April 2, 2016

How to Take Care of Reverb Tanks

Like any other tools, reverb tanks should also be maintained. Neglecting it would get it dirty, which in turn could cause problems if you finally use it when recording. There are some methods that can be done in order for you to properly care the reverb tank, and all it takes are some very easy steps. In fact, if you follow the appropriate method, you will be able to effectively use your reverb tanks for more than 20 years.

reverb tank

Image Source: http://www.mojotone.com/amp-parts/Reverb-Tanks

Learn the Specifications

The tank has transducers on both sides, and it’s connected to a support spring. The springs connect the transducers and the IC to the metal base. The coil is connected to the input transducer which serves as the operator of the switch. The coil is then connected into a wire which leads to the ‘in’ connector.

There are springs connected on each transducer which is called as the transmission springs. It connects to the other side where the output transducer is located. This part has a wire which connects to the ‘out’ connector. The springs, transducers and coils are protected by an aluminium channel located right inside the metal base.

The Usual Wire Problem

The blue/green and black wires don’t usually break just like most wires being used in electronics. However, the in and out connectors when pushed have blades inside it that can accidentally cut the wire, especially if you’re unfortunate to have the wires get reposition right under those said blades – blocking the insulation.

In order to track down the wire, what you need is an ohmmeter since you will be checking for its continuity. If you located the bad wire, then pull it out of the connector with pliers for safety purposes. Trim down the broken part and push the wire with a small screwdriver or any sharp and thin tool in order for the blade to pierce the insulation, and not the wire.

These wires can also be repaired back to normal, however it might be hard. The best way for you to resolve this issue is by replacing it. If you want to for the better and more efficient money saving tactics, the best thing that you can do is to solder the wires once again. You have to use a soldering tool such as magnifying lamps in order to solder the wires properly. Just patient when doing so; and rest assured that you will be able to repair your wire back to normal.

IC Failure and Maintenance

There are times where the IC (integrated circuit or just the integrator) can fail. If you’re looking for a way to get it replaced, you will be glad to know that these amplifiers come in a low price. The chips which provides the overall functionality of the product is located there.

For more specific terms, you will notice a green board there – which is called as the TL072 – as well as a cream-colored board – which is the 4560 circuit. These circuits can be replaced with new pieces if needed be. There are also amplifiers inside it – one for the instrument signals, and one for reverb purposes.

For diagnostics on the reverb amp, you should test it by turning the amp on. Turn the reverb on to volume levels 5 or above to check if it works. It’s only optional to turn on the master volume if you have an extra TL072. There should be a buzzing sound if you plug in the black wire on the tank, and if not, that means it’s either the wire or the board that caused the issue – which is why you have to do the tips that we mentioned earlier.

For defective circuits, the IC will fail internally. You can use your voltage tool there to check if the tank is at – and + 15VDC. If the voltage is at 10 below, it’s already defective and needs a complete replacement instead. To replace it, cut the leads on the chip first and unsolder it using your magnifying lamp. It’s better to use a vacuuming tool to remove the solder off it. If it fails, unsoldering it will be impossible, and you might replace the tank completely.

belton reverb tank

Image Source: http://shadowmusic.bdme.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=7114

Cleanup for Simple Maintenance

If there are no errors and you only want to maintain it in order for it to last long, clean it up. You can use a blower or vacuum cleaner to remove the dust away, and use a soft brush to remove some of the dirt away if it’s too stubborn to get rid of. Wipe the external parts gently, especially the wires while you relocate it in order for it to be away from the switch blades to prevent the first issue we talked about. Remember that a dirty tank can cause problems and can make your reverb ineffective, and this is mostly the best way to maintain it properly if there are no problems.

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