Binson Echorec and other analog delays

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by stiv, Jul 17, 2018.

  1. stiv

    stiv Country Gent

    Sep 12, 2014
    Florence, Italy
    Hello folks,
    Do any of you guys use (or just owned) an original Echorec for slapback?
    I use to have one in the late 80s (an original Echorec 2, that my first guitar teacher gave me for 100 dollars or something like that), unfortunately it stopped working after my first attempt to clean tape (and my mother threw it into the trash thinking it was some kind of broken VCR player, that's the sad part or the story...:)) so I move to an Ibanez AD7.
    To be honest I don't remember how it worked at the time (I was too young and too unexperienced to know the good from the bad tape echos), so I'm trying to have some feedback from you fellas.
    I've been dragged deep into Space Echo's stories by the Stray Cats saga (even if all I know about I learned it reading specs on Tavo Vega's Nocturne website...;)), especially now that a whole line of Nocture Pedals explained me the reason of "that" sound.
    I actually own an old (mid 90s) Memory Man Deluxe pedal that has a special effect on my sound (don't ask me why, but the Level knob acts like a sort of boost on my overall tone, a real boost that saturated the signal giving me more grit), something that doesn't happen on my RE-20 (probably because it's digital I guess...) so I was wondering... I have the chance to buy an Echorec 2 again for a fair price (and with the help of some pedal swap)... do you think it could have the same effect on my signal like, you know, and old Space Echo or some old tape machine with top electronics? Giving me more grit, brightness and note separation?
    The Binson owner it's really far from my home, so frankly I don't like the idea of just go there and try it with the risk that nothing happens and I just loose money on a useless trip.
    I rely on you, fellow Gretschers! :)
  2. rob batz

    rob batz Synchromatic

    Apr 17, 2014
    Bristol ct.
    Memory man is nice , setzer used on before one of his rockplast shows
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
    Howard hughes and stiv like this.
  3. NSM245

    NSM245 Synchromatic

    May 7, 2011
    I actually borrowed an Echorec recently for a month or so, and used it in some recordings. I've tried lots of different echo units and delay pedals etc and the Echorec is, for me, the pick of the bunch. Having said that, there are a few pedals which have set out to re-create the Echorec sound. I've (briefly) tried out two of them, and was very impressed with one called the Boonar, by a company called Dawner Prince Electronics, from Croatia - I only had time to try a handful of settings on it but it sounded exactly like the actual Echorec.

    Here's an ad for the Boonar - it's on a UK site, I'm sure google will point you to someone in the USA who stocks them though -
    Near the bottom of the page, there's a link to a couple of videos - the one on the left is worth checking, it's a comparison of an old Binson with three of the pedal versions, and goes into quite a bit of depth on the whole subject.

    Genuine old Binsons tend to change hands at ridiculously high prices, and if you want to get the David Gilmour sound, you'll need two of them, which is what Gilmour played through most of the time. If it's the sound you want, and you don't want to have to get a mortgage to pay for it - check the pedals out - the Boonar impressed me, and is definitely worth considering, and probably some of the others are too. If I wanted that sound, I'd certainly be looking into pedals to get it; genuine old Binsons have infinite mojo of course, but that price tag.......
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2018
    stiv likes this.
  4. hotpepper01

    hotpepper01 Electromatic

    Jul 1, 2018
    Back in the day, I think it was the late 70s, we used one of these. It made use of a circulair piece of taperecorder tape which you had to to make yourself and if it worked it was an amazing piece of gear. When it broke down, and that it did quite often, it was lots of work. Those tapes did not have a great lifespan I recall....
    stiv likes this.
  5. NSM245

    NSM245 Synchromatic

    May 7, 2011
    Binsons never used taperecorder tape; there were several echo units around at the time which did use taperecorder tape such as the Watkins Copycat, which was popular in the UK. I had one of those - your description fitted with my memories of that one!
  6. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Binson used a disc or a drum, like the Echolette. WEM Copycats, like Echoplex, used tape. All most of those units really are is an expanded reel to reel tape deck. Fiddle with the wiring so that it records, plays back, and erases all continuously at the same time. Add in multiple playback heads and add some switching, and, ECHO! echo, echo--

    The real problem now is finding decent tape, much less 1/4" mono tape heads. An 8" reel of tape will last you a lifetime if you splice your own. I spent enough time with reel to reel recorders that splicing tape is second nature. We had 1950's rack mounted Ampex recorders in our theaters, and would run both so we could record on one and playback on the other. Tape echo came about in the early '50s, reverb was later. I've an early '60s Fisher SpaceXpander reverb unit. The earliest ones I know of were Hammond Organ's 4' tall oil filled spring unit in the huge PR-40 8X12" speaker bins, and 4'X12' steel plate reverbs.
  7. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Setzer used the memory man whenever he was in Europe w the Stray Cats back in 81'. He would make it clip w the filtertrons and
    it created a Ubangi grindy twang, especially when he borrowed the Vox cab for his touring bassman head.
    rob batz likes this.
  8. rob batz

    rob batz Synchromatic

    Apr 17, 2014
    Bristol ct.
    Me and my son watch this live show and listen to it every day for months and months , it’s my favorite!! And it’s cool to point out the mary man thing ,I luv learning stuff from you Tavo ur Ike a dictionary when it comes to setzer and his tools !! So about every Europe show , ? I felt it gave it a punk edge that sound he got in like 81 rockaplast show
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