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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Gear »

Permalink Danelectro Spring King - gut shots & possible mods

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wonderpug

UmaFloresta
If you want a versatile delay, I'd use a 50k pot for both delay time and feedback, with a 1k resistor in series with the feedback pot to avoid too much oscillation (you can still get it to oscillate, but not so much that it overloads).

Hey Uma,

I finally started getting my hands into this mod. Quick question about the feedback pot. Just wanted to make sure I understood the placement of the 1k resistor you mentioned:

image

Is that right?

That's an early picture with a jumper rather than a resistor, but you can wire the resistor in that position you circled. Actually, it will work more logically if you put the resistor between the other two lugs, and wire the wires opposite of how it's shown - just do a mirror image of that pic. The reason being, you'll get more feedback as you decrease the resistance, and in that pic, it's getting more resistance going clockwise, so the control would work opposite of how you'd normally expect - clockwise for less echo feedback.

For more info on wiring pots, see:

http://www.beavisaudio.com/techpages/Pots/

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

Somebody on the Fender forum has suggested my kick pad problem may be related to the inductors or a cracked spring.
Any thoughts on this??

barrydjuptight
Somebody on the Fender forum has suggested my kick pad problem may be related to the inductors or a cracked spring.
Any thoughts on this??

Could be. Have you tried it with an external tank yet? If you can get the external tank to crash at a good volume, then that's probably the answer.

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

Thanks Uma....no I don't have an external tank to try.
I don't even know where the inductors are let alone how to fix them lol

It's here ladies and gentlemen... yes, yes, yes.
Switches to turn delay on/off, stock/med/hi drip level and external tank switch.

image
image
image
image

Firstly, let me put a good word in for Martin Owen http://www.owenelectronics.co.uk/
This guy provides unbelievable service, he's a sound bloke that knows his electronics and is happy to talk all day long to whatever weird requests you might have. If anyone wants these mods doing in Europe, this is your guy.

Now: verdict is that the external tank provides much clearer and brighter sound than the internal springs, as well as more drip. This is where I disagree with Uma who has said the external tank needs a drip mod to have the same drip sound of the internal tank. In fact, the external tank adds more drip on its own. This could well be down to the fact that I happen to have a decent 4AB3C1B tank, as they are apparently touch and go (they differ). The external tank on stock drip setting feeds back and has way less residual noise than the internal tank. It's much calmer.

The delay mod provides an inaudible difference to me. The actual stock delay is a small and tight 'slapback' - and you can hardly hear the difference when its off. However, I haven't tried the pedal at studio volumes yet (only room).

The drip mods, sadly, are a bit of a red herring. Martin tried his best, but the Spring King feeds back too easily when you add different capacitors as UmaFloresta did (see previous posts). You have to roll of the volume (drive on the springs) on the higher drip settings, which in effect gives the same setting as the stock drip on full volume. So its 'six of one and half a dozen of the other' as we say in England.

Finally, the cable to the external tank is a single quarter jack to the RCA heads. Martin did this to reduce feedback on interference on the lead. He also re-wired the lead somehow and insulated it to make it more quiet - you'll have to email him to know exactly what he did and why.

I use the delay off, the stock drip setting, and the external tank - that is pure surf for me, and it sure as hell beats my Holy Grail into the ground. Deep into the ground. This is the controversial bit - it's as good, or very close, to my bandmates '63 Fender re-issue tank - SCANDAL! Get yourself an (good) external tank and you're home free, kids.

Samples are here:
http://www.myspace.com/karenblissettisalive
the first 10 seconds are stock drip with internal tank and delay ON, the next 10 is external tank with delay ON, the next 10 is external tank with delay OFF.

The clips don't quite do it justice (compressed into bad quality MP3), but you can certainly hear the difference between the internal and external tank. BTW, my 'Ghost Surfer' track is NOT done with the danelectro, but line 6 modelling.

As an
alienated institution, the market is neither hostile nor friendly, simply detached and
cold.

Good stuff, Goon!

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

What do I do if I want to eliminate the delay and feedback all together? Could I take out those two tiny resistors shown on the first page and just stick a wire in their place? I'd rather not mess about with all sorts of pots.

Villian64
What do I do if I want to eliminate the delay and feedback all together? Could I take out those two tiny resistors shown on the first page and just stick a wire in their place? I'd rather not mess about with all sorts of pots.

Just wire a 100k resistor where the feedback pot would go. That will do it.

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

DeadRanch you rule man ! Two years late but im gonna try your mods with my new SK. Really interested on the zero delay/feedback and the bigger tank as switchable option
Samples sounded very nice
Thanks a lot !

Sure - it's never going to be a Fender tank, but it's got some potential. I used it in a show recently and it seemed to work out well, although for recording I use the reverb from Amplitube Fender, which sounds very realistic.

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

Reresurrecting this thread to say thanks for the instructions and post a couple pictures of my new tank!

image
image
image

I have the delay and feedback wired up. I have to get the tank switching wired up this weekend. It will be switchable between the stock tank, a 4AB3C1B and a 9AB3C1B (what the hell I had to spend $50 at AmplifiedParts to get the FREE shipping!) Big Grin

Hey, I noticed the original pics I posted for mods are gone - I deleted them on accident. Will post again soon!

