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Roland Space Echo repair?
Old 15th February 2003
  #1
Gear Nut
 
tee's Avatar
 

Roland Space Echo repair?

I had the good fortune of inheriting 2 Roland Space Echoes from a friend. One is a 201, the other a 501 ( killer chorus too ) which both work .... but ......... they've definitely seen better days. They are in general disrepair - scratchy pots, the 501 has a bad case of intermittent 60 cycle hum. The good news is both the motors and heads are OK.

The problem is finding someone to work on them, I definitely want to refurb them as I haven't had to put any cash in them yet, so what the hell? Right?

I've made a few trips around the web without finding anyone in the US that can service them. So the question is - do any GS's know some one that can put these machines back into shape??

Many layers of thanks,
Tony
Old 15th February 2003
  #2
Here for the gear
 

You can buy copies of the RE-201 service manual here, and copies of the RE-501 service manual here.

Also, contact AnalogMike via email at analogman.com. His email is [email protected]. He doesn't do a lot of repairs himself anymore, but he may know a qualified tech for these units. Mike is a one of the oldest and respected dealers in analog guitar effects units in the U.S., and a great technical resource. My transactions with him have been handled very well, and he referred me to a quality tech to repair some vintage effects I own.
Old 15th February 2003
  #3
Gear Nut
 
tee's Avatar
 

tonedaddy - thanks for the connection, man. I'll email him and see what he's got to say, plus you got to love someone called Analog Man! I picture him with tights and a cape with a big A on the front of his chest.

Peace,
Tony
Old 2nd October 2009
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
sonichermit's Avatar
 

Roland Space Echo repairs

I am the original owner of a RE-201 that I have been fiddling with here of late. Have a replacement record head on order from JRF. Today while I was noodling around with adjustments I discovered that the trap coil part #MC-128 no longer can be adjusted because the plastic thingy with a slot in it for adjustment is broken probably because it is so old. Does anyone here know anything about this part? Can I find a coil that would retro fit or find a used one somewhere? The tape echo still works so apparently I didn't defeat the function of the coil but I also cannot truly make electrical adjustments either.
I attempted to do some electrical testing but do not know if my readings are accurate or not. Was going through the service manual and attempting to see if the bias is set correctly when I discovered the problem with the trap coil. Also am considering replacing some caps.
Anyone out there have any in depth knowledge of these units? I'd sure like to get it back working somewhat like it did when it was new. Had the motor worked on some years ago and it runs but not exactly quietly. The tech replaced the motor bearing as prior to that it would bind up. He also cleaned the motor. It seems to be running OK.
One thing I discovered about these tape echo units is how critical head adjustment is. Just a hair of a turn on the adjustment screws can make the difference between gettting a nice echo and getting practically none. So for those out there who bought tape loops and are still not getting the echo you deserve keep that in mind.
There is still nothing out there that compared to tape echo..... period.
Old 3rd October 2009
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Get ready for some serious headaches. Like having to reprint versions when you discover the 501 stopped sometime in between printing versions. We have two, both of which are temperamental at times. Watch it like a hawk. Love the sound, but hate the unreliability...
Old 3rd October 2009
  #6
Gear Maniac
 
sonichermit's Avatar
 

Roland Space Echo repair

If it stops it likely one of two reasons. 1. the motor is going or needs cleaning and lubrication.(From what I have been told the motor will essentially run forever but needs careful service by a professional after 30 years. Motor bearing might need to be replaced as well. 2. The tape is either the wrong type or the heads are dirty and cause the tape to bind up. Possible the pinch roller needs lube also. Just a drop of light machine oil will do, keep it off the rubber. This is assuming there are no internal electrical malfunctions.
Old 16th December 2009
  #7
Here for the gear
 

My 201 is running, and reverbs...but cant get any delay's from it anymore....any ideas?
Old 16th December 2009
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
FLUKE's Avatar
 

Same here...
501: no reverb
301: no delay
I think one of the motors is dead.
Old 16th December 2009
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Sounds Great's Avatar
I have a Multivox Multi-Echo (since 1979) that needed repair many years ago. The motor was replaced. I lived in Boulder at the time and the work was done by Boulder Electronic Repair. This was back in the mid 90's, but you could check with them to see if they are still doing such repairs. I did not have a service manual, but they figured it out some how. thumbsup
Old 17th December 2009
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
sonichermit's Avatar
 

