Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Performing and Interpreting Shadows' Music

Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (doctorno) » Fri Apr 04, 2008 1:18 pm

Hello everybody,

I am very curious to learn, which effects units you all use, when you play Shadows tunes or surf music.

As far as I am concerned, I am using a BOSS DD-20 Delay in the effects loop of my VOX AC30CC1 and I am very happy with it using the "tape" delay emulation all the time, but I am not that happy with the spring reverb of the VOX amp. So I ask myself whether there is a better reverb unit. Maybe a Holy Grail or a BOSS RV-5? And is a reverb unit really necessary at all?

I have also tried a compressor now and then, but was never quite happy with it. Many people seem to use compressors all the time, but so far I have not been able to figure out why. My impression has always been that the dynamic of your playing gets ruined when you are using compressors in front of your guitar amp.

FInally I am curious whether some of you use external EQs.

Regards,
Markus.
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (admin) » Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:39 pm

Markus: Just a great topic for discussion.

To begin, the Boss DD-20 is a great digital delay pedal. The Boss RV-5 is not the greatest in my view for Reverb effects. I much prefer the reverb in a Fender Twin Reverb to the "spring reverb" offered by the Boss RV-5. The latter is, however, much easier to carry. :)

For surf music I have not found anything to compare with the Fender '63 Tube Reverb Unit (reissue) unless you are talking about an original point to point wired Fender Tube Reverb Unit. Both of these units give you that "spitting" reverb effect that other pedals or amplifiers cannot.

With regard to an EQ that is external to the amplifier, I would not be without the Gemini III which has a true by pass and two other EQ settings that emulate the thinner sound of Hank Marvin in a single step on the pedal.

For the Shadows echo sound the patches offered by Charlie Hall are first rate and I use them installed in the Magic Stomp pedal which is very versatile and inexpensive.

A combination of the Gemini III and the Magic Stomp with Charlie Hall's patch can be heard in my Sleepwalk12 version posted under the topic "Sleepwalk 12" in this forum.
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (bitzerguy) » Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:52 pm

I use a Vox Valvetronix AD120 head with 4 settings for this style. I use three amp models, Bassman, AC30TB, and Dumble Clean, with tape delay in the mod section of the amp and either room reverb or spring reverb. I use a 31 band stereo external EQ in the effects loop (one i had lying around, no need to spend $$ on a 7 band in my case) that brings this amp to life. The EQ is on all the time and rarely gets adjusted.

I have tried the DD-20 and the RV-5 through a small wattage tube amp, but I found the AD120 to be closer to the tone I like. Of course I use the 350V63 for this music and not a Jag, Mustang or Strat. So this combination, 350V63/AD120VTH works well for my ears. i find I get the "spit" effect in reverb with this amp. I loved it from day 1.
...Dean
Never, ever drool on your surf shirt. It wrecks the solo.

660/12FG, 350V63/6FG, 620/6JG, 360WB/6DBG, Dingwall C1 #001, Prestige Heritage Elite FM
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (doctorno) » Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:06 pm

Well, it seems that this topic is not as interesting for most people as I had thought. Does this mean that most people are not using that many effects at all?

Peter, thank you for your insightful remarks. I am reading everywhere that you cannot beat a Fender reverb. Unfortunately I do not want to buy a Fender amp just to get a decent reverb effect (I love the British amp sound and prefer it over Fender amps in any case) and the separate Fender reverb units are far too expensive for my budget - if you can get one at all. So I would be very curious, whether you think, that a simple reverb pedal like the RV-5, the Holy Grail, the Marshall reverb pedal or something like that would be an improvement for my reverb sound over the built in reverb in my AC30CC1?

Concerning the DD-20 I would like to add the remark, that, yes, it is a digital delay, but the tape delay emulation sounds great and is very, very close to the original. And I like the fact that you can control the delay time precisely with the DD-20 - this makes it the best delay unit on the market for my taste.

