Gear In-depth & Longer Blogs

When Tape Echoes Go Viral...

Jun 27 2017 Tags: dub, Facebook, HH Slider Echo, reggae, Tape Echo, Vocu VTE

We had some posts go viral on facebook... We like social media but we'd be the first to admit that we're still on a steep learning curve with it. This business began because of a passion for music and the gear that makes it, and that's still at the heart of what we do. So our social media "strategy" essentially comes down to "share that gear and passion with people that want to know about it". All of which means we've been very (pleasantly) surprised when something we've posted thinking it was pretty niche goes crazy. If you want to...

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Our Bandcamp is Live!

Jun 20 2017 Tags: 808, Bandcamp, Binson, Grampian 636, Joe Clegg, KR-55, Loops, Music, Samples, Soundcloud, Space Echo, TB-303, TR-808, Ult sound

  Yes, big news indeed. That's just a quick screen grab above, but click on it and you will be taken to the Aladdin's Cave of Sound that is our new Bandcamp. OK, so right now the cave is a little empty but, as anyone who follows our gear demo adventures on social media will know, we have a huge bank of recordings of demos made with all a manner of vintage gear hooked up in different combinations. These recordings are now lined up to be edited, mastered and prepared for release - some will become tracks and others will be...

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Yamaha CS-80 - Available Now

Dec 02 2016 Tags: Mike Hedges, Synthesizer, yamaha cs-80

Available fully-serviced and in excellent working order. We are inviting offers around or over £15k - this is not to be mistaken for an instrument that will require thousands of pounds in servicing following purchase; the price includes an on site visit from the experienced service engineer to ensure satisfactory tuning post-delivery (mainland UK only). We are very excited to be handling the commission sale of this stunning instrument from Mike Hedges. It has quite an illustrious history having been used on many classic recordings that Mike produced. It was also toured for a while, so while it isn't in perfect condition cosmetically,...

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Official: Gilmour used Dawner Prince's Boonar on stage at the Royal Albert Hall

Dec 02 2016 Tags: Binson, Binson Echorec, Boonar, Dave Gilmour, Dawner Prince, Pink Floyd

When we first got involved with Dawner Prince about selling their (then) new Binson pedal, the Boonar, I was impressed by the features that they'd managed to fit in such a small pedal, but felt the Boonar was too bright/clean and not quite right at higher feedback settings. Zoran from Dawner Prince was swift to react to our comments and an upgraded version of the Boonar swiftly followed. I soon became very attached indeed to my Boonar (which has now journeyed back to Croatia a couple of times for tweaks). I now use it all the time together with the Echosex 2º Ltd. The Echosex...

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Dub Special - Prince Fatty Consignment

Oct 31 2016 Tags: dub, grampian type 636, langevin, prince fatty, RE-201, reggae, Space Echo, spring reverb

We have a heavyweight consignment of mouth-watering vintage gear just arrived hot from the studio of Mike "Prince Fatty" Pelanconi. He is undoubtedly on the vanguard of the new wave of dub producers now following and building on the traditions and techniques of dub. We're long time fans (see his live dubs on youtube!) so getting our hands on some of his essential studio tools is a source of much excitement. Some items will be sold via the site, others by a sealed bid auction ending on Wednesday 9th November at 12pm GMT. First up, and requiring no introduction to Soundgas regulars, is his stunning Grampian Type 636...

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Synthfest UK 2016 Report

Oct 06 2016 Tags: Ace Tone, Analog Synth, Binson, Binson Echorec, Clouds Hill FX, Drum Machine, Drum Synth, Echosex, EMS, Floppy Disc Delay, Hawk, Maestro, Minimoog, Model D, Moog, Pedalboard, RE-201, Sensoria Festival, Sound On Sound, Space Echo, Synth, Synthesizer, Synthfest, SynthfestUK, Synthi, Toyo Gakki, Ult sound, VCS3

Saturday October 1st was the inaugural Synthfest UK show at the Octagon Centre in Sheffield organised by Sound On Sound magazine as part of the Sensoria festival. Incorporating manufacturer/dealer displays and a modular synth meet, this was a celebration of all things synth, appropriately-located in Synth City. We headed up the road with a big stack of Soundgas gear to take a stand at our first full-scale show. By Friday night we were all set for the following day with a veritable smorgasbord of sonic delights; our star attractions being the magnificent Maestro USS-1 atop a pile of echoes [Quelle surprise - Ed]; flanked by...

