Dating from the 60s, this early white face Laney Supergroup Mk1 Spring Reverb is in superb condition.
It is in superb working order for a 40 year-old unit; it’s just been serviced and is ready to use (see detailed photos).
The pots and sockets have all been cleaned and are working well, though it’s possible that some crackle may occur when the unit’s not been used for a while – should disappear with use.
It sounds fabulous: classic quality 60s spring reverb.
It is a UK 240v unit so will require a step-up transformer for use in USA/Canada. We do not recommend using cheap generic Chinese mains transformers and can supply a high quality UK-made transformers if required.
The evolution of digital reverb left springs in the doghouse for many years – players and engineers were only too happy to be rid of the noisy and imperfect mechanical reverbs of the past. Springs were confined to recreating the sound of classic dub reggae and surf guitar. However, following decades of sonic perfection, there was a yearning for something different, something old. Tom Elmhirst mixing Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson and Adele employed Pioneer hifi springs for a signature retro sound. Grammy Award-winning Nashville artists and producers (and up and coming engineers/producers in London) sprinkle fairy dust over guitars using Germanium transistor-based Telefunken Echomixers . Today’s dub producers, ever searching for that authentic sound, seek out the Grampian Type 636 reverb employed by Lee Perry at Black Ark (and by Pete Townshend in the late 60s for his guitar distortion, and Joe Meek before that). Using and abusing characterful and cranky spring reverbs is an antidote to an era when anyone with a laptop or digital guitar pedal has access to every modelled algorithm and space imaginable.
Tom Elmhirst interviewed about mixing Rolling In The Deep by Adele (Sound On Sound, Sept 2011):
“…the Pioneer on 55‑56 is an old ‘70s‑’80s spring reverb that was made for the domestic market.”
And on mixing Mark Ronson’s Record Collection album (Electronic Musician Sept 2010):
“I used a lot of external reverbs: a Fairchild 670, old spring reverbs, and a couple 1970s Pioneer Reverberation Amplifier Model SR-202s. They’re old home hi-fi units; they’re not normal! I am not a fan of digital reverb, so I have a few springs I really like… Spring reverb was a big part of the Winehouse record, and it’s in Mark’s sound as well. I use two or three different springs on a track and even on the vocal. I have an Orban 111B Spring Reverb, which is quite bright. The Pioneers are quite dull and long springs. So I combine the two.”
Try using a little tape delay before sending to a spring reverb, or use a digital/plug-in reverb and send the wet output from that to the spring to add character.
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