Dean, I do not like these modelling amps for a couple of reasons. I know that many people use them and like them - but they are not the right choice for me. I like to keep my signal chain as analogue as possible, because I try to avoid latencies. With a modelling amp I have always got the impression, that there is a certain delay between my hitting a note and the tone being heard from the amp. I prefer a true all-tube amp because of the faster attack you get for your tone.
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (admin) » Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:58 pm

Markus: I really enjoy these topics and hearing from those who have tried different effects. It is a pity that only a few have responded to your excellent question.

I hear you loud and clear when it comes to purchasing a Fender Reverb Unit as they can be very expensive. Good deals do come along, however, if you are patient. What I like so much about the stand alone Fender Reverb Unit is that they can be used for all amplifiers.

Honestly, I did not find that the Boss RV-5 Digitial Reverb offered a quality that surpassed what you would get with your Vox. I eventually traded this pedal do to its disappointing results. It was, however, light to carry.

I will say, however, that the reverb patches of Chalie Hall are convincing and exceed the RV-5 spring reverb. Also you can get a Magic Stomp for around 100 BPS and the patches for 25 bps. Very good quality for all the Shadows effects plus reverbs and more.

With regard to the DD-20, I concur that the sound on your recording is excellent.
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (kenposurf) » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:30 pm

I'm getting in the realm of The Shadows with my ElectroHarmonix Memory Man...for surf the outboard Fender reverb is it.
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (sir_andrew_of_left_coast) » Sun Apr 20, 2008 1:26 am

I use a Tubeplex tape echo-o-o-o-o.
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (kenposurf) » Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:14 am

kenposurf wrote:I'm getting in the realm of The Shadows with my ElectroHarmonix Memory Man...for surf the outboard Fender reverb is it.


Retired the Memory Man in favor of a Boss RE-20 Space Echo...for me, much more user friendly...when playing surf, I like to add a very quick repeat at the end of a riff but don't want it go get in the way of a long run...very easy to do with this unit...has 12 presets a couple of which remind me of The Shadows.
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (admin) » Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:53 am

George: I am intrigued by your comments with regard to the Boss RE-20 Space Echo.

If I recall correctly, you had an original tape echo of one type or another in days gone by.

If that is true, how would you compare the new kid on the block to the original? I have not been swept off my feet with regard to the brief demonstrations that I have viewed online.
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (kenposurf) » Fri Apr 25, 2008 3:28 pm

admin wrote:George: I am intrigued by your comments with regard to the Boss RE-20 Space Echo.

If I recall correctly, you had an original tape echo of one type or another in days gone by.

If that is true, how would you compare the new kid on the block to the original? I have not been swept off my feet with regard to the brief demonstrations that I have viewed online.


The online demos did not do much for me either Peter but I decided to give it a try and am very happy with it. The Fulltone Echo was great but I know I would not give it the attention it would need to keep it running smoothly. Also given it's hefty price tag and the fact that I mostly just use a quick slapback it was not needed. The problem as I see it with using effects is to not over use them. It can be very tempting and the more you alter your sound the "flatter" your tone will sound to your ears when the effects are removed....much like hearing an accurate speaker system that reproduces the sound as recorded or one that has heavy coloration in it's tone...when one goes from a heavy saturated tone to a natural spacial sound it will at first sound flat and inferior to most ears. I digress, but I think that is what some of the online demos of the Space Echo prove...a bit too far over the top. I find the unit to sound very much like a true tape echo as Boss has programed the unit with the right about of tape drag and saturation. I will be playing it with the band for the first time next week..we'll see how it fares there...
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (admin) » Sat Apr 26, 2008 1:40 pm

George: I was able to take out the Boss RE-20 for a test drive yesterday evening. To the credit of the developer, the RE-20 promotional material has the nostalgia of the old days of tape echo. It reminds, the boomer's at least, of the RE-201 in layout and plays on the mystique of the multiple tape head simulation. The music business, as in so many others, tempts the "old guys" with the theme that older was better. It engages the younger musicians do not know the difference and embrace the retro vibe without a point of comparison. The Roland demos on youtube are embarrassing. In some sense it seems that the manufacturer cannot keep up to production following the NAMM 2007 Show as my local music store just received two after ordering the units as soon as they were available. I wonder if they have slowed down in their production due to a poor showing?