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Minimoog - Model D Reissue?

Sep 23 2016 Tags: Analog Synth, Minimoog, Model D, Moog, Synthesizer

You may be aware (just possibly, although they kept it very quiet) that Moog have recently started manufacturing a very carefully recreated modern version of the iconic Minimoog and named it the Model D. While they have gone to great lengths to recreate the original in modern form (and as authentically as possible), inevitably some have suggested it might have been more appropriate to call it the Model E, differing as it does in several significant aspects from the later incarnations of the original Model D upon which it is based. The more cynical members of the online synth community [surely not? Ed] that this wouldn't...

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The Clouds Hill FX Floppy Disc Delay

Jul 28 2016 Tags: Binson, Clouds Hill FX, Disc Echo, Floppy Disc Delay, Melos EM-200

We are incredibly-excited to announce our partnership with Clouds Hill: we have the worldwide exclusive dealership for their incredible Floppy Disc Delay (FDD). Read on for a detailed review from Tony's first revelations and explorations of this effect. We had the last two of the intial run of ten completely hand-tooled Clouds Hill Echoes [now sold!], and are now taking orders for the main production run of the next 20 Floppy Disc Delay units which are in stock now. You can see our ECHO in action the youtube demo below, as well as on several demos on our Instagram feed. Another Analogue Echo? The Floppy Disc...

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Brexit - why you should buy more gear now!

Jul 15 2016 Tags: Brexit

What is Brexit and what does it mean for Soundgas customers around the world? Brexit is Britain's decision to exit (see what they did there?) the European Union. The UK's recent vote on EU membership decided - by a slim majority - that Britain should leave the EU. Whatever your views on this - if any - it has immediate implications for gear-hungry Soundgas customers worldwide  What has happened? The aftermath of the vote has seen the pound plunge against dollar, euro, yen and other currencies. As I write this, three weeks after the referendum, there are few signs of the pound recovering;...

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Watkins Westminster 'Black Star'

Jul 07 2016 Tags: Amplifier, British valve amps, Charlie Watkins, Watkins, Westminster, Westminster "Black Star"

See this amp for sale (or quite possibly sold) and the full set of detailed photos here. Only ten of these 'Black Star' Westminsters are thought to have been produced in the late 50s. So-called because the cabinet had a black with white stars covering - long gone on this one, sadly - see below for what it should look like (image courtesy of the peerless vintage hofner site). Unusually, this 14w Westminster is powered by a pair of EL90 (6AQ5) valves, giving it a warmer, mellow sound. According to the late great Charlie Watkins, this made it 'popular with jazz players' at the...

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Grampian Type 636 - Believe the hype...

Jun 30 2016 Tags: Distortion, Grampian 636, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Pete Townshend, Roland Chorus Echo, Spring Reverb, The Who

We recently had the Grampian 636 you see below come up for sale by sealed bids. This blog post is about that unit, as well as some history and technical information about these superb, legendary machines. UPDATE: we compiled all the demos of this Grampian into this Youtube playlist. I first encountered one of these unprepossessing grey boxes while trawling ebay many years ago. As ever, I was looking for inexpensive old effects that would sound different to the run of the mill stuff everyone else was using. At the time, plug-ins were taking advantage of greatly-increased computer processing power, and the rise...

