Limited 2023 units remaining: shipping from end May 2023. We are ceasing production of the Soundgas Type 636 after fulfilling outstanding orders.
Limited 2023 units remaining: shipping from end May 2023. We are ceasing production of the Soundgas Type 636 after fulfilling outstanding orders.
The Soundgas Type 636 brings the hallowed Grampian Type 636 Spring Reverb design into the 21st century; a future studio classic.
We began building these in 2019 with the intention of making a run of ten or so units. Demand outstripped our expectations so we built more. However, we are now bringing production to a close to focus on new Soundgas products. There are a few units remaining from the current build. We plan to build a handful more before ceasing production and will accept limited preorders via deposit for the final run. These are the best units we have produced and look set to be future classics.
Hand-built in limited numbers incorporating vintage components, this is the only Grampian 636 inspired circuit available today that uses the correct microphone transformers and circuitry for an authentic sound. The Soundgas Type 636 features all the hairy sonic goodness of the original units with greater consistency, lower noise and more low end in a convenient and reliable rackmount unit.
The Soundgas Type 636 Spring Reverb brings the hallowed Grampian Type 636 into the 21st century. Whether you seek the ultimate dub reverb, the meatiest distortion, or achingly beautiful organic textures, the Type 636 has it by the truckload.
These units are hand-built to order in very limited numbers using NOS vintage/original parts where essential for an authentic sound. For the 2023 Soundgas Type 636 we are using a carefully selected new spring tank that for greater consistency and reliability which is proving very popular here. We’ve been building these for approaching four years now years and the design has evolved with each build, incorporating incremental improvements, the pinnacle of which is the 2023 Type 636.
The design is as faithful to the original as possible and delivers all the hairy sonic joy of the originals. Dr Huw’s 21st century re-invigoration of the 636 circuit does not extend to modern corner-cutting – far from it – the attention to detail evokes a bygone era when recording equipment was hand-built with care. The circuit boards have been lovingly hand-etched and deliver all the wild tones and textures without the extraneous noise and hiss of a neglected original. We only hand select and match NOS vintage British Germanium transistors for the circuit (this takes a great deal of time and expense to do right, but the sound is unmistakably glorious as a result). No corners are cut, no expense spared to deliver sonic excellence.
The Soundgas Type 636 is a Grampian with less noise, more low end and greater reliability, designed with the benefit of hindsight and decades of experience with the originals. We’ve taken the best from various eras of 636s and brought them together with a studio sensibility – accentuating exactly the flaws and foibles of the design that are so beloved by today’s users. Individual Grampian 636s all have unique sonic signatures due to age and construction and each hand-built Soundgas Type 636 will be a unique piece. We keep two Grampians in the Soundgas Studio because they have quite distinct characters (one has an original Gibbs tank, the other a later Accutronics tank, but the circuit designs are quite different also).
A true studio classic designed and built with love and attention to detail for today’s musicians and producers.
Over the past four years, Soundgas 636s have been helping shape the sound of some of the world’s most iconic artists, engineers/producers and studios. 636 series owners include:
Richie Hawtin, Ben Frost, Tom Rowlands (Chemical Brothers), John McBride (Blackbird Studios), Paul Epworth (The Church), Ed O’Brien, Chris Messina (April Base Studios/Bon Iver), Frank Wiedemann (Innervisions/Ame), Al Doyle (Hot Chip/LCD Soundsystem), John Mayer, Arthur Fielder, Shonky, Maribou State, El P (Run The Jewels), Mike D.
Very limited production – handbuilt entirely from scratch in our workshops in Crich, England.
To anyone reading this who has seen cheaper versions for sale claiming they feature the Grampian ‘preamp circuit taken note for note’ we can categorically confirm that, while these units may be interesting in their own right, the circuit is in no way an accurate recreation of the original Type 636, nor do they sound close to either an original Grampian, or the Soundgas units.
You do get what you pay for.
The mic transformer (an element of our design that took a considerable amount of R&D to perfect) is incorrect, and the circuit design does not drive the Soviet germanium transistors in any sonically meaningful way. As a result, the overdrive/distortion these units produce – while enjoyable in itself – is not the harmonically rich germanium distortion that is the signature sound of a Grampian Type 636 – it is mostly being produced by opamps (there are no opamps in our unit or an original 636). We have already spent a great deal of time researching whether we could build a modern 636 at a much lower price point by redesigning the original circuitry but sonically it so far has not stacked up.
And if you have seen a certain guitar pedal that claims to recreate the sound of the Grampian Type 636 aux circuit as used by Pete Townshend of The Who, we can confirm that what this digital processor actually does is create a slightly boosted signal with none of the harmonic richness of the mic preamp circuitry (which is the section Pete actually used). We can speak with some authority on this having just serviced Pete’s original Grampian Type 636s, which were modified for him by Pepe Rush.
Switchable voltage for use anywhere in the world - it will be set up ready for you to use before we ship.
For sales in UK the price will include 20% VAT. Buyers elsewhere may incur VAT or other local taxes on import.
Later demos feature production prototypes in action to show the evolution of the look and sound – there’s the test unit missing the face-plate, plus some earlier initial test-firings of the prototype (built into an old Binson face-plate!).
For much more detail about the Grampian Type 636 – history, original documentation and schematics head to our main Grampian page now.
We plan to build a short run of pre-production 636Ps to ship in early 2022 and then take a break while we build the final Soundgas...
PUBLISHED: 21st Dec 2021
Say hello to the prototype Type 636P: all the heft and magic of the our 636 mic preamp in a compact desktop box.
PUBLISHED: 10th Aug 2021
Video from the Q&A session we did on the Grampian and Soundgas Type 636 units, plus an update on the Soundgas 636 build. Also Jane Weaver!
PUBLISHED: 29th Oct 2019
Grampians: some history and technical information about these superb, legendary machines. If you are looking to buy a Grampian or have one to sell in any...
PUBLISHED: 30th Jun 2016
We now have the first working prototype of what will be known as the Soundgas Type 636. A faithful recreation/re-imagining of the original Grampian Type 636,...
PUBLISHED: 24th Apr 2019
My first piece for Premier Guitar on the subject of vintage spring reverbs, with particular emphasis on less-common units: definitely firmly in Soundgas territory.
PUBLISHED: 14th May 2018
Directory of original Grampian documentation we have, including tech specs, schematics and articles, to view and download.
Grampian Type 636 Operating Instructions & Technical Specification reproduced into a searchable format.
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