Incredibly cool Zerotronics mini passive spring reverb

While I was at wandering around AES in New York last week I made a startling discovery. I'm pretty sure that I have now seen enough super expensive vintage-ey boutique rackmount audio gear to last me a lifetime. The first twenty boxes looked shiny and exciting, the next thousand didn't, really. Anyway, here is something expensive and boutique, but a bit different. Zerotronics make passive spring reverbs - line level goes in, mic level signal (+ reverb) comes out. They have no controls and no mains cable - just a monolithic black rack box with four XLR sockets on the back. Their new thing is the Mini-LE, which is the same principle but in a hardback book-sized box. Inside are two old-stock reverb springs for Baldwin electronic organs. Zerotronics found the springs on eBay, then tracked down an organ technician with a small stash. $795, limited run of ten units. More rock'n'roll but less chic are valve-powered stand-alone spring reverb units like the Guyatone FR-3 and Valvetrain Spring Thing. (More springy goodness) (Thanks Ian)

10+ years ago when my digital reverb unit died, I took the spring reverb out of my guitar amp and used that for inappropriate things like drums and vocals. It was just line level to line level, didn't attenuate (didn't mix in the original signal either though). Sounded like crap but in a fun and interesting way. :)
just to clarify, the outputs of the coolsprings are purely wet. the inputs are designed to be driven by the aux send from a mixer. the wet outputs are brought back into the mixer thru mic channels and mixed with the dry signal. this allows you to use the console resources (eq, panning, etc) to tailor the sound. in particular, you can use the sends on the return channels to thicken the mixture by adding feedback to the send.
$795 really? that seems a little high.. like $500 too high. but it probably sounds great.

reverb tanks for springs are cheap. is it that expensive to make one of these? just curious.. not trying to be snarky.
Why not get a Hot Springs reverb kit from Paia and save yourself $695
Ah, the Hot Springs, that's what started me down this path. Back in the mid 90's, I bought one of those, but once I looked at the design, I decided that I could do better, and I never even put the thing together.

The CoolSprings is a stereo reverb, so you would need to buy two Hot Springs kits to duplicate it's functionality.

And don't forget to include the cost of a chassis and a power supply, not to mention the time you would spend putting everything together.

Time is most precious thing we have on this earth, and none of us knows how much of it we have. You can always get more money, but you can never get more time. So how much is your time worth?
You can always get more money, but you can never get more time.

Your dad was wealthy then, was he? That's the sort of pithy generalization only a trust fund baby could come up with.
hahahaha, nothing could be further from the truth. my father was born in 1915. in 1931 (during the great depression) when he was 16, he ran away from home, rode the rails, worked various odd jobs, ended up in the CCC's (civilian conservation corps, one of FDR's new deal programs, essentially a boot camp for unemployed youth) planting trees, building dams, etc...
Power supply? Is it passive or isn't it?
I think the endlessly patient Ralph was referring to the PAIA kit, which is not passive - so to make a stereo kit you'd need two at $101.45 each, plus one PSU at $41.45, then you'd need a case, and you'd need to put the whole thing together yourself.
Part of the fun of putting it together is the time you spend doing it. But time is relative...
well, i'm sure it sounds fine but let me join the chorus ( hey a effect pun! ) and say that i too think $795 is wayyyyy too much for a passive spring reverb.

DIY, people. i'm sure that's what ralph did. and believe me, for most of us, our time is *really* cheap!
I'm with Ralph on the time issue, but I think you're all crazy to spend more than $200 on a spring reverb when you can just buy something that cheap that has a spring reverb and rip that out or use it as is.
I don't know why people think that spring mechanisms are cheap.

According to the current Accutronics prices, the Type 1 reverbs that come with the PAIA kit cost $24.25 each and the big Type 9's (I use four of them in each of my big rack mount units) cost $31 each.

So, as Tom pointed out, you could spend about $300 (two kits, PSU and case) and make yourself a stereo PAIA-verb with four Type 1's in it.

Now, if you wanted to duplicate one my big Coolsprings units, you would need four Type 9's and a stock Mid-Atlantic CH-2 chassis (retails for $100 but you can get them for $80), so that's $200. Throw in the cost of the XLR's and, most significantly, the audio transformers (good ones are not cheap) that sit behind them, and again, you're looking at about $300 worth of parts.

It's also interesting to compare how Accutronics describes those two mechanisms:

the Type 1: "A small low cost, two spring unit designed for applications where price is a major factor. Ideally suited for practice amps."

the Type 9: "Six springs, counter-wound, coupled and placed in parallel, combine to create our fullest, richest, reverb effect throughout the full range of musical sound. Ideally suited for keyboard, sound reinforcement and pedal steel applications."
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