Pedal designer Brian Wampler, owner of Wampler Pedals, is fanatical about great tone.
The Wampler Faux Spring Reverb is a great example of that. It goes right to the point: instead of including reverb modes that you’ll never use (like reverse plate reverbs) unless you’re bored at home, you’ll get the sound of an old school, vintage spring tank.
As simple as that. The vintage sound of the sixties electric guitar. Well, that is what I thought at the beginning. However, the more I payed with the pedal, the more modern (less vintage) it sounded to me. Keep on reading…
You can read here what other people say about this pedal.
You can have your reverb be as bright as a day, or dark as night
This is what they say at Wampler Pedals about the Faux Spring Reverb:
The great thing about the Faux Spring Reverb is that it retains the Analog base tone, doesn’t send your signal through digital/analog converters and back again (wrecking your tone completely) allowing you to be as springy as you like without your sound becoming lifeless, dull and… well, bad.
With the tone control, you can control your sound completely and have your reverb be as bright as day, or dark as night… As lively and bright as a small hall, or as deep as the biggest cathedrals.
However, I would say that this pedal sounds more like the spring reverb you could find built-in in the fender black face amps of the sixties, rather than the more aggressive and wet reverb from outboard units like the ’63 Fender Tube Reverb tank.
Features and controls
As most spring reverb pedals, the Faux Spring Reverb is very simple when speaking about connectivity. It’s got mono in and out, and is powered with a 9V negative power supply, requiring about 80mA of current to operate.
It includes the common knobs that you’ll see in most spring reverb pedals too. In this case, you can adjust the level, length and tone of the reverb with 3 knobs: Level, Depth and Shade controls. It has a single stomp switch too (true bypass).
- Level controls the amount of reverb mixing with your dry signal.
- Depth adjusts the size of the reverb.
- Shade is like a tone control, which will allow you having more sparkling brighter tones when turning clockwise and darker, warmer, more analog tones when rolling counter clockwise.
This is another great sounding pedal. As it is true bypass and the dry sound stays fully analog, its presence will remain unnoticeable until you need it.
Despite it may seem a little pricy for “just” a single mode reverb pedal, you can be sure that, if you love the vintage old school sound of a spring tank, you will be happy spending what it cost.
Perhaps one thing that some people may find a little annoying is the length of the reverb. It goes up to 2.8s, which could be a little short for those lovers of cavernous deep sounds.
Check out the videos in the playlist below and see how it sounds like.
Should you buy this pedal?
That is a really difficult question. First of all, I’ll assume that you’re thinking of buying a reverb pedal. Now, are you looking for simply a spring reverb pedal? If not, perhaps you need to look for more versatile units, like the JHS Alpine Reverb, the Electro Harmonix Cathedral or the TC Electronic Hall of Fame. All of these are within the same price range than the Wampler Faux Spring Reverb, but include a few reverb types.
If you want a spring reverb pedal, you have to check if you prefer vintage spring tanks (a bit darker sounds) over more modern sounds (although preserving the sound of spring tanks, you get more like a HiFi reverb). If you prefer the second option, this pedal may be for you.
On the other hand, if you like older sounds like those of surf music in the sixties, you may prefer other options (see the next section for alternatives).
Alternatives to the Wampler Faux Spring Reverb
If you are looking for a great spring reverb pedal, you have plenty of awesome options out there: a very similar sounding pedal may be the Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb. It will be a matter of personal taste what will make you to chose one over the other.
Now, if you are a spring reverb geek and are looking to emulate the sound of vintage outboard spring tanks, you have better alternatives. My personal favorite spring reverb pedal is the Catalinbread Topanga Spring Reverb. This one is really great, it sounds old school.
With less controls, but sounding like fender blackface amps too, you have the Mr. Black Deluxe Plus reverb. It’s a reverb+tremolo pedal, with the controls you had in this kind of vintage amps by Fender. The reverb sounds great too.
You may argue with that, but in my opinion, the Wampler Faux Spring Reverb (and the Mad Professor Silver Spring Reverb too) sound kind of more modern to me.
This is a brief summary of my review of the Faux Spring Reverb:
- The Faux Spring Reverb is true bypass
- The dry signal stays fully analog
- Great build quality
- Sounds like a classic Fender Blackface amp
- It is a bit expensive
- The maximum decay time may be too short (2.8s)
- You may argue it doesn’t sound vintage
As a conclusion, the Wampler Faux Spring Reverb is great sounding pedal, although a little pricy and kind of modern-sounding for some people. In any case, it sounds awesome from the moment you start using it because its knobs react very naturally.
You can check the best prices for this pedal here.