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Roland RE-201 Space Echo Replacement tape loops???
Old 3rd December 2008
  #1
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darkwavo's Avatar
 

Roland RE-201 Space Echo Replacement tape loops???

I am looking for the best tape loop for my space echo. I have tried one type of premade loops from ebay seller "rankus" from canada- which sounded good, but caused my machine to eat the tape and jam up the transport over and over. So, I made my own loop out of some stuff designed for Echoplexes. Mechanically , it works fine, but the sound is not right. Delay repeats are too low and thin and does not seem like correct biased tape for the 201. Someone suggested making loops Ampex 406 1/4" - but I am worried as some info I have found in another thread claims "mastering" tapes can ruin the heads in the space echo.
Can anyone help?
Which is the best tape formula to make loops or the best place to buy good loops that will sound great and not ruin my machine?

Thanks !!
nico
Old 4th December 2008
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkwavo View Post
I am looking for the best tape loop for my space echo. I have tried one type of premade loops from ebay seller "rankus" from canada- which sounded good, but caused my machine to eat the tape and jam up the transport over and over. So, I made my own loop out of some stuff designed for Echoplexes. Mechanically , it works fine, but the sound is not right. Delay repeats are too low and thin and does not seem like correct biased tape for the 201. Someone suggested making loops Ampex 406 1/4" - but I am worried as some info I have found in another thread claims "mastering" tapes can ruin the heads in the space echo.
Can anyone help?
Which is the best tape formula to make loops or the best place to buy good loops that will sound great and not ruin my machine?

Thanks !!
nico

I think your best bet is to get some proper tape loops from ebay a different seller or from a space echo specialist .
We've got some here in Europe and I haven't experienced any problems ( Iw ill try to find the seller for you)
Old 23rd December 2008
  #3
baikonour, where you get tapes from? I still hung in getting one of this ol'good gears for this tape-terror (will they work fine or crank my gear)
Old 24th December 2008
  #4
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I change mine with 1/4 normal tape normaly used for the 2 track studer and it work well, make a loop with a good "tape" tape, and I'm sure it will work well for you too.
Old 24th December 2008
  #5
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Sounds Great's Avatar
How hard are they to get? I bought a bunch a long time ago, and I only have 3 left.
Old 24th December 2008
  #6
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I bought some here recently:

201loop Home Page

Haven't tried them yet. But, I didn't receive a box of rocks, so that's a start.
Old 6th July 2009
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majortom View Post
I bought some here recently:

201loop Home Page

Haven't tried them yet. But, I didn't receive a box of rocks, so that's a start.
So how did they work out?
Old 6th July 2009
  #8
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BOWIE's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsmith1261 View Post
So how did they work out?
I just got some from there a few days ago. Nice loops. Smooth and detailed sound. I bought more than I need so if anyone wants to buy a single loop, let me know.
Old 6th September 2009
  #9
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Roland Re-201 Space Echo Replacement tape loops

I bought some of those loops from 201loop and for some reason the tape hangs up. I checked the heads and tape path and it was clean. The tape seems to be sticking across the heads. Does anyone have any theories? Is it the tape or something else. I checked most everything else and don't have a clue why this is happening. I suspect the tape. Sure wish there were some decent RT-1L tapes left somewhere it seems to be the only thing that works properly.
Old 6th September 2009
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laperlestudio View Post
I change mine with 1/4 normal tape normaly used for the 2 track studer and it work well, make a loop with a good "tape" tape, and I'm sure it will work well for you too.
We learned the hard way back in '78 to NEVER put anything except the tape designed for tape loops into a Space Echo.
We used 456 from the studio and the RE-201 sounded great.... at first.
That unit was about three years old at that time and had seen heavy use because we played five nights per week in a club.

It only took about six weeks for the tape to ruin the heads.

Tape like 406 and 456 is much more abrasive.
I believe it is because the oxide coating is thicker.
It is no way near as polished as the prper tape deal tape is.

For one thing, I believe 406 is 1 mil. thick tape (it might even be 1/5 mil.)
Tape delay tapes are .5 mil.
Old 6th September 2009
  #11
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Sounds Great's Avatar
I've been saving these last three forever. In fact I have been putting off changing my current tape for way too long.
Old 7th September 2009
  #12
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Roland Re-201 Space Echo Replacement tape loops

Sounds good,

Does that mean you are selling the replacement tapes? I would be interested in purchasing at least one if not all of them. Thanks
Old 7th September 2009
  #13
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I looked over the Space echo again after having the tape hanging up. Inside the tape well there are two screws with nylon spacers on them , I assumed that the tape is supposed to go around these nylon posts, but whether they are or they aren't it seems that just bypassing them has solved the issue of the tape hanging up. I assume that having the tape pass over them caused excess resistance in the tape travel. After rerouting the tape path the machine has not hung up since. I still see some issues with "wobble" or more to the point the echoes seem to occasionally be sped up or slowed down. I checked the tension on the pinch roller and it is about 1.4kg which is within the suggested range according to the service notes. The motor seems to be running consistently so I am thinking it is still the tape. I won't know until I find an original Roland RT-1L for certain. I have some spare heads from way back when which I will be installing soon assuming I will get more repeats and clearer echoes given how old the heads are that are in the unit now, approximately 27 years on these heads. Unit is 34 years old.
Old 7th September 2009
  #14
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Sounds Great's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonichermit View Post
Sounds good,

Does that mean you are selling the replacement tapes? I would be interested in purchasing at least one if not all of them. Thanks
I'm tempted, but I should really hang on to them.

