Fostex 3180 Spring Reverb


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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

Analogue spring reverb with a Bucket Brigade (BBD) pre-delay and reverb springs. There are jack inputs & outputs on the front panel and phono ins & outs on the back and a footswitch socket for a reverb on / off footswitch. 230 Volt AC input with captive mains cable and standard UK mains plug
2U device suitable for mounting in a standard 19" rack. Rack ears not included
Owners manual Harmony Central review Youtube demo #1 Youtube demo #2 Youtube demo #3
In excellent used condition, almost unmarked. Tested & working All vintage gear will have case scratches and marks. It may also have, or develop, noisy pots and switches. I make my descriptions as accurate as possible and note any existing defects. I test each item before shipping, and and supply a test sheet, but please understand that vintage gear will not be perfect and adjust your expectations accordingly