Echoplex worth 'all' the hassle

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by shakeyjakey, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. shakeyjakey

    shakeyjakey Member

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    I have a EP2 which 'can' sound awesome.

    Few months ago I bought a Korg SDD3000..never imagined it could sound soo awesome in front of my amp's..the delay is great too.

    Plus with the 'attenuator out' I can really push my amp into Lanois territory.

    I used to use the Echoplex in front of my amp and even just as a pre it really added some magic...machine could use a service so for delay I have been using an old MXR-118.

    Well the SDD3000 does all this and without all the maintenance..watch it break on me :omg

    How many of you are still using and prefer these old Echoplex machine's.

    Always wanted to try an old MN3005 Memory Man..
    How do they compare to the above.

    Is the Echoplex dead ? I'm finding it impossible to find someone to service mine here in the UK.:huh

    Thanks
     
  2. JacksonCarter

    JacksonCarter Member

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    i have a univox tape delay that i use and love, BUT i know i cant depend on it, so i always have a analog delay pedal handy for when it throws a temper tatrum, which is about half the time...
     
  3. Zeon45

    Zeon45 Member

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    The old echoplex units aren't worth the hassle for me. The Skreddy Echo and big box DMM get me close enough without the maintenance hassles.
     
  4. Dashface

    Dashface Member

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    I've always just gone with the DMM. That being said, I'd pretty much kill a man for an SDD3000.
     
  5. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Actually, Echoplexes can be serviced. There's most of the info out on the internet and OrbitElectronix is making tapes and doing service.

    The Roland Tape Echos are a different matter, less prone to problems but no replacement motors, EVER!
     
  6. shakeyjakey

    shakeyjakey Member

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    I bought a bunch of cartridges off Pete Cornish..Ex 'Queen' maybe.

    The tape was rubbish in them..I ordered some lubricated tape from the US and rewound
    a couple. That, De-mag and cleaning has helped but it's still not 100% and I can't find anyone in the UK to service it.

    Capstan is a little noisy too, has some play.

    Only option is Tony at Orbit..going to cost me $$$$ shipping.
    What happens when it decides to sulk on me again..which it will one day.

    When it was right it was pretty mind blowing I remember that.
    Doing all the right thing's but repeats sound much thinner than original signal.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2012
  7. MG90

    MG90 Member

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    Can the Roland motors be rewound and/or rebuilt?
     
  8. GMinNJ

    GMinNJ Member

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    Funny to see this, because I am very seriously considering an EP3 as my next purchase, both for the echoes and for the overall effect on the signal chain that quite a few pedal-makers are duplicating these days.

    I read these threads and think about the thing breaking down on me. And I still think, man I want one.

    I've had good analog delays, too. But I think I'm going to scratch that Echoplex itch now...
     
  9. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Not AFAIK.
    i'd love to hear that they could be...
     
  10. Brien

    Brien Member

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    I'd be looking at the Fulltone TTE if I wanted to go that route. Awesome box!
     
  11. okie

    okie Supporting Member

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    I scratched that itch a few days ago when one popped up locally on craigslist, got it for $250. It's a little noisy and the tape doesn't fully erase, probably due to the old tape, but it's all original and probably never been serviced. Sounded insane even in it's original unserviced state. New tape from orbit ordered and demagnetizer on order plus a good cleaning should put it back in order.
     
  12. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Silver Supporting Member

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    Diddo...Get a Fulltone if you must use tape echo...
     
  13. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

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    Ep1, Ep2...probably not worth the hassel. Tubes mean more issues for reliability, and besides, they darken your guitar tone too much and don't even have that special echoplex preamp everyone loves.

    Early EP3 Solid State IS worth the hassle IMO.

    Maybe consider selling your EP2 and buy a fully serviced EP3. Sounds backwards, but I'd bet you'd be amazed how good it would sound in comparison.

    Tyler
     
  14. nondeplume

    nondeplume Puppet For Prophet Gold Supporting Member

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    With the caveat that.....there is NO hassle. The 'early' EP1/2 have given the ehcoplex name a black eye. Not even sure why anybody bothers with the 1 & 2....oO riiiiiight the toobzzz......the misconception that the 'tubes' are what make it shine, when in fact, it's what kills it.

    The EP3 is hassle free....I'm not that lucky a person, I have five of them, I bought one as spare parts and even that one doesn't give me any 'hassle'...wtf....these 'legends & rumours' are like Bigfoot, once started they never die a decent death. Jeez my 'cell phone' service is more of a hassle than my echo's.....lol.

    The Solid State EP3 is what made sonic history. It IS the prefereed echo-weapon of choice when people are talking about Echoplex, from Hendrix, Van Halen to EJ.

    Anway....THAT said. I'm pretty stuck on my TTE now, it's an examplary HASSLE free unit as well. Can't wait for his Solid State version based on the EP3.
     
  15. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

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    Well, to a degree. If you compare even the EP3 to a delay pedal, there is LOTS of hassle:

    • Tape replacements
    • Tape Bias
    • Demagnetize heads
    • Cleaning
    • Motors going out
    • etc

    Not that I"m saying they are super troublesome, but in comparison to a completely reliable maintenance free delay pedal, they are a hassle.


     
  16. GMinNJ

    GMinNJ Member

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    This is where I'm going. Great thread.
     
  17. JubileeMan 2555

    JubileeMan 2555 Member

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  18. iama

    iama Member

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    After using my old echoplex as a doorstop, I finally gave it away. Just not worth the maintenance and hassle. No more replacement tapes, tape noise, isopropal, q-tips, demagnatizers, caring for it like it was an infant. Just not practical for a working joe like me.

    Between the Flashback and Carbon Copy, I have it covered for my needs.
     
  19. chervokas

    chervokas Member

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    Exactly. Tape delays sound great. But it's still a constantly running tape loop machine and tape machines require a fair amount of routine ongoing maintenance and have plenty of moving parts to break down. Whether its "worth it" is entirely personal -- how much to you know about and enjoy biasing, cleaning, demaging, etc a tape machine? Are you counting on the machine for frequent live performances, because if so you better have a backup solution handy? It's not the tube electronics in an EP1 or EP2 that are gonna be the problem anymore than the tube electronics are gonna be a problem in an old amp -- once you get any old leaky caps replaced. But the tape machine elements will require constant ongoing care. I mean, say what you want about, say, analog recording vs. digital, no sound engineers I know long for the good old days of biasing, aligning, cleaning and demagnetizing the tape machines before every session. You face the same ongoing maintenance needs w/ a tape delay.
     
  20. Blue Bee

    Blue Bee Member

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    Went through 3 different ones (the plex, ep3, & tte), all had issues of some sort, though The Plex lasted many a gigs. For me it is not worth the hassle and headache. And $50 for a new tape every time a unit gets upset and spits it out... gets pricey.

    I would like to see a newer simple solid state tape unit in the sub $400 range with tapes under $5 and weight under 5 lbs...then id maybe consider one again

    For now i stick with the echopark, el cap and dmm
     

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