Spring reverbs are hip right now and have become the “must-have” reverb for your studio. So what’s the appeal?
Spring reverbs sound unlike anything else with a smooth, glassy decay and a boingy, splashy sound when overdriven. It’s possible to create effects just by hitting or tapping the unit (it’s a mechanical reverb) so there’s lots of scope for experimentation. They’re perfect for the classic dubplate snare sound and work really well on electronic sounds like synths & drum machines. On vocals they sound unusual but characterful
The unpredictability and non-linear nature of the spring reverb is a major part of the appeal. Overdriving results in an explosive sound no digital device could capture and sustained sounds acquire a depth and perspective that is quite addictive
The 3180 has two inputs with level controls and an input mix switch which mixes both inputs to both reverb sections. The two outputs have dry & wet output controls to mix direct & reverb sound. The two reverb sections are not identical – one has a slightly longer decay time than the other
“Sounds very good on vocals and guitar etc…Also good for dub springy sounds when drums are put through it”
“Warm and smooth, with a slightly “dark” sound natural to all spring reverbs”
“I love the Fostex 3180. I have an AKG BX10 and an EMT 140 too, but it always surprises how well the Fostex fits in a mix”
Spring reverbs are “love them or hate ’em” devices. If you’re unconvinced, have a listen to the audio samples below