Fulltone TTE vs Vintage Tape Units

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by NewarkWilder, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. NewarkWilder

    NewarkWilder Member

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    Ok, so if I were to consider dropping the coin on a real-deal tape echo unit is the TTE really a better option than getting an original Space Echo or Echoplex? I understand that something made new and w/ a warranty is gonna carry a lot of weight over an old unit which likely will break down, and you don't know its history etc etc etc

    but to those who have compared them--sonically--does the TTE still stand up?
     
  2. somedude

    somedude Member

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    A number of years ago I A/B'd a TTE against a Roland Space Echo. Honestly, I liked the Space Echo more. While the Space Echo's delay quality wasn't as good, I thought low quality plus the wow and flutter added a certain 'something' that made the repeats more interesting. Now, this is obviously a bit like comparing a Corvette and a Ferrari and saynig you like the Corvette better because you happen to prefer the look of Corvettes, even though the Ferrari is obviously the superior car... so take it for what it's worth.

    The TTE is definetly cleaner/clearer sounding. Some people call them sterile, but I think that's getting carried away as I've heard sterile and the TTE isn't it. It's just an all around excellent sounding tape unit.

    In the end I ended up buying a TTE (used). Although I prefered the modulated repeats of the Space Echo I didn't want to deal with the potential maintainence issues. I'm pretty happy with my decision.
     
  3. NewarkWilder

    NewarkWilder Member

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    alright, just the kind of feedback I was hoping for. Thanks!! A big part of me really does want to get a Space Echo but I'm very nervous regarding the upkeep and reliability. And while you can never compare an "emulation" to the real deal I do still love my Superdelay's tape mode so I guess I'm just trying to test the waters here. I'll probably wind up with a TTE eventually.

    Thanks again!
     
  4. pedalfreek

    pedalfreek Member

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    I recently had the chance to do a side by side with my TTE and an EP-4.....

    I LOVE my TTE....but the EP-4 had this vibe and character that the TTE didn't. I'm sure there are many factors as to why that is...including the homewound tape cartridge that my friend made and uses in his EP-4 (using a Fulltone ball bearing cartridge)

    That said, I recently received my Clinch EP-PRE, and while it doesn't make the TTE sound like an EP.....it definitely fattens up the sound and gives the TTE a litttttle more character.

    The TTE is definitely not sterile, it's a brand new item that is made well and sounds great....we'll see how she sounds in about 20 years! :)
     
  5. NewarkWilder

    NewarkWilder Member

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    hmmmm.... seeing as I have an EP-PRE in the mail myself that definitely makes for another good thing to take into consideration! thanks!
     
  6. pedalfreek

    pedalfreek Member

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    Yes, it's a really cool pedal.

    I sat with it for a bit the other day using only my TTE and then stuck a Catalinbread SCO in the chain....both before and after the SCO.

    I definitely like the EP-PRE after the SCO, it fattens up the sound and darkens it up a bit as well, but not in a bad way...for my tastes anyway.

    It's the kind of pedal that will stay on all the time, because when you turn it off, the sound gets a bit thin!!

    Sorry to get a bit off topic!!
     
  7. stratplayer80

    stratplayer80 Senior Member

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    Just to show you the other side of the coin, I bought a Space Echo off of Ebay a few years back that was in "working excellent condition" It was nothing but. I ended up havin to get it repaired twice. After all that I opted for the TTE and no problems yet.
     
  8. wichita

    wichita Member

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    I have heard a TTE next to a EP3 and liked the EP3 better.
    Having said that I would love to hear Mike's take on the Ep3.

    The Ep3 had more of a vibe to it. The preamp is really nice in that unit.
    I really enjoy what it does to the tone. The TTE does not have that same vibe.
     
  9. sixty2strat

    sixty2strat Member

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    Well I have all 3.
    got anRE201 in 1988 for 110.00 one repair, to replace a bad pot. still worry about having a big issue with it since no one will touch them
    Had an EP3 in mint shape, never any issues in 10 years I had it. Sold it when I got The TTE. ...stoooopid
    TTE owner for 3 .5 years, broke down 2 times. Sent it back to fulltone, they said it was the tubes, funny I tested them and swapped tubes and it did not work, did not return the bad part...but they know best, cost me 160 with shipping tubes and an update. used it for 2 gigs and the tubes blew. This time they did not glow, swapped them out for RCA black plates, still did not work. after waiting a week to hear from fultone I tried the tubes again, this time they worked .....WTF is all I can say. For xmas a bought a Ep3. really missed the lowfi Ep3 tone suck. The TTE is very Crystaline and lacks the Ep warmth, most of the poster are accurate in thier discriptions of the difference, the TTe is not as warm next to the EP's and RE's. a bit disapointed with the TTE in terms of CS and reliability(why i got it). All of them are good sounding best bet is get a used TTE and a beat up EP3.
     
  10. NewarkWilder

    NewarkWilder Member

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    i've honestly never been the biggest fulltone fan so you guys are making this tough ;)

    i suppose i'll have to give them all a shot in due time.
     
