How do we feel about the old Roland Space Echo?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Ted Witcher, Sep 9, 2008.

  1. Ted Witcher

    Ted Witcher Member

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    Now I'm suddenly interested in tape delays and was looking at the TTE... and finally did my research on this old box that people occasionally mention. What are the pros and cons of owning one today, in terms of sound, reliability, maintenance? How does it compare sonically/features-wise to the TTE?
     
  2. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

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    Rolands sound great if you are playing clean, and are more durable than an Echoplex. I wasn't crazy about the sound when going for a distorted sound. I was placing it in front of the amp's input, not in a loop. Can't comment on the TTE, but it's supposed to be similar to an Echoplex.
     
  3. Ted Witcher

    Ted Witcher Member

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    Okay, clean covered. What about after distortion but into a clean amp? And you're saying it will not work in a loop -- i.e., only instrument-level signals, right?
     
  4. 57special

    57special Silver Supporting Member

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    no, i'm saying i only used into into amps w/o loops available. I would guess it would be fine into a loop. I used them quite a while ago (15-20 years). I believe the one model was a 201, the other a bit fancier (301? 401?). Good units, just like their old Chorus's.
     
  5. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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    Brian Setzer loves his. He uses it into the input of an overdriving amp.
     
  6. highfive!

    highfive! Member

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    I've got an '75 RE-201, and it's the shiz. It doesn't leave the studio, so I can't really comment on gigging reliability. But it sounds crazy awesome, both clean and with dirt in front. As far as maintenance - dusting, changing the tape as needed, cleaning the heads once in a blue moon... bout it. Never tried a TTE, but I get such a warm, fuzzy feeling inside every time I plug in the Roland, I can't imagine anything else sounding better. Plus, the rolands have reverb and/or chorus built in.
     
  7. KennyM

    KennyM Supporting Member

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    Since I was around when these were made popular, the prevailing attitude at the time was that the Space Echos were better in keyboard rigs and the PA while guitar players generally prefered an Echoplex. Even though I still have a Space Echo that I bought in the late 70's stored somewhere around here I still prefer an Echoplex. The input level, at least on mine is very sensitive. Breathing on the knob can cause it to go from a purring kitten to a lion roar.

    I keep meaning to do a little maintainance on it and check it out again. Hopefully this will serve as a reminder. I had a TTE which I thought sounded really great, but ultimitely didn't really work for me as it really changed the sound adding a lot of high end. Since I had it in a loop it was very noticeable when I kicked it into the signal path. It was really very quiet unlike an Echoplex.
     
  8. KagakuNinja

    KagakuNinja Member

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    A Hammond organ into a Space Echo gives you instant Krautrock groovyness. I read once that every member of Genesis was using one back in the early days. Some of my guitarist friends use them; ironically my keyboard playing buddy uses an echoplex.
     
  9. Medication

    Medication Member

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    I love my RE201.

    I route like this: Guitar->Fuzz->Mod->Space Echo direct into amp (no loop).
    Personally, I set the echo EQ so it doesn't completely overlap with my dry signal and stands out. Makes my signal a bit fatter too.

    So far so good for gigging (knock on wood), great in the studio too.
    Just needs the occasional loop change, which isn't difficult at all.
     
  10. whoismarykelly

    whoismarykelly Oh look! This is a thing I can change!

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    Were completely enamored with the delightful analog sound but constantly wary of maintenance issues and somewhat unsure of the continued relevance of dinosaurs in the age of modern well-designed delays that sound just as good without the reliability, size, power, and cost issues.
     
  11. sixty2strat

    sixty2strat Member

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    I use both. the way to describe it is Gilmour vs Page in terms of echo sound. My LP inot a cranked plexi 7-10 marshall with the ep3 or TTE great. the Re 201 seems to like the loud 4-5 marshall but warm not over loaded but driven by a OD like a TS 808 for distortion. I switched to GB from 75 and think the RE 201 overloads the GB too much but the 75 hold up well, tighter sound
     
  12. Ted Witcher

    Ted Witcher Member

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    Thanks. How do you replace the tape, if necessary? Do they still make the cartridge?
     
  13. stratplayer80

    stratplayer80 Senior Member

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    I used to have a Space Echo. I got it refurbished and it still didn't work right. It kept eating tapes,Sometimes I wouldn't get any sound out of it at all. Since then I decided to get a TTE and have never looked back. I have had mine for about 2 years now and have never had a problem. As long as you do the regular cleaning they should last a lifetime. IMO opinion if you buy a Space Echo now you are taking a big risk on reliability. Go with the TTE, it has a 5 year warranty.
     
  14. Rid

    Rid Senior Member

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    Well use one now and then...always with a small parallel mixer.....as going through machines like that drives me crazy:D
    But way more fun than the rest....used one of these and a dimension d back in the days as well....huge FUN sounds!
     
  15. riker4208

    riker4208 Member

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    There's nothing like tape echo. I've got two of them.
     
  16. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    I believe the 201 had chorus, the 301 added reverb and the 501 added a mic preamp so you could use it with a mic. Don't think there was a 401.
     
  17. Medication

    Medication Member

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    101: Echo
    201: +Echo EQ, Reverb
    301: +Chorus
    501: +XLR
     
  18. retrobob

    retrobob Member

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    I tried to like the space echo, but the Echoplex rules in my book.
    My experience is with an EP-3, not the earlier tube unit.
    Jimi Page and Joe Walsh were two Echoplex users that come to mind.
    A well maintained Echoplex goes beyond what the Space Echo can do.
    I would rather use a seperate reverb unit or chorus pedals if I need them.
     
  19. ruger9

    ruger9 Supporting Member

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  20. Ted Witcher

    Ted Witcher Member

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    Are those Binson clones or Binson RI's, or what?
     

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