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GURUS 1959 DOUBLE DECKER - A Pedalboard Essential

Jan 20 2016 Tags: 1959 Double Decker, AC15, Amp Modelling, Boost Pedal, Dave Gilmour, Fender, Guitar, Guitar Pedal, Gurus Amps, Magnatone, Marshall, Muse, New Gear, Overdrive Pedal, Pedalboard, Suhr Jack Rabbit, Supro, USA Vintage Valve amps, Valve Amp, Vox, Watkins

Or a journey from "Yet another overdrive pedal" to "This pedal has inspired me to play guitar more than any other I've bought in recent years"...   When Gurus’ headman Chicco informed me that their next pedal after the Echosex 2º was to be a twin overdrive pedal based on a classic Marshall valve amp, I wasn’t exactly overawed. “Yet another overdrive pedal,” I thought to myself as I tacked a couple onto our re-order for yet more stock of the fabulous Echosex 2º LTD. Named the 1959 after the legendary Marshall, and Double Decker because it sports dual channels. The...

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Which Vintage Spring Reverb is Best?

Nov 26 2015 Tags: Breadwinners, Grampian 636, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Pete Townshend, Pioneer 202W, RE-201, RE-301, RE-501, Roland, Roland Chorus Echo, Sanui, Space Echo, Spring Reverb, Telefunken Echomixer, Tom Elmhirst

There are probably as many answers to this question as there are different models of spring reverb out there: even the most unpromising cheap plastic box with tiny springs can shine when you're looking for a different flavour. We happened to have a stack of vintage spring reverbs all in one place so thought we'd put them all against each other and produce: The Soundgas Snare Springathon - 13 Spring Reverbs head to head with a Roland TR-808 snare… (You may have already seen this video - we made it a few months ago now - but we'd always intended to add our thoughts...

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The Hawks Have Landed

Oct 28 2015 Tags: 70s, Distortion, Hawk, Japan, Mirano, Spring Reverb, Tape Echo

Vintage Japanese Tape Echo & Spring Reverb Update:  Mid-seventies Japanese manufacturer Hawk Technical Works Co Ltd put out a range of tape echoes and spring reverbs branded Mirano and then Hawk aimed squarely at domestic home recordists. We were intrigued and decided to get hold of as many different models as possible and try them all out. The results so far are documented below - these are great machines with useful features, and interesting creative possibilities especially once pushed beyond their comfort zone. We're definitely keeping examples of some of them for the studio. This is a run through of our...

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We finally made it into our studio...

Apr 23 2015 Tags: Binson, Binson Echorec, British valve amps, Drum Machine, Echorec 2, Echosex, Guitar Pedal, Gurus Amps, Juno, Korg, KR-55, Magnatone, Minimoog, Minipops, Moog, Mutron, News, Roland, Schaller, Soundgas Studio, Space Echo, Supro, Syncussion, Synth, Tape Echo, TR-808, Valco, Video demos, Vox, Watkins

We found all sorts of things we'd forgotten about, and fell in love with some new things that we'd never used before. Pete from Teleman and Ben from Elephant Disco came down to help us get organised and so huge thanks have to go to them for kicking us into action. It's a facebook post so hopefully most of you can see it, but if you can't and you want to see pictures of a lot of vintage gear then give us a shout. We also made a load of video demos (thanks again to Pete for the great guitar...

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Ronnie Vannucci's Echo Mountain

Mar 20 2015 Tags: alan moulder, big talk, Binson, Binson Echorec, Echorec 2, ESE Echomatic VI, News, Roland Chorus Echo, ronnie vannucci, the killers

  Yes - look at that lot! Our good friend Ronnie Vannucci took me on a Facetime tour of his fine basement studio last week and he's let us have a couple of pictures to post on here. He's amassed a stunning collection of desirable gear, including a whole heap of echoes, vintage and modern. Having initially come to us for a fully-serviced Roland RE-501, he got bitten by the Binson disc echo bug and added a holy trinity of Binsons to mix the new Big Talk album with Alan Moulder. As well as a stunning Binson Echorec 2 (second from top left), Ronnie...

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