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Problem with old Klemt Echolette tape echo
Old 20th October 2013
Here for the gear

Problem with old Klemt Echolette tape echo

Hello! I just registered since I didn't really know where else to turn to, haha. I recently bought an old (from 1959 I belive) Klemt Echolette tape-echo (the model seems to be an NG-3), it's working (it also acts as a sort of pre-amp) but the echo-effect is all.. messed up. I'll be honest and say that I'm a complete newbie when it comes to these things, so please bear with me!

Anyway, I've switched the old tape with new one made for Echolette-units I found on ebay, and I cleaned the tape-heads as well as I could, it's a lot less noisy now, but the echo isn't working properly, It's hard to explain how it sounds, so I uploaded a short sound-clip (recorded with a mic infront of my amp, with no other pedals or anything):

As you can hear, the echo is more of a weird space-sound than an echo, so something is very wrong. Has anyone come across an issue like this before?
Old 25th November 2013
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I have an Echolette as well. It's the one piece of gear I couldn't live without. Such a lush echo. The preamp is wonderful as well, you can shape the tone in many ways using the gain control and the tone control there. However, I've had it serviced a few times.
From what I heard on your clips, the tape is obviously running at an uneven speed. I've had the same problem. I'd recommend replacing the capstan wheel. When you're not using the machine - the white button to the right has to be pressed in. If not, the capstan wheel will become uneven and that causes tape warble. You can buy new capstan wheels on eBay - or send the one you have for repair. Also, the last batch of tapes that I bought from an eBay seller didn't work at all. Buy from a few different sources and see what works.
Good luck!
Old 2nd December 2013
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i agree with sawcebox. also the pinch roller should be replaced. they always get hard and don't grip properly. ebay has those. i have 2x echolettes and they are somewhat complex machines because of all of the internal controls and input/output options. when you do get it up and running, you will find that the 2 jacks called "volume control", the left most one has a lower output. the jack that says "eingang" is a line voltage input but also an output. most guitar players use that to go straight into the amp. it apparently doesnt make use of all of the tubes. Reine Fiske of Dungen ( a notable echolette user) has this configuration when he plays. the DIN connector output has an insane gain and if you can get some crazy overdrive with it. the issue with that output is that you are supposed to use that in conjunction with their M40 or M100 amp heads. the dry signal of your guitar doesn't work properly and you get mostly effected tone and little dry in the mix. you are supposed to close one of the little "pegels" knobs on the inside if you use that output. its great if you use it as a pre-amp. if you ever need service or technical advice, this guy is possibly the world foremost expert. he resurfaced my heads for my machine
Old 3rd December 2013
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Thanks for the info regarding the alternative output - I didn't know that! I have a few tricks that I do sometimes that are really cool: 1) Turn down the dry signal completely so you only get the echo repeats through the amp. 2) pull the large repeat-button out so that the repeats double in numbers. I learned these things after having used the machine for about five years. There are probably more things to learn still...
Old 5th December 2013
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you might like to get a manual for this. they are available on line. the german/english translation isn't great but it helps. it really helps a technician. my biggest issue with this machine is that i cant get a "normal" output with it. if i put the output level over like 2 or 2.5. the magic eye shows that i am going into distortion. and it sounds like it too. not a bad effect but if you want the echolette to warm up your tone, not color it, keeping it low is important. if you keep it at 2 or 2.5 its just very low output. i did find out the other day that if you keep your guitar volume at like 6 and crank up your amp (i have a superchamp xd that i use the most) to almost max, the tube compression is insane. its like having the best compressor in the world without the "squashed" sound. if you turn up the guitar then to 10, the overdrive is just superb. i have always read that it was made for their amps (the M40 and the M100) and i am lucky enough to have an M100 and its a bizarre PA style head with 4 separate inputs and 4 separate tone controls. you use the echo only signal from the echo unit and blend it with the dry. if you see it cheap, get it
Old 21st February 2015
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Hello everybody!

i bought an old echolette tape echo NG51, the preamp is working find but the echo function is not working at all, when i press the reverb button the tape is rolling but it doesn't affect the sound..
the five tubes seems fine.

If anyone knows about tape echo and espacially this kind of problem, i'll be grateful for your suggestions.
Here is the schematic in attached file in case of

Attached Files
File Type: pdf Echolette S NG 51.pdf (4.19 MB, 434 views)
Old 21st February 2015
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Studerfreak's Avatar

Are you sure the tape is O.K. ?
Are the heads clean ??
Old 22nd February 2015
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hello, thanks for your answer!

Yes i've cleaned the heads with alcohol, i don't know for the tape though, but do you think that an old tape could affect the echo mode?
I thought that i could have an echo, even dirty, with an old tape, but i think i don't know really how this thing works ..
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