The Reverb Beard

Something that I find rather curious, is that many of the reverb pioneers sported some seriously impressive beards. Christopher Moore has posted a few beard-heavy pictures on his website ( Here’s my favorite:

From left to right, you have Christopher Moore (Ursa Major reverbs, AKG ADR 68K), Anthony Agnello (Eventide, Princeton Digital), Wolfgang Schwarz (or Wolfgang Buchleitner, not sure of the name, but the Quantec guy) and David Grieisinger (designer of the Lexicon reverb algorithms). An amazing amount of reverb knowledge in one place, and rocking beards that rival ZZ Top, assuming that you put the 4 beards together to form one super beard like some sort of beard Voltron.

Another picture tosses in Barry Blesser (EMT-250), sporting a scholarly pipe and an even more scholarly beard:

Nowadays, I use the term “Reverb Beard” (or “Reverbskägg” in Swedish) to refer to people that develop reverberation algorithms, or to describe the state of people in the middle of the design process for reverb algorithms. Feel free to use this meme.

Note: I’ve tried to grow the reverb beard before, but it either comes out red, which makes me look like Kris Kringle in “Santa Claus is Coming To Town,” or greyish-red, which makes me look and feel old. So the “reverb beard” is more of a mental state.

EDIT: Chris Randall and Adam Schabtach, of Audio Damage fame, both pointed out to me that the mighty beards of the reverb pioneers were first mentioned on the Music Thing blog in 2004:

EDIT, January 2016: I am now sporting the reddish-grey hipster beard as described above. WHO AM I TO DENY MY DESTINY

Comments (11)

  • Let’s try to figure out the year. My best guess is 79th AES NY Oct 1985, but I’m not sure. wolf (blue on top snap)

    • I’ll send emails out to the people in the photo, and get back to you. Chris Moore probably knows, as I snagged the photos from his website.

  • Adam Schabtach

    The dearly departed MusicThing blog mentioned this phenomenon years ago:

    • OK, way to rain on my reverb beard parade, Adam. Chris mentioned the same thing on Twitter.

      On the plus side, the phrase “Reverbskägg” is new to me (this came from a Twitter link to my blog post). And that is a pretty righteous phrase. Especially since I was reading “The Sagas of Icelanders” last night.

  • Georg

    Highly interesting^^ – and in fact some of us might have not read the 2004 entries, is it not ;-))).

    The funny thing is (I live in a part of Hamburg that young rich people start to love, looking for “dirty chic”, raising prices, hating “the80s” whatever that is^^ – and complaining about “the dirt” soon after they bought their appartments. In fact they throw the old inhabitants, poor people, some heavy drinkers, prostitutes and old workers out until, 10-20 years later, they left a chic boring place and feel bored) that beards are “in” again since a few months. Really. In the cool quartiers of big cities everywhere. Seems Germans are a bit more eager to be with the cool crowds, so they started growing the new long beards a tad earlier^^.

    2 years ago the cool folks of Berlin or Hamburg had those tiny moustaches and beards, comparable to lines of cocaine surely, and maybe there was something combining those 2, what do I know^^. People needed 2 hours daily to make them seem to look “tiny”. It was supposed to look like you didn’t shave right because – well, because, anyways.
    Now bigger beards are in. Well, having goldfish was in too in Berlin, around 2005, for a few weeks^^. Let’s see how long it might last.

    If 1% of people who “inscene themselves daily new” and wear beards now again are pioneers for reverbs, delays, new sound machines and what not – I won’t complain ;-)). For spending an evening with people though, I’d much and heartily prefer the masters of your fotos over the posh people around me. Just that my knowledge of the theoretical background of superb halls is – somewhat limited.
    Do you think I should let a beard grow or try to get a Poirot-moustache, does that add something to the little grey cells concerning reverbs .-))? I feel like straw was in that place, at the moment^^. Then, some people are supposed to use the reverbs, not all can deliver new ideas in all areas. thanks for the fotos :-))

    • The beard thing has been going on here in Seattle for a few years, but seems much stronger in Portland. It is a good way for a 22 year old guy to look 30. Someone like me, who is considerably older than 30 – well, it just ain’t flattering. I have thought about growing a reverb beard, but my wife has stated in no uncertain terms that this isn’t a good idea.

      The ironic facial hair movement (nasty mustaches and such) hasn’t seemed to hit Seattle in the same way that it has taken root in Brooklyn. Which is a good thing.

  • Nekro Dean
    Also ‘Epic Beard Man’ is some amusing non-musical related beard fodder. Anyway I like the quantec guy’s beard if I had to choose but Sean VROOM is so good that it even shaves a user’s facial hair if they so wish (Obviously I disabled that option in the hidden preferences page myself but its a great feature) ;D

  • Mark Williams

    Now that you have the grey/red reverb beard going, Sean, I think you might be remiss to not display it here in the post. I mean, I see the photo of Barry Blesser’s beard, but where is the Sean Costello reverb beard pic?

    Also, though I’d read this post years ago when you first wrote it, I had missed the comment regarding your reading choice at the time, which is doubly weird, as I just started ‘the Sagas of Icelanders’ a few days ago when I was traveling in Iceland. Huh, strange world, eh?

  • Mats Eriksson

    It should be of notice that the Quantec guy, Wolfgang, passed away July 2016. One beard less. I don’t know but thought that was a little too soon. R.I.P. Wolfgang, your reverbs still OWNS.

  • bmaynard

    All hail Reverbskägg! Just thought I’d post an update to Christopher Moore’s website. The links above are dead and the new one for Seven Woods is below.

  • Stuart

    Can I be in Reverbskägg whilst, for example, playing bass? Or does it only work while playing Procol Harem songs?



Leave a Reply

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