Here are some on Ebay, though.

ROLAND RT-1L ORIGINAL ECHO CHAMBER TAPE NEVER USED - eBay (item 220474636521 end time Sep-08-09 10:10:14 PDT)

Roland RT-1L RT1L Space Echo Tape RE Series 3 loops - eBay (item 270451249877 end time Oct-02-09 16:21:33 PDT)
Old 7th September 2009
  #15
Gear Nut
 

Try those:
Tape Loops

201loop tape did not do it for me. It destroyed itself pretty fast (stuck in the transport somewhere), wowed and fluttered and sounded wrong. I thought the re-201 is broken after all those years, but with the new loops everything is running smooth again and the sound is great, like I remember from the original loops.
Old 8th September 2009
  #16
Gear Nut
 

You need long play tape stock....... this is a thinner gauge tape. I've been making my own loops for a while using ampex but recently got lazy and bought some pre made loops off ebay..... not had a chance to try them yet... arrived at the weekend!
Old 9th September 2009
  #17
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Roland Re-201 Space Echo Replacement tape loops

Hopsing,

I went to their web page and looked over their ads regarding these loops. How long have you had one of their loops and is it still working fine? I think the problem with the 201 loop is as you mentioned. It is too thin of tape and probably the wrong composition. Mine was sticking together the same problem you said you had. I just bought three original RT-1L's off an ebay auction from someone in Japan. It remains to be seen how those will work out as they are obviously pretty aged. If I don't get satisfaction out of them I am going to order one at least from the place you mentioned. Thanks
Old 17th September 2009
  #18
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roland Re-201 Space Echo Replacement tape loops

I took out the 201 loop and put in my last original Roland loop. It doesn't sound very good either because of it's age or I need to do some tweaking. I need to do some tweaking anyway, the point is it doesn't stick or hang up at all. To my way of thinking that proves the 201 loops are not recommended and simply cause problems. Likely the wrong sort of tape and besides their splice sucked. Every time it crossed the playback heads it made a noise, not good. Steer clear of them, they are not worth the trouble. You could likely make your own and they would be better then the 201's.
Old 11th October 2009
  #19
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How does 201loop get away with calling their product RT-1L, and stating that the brand is Roland under item specs? I hate crap like that, I was pretty close to ordering some.. lucky I checked here first
Old 11th October 2009
  #20
I'm not sure if I responded to this thread before because I've been away for awhile, but if you're going to roll your own Space Echo loops the correct tape to use is the tape out of old style 8 track or broadcast carts. The reason is that tape made for carts is lubricated, while normal reel to reel tape is not. The lubrication not only decreases head wear, it also makes the tape last longer in an endless loop.

The problem, of course, is finding it these days, but if you do one cart is good for quite a few space echo tapes.
Old 12th October 2009
  #21
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lovekrafty's Avatar
I tried the 201loop's in my Korg Stage Echo after having an original RT-1L
very different in my opinion , the 201loop was harsh and gritty sounding compared to the old stock RT-1L loops , I'v just ordered some old stock off ebay, mind you the 201loop lasted way longer than the old stock Roland tape loops

My 2 cents
LK
Old 13th October 2009
  #22
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sonichermit's Avatar
 

Roland RE-201 Space Echo replacement tape loops

I have been working on my Space echo for a while now. Still have the RT-1L in it I put in about 3 -4 weeks ago and it works fine. Initially I was not getting the kind of quality out of the unit I wanted after getting rid of the 201 loop which hung up and was a PITA.
Anyway I messed around with the head ajustments and now am getting some fairly nice echo. Only thing I cannot seem to get is self oscillation. Anyone here have any thoughts?
Central point here is is you are not getting the quality echo even with a good tape I would immediately check how clean the heads are, have you demagged them lately and head alignment. This is assuming your machine is still in good shape .
Old 30th October 2009
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

So I have to chime in and say that I've bought 5 201loops from the guy on ebay, and yes the tape keeps jamming up to the point where every 2 minutes it jams up.

