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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Swap springs in a MOD pan?

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I initially put a MOD 4AB3C1B in my SurfyBear, but I wasn't happy with the 'washy' reverb sound (see https://surfguitar101.com/downloads/details/817/). I put in an Accutronics pan, so now I have this spare MOD pan.

Can the springs in the MOD pan be swapped out or modded to tighten up the sound? What have you done? Thanks.

If I'd stop buying old guitars to fix, I might actually learn to play.
I haven't met a guitar I didn't like.

I'm considering the exact same thing at the moment.
The 'problem' is that I don't know what they use to attach the springs hooks to the magnets hooks.
Is it epoxy? glue? paint? varnish? blue loctite?

It's right in a spot where I don't want to use mechanical force.

In vintage pans you can simply unhook the springs.

'Raking' along the springs I can definitely hear an accoustical difference between different brand pans. And I'd like to know how much of that translates to the amplified sound.

From what I read, Billy Zoom put custom spec'ed springs into the pans that were used in his Little Kahuna Reverb/Trem Units. Billy has his own thread over at the Gretsch Pages so you could actually ask him directly.

Do you happen to have a link to that thread?

In the mean time I have sent an e-mail to the Chinese company/factory that makes these pans, asking them directly what they use for glue.

I've tried various solvents on that glue and nothing works. I'm interested to hear what you find from the company.

If the glue won't budge, I'll probably try shortening the looser spring at the middle.

If I'd stop buying old guitars to fix, I might actually learn to play.
I haven't met a guitar I didn't like.

Have you also tried acetone, paint stripper or heat (soldering iron)?
Be careful with heat near the tiny magnets.

When heated above 176° Fahrenheit (80° Celsius), magnets will quickly lose their magnetic properties. The magnet will become permanently demagnetized if exposed to these temperatures for a certain length of time or heated at a significantly higher temperature (Curie temperature)

ldk wrote:

I'll probably try shortening the looser spring at the middle.

You can try and put a piece of painters tape from the outer shell to one of the springs. Just lightly lay the loose end on top of one of the springs to prevent it from moving/swinging/rotating.
Try it with all 3 springs.
I find that each spring seems to contribute to a certain frequency range in the reverb tone.
The one that has the least tension gives the lowest frequencies in the reverb tone.
Maybe this gives you some insight before you start cutting up a certain spring.

Last edited: Feb 07, 2020 17:15:26

I tried 99% isopropyl alcohol, acetone, and mineral spirits. I also tried an acetone-based fingernail polish remover.

I have paint stripper in cans, but I'll bet it's dried up.

I should try water!

Thanks for the tip about tape.

If I'd stop buying old guitars to fix, I might actually learn to play.
I haven't met a guitar I didn't like.

Another thing you could try is to move the entire transducer further away, so that all 3 springs are stretched some more.

On the accutronics pans it's connected to the inner tray with a rivet and harder to (re)move but on the MOD it could be a regular screw, but you'd have to check at the underside of the inner tray.
You could drill a new hole half an inch further away and screw the transducer bracket in that hole.

Edit: I see there isn't a lot of room left to move them further apart. (see photo below) That blue circle is where I'd drill a new hole.
It's less invasive than cutting springs and and it's at least reversible.

By the way, do the magnets stick out of the laminated core in your MOD pan?
On the Accutronics pans the magnets are just as long as the laminated core is tick and not visible when looking from above.

image

Accutronics pan/magnets:

image

TAD pan/magnets are twice as long, sticking out:

image

Last edited: Feb 07, 2020 17:56:42

You guys are way overthinking it. Ditch the MOD, sell it on Ebay or Reverb and get a good pan.

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spskins wrote:

You guys are way overthinking it. Ditch the MOD, sell it on Ebay or Reverb and get a good pan.

I'm using an Accutronics that I like.

The MOD pan is cheap enough that it's not worth the effort to sell. So, rather than it just sitting gathering dust, I thought I'd look into modifying it, for fun.

If I'd stop buying old guitars to fix, I might actually learn to play.
I haven't met a guitar I didn't like.

j_flanders wrote:

Do you happen to have a link to that thread?

In the mean time I have sent an e-mail to the Chinese company/factory that makes these pans, asking them directly what they use for glue.

It's gretschpages.com and Zoom's section is called "Billy Zoom's Jet Set". If you post a question, Billy will typically respond.

Just a idea I got looking at the pictures above.

Could the output magnets and housing be made to adjust the distance to stretch the string tension individually. (Has anyone tried that already?)

After 60 years in operation you thing somebody would have done that by now.

I know one spring is always tighter than the other to get a different signal output as it twists the output magnet. But maybe you could come up with some magic with custom adjustments of each string????? Whatever

I'm thinking like a screw adjustment for generator at the end somehow. Or each magnet has its own adjustable housing etc.

Ok this might be out there, but maybe not either, dunno

Last edited: Feb 09, 2020 20:17:00

There's this video (at the bottom of this post) adjusting the overall length.
Unfortunately there's no sound showing the effects of changing the tension or chaging the angle, but he describes it in the comment section.

As for adjusting each spring line individually, currently they are operated by one transducer and one laminated core, so you'd have to make one for each spring. Then you could do as in the video for each each transducer.

There's some theory behind the different lengths or tensions though:
The signal bounces back and forth between input and output transducer.
The first time 'a wobble' reaches the output transducer is the pre-delay. Then 'the wobble' travels back to the input transducer and back to the output transducer. That is the first echo.
This happens over and over to give multiple echos.

If you have only one spring you can clearly hear the individual echos and overall it starts to sound more like echo/delay than reverb.

With multiple springs that each have a different length (and thus different tension) the echos come at different time intervals.

The lengths of the springs are choosen, so that the echos of the second (or third spring) arrive at a moment there's no echo for the other spring, they kinda fill the gaps (the time it takes for the wobble on the other spring to travel back to the input and back to the output.)

This gives the impression that there are echos that follow each other very quickly. So quickly it's hard to distinguish between the different echos. This results in a reverb effect rather than an echo effect.

Messing with the lengths (and/or tension) of the springs will almost surely make it more echo-like sounding than reverb-like, but you may like the lo-fi bounciness of it.

Last edited: Feb 10, 2020 06:08:47

ldk wrote:

I've tried various solvents on that glue and nothing works.

The guys in the video below remove it with heat from a soldering iron (at 4:23).
The Anasounds uses an Accutronics pan from the looks of it and their 'glue' looks a bit different from what MOD uses.

If you plan to go this route I would recommend to use some sort of heatsink on the tiny magnets.
Even just a tiny bit of wet cotton swap/bud put up against a magnet can help a lot.
The support wire (on the magnet) that goes into the brass or plastic sleeve is very fragile, so be careful not to bend or break it.

Last edited: Feb 12, 2020 04:51:54

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