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tape echos
Old 17th March 2004
  #1
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tape echos

Wondering which echo units engineers find useful in the studio... i've been thinking of picking up one or two for a while now.

Roland Space Echos... 150, 201, 250, etc.

Maestro Echoplexes... Tube, solid state

any others I don't know about yet

I'd be using them in front of guitar amps as well as aux sends... i'm sure they all have their own sound, but are some known to be generally *better* than others?
Old 17th March 2004
  #2
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the echoplexes are cool. I've heard a few of them. The solid state one isn't as noisy as the tube one which can be a problem when used in front of an amp. Probably cheaper too.
Old 17th March 2004
  #3
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I can only speak of those I've owned.... RE501, great for dub. The reverbs not to flash but the chorus and delay are really useful for guitar or vocal. Of the roland units, the 501 is certainly the quietest.
I also own (and am selling) a Watkins copycat. This unit is valve and pretty dirty (sound wise) but great for old skool guitar tricks. The best thing about the Watkins is that the tape is accessible so you grab some audio, and then lift the tape off the erase head to get endless loops or just tweaking the tape while it's looping to get unusual effects. I also like the kwality of the feedback (swell) on the Watkins, it's really crusty.
Old 17th March 2004
  #4
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Drumsound's Avatar
Multivox tape delay is cool. I'd like to find one of those.
Old 17th March 2004
  #5
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The Roland Chorus Echos (501) and the Korg Stage Echo (sleeper piece of cool gear) are also great because they offer balanced I/O on XLR jacks in addition to instrument - level 1/4 inchers. Both solid state. The Roland's chorus is very difficult to emulate by other means.
Old 17th March 2004
  #6
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Did a guitar session yesterday with an L.A. cat who had an echoplex. Well, he had that and a pedalboard that wouldnt quit and about 8 different electrics and acoustics and a great attitude and all I can say is that the Pod can blow me.

That little echoplex made my day. The damn thing sounded like a miniature washing machine in the room and all sorts of amazing on tape.

Tunes
Old 17th March 2004
  #7
echoes

echoplex is fun, but better between an instrument and amp than brought into a recording chain, imo. i do think they used a tube one at motown, though (ask bob?)...

i like the rolands. don't forget the SRE-555, which is the same as the 501 (balanced i/o), but rackmount.

lot's of other groovy boxes out there... dynacord, echolette, meazzi, binson, etc. most of the european makes had dual modes: delay, and "reverb". of course it doesn't sound like actual reverb, but it's a very interesting effect, and it's kind of sad the american and japanese makers never implemented this. dynacord also made solid state analog delays, flangers, and reverbs which are underrated.

mitgong: is it true you can control the tape speed of the Korg Stage echo with a CV? that'd be wacky.
Old 17th March 2004
  #8
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Tousana's Avatar
 

I like my 201 Space Echo, can be suttle or wacky but for the 250.00 that I paid (near perfect condition w/serveral new tapes),it's worth every dollar.
Old 18th March 2004
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

That really depends on what you're going for, there are two schools of tape echo design that I know of:

1. The original tape echos seem to be more of an ambience verb/echo kinda thing. I'm thinking Klemt Echolette S/Space Echo RE-100 & RE-200. Those would be the units I recommend, I've owned all of them.

2. The later models did more of the long/dedicated delay thing. My favorite for vibe still remains the RE-201 Space Echo, but I've owned and enjoyed WEM, Echoplex, a Korg Stage Echo, and a few Multivoxes (MX-201 and MX-312). The Multivox units and the Korg Stage echo have the advantage of having selectable playback heads. I'd personally go for the 501 if I were choosing one in this arena.

Jason
Old 18th March 2004
  #10
Gear Nut
 
oliver archut's Avatar
 

Dynacords Echocord came in several different versions, the most useable is the "Super 62 and 65" with build in Grundig Spring reverb, build like a tank with two playback, three recording head and dual speed. Original equipped with five Telefunken ECC83 and one ECC82, sounds quite good, but the Klemt Echolette NG51 and NG51S have the same mechanical set up but with better electronics and no reverb spring. You can get nice tape modulation, saturation and if driven hard frequency controlled delay distortion, overall a better sound. Great for overdriving electric guitars with its four build in high impedance inputs.
Biggest problem for both units are the 48uF/42 volt bipolar field pushing motor caps, hard to find and if not replaced they die fast and take mostly the Papst induction motor out as well.

Also head adjusting and general mechanics like the rubber tape roller are mostly in state of disrepair so a handy mechanic is needed to keep them up and running.
Old 18th March 2004
  #11
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Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Has anyone played with or actually seen the new Fulltone tape echo?
Old 18th March 2004
  #12
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De chromium cob's Avatar
 

Try out the WEM Copy Cat shadow model...Digital- but with the sound of a vintage tape delay and none of the hassles. I give it the big !
Old 18th March 2004
  #13
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
worth every dollar
Know that feeling - my retired magician-neighbour offered me a Roland SRE-555 in perfect condition with extra new tapes .

