Tag Archives: spring reverb

Studio Outboard Gear Odds & Ends ’71- ’73

Urei_1176_1970Today: just a few things that caught my eye from ’71 -’73:  the ‘new’ black-cosmetic version of the Urei 1176, plus some odd bits from Soundcraftsmen and Sansui (I had no idea that they had made pro audio products), and another forgotten Quad-Eight rack device (see here for our earlier coverage of their very obscure reverb unit).  Also something called the ‘OP Reverberation’ …. anyone?  ,,,and a few unusual items from Martin.  Wrapping it up is the annoucement ad for the original API 525C, which has become one of my favorite compressors for vocals since we got one at Gold Coast Recorders.  If any of y’all are using the Martin or Quad-Eight kit, let us know!

Soundcraftsmen_RP10-12_1972Above: The Soundcraftsmen RP10-12 equalizer

Sansui_QSE_1_1971Above: The Sansui QSE-1 Quadraphonic Encoder

Quad-Eight_Filter_1972 Quad_Eight_1972Above: The Quad-Eight Variable Filter, Auto-Mix 23B compressor, EQ 312 channel EQ, and RV10 Reverb unitParasound_reverb_1971 Martin_Console_1972 MArtin_1972_2Above: the Martin SLM-1020B mixer, PEQ500 rackmount program EQ, and varispeed 3B tape machine speed controller.  API_525_1972

Fairchild Pro Audio Equipment of 1972


Above: The Fairchild Integrated Console of 1972

How y’all doing out there.  Today at PS dot com: some interesting bits from the archive: a collection of Fairchild data sheets from 1972.  Download all 12 pages here:


Products covered, with texts, specs, and photos, include: Fairchild ‘integrated’ console, Reverbertron 659A, the FPC series of ‘portable mixing consoles,’ 610 and 870 power amps, plus a whole slew of distribution amps and power supplies that i just ain’t got time to list.  Enjoy!



The Quad-Eight RV10 outboard spring reverb unit of 1972

QuadEight_RV10foto_vanleerJust about a year ago I published an article entitled “Obscure Mechanical Reverbs of the 70s.”  Included in this this survey was the Quad-8 RV-10.  Now, y’all know how much I love spring reverb (also here…), so I was pleasantly surprised when I received a phone call from one J. VanLeer (his photo at left), who claimed to be the inventor of this obscure device.  In VanLeer’s words:

“When with the HAMMOND ORGAN CO. I worked on spring reverb tanks – after HAMMOND closed, these were made first by GIBBS, and OC ELECTRONICS than ACCUTRONICS who sold out to BELTON (Korea) and now a Chinese firm MOD makes spring tanks. The RV-10 still sounds the best ’cause it makes use of 4 different (length, diameter & wire gauge) rather that 2 or 3 with only difference in length.”

Vanleer patented this unique twist on spring-reverb technology and then apparently leased said license to Quad-Eight.  By his reckoning at least 357 of these units were sold. VanLeer sent me via post the original product-sheet for the RV10.  I reproduce those here for your edification and downloading: QuadEight_RV10

QuadEightRV10QuadEightRV10_0001Below are some photos of the interior of the RV10 (from an eBay listing that ended in January 2014 at $446).  The parts and build quality is extremely high – with hefty input/output transformers, and a UTC O-series (inside an O-17 case), which I presume is the recovery-pickup transformer.

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ed. note: Mr. VanLeer had quite a long and interesting career as an innovator of electro-acoustic devices; click here for an article about his career (use Google Translate to translate into your own reading language).

The Sansui AX-7 ‘Audio Mixer’ c. 1978

Sansui_AX7Sansui’s late-70’s line of hi-fi equipment is fairly collectible; I’ve had several of them over the years, and they generally sell for good money. My last pair, a tuner and integrated amp, actually went to a prop stylist for a film…  I wish I could remember the name of the picture.  Anyhow, aside from the usual amps, preamps, tuners, and integrated amps, Sansui also made this very unusual device during the ‘first-wave’ of home-music-production: The AX-7 ‘Audio Mixer.’  A four-input HI-Z mixer, the AX-7 was designed to allow the user more easily use multiple stereo tape decks to ping-pong tracks into a layered production.  It also offered global spring reverb!

Sansui_AX7_textThere is a good-looking example on eBay right now for $99 BIN, which is a great value just for the spring reverb!

1989: The Aspri Reverb is introduced. They are great + you should buy one.


Above: the 1989 advert that caught my attention

I’ve said it many times, but pls let me re-iterate: as much as the content of this site may make me seem like some retro-fetish trainspotter, my investigation into all of this old kit is due to the fact that I make my living as a composer and sound engineer, and I am constantly looking for new sources of (inexpensive) inspiration.  Because if you have to write and/or record three or four songs per day, the process can be either a chore or a joy, and what can make the difference is the novelty and new avenues that some ‘new’ (to you) gear can offer.  Y’all know how much I love spring reverb, so when I spotted this ad for a guitar-mounted mechanical-reverb system in an ’89 ‘Guitar Player’ I searched for an old unit to buy on eBay.  There were several, but they were not cheap.  And then google told me that they had been re-issued by the original manufacturer!  $99 plus shipping later, and a brand-new ASPRI arrived direct from dude in just a couple of days.

Aspri_boxFirst of all, the packing is really spectacular, and in fact won some sort of Quebec design-award (I think it’s very fitting that this thing is from Montreal; if you’ve spent some time there I think you can see the whole kinda clever/artsy/slightly-fantastical vibe of that whole city reflected in the ASPRI).

Aspri_outThe ASPRI mounts to any flat-top acoustic gtr in about 10 seconds.  it does not contact the top of the gtr at all; just the saddle and the side; and the side is completely padded, so there really is no danger of damaging the instrument.  BTW, if your saddle height is VERY high, the I’d imagine that the Aspri won’t work properly; that being said, I have yet to find a gtr that it has not worked on.

Aspri_on_gtrSo basically what it does:  it’s a box of springs that receive their exciting-energy from the motion of the strings; it does this by means of three little stainless-steel feet that effectively become the saddle of the gtr while the ASPRI is mounted.  So yes there is some loss of ‘tone’ and volume, but what you get in return is a really transporting experience.  Playing this thing, esp.  bottleneck style, is really uncanny; it really does turn a living room into a concert hall.

There are a zillion YouTube videos of dudes demo’ing their ASPRIs, so no need to add to that fray; check ’em out if your curious.  If you are a dedicated acoustic gtr player like I am, and you’re looking for a new direction, I feel like you are bound to get a couple new songs outta this thing.

To buy an aspri, visit: https://www.aspri.com

MicMix “Master Room” 210 and 305 Spring Reverbs C. 1979

MasterRoom_305Download 8pp of sales + technical information regarding the “Master Room” XL-210 and XL-305 stereo spring reverbs manufactured in 1979 by MicMix of Dallas Texas.


MasterRoom_210The 210 was the economy model.  The 305 had optional balancing transformers.  I regularly use a couple of other contemporary spring reverbs (Orban and Sound Workshop) but I’ve never had a MicMix unit.  Anyone?