Roland RE-201 Space Echo repair

Able & Fluke,

How old are the tapes you have in those units? Try to obtain some orginal RT-1L tapes if possible. Avoid 201loops.com. They stick and do not last, wrong kind of tape apparently.
If you have or can get a copy of the service manual browse through it and when you come to part about tape alignment follow those instructions. Alignment has everything to do with the sort of delay and repeats you will get.
Look at the pressure pad on the spring steel tab that rides on the bearing roller which is on the tape infeed side of the heads. I looked around local fabric shops for 100% wool felt and couldn't find the thickness I needed which should be around 3/16 to 1/4" thick. Instead I contacted a company that sells felt and found that they ship free samples. I told them what I needed and ended up with a piece about 3" X 5" which is enough for a lot of pressure pads. In the process of replacing the pad I carefully removed the spring tab which is held on by two tiny screws with nuts . I cleaned off the old felt pad with some denatured alchohol and then using 3M Super 77 adhesive I carefully swabbed some of the adhesive onto the spring steel tab. I had already cut the felt to a strip about 1/4" wide (tape width) and the same length as the old pressure pad.
So far the pad is holding on the tab and I immediately noticed an improvement in the number of repeats. The pressure pad is what puts the proper tension on the tape as it crosses the heads so it has a direct bearing on the sort of echo quality and repeats you get.
I will be replacing the other two pressure pads on the outfeed side of the heads soon using the same technique but I have some samples coming from a different source that are closer to the original felt thickness which I measured at 3/16. Of course I am not truly certain how thick the felt was when new. My machine is 34 years old and I am sure the felt has worn significantly over that many years.
One other factor with my 201 is that I fairly recently replaced the record head with a new Nortronics head I got from John French at JRf magnetics. He was great, very helpful and the swap from the old head to the new one wasn't all that difficult. Just the tiny tiny screws that hold the head to the base plate were a bit tricky to not drop because if I had I would surely have lost those screws they are extremely small.
I have a few other things I want to do to the 201 such as replacing some caps. Also in the manual mention is made of setting the intensity trim pot which is inside on the record pc board. I probably will turn mine up a bit further to see what the result is in the number of repeats. I still cannot get the machine to self oscillate and I am wondering if turning up the intensity full bore will make self oscillation possible.
Hope some of these tips help you guys out.
Old 17th December 2009
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Err....sorry.

Just felt the need to post here because of my avatar ~ and love for the 201.

Carry on
Old 17th December 2009
  #12
Here for the gear
 

I was considering sending mine in for service even though it sounds ok probably could be recapped. Untitled Page
Old 4th August 2010
  #13
Gear Maniac
 

Space Echo Repair in Montreal

I've had my Space Echo for over two years, worked great until recently. Brought it to two places in town but it still isn't right. The last guy suggested I replace the pinch roller. I don't know if it needs to be recapped or if there are any other issues. Units works but there's a lot of wobble. I'm using the NOS RT-1L tapes.

Can anyone suggest someone in Montreal, or Canada at the very least who specializes in repairing these units!?!?!?

Help me please
Old 7th January 2011
  #14
Here for the gear
 
maxim_m's Avatar
 

Service Manual uploaded

If someone is seeking for the SM, I just uploaded it here:

Roland_RE-201_Service_Notes.PDF

good luck


maxim
Old 7th January 2011
  #15
Here for the gear
 
maxim_m's Avatar
 

Dedicated Tape Echo Service

These guys must have it all:

Roland Space Echo Tape Loops, RE-150 RE-201 RE-301 RE-501 SRE-555


maxim
Old 8th April 2011
  #16
Here for the gear
 

I repair them.

[email protected] is:

ATELIER STEPHAN QUEDNAU
Réparation audio et synthétiseurs
3650 Michel-Ange, Montreal H2A 1J4, Tel: 514-507-5991
(17iemme & Michel-Ange)
Old 9th January 2012
  #17
Here for the gear
 

Repair

Hi, I also repair and have parts for the Roland Space Echos. I have new tape loops, NOS reverb tanks for the RE-201 etc

Echo Fix - Roland Space Echo Parts and Service, RT-L1, RE-201, RE-501, RE-150 — Echo Fix
Old 30th June 2013
  #18
Here for the gear
 

Roland space echo Restoration/overhaul

Funky-keys.fr is specialized in repairing those and giving them a complete overhaul so if youre based in Europe it the place to go when it comme to vintage gear
Old 30th June 2013
  #19
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmik_debris View Post
I've had my Space Echo for over two years, worked great until recently. Brought it to two places in town but it still isn't right. The last guy suggested I replace the pinch roller. I don't know if it needs to be recapped or if there are any other issues. Units works but there's a lot of wobble. I'm using the NOS RT-1L tapes.

Can anyone suggest someone in Montreal, or Canada at the very least who specializes in repairing these units!?!?!?

