Solid Gold FX has given its Surf Rider a total redesign with the fourth-generation reverb pedal arriving with a formidable trio of spring reverb tank emulations, all housed in a more compact enclosure with top-mounted jacks for easy pedalboard placement.
For any player wanting their electric guitar to follow Dick Dale, the Trashmen et al headfirst into the brine, the Surf Rider IV offers an abundance of options. There are three spring reverb tank emulations, each selected via a three-way toggle.
The Reverb-O-Rocket is described as the sort of “small and tight” spring ‘verb you might find on an early ‘60s tube amp combo, with Solid Gold referencing the classic Ampeg Reverberocket as a direct inspiration. For many players, that was hands-down the best spring reverb sound sound bar none.
But of course, spring reverb, like anything musical, is a matter of taste. A flick of the switch will take you to a Silverface Super Reverb-inspired reverb for classic Fender drip, or to Solid Gold’s all-original Fantasy reverb, which conjures a wilder take on the effect with “floppier springs and longer tails”.
The Surf Rider IV also serves up flutter-style modulation for those tails. Hold the soft-touch footswitch down and it’ll apply the necessary flutter, or you can adjust the internal DIP switch to apply the modulation by default when you engage the effect.
While the pedal draws inspiration from vintage guitar amps, it offers a little more control over your sound, with dials on hand for Decay, Dwell (Speed), Body (Depth) and Level. There is also an internal DIP switch for trails/buffered bypass.
Handmade in Montreal, Canada, the Surf Rider IV takes a 9V DC pedalboard power supply and retails for £189 / $209. See Solid Gold FX for more details. Of course, when auditioning a pedal such as this it would be remiss not to play the most iconic surf rock guitar riff of all time, so here is a handy little video lesson for anyone yet to add Dick Dale's Miserlou to their bag of tricks.