Him : can you use this ?

Me : Errrrr.... yessssss

Him : Have it , i find it a bit weird .

Love the chorus also .

Lovely box .

BTW , What does emulates this the closest in a digital box or software ?
Old 18th March 2004
  #14
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jpaudio's Avatar
 

Just wanted to thank everyone for their advice and opinions!


Good question henrybob... I use the tape echo presets often in my TC D2 delay unit as well as Line6 delay modeler... how do these compare to the real thing?
Old 18th March 2004
  #15
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Thermionic's Avatar
 

Oliver,

Did I ever send you a picture of my Telefunken tape echo? It's a rare beast (understatement) that was part of a console option. I've yet to hear from anyone that knows of it's existance, if you have any info please let me know, can email some jpgs if you like.

Please forgive me if I've hassled you before on this, I've asked so many people for info now I've lost track.

Cheers,
Justin
Old 18th March 2004
  #16
Gear Nut
 
oliver archut's Avatar
 

Hello Justin,

no hassle at all. AEG (Telefunkens mother company) build the first tape machines in the 1920 and the first one with RF bias in 1934, the K4. During the same time they started out and played with tape repeating options and delay, first used to eliminate sound running times at the Olympic Games in **** Germany.
After the war AEG build the rotating disk delay with five heads and two playbacks, later quite cheaply copied in the Binson echorec. There are several different versions of them, several tape versions so it is quite hard to keep track of them all.
Also there are all those jingle endless tape boxes in V76 housings that were used for station identification, short announcements, etc.
Most of them are not AEG or Telefunken at all.
As far as I remember you didn't send the pics to me, but sure let me take a look...


Best

Oliver
Old 18th March 2004
  #17
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Thermionic's Avatar
 

Thank-you for the kind offer Oliver

Telefunken Echo 1

Telefunken Echo 2

It uses a beautiful, large brushless ac motor which is very quiet and smooth, the motor is labelled Siemens. The solenoid on the top panel is labelled Telefunken.

I don't think the unit has seen much use in it's life as the eye-tube is still strong and the cotton-looming is undisturbed.

As you can see it takes 1/4in tape with mono heads. The mechanism squeals like hell, but the heads are very clean without any grooves in them (I do not think the original owner used it much). Therefore I am planning to track down some old jingle-carts and remove the "lube tape" to use as a loop, I think that surface-tension with modern tape formulations is causing the squealing, the heads are in very good condition.

You can also see that the unit has no sides; the engineers I have shown it to in Germany (one who worked at the TFK plant) reckon it would have been a console option, and as such built in a department other than the main tape workshop, they also said it could have been made for a broadcast console.

Thanks again,

Justin
Old 18th March 2004
  #18
Gear Nut
 
oliver archut's Avatar
 

Hello Justin,

quite a while that I saw one of theses units, there were only a hand full made and the original blueprint for the Echolette and Echocord copies. Telefunken started to make them in the late 1950s for studios of experimental music, actually it wasn't made in Hanover it is a Berlin made unit and probably came out of the University there. As far as I know there was only Berlin, Hannover and Cologne that had such studios...
A few units were sold to EMI but mostly they have an EMI/Carl Lundstoem inventory number.

Some of this units had a modified V53 as a frequency driver for speed control....

A very nice piece you got there, I went to my boxes of historic schematic, but could not find anything this far, I just moved to Kansas so please give me a while, I might dig up something....

Best

Oliver
Old 18th March 2004
  #19
emulations

if you think tape saturation plugins nail it, you might be sold on the echo emulations, but it ain't the same. the green line 6 delay delay pedal i tried wasn't remotely close.
Old 18th March 2004
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Thermionic
Thank-you for the kind offer Oliver

Telefunken Echo 1

Telefunken Echo 2
Never seen that one before...
mind-bending sweetness!

JCM
Old 18th March 2004
  #21
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Thermionic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by oliver archut
Hello Justin,

quite a while that I saw one of theses units, there were only a hand full made and the original blueprint for the Echolette and Echocord copies. Telefunken started to make them in the late 1950s for studios of experimental music, actually it wasn't made in Hanover it is a Berlin made unit and probably came out of the University there. As far as I know there was only Berlin, Hannover and Cologne that had such studios...
A few units were sold to EMI but mostly they have an EMI/Carl Lundstoem inventory number.

Some of this units had a modified V53 as a frequency driver for speed control....

A very nice piece you got there, I went to my boxes of historic schematic, but could not find anything this far, I just moved to Kansas so please give me a while, I might dig up something....

Best

Oliver
Hi Oliver,

What can I say? The unit has been with me for over 2 years and you are the first person that has given me any real information!

I am surprised I did not ask you first, I think I assumed I had asked you as you would be the logical engineer to ask!

With regards to servicing, do you think the Echocord (Dynacord S65 I presume?) schematics would be helpful in any way? At the moment the machine works, but one of the controls is not doing anything (the heads feedback ok). I am thinking I may have to trace the circuit myself to get a schematic, unless you can find one while digging in which case I would send you a well-aged bottle of wine for your trouble!

