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Need advice on a RE-201 Tape Space Echo

orhunmc

Member
Messages
132
I've been offered by a local dealer friend of mine to trade a RE-201 for my eventide space.
The cosmetic condition is not too bad, every knob and switch are there and in working condition. The tape is too old, needs a new one as it's squelching like crazy. Also I think the circuits need a look as both the reverb and echo effect is subtle even when everything's set to max.
I need some advice as I don't know how costly and possible to do are the repairs, and if it's worth the trouble at all.
Thanks in advance.
 
Last edited:

Kev O)))

Member
Messages
3,919
Just my opinion but consider the maintenance and costs involved with a RE-201; finding the tape, the reels, etc.

I think in the long run it would be more cost efficient to keep the Eventide or get something else like an El Capistan.
 

orhunmc

Member
Messages
132
I do have a timeline for tape delays but it's still intriguing to have a real tape. To be honest, apart from all the problems it did sound great.
If the changing of tape and felt set fixes the volume issue it will cost me around 70-80$, which is almost a fair deal, considering how much the working condition ones go for. Though still not sure if it's worth the headache.
 

BukiUki

Member
Messages
39
Well it does depend on how much you're going to have to spend to get it working, but i have an re201 and whenever i'm in the studio it gets used, it is really a magical piece of gear!
 

Laurie

Member
Messages
405
Tape for my RE-301 is about $20-$25.

The repairs you mention sound like a couple of hundred at least at normal shop rates (assuming no major components needed like heads). Couple of hours to disassemble, clean and perform routine maintenance. Couple of hours tracking down the (potential) problems. If you can do the repairs yourself so much the better...

A new replacement Space is worth, what, $450? Plus repairs to the 201, say $250.

$700 total for a really nice effect, but only you can determine if it's worth it to you.
 

willem

Member
Messages
594
you would find another Space for the price you paid it, and maybe never find a Space Echo for this price ;)

new tapes may be found on Ebay.
 

gtr2

Member
Messages
111
I have one, it's great!

Most likely new tape, a good head cleaning and demagnitizing the heads will solve the repeat issues. Go for it, take care of it, and it will be well worth it!
 

Modulator

Member
Messages
2,731
The cosmetic condition is not too bad, every knob and switch are there and in working condition. The tape is too old, needs a new one as it's squelching like crazy. Also I think the circuits need a look as both the reverb and echo effect is subtle even when everything's set to max.
The reverb and Echo being subtle could be a levels problem if you're lucky. It takes me a little bit to find the proper balance. It's OK to dip that needle into the red, but watch the levels. Try applying a little pressure on the felts before the head, if the levels get louder, there's a little adjustment screw that changes pressure on the tape, Give it just enough. If that does nothing, it might be the heads.

Change the tape, or get your friend to do it first before you trade. There's a ton of echos out there that look great, but run like crap if at all. You can't tell my cosmetic condition, my 201 which looks like crap runs at 100%, but my 301 which looks brand new just got sent off for service because it warbles really badly. Worst case will be a rebuilt motor.

I bought my 201 for $400 about 10 years ago. Lately they seem to be going from around $650-1000 depending on condition. Ironic thing is the collectors who let these machines sit for years w/o ever running them, their motors might be frozen.

If you're willing to take the gamble, or if the current state isn't that bad, do the trade. A used space is only gonna get cheaper, a tape echo will not as long as it's cared for.
 

mad dog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,062
A comprehensive service - which it could well need if it's been 30 years - will cost more than 70 or 80 bucks. If the unit is in good shape, well cared for, it's worth it. I took the chance years ago with an RE-201. Not cheap to optimize performance, but definitely worth it. I've chosen to go pedals due to convenience, which does not change the fact that tape echo tone is absolutely addictive, real tasty stuff.
MD
 

orhunmc

Member
Messages
132
Thanks for all your input!
I think it's proper that I give an update on this. I went and made the trade earlier today. I'm going to also get a new tape with it as well. Also, if the unit is beyond fixable I could take it back, which is also a relieve.

Also, I have spoken with a tech in the meantime, and he said he serviced and owned re-201s in the past. (Finding a capable tech is also hard here.)

Thanks for the tip Modulator, I'll get around to doing that when I can spend some time with the unit. Even if it's not easy to fix at least I could get it done.
 

Blanket Jackson

Every day is like Tio's birthday
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
16,388
There is literally no other sound like a real tape delay. There is a reason why crazy guitarists like us still use them in touring rigs.

You can always get another Space - you don't get the opportunity for an RE-201 every day. Take the RE, give the points.
 

orhunmc

Member
Messages
132
There is literally no other sound like a real tape delay. There is a reason why crazy guitarists like us still use them in touring rigs.

You can always get another Space - you don't get the opportunity for an RE-201 every day. Take the RE, give the points.
That's what I thought and did. :beer
 




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