Main Forums >> DIY, Electronics, Studio Design & Acoustics
        Print Thread

Pages: 1
Luke Jackson

Joined: 17/07/08
Posts: 61
DIY EMT Style Plate Reverb new
      #1011528 - 03/10/12 07:54 PM
I came across this article the other day: b

I haven't got space for a 2.5m long unit like the real thing, so I've started trying to build a little one 1 by 0.5 meters. I've managed get it working and sounding like a reverb.

The plate made a fairly cool sound recorded with the piezo when I hung it in front of my drumkit, it was low end heavy, with nothing above 15kHz. I've driven it with the cannibalised speaker which sounded much better, but the weight of the plate has deformed the cardboard the voice coil is wrapped around, so I'm devising a more rigid driver, and a guy I know has offered to knock up a steel frame for nothing (working in heavy industry has its perks), so I can get some tension involved.

Has anyone had experience with a real EMT 140? I guess they must have had a pretty damn good reason for making them so big, but is there any reason a smaller one can't sound nice?

I've canibalised an old speaker, and used a piezo from maplins for £1.50 or something like that and the steel for the frame isn't costing me anything. I should have looked around for a cheaper/freer 'plate' but I was impatient so I just went in B&Q and paid £20. Still a fairly cheap experiment!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Greg Strutton

Joined: 25/09/04
Posts: 55
Loc: Oxford, UK
Re: DIY EMT Style Plate Reverb new [Re: Luke Jackson]
      #1012032 - 05/10/12 09:43 PM
Sounds excellent! Show us some pics and let us hear a few snippets

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top

Joined: 30/09/04
Posts: 355
Loc: Holland
Re: DIY EMT Style Plate Reverb new [Re: Luke Jackson]
      #1012081 - 06/10/12 10:34 AM
I never thought about making one myself but reading the article you refer to made my fingers itch... unfortunately I don't have that much time...

Nevertheless, I hope you keep us up to date with your plate-adventures (pictures?)

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Rod Duggan

Joined: 05/02/13
Posts: 2
Loc: Epsom, Surrey UK
Re: DIY EMT Style Plate Reverb new [Re: Luke Jackson]
      #1032328 - 06/02/13 08:55 AM
The size of the original EMT plate was defined by the speed of sound through the steel and the required reverb time.
You can get an idea of what your plate is going to sound like by tapping it with a fingernail and listening. Tension was the key to success, the old adage was to tighten the springs to half a turn before they broke!
The EMT plates at Lansdown studios were famous for their superb sound, and it turned out that it was because they had rusted after a flood.
I've tweaked a few EMT 140 plates in the past, and found great audible success by de-greasing them with alcohol, as they are coated in a film of wax to prevent rust which tends to dull the sound. Combined with careful tension increase they really zing!
If you place two piezo pickups on the plate and experiment with different locations you should get a good stereo reverb.

Technical Engineer

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top

Joined: 10/02/05
Posts: 57
Loc: Essex
Re: DIY EMT Style Plate Reverb [Re: Luke Jackson]
      #1034203 - 19/02/13 10:57 PM
Ahhh, you can't beat a real plate reverb! I've had experience of quite a number of the EMT originals and they all sound different. Those differences seem to exasperate with age as well. Some are dark, some are bright, but all just seem to have a certain magic about them.

The secret with a DIY plate always seems to be a good sounding sheet of steel to start with (as thin as possible) and then getting it as tight as possible in the frame. Make sure your speaker is slightly off centre and experiment with twin piezos in different positions to obtain the best stereo effect.

EMT did make a smaller plate designed for outside broadcast work, I can't remember the model number, but used one a few months ago and it sounded great.

I've built a couple of small units in my time but am just about to start building a huge one using an old steel bed as the frame - I'll document it, take lots of pics and start a thread when I've sourced a big enough sheet of steel!

Post Extras: Print Post   Remind Me!   Notify Moderator     Back to top
Pages: 1

Rate this thread

Jump to

Extra Information
0 registered and 8 anonymous users are browsing this forum.

Moderator:  David Etheridge, James Perrett, zenguitar, Martin Walker, Forum Admin, Hugh Robjohns, Zukan, Frank Eleveld, SOS News Editor,  
Forum Permissions
      You cannot start new topics
      You cannot reply to topics
      HTML is disabled
      UBBCode is enabled
Thread views: 6377

June 2016
On sale now at main newsagents and bookstores (or buy direct from the SOS Web Shop)
SOS current Print Magazine: click here for FULL Contents list
Click image for June 2016
DAW Techniques


Home | Search | News | Current Issue | Tablet Mag | Articles | Forum | Blog | Subscribe | Shop | Readers Ads

Advertise | Information | Privacy Policy | Support | Login Help


Email: Contact SOS

Telephone: +44 (0)1954 789888

Fax: +44 (0)1954 789895

Registered Office: Media House, Trafalgar Way, Bar Hill, Cambridge, CB23 8SQ, United Kingdom.

Sound On Sound Ltd is registered in England and Wales.

Company number: 3015516 VAT number: GB 638 5307 26


We accept the following payment methods in our web Shop:

Pay by PayPal - fast and secure  VISA  MasterCard  Solo  Electron  Maestro (used to be Switch)  

All contents copyright © SOS Publications Group and/or its licensors, 1985-2016. All rights reserved.
The contents of this article are subject to worldwide copyright protection and reproduction in whole or part, whether mechanical or electronic, is expressly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Publishers. Great care has been taken to ensure accuracy in the preparation of this article but neither Sound On Sound Limited nor the publishers can be held responsible for its contents.
The views expressed are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the publishers.

Web site designed & maintained by PB Associates | SOS | Relative Media