A sincere Thank-you

Justin
Old 18th March 2004
  #22
Gear Head
 
ampguy's Avatar
 

my experience

I've used a space echo (RE 201), and Echoplex EP-3, and EP-4.

The SS echoplexes (EP-3 and EP-4) are quiet if maintained well, and have good S/N. The EP-3 can have longer repeats if that effect is being used.

The tube echoplexes add distortion, again that may be fine if you're looking for that effect along with the delay.

The EP-4's have some controls the EP-3s don't, and if used in moderation (not extensive and extremely long repeats), give higher S/N than the EP-3 and of course the tube models.
Old 28th April 2006
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Dynacord S65

Hi!
It's time to recap me Dynacord Super 65 and I wonder if I can replace the 48uF/42V bipolar field pushing motor cap ( Electrolyt ) with a usual F&T 47uF/50V bipolar cap. Any ideas? thanks a lot...
Old 28th April 2006
  #24
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by oliver archut
, but the Klemt Echolette NG51 and NG51S have the same mechanical set up but with better electronics and no reverb spring. You can get nice tape modulation, saturation and if driven hard frequency controlled delay distortion, overall a better sound. Great for overdriving electric guitars with its four build in high impedance inputs.
Oliver, do you know where I can get a 'Schaltplan' for the Klemt Echolette? I bought one for a very low price some time ago and my tech claimed he couldn't fix it yet because he needs said 'Schaltplan'?

thanks
Old 28th April 2006
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
Mark Cattano's Avatar
 

tape echo...

Roland RE 501's, if you can find 'em, are incredible.

Mark Cattano
Magneto Studios
www.heedmusic.com
www.myspace.com/markcattano
Old 5th December 2007
  #26
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Thermionic, Is there any way repost the pics of that Telefunken Echo? The link doesn't work and Im so curious what it looks like
Old 5th December 2007
  #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danny View Post
if you think tape saturation plugins nail it, you might be sold on the echo emulations, but it ain't the same. the green line 6 delay delay pedal i tried wasn't remotely close.
Then you haven't tried the UA RE-201 Space Echo...

We have a 201, a Binson and a Watkins Copycat in our studio, we also had a RE-150 that we sold 2 months ago because we stopped using it since we've got the UA plug...
Old 5th December 2007
  #28
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by henrybob View Post
Know that feeling - my retired magician-neighbour offered me a Roland SRE-555 in perfect condition with extra new tapes .

Him : can you use this ?

Me : Errrrr.... yessssss

Him : Have it , i find it a bit weird .

Love the chorus also .

Lovely box .

BTW , What does emulates this the closest in a digital box or software ?
The closest thing to a Roland Chorus in a digital format are the UA Roland CE-1 and Dimension D.
Old 5th December 2007
  #29
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Thermionic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleestack View Post
Thermionic, Is there any way repost the pics of that Telefunken Echo?
Hi,

The photos were from my old hard drive which doesn't work now... Not only that, but I haven't had the machine in my possession since posting the photos, so I'm not sure how to get more photos. The unit needed a massive rebuild, but no one was forthcoming with the schematics due to its rarity...

Sorry about that!

Justin
Old 5th December 2007
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keeno View Post
Hi!
It's time to recap me Dynacord Super 65 and I wonder if I can replace the 48uF/42V bipolar field pushing motor cap ( Electrolyt ) with a usual F&T 47uF/50V bipolar cap. Any ideas? thanks a lot...
Are you wondering about the values?

50V is above 42V, so you re covered there.
48 uf is so close to 47 uf that I am sure that either cap's true value would be above or below the other due to the tolerance of any component.

I have a Echoplex that according to Mike Battle (he designed and built them) was one of the VERY FIRST solid state models he built.
If you looked at it you would think it was a tube unit, but it has a Nortronics circuitboard or two in it instead.
Mike was quite surprised to encounter it after so many years!

All Space Echos have essentially the same internal circuitboard/circuitry that records and plays back the signal. The RE-555 has the balancing circuits, but it isn't much different. I have owned or used almost all variants of the Roland Space Echoes over the years. They are quiet enough to use in mix for rock stuff.
The chorus has a wierd, not good distortion they are over-driven.
If that OD light is coming on then it sounds U G L Y!!!!

The Echoplexes are WAYYYYYYYYY noisier, but they have such character!

Plugging a GTR into a tube Echoplex provides a magic that is there even if you don't use the echo.
Andy Summers with The Police used two tube Echoplexes.
The speed variation inherent with the Echoplexes gives them a lot of magic.
Two of them work against each other in a way that is akin to true ADT.

Personally, for rock-n-roll tape delay I use an MCI JH-110B.
It is quiet, you can saturate the tape and it has VSO.
I find that 3.75 ips and 7.5 ips are pretty familiar sounding delay times on their own.
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