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

Disclaimer: try at your own risk! This is tricky due to very small components, and you run the risk of ruining your pedal if you're not careful!

Okay, here are instructions, all in one place:

The Danelectro Spring King is a hybrid delay and spring reverb.
It uses a pretty typical slap delay circuit, with a PT2399S delay
chip and a fixed delay time and feedback setting. It feeds the delay
signal through the springs and then out to a gain recovery stage.
Controls: The Reverb is wet/dry mix for reverb and delay. The
volume controls reverb (the strength of signal going through the
springs), but not delay. If it’s all the way down, you only get the
delay. All the way up and you still get the delay signal, but it’s
totally drowned out by the reverb, unless you kick the delay up to
a more obvious setting via the mod.

I have found that a slightly shorter delay time than stock, with
perhaps a slightly lower feedback level sounds just great. It sounds
tighter and more “real.” It’s easy to make the Spring King sound
trashy, but it can also sound surprisingly good. With the feedback
and delay time at minimum (essentially no delay sound at all), the
springs still sound good, and give off that dripping faucet sound.
Feedback controls how many repeats the delay gives you. If you
turn it up it will start to self-oscillate.

The 3.6k resistor (marked “362”) at pin six determines the delay
time. Replacing that resistor with an external potentiometer allow
you to you control delay time. Shorter delay time “tightens up”
the overall reverb sound, while a longer delay time makes it sound
“looser.” I’m think this is intended to simulate shorter and longer
springs.

I use a 10k pot for delay time (which stays within the realm of slap
back at all positions) and a 50k pot and a 15k resistor in series for
feedback so that at max feedback, it’s still getting the original 15k
resistance.

Note that by “wire to pot,” I mean first remove the resistor, and
then solder two wires onto the two solder pads left in its place,
and run those wires to the potentiometer. It’s a little tricky because
they’re surface mount, but totally doable if you’re careful. I use
double-sided tape to secure the wires to the inside of the enclosure
so they don’t droop down and mute the springs.

image
The delay resistor

image
The feedback resistor

image
Wide view

image
Unmodified springs & wiring

The Spring King is compatible with any spring reverb tank with
an input impedance of 8 to 10 ohms. You may want to upgrade the
spring tank to the larger unit like the Accutronics 4AB3C1B, the
same type used in the Fender 63 outboard reverb. Compared to the
Spring King’s original springs, the 4AB3C1B has longer springs
and a longer reverb time, and a nicer drip. I think upgrading the
reverb pan is a very worthwhile improvement. Accutronics has
many different units to choose from. Visit their website and learn
how to read the codes on the tanks. The codes tell you how many
springs there are, reverberation time, input and output impedance,
etc.

Of course, a larger reverb will require a new housing. You could
house it in a bread box (a tool box or something similar might
also work), or if you have fabrication abilities, build a custom
enclosure for it or rehouse the entire Spring King and new reverb
pan. You’ll want to use some type of shock absorbers at mounting
points to insulate it from external vibrations.

To connect to an external reverb pan, you need to drill a couple of
holes in the case, and install two RCA (phono) jacks (available at
Radio Shack.) Locate the two pairs of green and black wires, that
go from the PCB to each end of the springs. Cut those wires, strip
the ends, and solder them to the RCA jacks, going from the PCB
to the jacks. The green end is the signal, the black end is ground.
If you want to still be able to use the internal springs, you can
send those wires to a 4PDT toggle switch (available at Small Bear
electronics.) Again, be sure to prevent the wires from drooping
down over the springs and muting them.

image
Switch diagram

Once your RCA jacks are installed, you can run RCA cables
from the Spring King to the Accutronics reverb pan (they come
with RCA jacks already in place.) If you plug them in and get
no reverb, try reversing them - if they’re backwards you’ll get no
reverb.

Then plug in and enjoy your new improved Spring King!

Drip mod:

Increasing the low end going to the springs will result in a more prominent drip. A cap and a resistor set the lower end of the filter - larger values = more bass. Be careful though, as too much bass may cause your spring to feed back.

image

Stock is a 51k resistor with an unmarked capacitor. Here are some notes I made of different combinations I tried.

48k + 560pF = moderate drip
48k + 680pF = More drip
47k + 1120pF = Heavier drip
48k + 1220pF = Heaviest drip
48k + 440pF = airy sound, less drip

Some of the heavy drip combos will force you to back off the volume control to avoid feedback. You still can't get as wet as a tank here (I think due to weaker recovery circuit, not 100% mix option, and not enough treble response in tone control), but you can get quite a respectable drip.

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

Last edited: Dec 08, 2011 10:04:51

Thanks a lot for the updated instructions. They are going to be very useful.

I propose to nominate you King of the Spring Kingimage

Old punks never die... They just become surf rockers.

Thanks!