  11. Rod

    Rod Tone is Paramount Supporting Member

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    Stick with your Superdelay
     
  12. Bobby D

    Bobby D Member

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    my favorite of them all is a good working RE-501 or the 555 rack mount model.

    301 is next fave

    The Space Echo has something unique, but they do need maintenance and upkeep. However, for the price of a new TTE, one could find a really clean Space Echo that is in good working order....

    I have had several Ep-3 Echoplexes, including one that had been modded to use 8-track tape cartridges (really....i swear!). But I always liked the sound of the earlier Green ones, the tube echoplex.

    But the Space Echo has the multiple heads, built in spring reverb that pretty cool, and a lot of different sounds. The last one I had was a beat up 555 rack mount unit, they were using it as a DOOR STOP at a local music store, got it for $75, and it still worked fine....

    it's mainly having a good tape, cleaning the heads and demagnetizing the heads from time to time, and cleaning the rubber roller/capstan mechanism. it's not that big of a deal, and with a few proper tools and some solvent and rubber conditioner, it's easy to do.

    Get a nice, clean Space Echo.......:agree
     
  13. Ohsumyall Bmad

    Ohsumyall Bmad Senior Member

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    Yah, I know what you mean...I mean, the TTE has no grunge or "mojo"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfoKCZY89PA
     
  14. Bobby D

    Bobby D Member

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    besides, have you seen how many KNOBS are on a 301 or 501?

    you need knobs, and you know it :D
     
  15. Hiwatt Bob

    Hiwatt Bob Member

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  16. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    Echoplex was the first guitar fx I bought back in the 70's. Since that time I've had two more, all which I used for years until the motors burned out. I also bought a Space Echo back then which I still have. The general consensus back then was that the Space Echo worked better for the PA on your vocals and the Echoplex was the one to have for guitar. To me the one thing that makes an Echoplex so magical is the 3D floating delay sound it creates while at the same time never getting in the way of the straight dry sound. I've never heard another delay do that as well.

    I've used the Space Echo on my guitar and it sounds really good, but nowhere near as good as an Echoplex in my opinion. I also find the input level really touchy and hard to set in a guitar rig. Just breathing on that knob makes a huge difference in the sound.

    I also had a TTE for a while. The main advantage to the TTE was that it's much quieter than an Echoplex which could sometimes sound like a day at the ocean. I thought it was a great sounding delay, but I couldn't use it in a loop in my rig because it would change the sound every time I kicked the loop on. The TTE adds a big boost in the high end. This wouldn't be a problem if you always had it in line, but kicking it in and out of the signal path was too extreme of a change for it to work for me so I sold it.

    I think I've had or have just about every delay known to man with the exception of the one Pete Cornish makes (still would love to have one to add to the 4 PC pedals I have on my board). To me the Echoplex is still the most magical delay for guitar.
     
  17. Ohsumyall Bmad

    Ohsumyall Bmad Senior Member

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    (Ok so the room's a liittle slow, I'll explain)
    The TTE is THE sound behind the winningest Album of this year's Grammies: "Raising Sand"
    Sick, thick, steeped in echo.
    Every guitar sound is the TTE, Tbone and Marc Ribot, both drenched in TTE.

    Doesn't sound thin, bright, sterile, etc to me.

    It's up to you to make the magic.
     
  18. NewarkWilder

    NewarkWilder Member

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    Wow thank you for the awesome post. This thread has really produced some terrific info. I know I won't be making a move on any of these in the near future, but I'll keep an eye out there for what kind of quality is popping up on ebay etc. I doubt I'd ever take an Echoplex on the road but it would be a great thing to have for recording. I still wanna try 'em all in good time but I do believe the Echoplex is where I'll have to start. Thanks!

    and I bow to your Cornish gear :bow

    Bobby is right though, more knobs = more mojo! right? ;)

    and that clip needs more music less talking
     
  19. wingwalker

    wingwalker Fuzzy Guitars

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    I've made posts about this in the past but the bottom line is this, let me first say that tape echo is NOT for everybody...tape units do require upkeep and do not offer the versitility that many other both analog and digital units offer however if you want that tone nothing else will do. Now, I A/B'ed my EP-3 with a TTE just after buying it (the EP-3), myself and everybody else there agreed that the EP-3 was the better souning unit, the TTE is not a bad sounding unit but to my ears it just didn't compare to the tone of the EP-3. I think if you want to go to a real tape echo an EP-3 is the way to go...EP-1's and 2's are cool but those are the real pain in the neck I think about when somebody mentiones tape units being hard to work with...I used to have an EP-1 and hated it...it worked if and when it wanted to and to be honest didn't sound all that good even when it did work! The EP-4's are all over but the added circiuts in an EP-4 to help deal with noise ruins the tone to me, get an EP-3 and be done with it.
     
  20. enocaster

    enocaster Member

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    I was lusting after a TTE reeeally bad for some time. I went to a store that carried them, credit card in hand, tried it for 20 minutes and walked out with some tubes and strings. It's very hi-fi, even with the tone rolled down. I realized I was looking for something that mangled the repeats a little more.
     

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