This is the secret weapon used by Tom Elmhirst for Adele, Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson – a fabulous dark and characterful spring reverb unit.
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.”
Almost identical to the more common “202W” unit but without the enclosing wooden box. In very good condition – minor signs of age and scuffs to the edges of the wood only and it presents well.
It is in good working order. It’s been cleaned, tested, checked for safety and fitted with a three core earthed mains cable. Some crackle may happen when adjusting the pots if it’s not been in regular use, but it’s currently fine.
If you want more information on which spring is best for you then check out our detailed spring reverb blog and “Springathon” demo (13 springs head-to-head). You can also see our full current stock of vintage studio signal processors here, but if you have any questions please get in touch as we have many years experience with these machines.
This unit has a darker sound that can work wonders in a mix. Spring reverbs are a great ‘secret weapon’ to have in the studio arsenal – not just for the ‘boingy’ effect as used by dub and reggae pioneers such as Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, but also for adding that unmistakable classic shimmery vibe to electric guitars. It’s a sound that lends itself well to modern production: the perfect treatment for overly-sterile digital delays and reverbs and it can be heard all over today’s music. Whether it’s cutting-edge dubstep from Rusko, or a top pop mix engineer like Tom Elmhirst (who used vintage spring reverb all over the last Adele album), the sound of springs is everywhere right now.
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.
Check out the YouTube demo below to get an idea of what these units sound like – the demo is not this actual unit (with thanks to the uploader):
We can't stop here, this is bat country! Our next auction (November 22nd) features some head-turning, show-stopping synths, however we also wanted to put the spotlight...
PUBLISHED: 21st Nov 2023
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