Now, I wouldn't necessarily try the drip mod unless you're really unsatisfied with the drip. It may be more trouble than it's worth.

http://www.reverbnation.com/thedeadranchhands

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZEW74mHjQk

DeadRanchHands wrote:

The Spring King is compatible with any spring reverb tank with
an input impedance of 8 to 10 ohms. You may want to upgrade the
spring tank to the larger unit like the Accutronics 4AB3C1B, the
same type used in the Fender 63 outboard reverb. Compared to the
Spring King’s original springs, the 4AB3C1B has longer springs
and a longer reverb time, and a nicer drip. I think upgrading the
reverb pan is a very worthwhile improvement. Accutronics has
many different units to choose from. Visit their website and learn
how to read the codes on the tanks. The codes tell you how many
springs there are, reverberation time, input and output impedance,
etc.

Of course, a larger reverb will require a new housing. You could
house it in a bread box (a tool box or something similar might
also work), or if you have fabrication abilities, build a custom
enclosure for it or rehouse the entire Spring King and new reverb
pan. You’ll want to use some type of shock absorbers at mounting
points to insulate it from external vibrations.

To connect to an external reverb pan, you need to drill a couple of
holes in the case, and install two RCA (phono) jacks (available at
Radio Shack.) Locate the two pairs of green and black wires, that
go from the PCB to each end of the springs. Cut those wires, strip
the ends, and solder them to the RCA jacks, going from the PCB
to the jacks. The green end is the signal, the black end is ground.
If you want to still be able to use the internal springs, you can
send those wires to a 4PDT toggle switch (available at Small Bear
electronics.) Again, be sure to prevent the wires from drooping
down over the springs and muting them.

image
Switch diagram

Once your RCA jacks are installed, you can run RCA cables
from the Spring King to the Accutronics reverb pan (they come
with RCA jacks already in place.) If you plug them in and get
no reverb, try reversing them - if they’re backwards you’ll get no
reverb.

Then plug in and enjoy your new improved Spring King!

I opened my SK and the wiring is slightly different, instead two green/black cables, there is a red/black going to the right side to the springs, and a green/black going to the left side. Plus a white one "lost" behind the springs, I can guess in your pics that the white one I have, is red in your case.

Anyway, my question is, 6 years after you started this thread, how to wire into a 4PDT switcher. First of all, I pretend to have an external tank within the internal springs; so if I would like to wire to the switcher, I just have 4 cables coming from the pedal (one green, one red, two black), but the switcher has at least 8 positions (ignoring 4 connectors for the external tank, as the switcher has 12 in total) where I could connect them. Adding, of course, the problem with the wires going to the external tank. I also have that white cable behind the internal springs that I fear has something to say too.

I am newbie with electronics although I have small experience wiring stuff (like my P-Rails pickups with triple shots and pararel/serie & phase switches). So I do not mind to open things, burn them, break them, then fix them. The point is that I have no idea where to wire the green/red cables from the pedal (positive, negative input?), neither the black one (positive, negative board send or return?). Not even know if the white cable behind the springs is important for this mod.

So, if you would like to help, I would be so thankful if you could explain better this point, not necessary for dummies but yes, for fearless ignorants like me.

Thank you in advance.

Last edited: Jul 08, 2014 07:23:05

another one to try this mod with his dano spring king!

thanks DeadRanchHands !

be ninchi !

Hi There first of all thank you very much for the detailed instructions @DeadRanchHands this is by far the most detailed instruction I could find in the internet.

To be honest I'm not so much into surf rock but I love that vintage spring reverb sound, so this is why I write here. I succesfully implemented the mod and also split Delay and Reverb Dry/Wet to two potentiometers, so I have more controll on the levels which is pretty great. I love the natural sound of the spring with just a tiny bit of delay dialed in.

I have to problems now:
1. Doing the mod I screwed up resistor 103, the one under the feedback resistor. Does anybody know what value it has so that I can replace it?

  1. I would like to have either a potentiometer for the dry level or a kill switch for it, so that I can use the reverb on a send/return setting with my audio mixer or in a recording situation and give my productions that nice analog warm flavour Smile
    Any Ideas where I could tap the dry signal?
    Does anybody have the schematics of the spring king?

Thanks anyway and best regards from Germany.

I've just started this mod and I can see there is some great info here!

I'm going to go out and buy the same pots as mentioned above but i thought i'd try putting a 500k (all i have) pot on the Delay resistor for now.
I have un-soldered the 362 resistor and soldered the pot in its place... no joy. I un-soldered the pot and touching the wires together or just not having a resistor in there seems to have made no change!?! I'm guessing something is wrong as its probably not going to make any difference with the right pots?

Also, what would i gain from having different value pots in the Delay and feedback? Sorry i'm a proper novice!

O yeah, turns out i'm only on 1 spring too!!!

Thanks,
Chris
image

Heres where i'm at. 10k pot with a 15k resistor. My soldering is pretty bad and it keeps breaking away... probably the 15th time i've soldered it to the board now. Still nothing. Am i just doing it wrong?
Havn't had time to go over to the feedback resistor yet.
image
image

Also how did you get a good solder to where both ends of the original resistor was? I'm going to end up doing to melting soon and i know its going to keep coming off!!1

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