In a nutshell, this simulation of the RE-201, I would argue is as successful as the Roland/Fender Stratocaster VG. The idea of packing one guitar to do the work of a tele, a stratocaster, a twelve string, an acoustic and so on with multiple tunings is a dream come true. The VG, however, ranks with the dreams of Allison Dubois with some being spot on and others a distortion that falls short of reality.

For those who do not have a tube reverb or a delay pedal the RE-20 does offer some interesting possibilities. It is compact, affordable (approximately $249 US), and does give a tape echo vibe. The layout is quiet intuitive and allows for roughly 12 sounds, perhaps not all usable. It will allow you to tap in a delay. The manual is poorly written.

My problem with the unit is that it provides the user with mediocre sounds that fall short of the promised of RE-201 effects. The lower positions (roughly four) provide the user with tape echo simulations of one, two and three tape heads and I consider that these are of use. The remainder are not all that useful and if you have a tube reverb you will find the RE-20 falls short of a Fender spring reverb sound. There is no need for the bass and treble pots, at least to my ear. If you tap in a delay it works fine until you change your tape echo/reverb selection knob and then your delay interval disappears and you need to reset it again. This unit is not gig friendly. The RE-20 will also colour your sound more than you might like when the effect is turned off. Finally, at least for me, a pulsating sweeping sound can be heard through your amplifier under some conditions when you are not playing. This is annoying and distracting for the guitarist and the audience.

I could not live with the quality, the noise, or the fact that it added little to my stable of effects that I did not already have. This may be a satisfactory unit for those without other effects, but I am betting the RE-20A or the RE-30 is already in the works with Roland trying to improve these shortcomings. This pedal will surface on eBay sooner rather than later. Just my two cents and perhaps I need to go back to pedal school. In the meantime, I give it 6 out of 10.
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (kenposurf) » Sat Apr 26, 2008 3:06 pm

Agreed..the manual falls short..but after giving the unit a workout it's doing the job for me at least. No matter how advanced the modeling tech it's still not the real thing..that said here's what I'm using. I have an outboard reverb so I dial out the reverb on all the presets also the parameters (bass, treb, echo vol input etc can be adjusted to suit...I was not real excited by some of the presets either until I tweeked them. re: noise and alteration of tone feed. Every and I mean every pedal I have ever tried including those w/"true bypass" alter my tone...anything between the pup and the amp including the cable change the tone....one project I'm working on now is a guitar mod that runs the signal with no tone/vol control to get in the way.. I did try the unit w/o my reverb unit in the chain and got some nice echo tones..reverb of course pales next to the out board unit. For the most part I play loud w/the dwell on the reverb set at 9-10 what noise? :D
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (admin) » Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:23 pm

Absolutely excellent points, George. Allow me to echo those that strike a chord with me.

All digital effects have their limitations and although they may fall short of the sound they attempt to emulate meaningful results can still be obtained.

Knowing how to best use what you have it, afterall, is what lights the morning star in any event.

I regret that I did not have longer to evaluate the RE-20 and after your additional suggestions about tweaking I may need to take a second look.

You have also reminded me that often times we need to be better than the equipment we use in order to achieve master the music domain.
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (kenposurf) » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:29 pm

The EH Memory Man has some good sounds but was a bit hard to control for me...perhaps I needed to spend more time tweaking it as well. Paul will tell you, if I have to spend too much time working the knobs I'm outta there..plug and play for me... You likely are 100 percent correct in you summation of the Boss unit Peter...for my limited application it seem to be working ...still need to try it out with the band...along with my strat that is in a jaguar conversion mode!
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Re: Which effects do you use for Shadows/ Surf Music?

Postby (kenposurf) » Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:59 pm

Sooooo...spent an hour or so w/the Boss unit again today but at concert volume....man I hate to backtrack but it kinda sucked...way noisy as Peter stated....funny as a rule when you're slamming the wall with air who can tell but was rather nasty and could not adjust out. The echo that I used for for several years was the H20 echo and chorus in one pedal...I did not use it for surf but for rockabilly..Tele-pedal-tweed bassman...and worked great for slapback. At this point after trying a bunch...I will try and BORROW the Visual Sound pedal and see..or get another Fulltone REAL tape echo or....not use echo (most likely)!
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