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Old 19th January 2010, 02:49 AM   #1
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Default Building guitar with spring reverb inside

I have a Strat knock-off with a pickup on the bridge springs to create a spring reverb type sound. The only problem is the spring pickup level is considerably lower than the other pickups, so if I switch it on with another pickup, the regular pickup's volume is essentially halved. Is there some type of preamp setup I could use so that switching the spring pickup on would just add a low level reverb sound on top of the regular pickup sound?
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Old 26th January 2010, 02:47 PM   #2
pzung is offline pzung  United States
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i'm not sure what you are talking about.
1. you put a pickup inside the back of the guitar over the springs that put the tension on a tremolo bridge?
this is not how spring reverb works, a spring reverb sends the signal through the springs. if this is what you did i don't see right away why the signal would drop unless you wired the pickup into the guitars circuit in a odd manner.
2. maybe you wired one of your pickups in series with the tremolo tension springs. not sure how well those springs would work for reverb i would imagine that they are too short. too thick and under too much tension but something could happen. if this is the case then yes, you need an input buffer to keep from loading down the rest of the guitar, a reverb driver and a recovery/mixer stage to recombine the signal with the guitar. could be done with 3 or 4 jfets or 2 opamps and a nine volt battery. basically you want a boost pedal between the designated reverb pickup and the springs (if the pickup is in series with the springs) and something like an effects mixing pedal that has gain that sums the output of the springs and the rest of your guitars circuit.
obviously easier to get a reverb pedal but maybe you are after something different which i respeqt.

pzung

take a picture or draw up something to show what you are doing and post if you really want help.
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Old 26th January 2010, 04:57 PM   #3
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There's some kit preamps that you can wire in to the control cavity though might have to do a bit of work re-orienting the wires to accomodate the spring pickup, taking in to consideration the previous post would aid this.
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Old 26th January 2010, 10:02 PM   #4
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For clarification, I know that's not how amp spring reverb works. When I play this guitar unplugged I can hear the springs echo inside, so I figured why not suspend a pickup over them so I can hear it when plugged in too. The vibrations of the springs are relatively small and produce a really low output, so combining them with a regular string pickup reduces the total output.

Ill try that buffer set up.
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Old 26th January 2010, 10:55 PM   #5
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Interesting.

I'd try an acoustic conductive pickup stuck to the guitar body near the springs.

By that I mean a piezo pickup, you're not going to get much output from a conventional pickup excited by the springs, so even with amplification the reverb signal may have a lot of noise (hiss).

Even then you will still need to balance the outputs from the conventional pickups with the reverb. You could do this by bringing out the reverb to a second jack and blending the signals using an external mixer (not ideal for gigging), or by building 2 mixer channels into the cavities in the guitar and presetting the levels so that the final output level is unchanged from the original.

You can probably do this with an op-amp and 3 preset pots, one for each pickup and one for the feedback loop (google opamp summer), but you need a dual-rail power supply (2 x 9V batteries) if you want to keep it DC coupled, and then the guitar won't work without batteries unless you make the switching more complicated...

w
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Old 27th January 2010, 10:56 AM   #6
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Thinking about it, seconds on the piezo idea. Spring reverb works by direct transduction anyway so it'd be a similar process
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