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DIY Echoplex?

11/9/2000 2:21 PM
DIY Echoplex?
I have a pile of older reel-to-reel tape machines that I buy at thrift stores for parts, and yesterday I bought another one. This one is in reall good shape and it's nice and small. Anybody know of a book or URL with tips for turning a r-t-r into a tape delay?  
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11/9/2000 2:32 PM
Scott Swartz

The echoplex schems are in Gerald Weber's (Kendrick) book "A Guide to Hip Guitar Amplifiers" or whatever the exact title is. It uses two 12AX7s and a 6C4, so the circuitry isn't that complex. The mechanical changes will probably be more diffucult than the electronics.
11/9/2000 2:36 PM

I have the Kendrick book, the Echoplex is just a tape recorder. My real question is does anybody know the best way to implement the feedback necessary for echo regeneration.
11/9/2000 3:21 PM
JD Sleep

Craig Anderton outlines how to do this in his DIYPFG book, but you must start with a 3-head machine for his implementation.  
11/9/2000 3:48 PM

I've done the Anderton thing. It's a mess of cables but it sounds wonderful! I recently bought a old 3M all tube reel to reel without a power cord for $5 at a thrift store. I am planning to get that running and see what kinds of delasy sounds I can get out of it.  
11/9/2000 6:06 PM
Mark Hammer

Ever consider Frippertronics?  
Why play with wussy 300msec delays when you can tinker with more "manly" 6-second delays!! Robert Fripp used to (and maybe still does) use two tape decks with a single feed and take-up reel to get some doozie delays that allowed him to accompany himself.  
One tape deck records, and the other plays back. The playback deck has the take-up reel. There is no actual tape loop, since you can expect many 7", or greater, tape reels to take about 2hrs or more to get completely unwound at normal tape speed. A small two input mixer would allow you to combine whatever you are feeding the record machine with the line output of the playback machine. The actual delay time is a function of the machine speed and distance between the machines.  
Naturally, optimal functioning relies on the machines having identical speed, and being physically lined up properly.  
If you look at the old ads for the EH-16 Second Delay, they pitched it as "Frippertronics in a Box", or something like that. If Mike Mattews used that as his point of reference, there has to be something to it, right?  
As an aside, some of the mic preamps in tube tape decks can be outstanding. Why waste bucks on a tube mic pre-amp when there is one sitting in your tape deck already? I used to plug my guitar into one and feed my amp with it. Marvelous.
11/9/2000 7:38 PM

Actually, Mark, I have kind of a cool set-up: I play thru an old Kustom Hustler combo (for club gigs anyway) and I use its reverb send and receive as a parallel FX loop that I can switch on with the trem/reverb footswitch. I presently have a Concert Echo chamber in there, which is kind of a crappy tape echo using an 8-track tape cassette. Sounds pretty good but the Concert has a SS preamp section that's WAY noisy. So I was messing with this Wallensak tape machine the other day and a light bulb went off. Anyway, that's a great idea about the Frippertronics, but I really WANT wussy 300msec dely. Call me small-minded, but nothing fattens up a lead lick like a tiny bit of slap.  

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