Help me please
its not the pinch roller sir its probably the bearing in your motor we had a customer having same issues actually not the only one
Old 30th June 2013
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FLUKE View Post
Same here...
501: no reverb
301: no delay
I think one of the motors is dead.
Hi the delay issue is probably a cold solder joint somwhere in the path
and for the reverb i would cheack the tank first and the cinch conncetion , unfortunatelly there is not a standard resolution to both but i m happy to help
Old 22nd January 2014
  #21
Gear Maniac
 

Testing Roland Motor?

I have an RE-501 whose motor won't go. The shaft spins freely, but isn't being driven. The multipin connectors are feeding DC voltage to the unit (haven't sat down with pen and paper to determine WHICH pins / transistors are supplying the voltage, and which ones are changing with manipulation of the speed control.

My question is: Before I dig too deep in the motor, are there standard ways of testing it? I see small transistors near the windings, and diodes on the schematic at least. Any tips?

Many thanks!
Old 23rd January 2014
  #22
Gear Addict
 
spurratic's Avatar
I thought the 201 was indestructable!

I used to be in a band called 'Square Root of Margaret', ahhh, those were the days./ My singer used a RE-201 Space Echo unit on his voice....carted it to every gig and put his mic thru it into the PA.

I always just assumed these things were indestructible, I mean.....for the 6 years I was in the band, and the 10 years before that....he would have the thing teetering on top of his Fender Quad, 4-5 heinekens perched on top, Jagermeister spills on it,

We would sit on it like a stool when we had an extra passenger in the band van, it would sit out in the cold for days when we were too lazy to unload.

But that puppy still runs like a dream to this day. The H M L switch is a bit loose and the VU meter doesn't work (but who needs it anyways when you have the overload lamp).

Never been serviced, tape loops never been changed.
Old 23rd January 2014
  #23
Old 1st October 2019
  #24
Here for the gear
Does anyone know a reputable person or company who does reaor work here in the USA on Roland Space Echo machines.

The company I used to use is no longer and I need to have a couple of RE-201's serviced and repaired.

Thanks for any help!

Cheers!
Greg
Old 2nd October 2019
  #25
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonichermit View Post
Able & Fluke,

How old are the tapes you have in those units? Try to obtain some orginal RT-1L tapes if possible. Avoid 201loops.com. They stick and do not last, wrong kind of tape apparently.
If you have or can get a copy of the service manual browse through it and when you come to part about tape alignment follow those instructions. Alignment has everything to do with the sort of delay and repeats you will get.
Look at the pressure pad on the spring steel tab that rides on the bearing roller which is on the tape infeed side of the heads. I looked around local fabric shops for 100% wool felt and couldn't find the thickness I needed which should be around 3/16 to 1/4" thick. Instead I contacted a company that sells felt and found that they ship free samples. I told them what I needed and ended up with a piece about 3" X 5" which is enough for a lot of pressure pads. In the process of replacing the pad I carefully removed the spring tab which is held on by two tiny screws with nuts . I cleaned off the old felt pad with some denatured alchohol and then using 3M Super 77 adhesive I carefully swabbed some of the adhesive onto the spring steel tab. I had already cut the felt to a strip about 1/4" wide (tape width) and the same length as the old pressure pad.
So far the pad is holding on the tab and I immediately noticed an improvement in the number of repeats. The pressure pad is what puts the proper tension on the tape as it crosses the heads so it has a direct bearing on the sort of echo quality and repeats you get.
I will be replacing the other two pressure pads on the outfeed side of the heads soon using the same technique but I have some samples coming from a different source that are closer to the original felt thickness which I measured at 3/16. Of course I am not truly certain how thick the felt was when new. My machine is 34 years old and I am sure the felt has worn significantly over that many years.
One other factor with my 201 is that I fairly recently replaced the record head with a new Nortronics head I got from John French at JRf magnetics. He was great, very helpful and the swap from the old head to the new one wasn't all that difficult. Just the tiny tiny screws that hold the head to the base plate were a bit tricky to not drop because if I had I would surely have lost those screws they are extremely small.
I have a few other things I want to do to the 201 such as replacing some caps. Also in the manual mention is made of setting the intensity trim pot which is inside on the record pc board. I probably will turn mine up a bit further to see what the result is in the number of repeats. I still cannot get the machine to self oscillate and I am wondering if turning up the intensity full bore will make self oscillation possible.
Hope some of these tips help you guys out.
Thanks!!
Old 2nd October 2019
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Bstapper's Avatar
 

Switchedon in Austin works on them. Cost me a small fortune for my EP but it’s 100%. Can’t fault the quality of the work.

Might also try AudioElectronics in Dallas.
Old 9th October 2019
  #27
Here for the gear
Thanks much!
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