The Roland Corporation, introduced the RE-101 and RE-201 Space Echo units in 1974. The units use a 1/4″ open loop of tape. No reels, just a jumble of ever moving tape contained in the “tape tank.”
The RE-201 also features spring reverb.
These are legendary. Growing up, there was often heated debate at the local guitar shop whether the Echoplex or Space Echo was better. Much like Beatles vs the Stones, Next Gen vs TOS, Chevy vs Ford, Yankees vs Red Sox, there was very impassioned discourse. They only thing they could agree on was both were a pain to maintain and that neither could achieve the pristine, super long delays of the digital realm. Nowadays there are plenty of digital delays that seek to create the warmth and idiosyncrasies of these old tape delays.
In the end it is all about the sound. And the Space Echo has A SOUND. That unto itself is music to me. The various modes offer a variety of options. The backlit VU meter? Come on, so cool! There is a tactile element as well that makes the Space Echo a treat to use.
An informative article on these units can be found here: http://www.roland.co.uk/blog/the-roland-re-201-space-echo-story/
Price: $NFS- Reference Library
Color: Black, Silver, Green