How freakin cool is this! Tape Echo acquired!

mortatort

Silver Supporting Member
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1,292
This was purchased as untested and possibly not working, but “worked the last time it was plugged in about 20 years ago”.

Did a little run without any tape and the motor and preamps work so that’s a good sign!
 

TheReplicant

Member
Messages
301
I saw a video where a guy put a guitar pick between the tape and the erase head (the first head on the left I believe) to prevent the loop from getting erased, turning it into a sound on sound looper. If you got a longer piece of tape and ran it around a mic stand or something behind the unit you could get longer loops for frippertronics type stuff. (Pardon the derailment, this is where my mind goes when I see one of these!)
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
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28,792
Very cool and glad someone is going to resurrect it! Do be aware that tape is of different characteristics (lubricated or not, magnetic material, thickness) that may impact performance. Best if some "guru" that specializes in Watkins supplies the loop!
 

mortatort

Silver Supporting Member
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1,292
Where did you get it?
Very cool and glad someone is going to resurrect it! Do be aware that tape is of different characteristics (lubricated or not, magnetic material, thickness) that may impact performance. Best if some "guru" that specializes in Watkins supplies the loop!

 

mortatort

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,292
Another question... mine doesn't have the footswitch as it's been cut off from inside the unit. Does anyone know if the footswitch bypasses the whole unit or only the delay effect. In other words, when the footswitch is off are the preamps still active in the path?
 

Space Jazzer

Member
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1,588
I can hear ambient washy loops. With the intentionally too long tape loop going around a potted plant and an cup of hand ground artisanal Java.

Please don’t do it.
 

Amp_Addicted

Member
Messages
771
As a Guild fan, this is a very cool score to see a WEM Copicat. I have never owned one, but they are a super cool sounding tape echo. I have far more knowledge about the Echoplex, but I will pipe in anyways

Can anyone here tell me what each of the 4 heads do?
One head will be an erase head, one will be a playback and the other two are record heads. I would imagine that the push button switches allow you to decide which heads record the initial impulse that become an echo at the playback head. The sustain control most likely feeds that signal back to the record heads to create the longer washes and multiple echoes. Basically the Copicat is the basis for a Roland Space Echo(which I know some of).

Another question... mine doesn't have the footswitch as it's been cut off from inside the unit. Does anyone know if the footswitch bypasses the whole unit or only the delay effect. In other words, when the footswitch is off are the preamps still active in the path?
Again I have never owned a Copicat. I would suspect that the preamp is bypassed when the unit is turned off. You should check how worn the tape heads are. This is always a problem with tape echoes. Heads wear down and no longer function as specified. It takes thousands of hours of time with tape passing over them, but it will happen. The sad part is the best sound is near their death.
 

TheReplicant

Member
Messages
301
One head will be an erase head, one will be a playback and the other two are record heads.
Sorry but that’s not true: with any tape or drum echo with multiple heads (Rolands, Korgs, Echorecs, Copicats) there is only 1 record head and multiple playback heads. The order is erase head- 1 record head- playback heads. Some Copicats had a combined erase/record head (like you’d find on many cassette decks). Because this unit pictured only has 4 heads but 3 playback switches, I’m assuming it’s the case with it. So from left to right it’s the combined erase/record head and then the 3 playback heads.

It doesn’t make sense technically to have more than one record head. The record head imprints on the tape and then whichever playback heads are selected will playback. The further away from the record head, the longer the delay. If you select more than one, you get multi taps.
 

audiohub

Member
Messages
80
I had one of those many years ago. They're a pretty good short delay. On mine there was no erase head; that blue swing arm that holds and tensions the tape loop had a magnet built into it, and that erased the tape as it went by. Mine was red, and was a tube-based unit. I believe later units were transistorized.

I had my unit modified placing one of the heads on a spring-loaded sled assembly, and it slid back and forth in a slot cut along the backside of the tape loop. This allowed it to create a much longer delay, similar to an echoplex.
 






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