Rick Wilkinson’s Austin Mics company, based in San Diego, specializes in do-it-yourself ribbon-microphone kits and DIY guitar pedals. His latest is the Summer Spring Reverb pedal, a digital spring reverb simulation with an Accutronics reverb module.
The kit includes chassis-mounted Neutrik connectors, powder coated die-cast enclosure, jewel indicator light, high-quality filter caps and resistors, and a “crash circuit” that, with a kick or bump, randomly fires one of 10 samples. Assembly (which is optional) requires a soldering pencil, solder, an included flush-cutter, a Phillips screwdriver, adjustable wrench or pliers, a smart phone or tablet (for the assembly instructions), basic soldering skill, and about two hours. All components are labeled and bundled, and the instructions have clear pictures with useful notes.
Functionally, controls include Dwell, which adjusts intensity of the reverb, Mix to control the ratio of reverb to dry mix, and Tone.
The pedal does a great job of simulating classic spring reverb – creating a clean, full sound with slightly trashy low-fi trails. The controls do a good job mimicking what those on a genuine outboard spring reverb unit do; Dwell not only controls the intensity of the reverb, but can drive the effect into mild overdrive/distortion, contributing to authenticity. Adding even more is the “crash” feature, which produces a substantially loud crash.
The Summer Spring Reverb is a fun, relatively easy DIY project that generates a high-quality, authentic-sounding reverb simulation.
This article originally appeared in VG’s January 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.