davidsgear binson 70s

The Mighty Binson Echorec!

Let’s get gear’y here. Rarely does an effect illicit such drooling from guitar players than the Binson Echorec. It’s a truly unique delay unit made arguably most famous by its extensive use by David Gilmour and Pink Floyd. See the picture above of a Binson echorec sitting on Gilmours amp and on the stage from the famous video Live at Pompii.

Now a dear friend of mine, John Crown, had bought the guitar pedal version of this unit from catalinbread. He told me to give it a try one day and It was 10 minutes later when I raised my head and exclaimed something to the effect of “what is this!?!”. He explained how the original units had a rotating drum, and your guitar signal was recorded onto the spinning (magnetic, like tape) drum, then played back delayed thru any combination of the 8 or so playback heads delayed from the original sound. More detailed info here:

So you could imagine my surprise when a client was in my studio and I mentioned how I was “longing to own an original Binson Echorec” but had never seen one. He responded “I have one in my basement, you can have it!”. Ummm yeah! Now it did arrive to me but it was in VERY rough shape. Non functioning may be a slight understatement. In fact initial quotes to repair it stateside were so high I started to lose faith, heck our dollar ain’t worth much over there either! I needed to find someone locally who could really get inside this thing, it needed a complete rebuild. All the electronics were corroded as some models of these are well known to have used wiring that essentially disintegrates and takes everything around it down with it.

It sat on my shelf for a little over a year until Gord at Kingston Guitar Shop suggested to me Mark Kett of Filmotone. Mark makes really wicked guitar amps out of old Filmosound film projector amps and speakers. Sure enough Mark said, “let me look at this thing? When do you need it by?”. I told him I really had no timeline he could plug away when he had time and a desire. He took it on expressing how much he loves these units. He also opened it up and, famous last words, said “it’s not thaaaaaat bad”. So, that’s where it is currently. From time to time I’ll see on the filmosound Instagram feed it will be on the work bench and Mark has been plugging away at it. I WILL post video when this beast is alive again.

Check out Marks instagram:

For the time being here is a couple clips of actually functioning units as example:

Chow for Now,