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Thread: DIY Plate Reverb

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    DIY Plate Reverb

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    Hi folks,

    I built a plate reverb about 4 years ago and about a month after I finished it, our twins were born, and needless to say it was put on the back burner. Recently Ive had more time to get back into writing/recording and want to use it for a new EP thats close to the mixing stage. So, Im just curious if anyone else may have experience with plate reverbs and am interested in how you use them. For instance, do you send tracks in groups or one at a time? Any specific way you EQ or use effects for returns and sends? Stereo and/or Mono?

    I attached a pic, lots of messy wires and I still need to build a damper, and Ive also attached a link to a sample I did when it was first built. I'd love to see photos of other plates, DIY or otherwise.

    Sax Through the Plate Reverb I built (100% wet) | The Mighty Lonelys

    img-3805-jpg
    Last edited by pitol678; 10-05-2018 at 14:20. Reason: duplicate photo

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    That is awesome.

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    Yeah, that is really cool man!
    PC Win7-64-24G i7-4790k/Cubase 9 Pro 64-bit/2-Steinberg UR824's/ADAM A7x/Event TR8/SS Trigger Plat Deluxe/Melodyne 4 Studio/Other things that don't mean anything if a client shows up not knowing what it wants.

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    Is the plate steel? If it was non-ferrous you could investigate electro-magnetic damping, even NFB now that you can get seriously powerful amplifiers pretty cheaply.

    Dave.

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    Thanks!

    Dave, Its 24 or 26 gauge cold-rolled steel. I used the plans from jcc and associates and I think they recommended 26 gauge steel. Im wondering if acoustic ceiling tile may work as damper material? Are the amps you mentioned for driving the plate? Would love any recommendations as I'd like to experiment with something other than my headphone amp. Ive got a piezo preamp for the return signal thats supposed to be here today so I'll see how that works

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    Quote Originally Posted by pitol678 View Post
    Thanks!

    Dave, Its 24 or 26 gauge cold-rolled steel. I used the plans from jcc and associates and I think they recommended 26 gauge steel. Im wondering if acoustic ceiling tile may work as damper material? Are the amps you mentioned for driving the plate? Would love any recommendations as I'd like to experiment with something other than my headphone amp. Ive got a piezo preamp for the return signal thats supposed to be here today so I'll see how that works
    Woah! I don't know jack about reverb plates! I did not know it was a recognised "kit". I was just thinking "variable eddy current damping" but I doubt that would work with a magnetic plate. The amps would be for driving the damping coils.

    But, I would guess you would need something a bit more pokey than a headphone amp? The spring reverbs used about a 1-2 watt valve drive and the stand alone jobs a 6V6 pushing 3-5 watts. You can buy quite cheap self contained amp modules that will run from a 12-18V wall rat supply and deliver up to 10 watts. Does the transducer have an impedance and power input spec?

    Piezo pickups generally want to "see" 5 to 10 meg Ohms and IIRC plates had multiple pups that could be mixed to give different "arrival times" as in a real room. You can build the amps using jfet op amps, the TL072 or better.

    QUITE a project you have there!

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    Woah! I don't know jack about reverb plates! I did not know it was a recognised "kit". I was just thinking "variable eddy current damping" but I doubt that would work with a magnetic plate. The amps would be for driving the damping coils.

    But, I would guess you would need something a bit more pokey than a headphone amp? The spring reverbs used about a 1-2 watt valve drive and the stand alone jobs a 6V6 pushing 3-5 watts. You can buy quite cheap self contained amp modules that will run from a 12-18V wall rat supply and deliver up to 10 watts. Does the transducer have an impedance and power input spec?

    Piezo pickups generally want to "see" 5 to 10 meg Ohms and IIRC plates had multiple pups that could be mixed to give different "arrival times" as in a real room. You can build the amps using jfet op amps, the TL072 or better.

    QUITE a project you have there!

    Dave.

    I dont know much about it either Its fun to toy with though and Ive learned a lot through the process. What you said about the headphone amp makes sense, I went back and read through the plans and a 20w amp was suggested. They even give you a diagram on how to construct it, but thats way over my head at the moment. Come to think of it, the time I got the best results was when I used my stereo receiver to amplify it!

    I plan to do some tests this evening and Ive already connected the piezo preamp, just got to wait for the kiddos to go to bed. If anyone is interested Id be glad to post the plans or send them. I looked for them online and cant find them anymore.

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    Cebek 15W Mono Amplifier

    Something like the above should serve and they do a 35W ready built version. Just need a small screwdriver and a case to bolt the chip to as a heat sink and a 1 amp 24V wall rat. But, as you found, the hi fi receiver worked well and a trawl round charity shops and Cash Generator places could find you something useful.

    Something to investigate is "current drive" . Audio power amps have a vanishingly small output resistance, well under 1 Ohm and this gives "voltage drive", a mode speakers are designed for. However, the drive coil of a reverb unit is very inductive and better results, flatter response might be gained from inserting a resistor, 10 to 100 Ohms in the drive circuit. It can do no harm.

    Dave.

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    BTW, in investigating the "EMT Plate" I discovered that the post war recording industry was (prob' mainly USA) virtually working for the Juke Box market?

    The JB people found the old style recordings, one or two mics, fairly distant BUT in a nice room did not really work for their "pop" scene and so recordings were done in virtually dead surroundings.

    This practice did not however go down well with classicist and the emerging hi-fi crowd and so the Reverb Chamber was born. Since not every studio had a spare, cavernous space in which to setup speaker and mics the Plate was developed.

    Any just post WWll "big studio" peeps about to confirm or deny?

    Dave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    Cebek 15W Mono Amplifier

    Something like the above should serve and they do a 35W ready built version. Just need a small screwdriver and a case to bolt the chip to as a heat sink and a 1 amp 24V wall rat. But, as you found, the hi fi receiver worked well and a trawl round charity shops and Cash Generator places could find you something useful.

    Something to investigate is "current drive" . Audio power amps have a vanishingly small output resistance, well under 1 Ohm and this gives "voltage drive", a mode speakers are designed for. However, the drive coil of a reverb unit is very inductive and better results, flatter response might be gained from inserting a resistor, 10 to 100 Ohms in the drive circuit. It can do no harm.

    Dave.
    Thats very helpful, thanks a bunch! I'll investigate current drive and voltage drive, I have very limited knowledge of circuitry and electronics and would like to educate myself further

    Quote Originally Posted by ecc83 View Post
    BTW, in investigating the "EMT Plate" I discovered that the post war recording industry was (prob' mainly USA) virtually working for the Juke Box market?

    The JB people found the old style recordings, one or two mics, fairly distant BUT in a nice room did not really work for their "pop" scene and so recordings were done in virtually dead surroundings.

    This practice did not however go down well with classicist and the emerging hi-fi crowd and so the Reverb Chamber was born. Since not every studio had a spare, cavernous space in which to setup speaker and mics the Plate was developed.

    Any just post WWll "big studio" peeps about to confirm or deny?

    Dave.
    Very interesting!
    Last edited by pitol678; 10-07-2018 at 06:47.

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