The Fostex 3180 is a classic dual-channel spring reverberator where each of the two reverb sections have slightly different reverberation times which produces a more dense and natural-sounding result.
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 and wet output controls to mix the direct and reverberated sound. The two reverb sections are not identical as one has a slightly longer decay time than the other.
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.
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