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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink SurfyBear classic on top of a combo amp

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I’m currently using a Mr Black SuperSwell pedal and I’ve been wanting to replace it with a proper reverb unit as I never had one. I’m thinking about getting a SurfyBear classic but I can’t really try it before getting one.
Would the springs go bonkers if I put it on top of a loud amp? And can I get some splashy whip noises by slapping it?

You can always try a mousepad underneath if it goes bonkers on top of an amp! I’ve got three Fender tanks and two SBs, and the Surfy Bears just ROAR when jostled. It’s seems louder and scarier than the tanks. The tanks sound like a cool thunderclap of springs, the SB sounds like the gateway to Hell just opened up.

Daniel Deathtide

DeathTide wrote:

You can always try a mousepad underneath if it goes bonkers on top of an amp! I’ve got three Fender tanks and two SBs, and the Surfy Bears just ROAR when jostled. It’s seems louder and scarier than the tanks. The tanks sound like a cool thunderclap of springs, the SB sounds like the gateway to Hell just opened up.

The sound of the gateway to hell opening up does sound like something that I’d like.

Where do you put yours when playing in a band scenario?

I play a Showman set up and have the tank on top of the head. I used to have it on the ground, but it was too easy to accidentally kick. I’ve seen photos of Dick Dale playing with his tank suspended in the air, hanging from the ceiling! I’ve used the Surfy Bear on the concrete ground right in front of the cab before, and I never noticed any sympathetic resonance / ringing / noise at all. I should try putting it in front of the bass amp to see what that sounds like.

In summary, if you are looking for awesome old-school spring reverb, you will not be disappointed in the Surfy Bear. I have noticed that the tanks have a little more bass in the reverb, but otherwise they sound the same. (Actually I found the SB to be far less noisy than all of the tanks in terms of hum / buzz and distortion!)

Daniel Deathtide

Sorbothane pads are the most efficient way to reduce, and virtually eliminate transfer of vibrations. The biggest issue with having a reverb unit placed on top of an amp is the electronic interference emitting from the head. I think that's why many players put them on the floor a few feet away from the amp. I have a home-made Surfy Bear placed on the top of my combo amp (Fender Quad Reverb) and there's no issues with vibration or electronic interference, i guess the rubber feet and the metal tool box shielding is good enough.

Last edited: Feb 14, 2021 21:39:31

Oh man! You reminded me of tests I did when I first got the tanks. I noticed they were very buzzy, so I purchased the humX eliminators and experimented with placement of the tanks. If I recall correctly the noise was identical in all positions including right on top of the head. Maybe a Surfy Bear is different because their guts are a few inches closer to the emf? I don’t remember experimenting with those as much. (Probably because they weren't as buzzy!)

So what’s it sound like when the emf is interfering? More buzzy?

Daniel Deathtide

**DeathTide wrote:

So what’s it sound like when the emf is interfering? More buzzy?

Yes, a hum/buzz sound, similar to when a guitar is up close to a computer monitor, TV, or an amp head. Sometimes there's no issue with a unit on the head, but if there is buzzing then spacing out the components is a good place to start.

Thank you for the responses. I pulled the trigger on a SurfyBear Classic V2.

Subropontes wrote:

Thank you for the responses. I pulled the trigger on a SurfyBear Classic V2.

You liking it?

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