FAQ - SURFYBEAR DIY

I want to build, where can I get a chassis and cabinet?
There are many ways to successfully build a SurfyBear reverb. For inspiration you should go through the media gallery on this website. An alternative is use the same chassis and cabinet as for 6G15. These are sold at several webshops on internet. Surfy Industries do not sell chassis/cabinets.
I need more parts for my reverb build
There are many good web stores selling parts like reverb pans, power switches, knobs, pilot lamps and rubber feets. You can probably also find good parts on Ebay. Large suppliers: Tube-Town.com (Europe), TubeAmpDoctor.com (Europe), Amplifiedparts.com (USA)
Can I use other types of pans? For example short length types?
Yes, you can use other types of reverb pans. You should choose a type with in/out impedances close to 8ohm/2250ohm. You will get a very nice reverb sound from a short length pan, but due to the physical limitations and the fact that short length pans got three springs (instead of 2) the sound will not be the same as with a full size reverb pan. Selecting a reverb pan is a matter of taste and two pans of the same type might sound different. If you are picky about your reverb tone you might want to try several types.
What foot switch should I use?
You can use the same ON/OFF foot switch as used for many guitar amplifiers.
Can I change the C10 capacitor as recommended by some users?
Yes, you can even add a switch to select different value capacitors:

Is it possible to have two Mixer pots and switch between these settings?
Yes, you can add use a dual toggle switch (or a relay) to select Mixer pot as described on this schematic:

Where can find other builders to discuss and share ideas with?
Try the very nice forum Surfguitar101.com. That's where the spring reverb experts are :-)
Can I use the SurfyBear with line level signals from/to a mixer?
No, the SurfyBear is built for guitar signal levels and will be overdriven by line level signals. You can of course use SurfyBear if you attenuate signal sent to the input.
I get no reverb sound. What is the problem?
The most usual reasons are:
  • Wiring or soldering. Please double check wiring, cables and reflow all the soldering joints.
  • The IN and OUT on the reverb pan are reversed. OUT on the board should go to IN on the pan.
  • The MOSFETs are not isolated from ground. Make sure that the isolation tape is in place.
The MOSFETs are essential for the reverb driver to drive the pan. You can try to lift the board from the chassis and see if you get the signal through the circuit.

Here is a diagram that shows the signal paths. Using this diagram you can troubleshoot and find the point where the signal is lost.



If you shake the pan and hear a 'splash' the RED path is ok (set MIXER to max).
If you hear the dry guitar signal the BLUE path is ok (set MIXER to min).
I get hum/noise when I connect the SurfyBear to my amp
Here are some of the usual reasons:
  • Wiring and grounding. Double check all the wires. The 'upside-down-T' symbol represents the ground connection. Try to keep the length of the wires short. Twinning the wires or the use of shielded wires can also reduce the hum.
  • Power supply. Since this reverb is a class A amplifier, it needs >500mA and gets quite hot. The board should be mounted against a metal chassis as heatsink. For a properly regulated (stable) supply voltage you will need a modern "switch mode" power supply that can deliver 12V DC 1A.
  • Shielding. This type of electronic circuits can easily pick up hum from the surrounding environment. For best result, all the electronics and wiring must be placed inside a shielded metal chassis. Sometimes you need to experiment with extra shielding or shielded wires. If the hum disappears when you set all pots to zero you probably, the problem might be the reverb pan (check shielding/grounding, better RCA cables, are IN/OUT reversed?).
In order to find out where the hum comes from, you can experiment with:
  • Shorting the guitar input to ground. If the hum disappears the problem might be your guitar cable.
  • Shorting the reverb-in signal to ground. If the hum disappears, the source to the hum problem is the RCA cable or the pan.
If nothing helps, try another power supply. Most modern switch-mode power supplies should work. The 12V DC power supply must be able to deliver well regulated voltage at 1A.

FAQ - SURFYTREM DIY

Is it possible to power the SurfyTrem kit from a 9V battery?
Yes, that will work fine.
What foot switch should I use?
You can use the same ON/OFF foot switch as used for many guitar amplifiers.
How can I get True-Bypass?
Just google and you will find lots of circuit diagram to try. But keep in mind, the original Showman amp did not have True Bypass. Bypass was achieved by just stopping the oscillator. This way you get a natural balance between the dry and the effect volumes!
Can I use the SurfyTrem with line level signals from/to a mixer?
No, the SurfyTrem is built for guitar signal levels and will be overdriven by line level signals. You can of course use SurfyTrem if you attenuate signal sent to the input.
I have accidently reversed the power supply wires and now the board dont work. Can this be fixed?
There is an onboard reverse voltage protection diode. This diode is supposed to protect the board from reverse voltage, but in case the reverse current become too large the board can get damaged. In some cases the board can be repaired by replacing the 1N4002 hole mount diode. If that doesnt help the board is probably fried :-(

POWER ADAPTERS



CENTER NEGATIVE



This is the typical polarity for 9V guitar pedals. Most pedals use a switch built-in the dc-jack to automatically connect the battery when no plug is inserted. This only works with center-negative polarity.
CENTER POSITIVE



Center-positive is the standard for most electronic devices and their power supplies. This has become a standard because the positive center will be well protected inside the negative sleeve (ground) from accidently get in contact with ground. This is the polarity of most 12V power adapters on the market. Caution is required for using center-positive adapters since these can damage your 9V pedals.

REVERB PANS

This is the reply to some questions we received about why we are stocking the "B" (known as the horizontal) version of the reverb pans:
The 4AB3C1B is the type most people use. Type B will give maximum separation between spring and transducer in horizontal position. Type C in vertical. The actual difference between B and C type is only the position of the suspension springs. This can also be changed easily by just moving the spring from one hole to the next Vertical position will give maximum protection against hard bumps up-down. Sensibility to vibrations are the same. Fender use vertical and horizontal position pans in their products. My experience is that it's difficult to notice a difference. The sound is the same.