is more expensive compared to other pedals. Why is that?

There are two reasons for this. First, Spaceman Orion is smaller than the rest. To make a spring pedal of such a small size, more expensive technological solutions are needed. The second point is the high sound quality. The pedal sounds deep, clear – without interference and artifacts.

Carl Martin Headroom vs White Whale? Which is better surf music?

These are two different pedals for different music. Carl Martin Headroom is a classic guitar pedal with analog spring. White Whale combines spring and tremolo. It’s safe to say that the classic sound of Carl Martin Headroom is more suitable for surf music.

Power supply for anasounds element?

There is only one option for Anasounds Element power supply: 9V DC adaptor. There is an adapter port on the side panel. The device does not support batteries.

What is Anasounds Element premium bundle?

Anasounds Element premium bundle will build from three spring tanks. They differ in sound. The smallest one adds harsh tails to the sound of the guitar, but sounds flat. Medium creates a unique ambient sound. The bigger one provides more flap.

The opening in the back of Surfy Industries Surfybear could cause interference in the sound when performing on stage?

We didn’t find any information about this issue but we strongly recommend to use Surfy Industries Surfybear with anti-vibration pad.
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