Now that first tape is destroyed and cost $20

So I thought I it was just my tape echo but this is interesting, I just wish there was somewhere to get the right tape!
Old 30th October 2009
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Dirt View Post
this place looks interesting...
Tape Loops
"The new Tape Loop is Made of High Quality, High Output, Self-lubricating tape stock which is Heavy Duty Polyester, Substrated and Optimally Biased for these Machines.It gives less wear and tear on the machine heads and it also has the added benefit that the magnetic oxcide does not release itself from the tape thereby preventing the tape heads and other moving parts from becoming clogged up."

i think i bought from 201loops a while ago and never had any problems with my 101... maybe i got lucky...
That looks like an interesting site. I notice they specifically mention lubricated tape. That's good.
Old 30th October 2009
  #25
Here for the gear
 

Well...i bought a bunch of loops from mytapeecho.com in april 09, and I am not too convinced. I dont recall them jamming but they do sound a bit thin IMO and the splicing is not done very well. Let it be noted that I am a fairly new space echo (201) owner and do not have a lot of experience with these machines.

Worse yet, I cleaned the tapeheads with som isopropyl a week ago and put in a fresh mytapeecho loop. There was no echo at all. I tried 2 other loops and were able to produce one or two whimpy-sounding echoes and then they also went dead. I am sure they were installed correctly. The loops have been sitting on a shelf since April so I don't know if they can "expire" in some way?

I had a short mastertape loop, which was used for testing a while back. I can get echoes when using this. Even self-oscillation.

There have been at least one other report of poor sound quality and splicing with these loops on a danish audio forum, so mytapeecho.com might not be the ticket.

Given my tape machinery noobness, I am open to the possibility that my space echo may be in less than stellar condition, and that this may influence the situation in ways I am not aware of.
Old 30th October 2009
  #26
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wrekdahouse's Avatar
 

is'nt the magazine cart tapes the infamous lubricated tape for the space echo ?
Old 1st November 2009
  #27
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sonichermit's Avatar
 

Roland RE-201 Space Echo replacement tape loops

I have been working on my old RE-201 for a while now. So I have a few things to mention that are relevant to these machines. I just replaced the record head with a new Nortronics head I obtained from John French at JRF magnetics and it does seem to have a positive effect on the number and quality of echo I am getting from the 201.
Mr. French made it relaltively easy to replace the head by pre drilling the tiny mounting holes on the bottom of the new head. Still pretty tricky getting those little screws through the shim plate he included but I got it done just the same.
I also need to thank Joe Dundovik for all the help he gave me on the problems I was having with my 201. He was an invaluable source of infomation and never asked for anything in return for all the time he spent talking to me via e-mail.
Have come to wonder if possibly the oscillator as it is 34 years old may not be working optimally which I assume can account for less then perfect performance.
Recapping is yet another possibility with these machines. Question is which caps should be replaced?
I am happy at the improvements so far in the 201's performance but still want to pursue getting more out of it by tweaking the aforementioned things.
Regarding tape. That is a tough call. I was fortunate in that a seller from Japan had some orginal RT-1L tapes on e-bay and I bought 3 for $36 which is pretty reasonable.
The tape seems to be working decent enough given it is probably over 20 years old.
The only other option I can think of is making ones own tape from 8 track cartridges. I have one 8 track cartidge someone gave me a few years ago. It was a new one that had never been recorded on. The trick with doing this is to get a good splice. Otherwise you will get a thump everytime the splice crosses the heads. That was what I got from 201 loops. Noisy splice and the tape hung up. Initially it sounded real nice, clear etc. but it didn't last for more then a week.
Old 3rd November 2009
  #28
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mudrock's Avatar
 

Back in the day I had a conversation with a service tech at Roland, and indeed, the RT1L tape is a lubricated tape on thicker stock than normal tape. He said the tape they use was designed for security recording loops. I had the good fortune to go in halfs on an entire pancake of real Roland tape, so I'm all set. Good luck to the rest of you! I also bought a complete set of heads and a motor from Roland before they stopped supporting them.....
Old 28th May 2010
  #29
Quote:
Originally Posted by radnar View Post
So I have to chime in and say that I've bought 5 201loops from the guy on ebay, and yes the tape keeps jamming up to the point where every 2 minutes it jams up.

Now that first tape is destroyed and cost $20

So I thought I it was just my tape echo but this is interesting, I just wish there was somewhere to get the right tape!
Hello all! My first post here.
I apologize for bringing an old thread back, but it's relevant. I got a loop from 2001loops for my recently purchased RE150 and it sticks to the heads and jams constantly. :(
I just ordered loops from mytapeecho.com and will report back with results.
Meanwhile would be great to hear an update from those of you who got the mytapeecho.com loop. How does it compare to the original Roland loop?
Thanks a lot,
Angelo
Old 28th May 2010
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Just use Ampex 226 1/4" to splice your loops.

16 years of doing this to my 301 and Echoplex EP4 without ruining anything.

777artin
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