Echoplex EP-3 problem: low echo volume

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by musicwack, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. musicwack

    musicwack Member

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    To anyone familiar with tape units, here's my problem:

    I was playing with my EP-3 and noticed that the echo's were decreasing in volume and sounded slightly distorted. This was happening intermittently and it didn't bother me too much up until the point where it is now happening all the time. The dry signal comes through, but the repeats are extremely faint and distorted sounding. It was working completely fine minutes before this so what could have caused this to happen so suddenly? Any tips to give me before I spend a couple hundred bucks to send this out and get fixed?
     
  2. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    There's a pot that can be adjusted to vary the echo gain. It's accessible through the small hole on the control panel. Use a tiny flathead screwdriver and adjust to get the best signal to noise ratio.
     
  3. musicwack

    musicwack Member

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    I had it set to a proper level previously to my problem. Does this constantly have o be adjusted?
     
  4. JLee

    JLee Supporting Member

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    Here and there. I had mine nearly completely rebuilt when I first bought it. Sounded fantastic and shelved it for a couple months. Broke it out and found the echoes barely audible and had to adjust the gain level. Haven't had to touch it since, but my unit doesn't see regular use.
     
  5. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

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    No. Unfortunately I have a feeling one of the transistors in your echo path may have failed. A tape head could also be dieing. A sudden loss of echo quality means something failed.

    How healthy does the motor run? That can cause distortion and out of tune sOunds.
     
  6. musicwack

    musicwack Member

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    How odd... So I did adjust the record level and all is back to normal. I just don't understand why I would have to readjust this again after setting it.

    As far as the motor, how do you know if it's running strong? there is some slight warble but not present all the time. Any other signs to look out for?
     
  7. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    You've probably done this already...but have you cleaned and demag'ed the heads lately? Or changed the tape. You know with those tapes spinning continually over the heads you can get an oxide build up pretty quick. The old maintanence guides for tape recorders used to suggest cleaning the heads every 8 hrs or so and certainly back in the day we used to clean recorder heads before every session and demag pretty frequently. I would think if you use an Echoplex a lot, day after day, cleaning the heads before every session and demaging ever week or two would be pretty important to keeping things clear and crisp and maintaining the life of the heads. Allowing the tape oxide to build up on the head will dull and finally all but destroy the echo output for sure. And then changing to a new tape every six months or a year or something or more often if it's getting that much use.

    If you haven't yet, the first think I'd do is clean and demagnetize the heads.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  8. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

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    Moving parts mean vibration....

    Bad motor would prob be very noisy and have variation in the sound. I think you are alright though
     

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