The Malekko Spring Chicken is now a discontinued pedal and becoming a collector as one of the great spring reverb emulators. At its core is a reverb module, commonly called the “Belton” brick after the manufacturer. It seemed as soon as the brick was made available, a whole gamut of builders started making the same reverb pedal such as the Neunaber WET, Wampler Faux Spring Reverb, Mr Springgy, Hermida Reverb as well as two DIY kits (1), (2) for those so inclined.
Compact in size, the Spring Chicken has just one knob – CLUCK – and controls the mix of dry signal to reverb signal. It can be used sparingly, to emulate the reverb of a classic Fender amp, or at maximum provide a real slappy spring emulation. The Spring Chicken also comes with an Expression Pedal jack to control the cluck by foot. However, a second version of the Spring Chicken soon appeared, the LE, that had another, unique control to the others on the market – DWELL. This mod pushed the spring sound to a far bigger reverb, allowing the control of the decay of the repeat from short spring slapback into huge soundscape cave reverbs. The LE was limited edition, but the Dwell mod is well sought after to expand the functionality of the pedal. It was offered directly from Malekko for a time, but they then moved on to the Omicron sized Chicklet reverb pedal – a unique design in a tiny box.
I have performed the DWELL mod to this Spring Chicken, fine-tuning the mod to create self-oscillation at maximum CLUCK and DWELL. By using the expression pedal, the amount of feedback/oscillation can be tamed and swelled in for a really unique effect. The pedal now behaves exactly like the rare LE pedals, as seen in the demo below.