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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Surfy Bear Classic V2 - Beginner Knob Settings questions

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Hey Guys,

Proud new owner of a brand new Surfy Bear Classic V2 today. I really like the unit and how warm it sounds, especially after trying a lot of pedals that just don't do the job anywhere near as well.

Being an absolute novice to this unit, I am looking to start with a decent/tasteful amount of drip without overdoing it - in other words, not going for a real washed out sound, just something slightly pingy and noticeable enough. At the same time, I would ideally like to have a setting where I turn one knob down to lower the reverb amount even further for a rhythm guitar reverb sound.

After playing around for an hour or so, it seems there is a BIG jump in drip between 4 and 5 on the Dwell, and anything beyond that gets ambient rather quickly. The lead settings that seem to be right there for me are: Tone 6, Mixer 6, and Dwell 4. I tried turning down the Dwell to about 2 or 3 for the rhythm sounds and it seems about right also.

My signal chain is: Fender American Jazzmaster -> Surfy Bear -> Quilter 101 Mini Reverb -> Mesa Boogie C90 Black Shadow speaker -> SM57/MD421 mics -> Reaper DAW.

My questions are...

  1. Is it ideal to set the Tone and Mixer around the same level and use the Dwell knob as an "effects level" of sorts, as in my example above?

  2. Do you recommend backing down on the Dwell or Mixer a bit for recording purposes vs what you play live with? Or do you set it and forget it regardless?

  3. Also, do you back off on your guitar's tone (either the guitar's tone knob and/or the amp) to compensate as you turn up the Surfy's Tone knob?

Thanks for reading and thanks to all who respond.

1) I think it's most prudent to say there's really no ideal setting or methodology. You should feel free to put it wherever sounds right to you. 6-6-6 gets lots of love but it's not magic. I just looked at mine and I have it set to 5-5-10 (dwell-mix-tone.)

2) I've never played live but I can say that I feel like I've ruined recordings by using too much reverb. I'd say a too little is better than too much.

3) The tank doesn't add any top end beyond the dry signal so maxing the tone knob only minimizes the loss from your dry signal. The drippy sound lives at the top end, too, so I like to keep mine cranked. And I always have my guitar tone maxed as well.

The extra cable involved in running a tank will cut a noticeable amount of treble out of your signal as well so there's another reason not to cut your tone knobs.

Redfeather wrote:

1) I think it's most prudent to say there's really no ideal setting or methodology. You should feel free to put it wherever sounds right to you. 6-6-6 gets lots of love but it's not magic. I just looked at mine and I have it set to 5-5-10 (dwell-mix-tone.)

2) I've never played live but I can say that I feel like I've ruined recordings by using too much reverb. I'd say a too little is better than too much.

3) The tank doesn't add any top end beyond the dry signal so maxing the tone knob only minimizes the loss from your dry signal. The drippy sound lives at the top end, too, so I like to keep mine cranked. And I always have my guitar tone maxed as well.

The extra cable involved in running a tank will cut a noticeable amount of treble out of your signal as well so there's another reason not to cut your tone knobs.

Well, it appears there are no other takers, so thank you Redfeather!

Hi,
I would recommend putting all knobs in the middle
Turn Mix up or down for more or less reverb
If the tone is too spicy, turn back tone.
If you need more splash, turn up dwell.
I also like to use a delay to get out muted pickings a bit more...

for recording it might be a good idea to split the signal and record a dry signal that you can turn up, if you need more clarity/punch

hope that helps

Something I should clarify is that I'm using my Fender reissue tank as my own reference, not a Surfy Bear. They're functionally equivalent, as far as I know, aside from the one likely major difference that you're probably using a modern reverb pan.

Modern pans have a longer decay length than vintage ones, for some reason. And I include the 90's reissues in the vintage category. Their shorter decay time is more conducive to the surf sound whereas the long trails of modern pans (even the ones sold as "short" or "medium" decay) get overly washed out to my ear. So that's something to consider when trying to settle on your settings.

I would recommend you get yourself a vintage pan from the olden days and give it a try. It's tough to find old ones with the proper input and output impedances but I've found that it doesn't really make much difference in my reissue tank. I don't know if the Surfy Bears tolerate mismatches as well, though.

Tikidog wrote:

Hi,
I would recommend putting all knobs in the middle
Turn Mix up or down for more or less reverb
If the tone is too spicy, turn back tone.
If you need more splash, turn up dwell.
I also like to use a delay to get out muted pickings a bit more...

for recording it might be a good idea to split the signal and record a dry signal that you can turn up, if you need more clarity/punch

hope that helps

That's the way I do it) It really works.

Waikiki Makaki surf-rock band from Ukraine

https://www.facebook.com/waikikimakaki/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1sTg2JTKUZ3Vlu44gW2OYA
https://soundcloud.com/waikiki-makaki

Thanks Guys, I appreciate the additional input.

Also trying to get some really good tones but using the metal version.

I've got the volume up around 9, tone 5, mixer and dwell around 7.

I've found that with the mixer and tone up it can get a bit too ambient like you mentioned so trying to find a happy medium. Maybe it's the pickups in my CV Jazzmaster.

I always prefer the tone with the volume set at around 4-5 and then crank the amp to the volume you want. Just a suggestion.

http://www.satanspilgrims.com
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Satans-Pilgrims/8210228553
https://satanspilgrims.bandcamp.com/
http://www.surfyindustries.com

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