Make A DIY Plate Reverb From An IKEA BROR Storage Unit

The latest LeoMakes video takes a look at building a DIY hardware plate reverb from an IKEA BROR storage unit.

Here’s what Leo has to say about the project:

“I literally hack (as in hacksaw) an IKEA shelf into a great-sounding plate reverb.

It’s true. And the whole thing costs less than $100 in parts. Then I run drums and synth through it and I show you how I built it. It’s a fun and easy project….”

Parts used:

He notes a few limitations of the design and some areas where there’s room for additional testing and improvements – so if you’ve got ideas for this, leave them in the comments!

Update: Part 2 of the IKEA Plate Reverb hack takes a look at some tweaks that improve the sound quality:

Part 3 takes a look at creating impulse response files for the IKEA spring reverb:

The IR files are available as a free download (Dropbox file).

7 thoughts on “Make A DIY Plate Reverb From An IKEA BROR Storage Unit

  1. Cool vid!!

    I’ve done parts of this before, but with even a less ideal set-up. His experimentations with damping the plate are quite interesting.

    Applying this same approach to other resonators (like an upright bass body, or drum head, or a spring) gives you lots of sonic options.

  2. Very nice idea. But is it me or does it sound like it has some very strong resonant frequencies?
    I recently built the surfybear spring reverb kit, it sounds great, costs very little. There something special about having something physical going on.

    1. That’s why real plate reverbs cost thousands and weight hundreds….
      The thinner the plate, the more resonance. You’ll need a real heavy steel plate (and strong transducers), an appropiate mounting, and much experimenting to get a good sounding plate reverb.

    2. I’m baffled as to this nostalgic attachment to inferior and costly gear. When I set up a small studio in the mid 80s I could afford only a Great British Spring reverb (long plastic tube attached to the wall). It sounded horrible. I wanted the new Yamaha SPX90 reverb but hadn’t the money. If someone had offered to exchange them, I’d have bitten their hand off. If you like the sound of a plate reverb, use a free or paid plugin or a multiFX unit. Who can tell the difference? Would it really make the music better?

  3. Really cool, why doesn’t somebody make a little hardware device with an amplifier, transducer, two pick-ups, and you could route your FX though it tied to any surface you felt like (window, mug, steel plate, table top etc.)

    1. you can actually get a vibration speaker and a couple of pre build transducers for under $20 total (I think I paid $6 for the vibration speaker and like $2 for the transducers). I didn’t get them for this but want to try using it.

  4. Cool idea. I did this a while back by simply suspending a thin steel plate (it was designed to be a magnet board) with heavy duty springs in a 2×4 wooden frame – probably close to $30 in parts. Then the same deal with a small Lepai amp and contact microphone. Sounds very different from this one! Super bright and can be dampened through similar methods, I use clamps and thick rubber. Sound is great, surprisingly usable!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *