Thursday, October 18, 2012

Roland Echo Chambers RE-101/RE-201 "Deepen the Depth of Your Music" brochure, 1975

Roland Echo Chambers RE-101/RE-201 "Deepen the Depth of Your Music" four page colour brochure from 1975.

When I first got this brochure, I looked at the front image and asked myself.... REALLY? The tape inside these things really just flops around like that? Just all curled up?

Can someone verify that for me? Or am I missing something?

I just find it hard to believe, but then again, I find it hard to believe I used to listen to music on magnetic tapes at all. Or read books made of paper. Paper, I tell ya!

No matter - this brochure rocks. Yeah, its not a retro synth. So what. This thing is aces.

Before looking at this brochure, I really had no idea how tape delays functioned. Or their features. Nothing. I guess I could have always looked on the Web, but just never had the inclination. And that's too bad, 'cause now that I've read this brochure, I'm going on the hunt to find one. Or three. It's just the kind of doo-hickey I love. It has lots of knobs and controls and it's made to be opened up and fiddled with. Yum.

Ten bucks says I break my first one in under an hour. You know it! Whoo hoo! *high five*


The brochure's title "Deepen the depth of your music" is awesome, so it's beyond me why its located on the inside pages rather than slapped on the front - it would only add to the cover's beauty. Instead, the top of that front cover has the rather awkward lonely text "Best Echo Chambers Featuring Easy-to-operate Design and Well-developed Mecanism" just kinda floating there.

No matter, because once that brochure is opened up, it's like entering the Land of Oz. Smaller photos of the RE-101 and RE-201are surrounded by labels describing all the features of each and every switch, knob and dial.

And if you hate diagrams with labels randomly scattered about the two-page spread, then flip to the back for a nice little table comparing the main features of the two units.

And, for those history buffs, they graciously printed the full date of the printing - December 1975. Excellent.

Not much else to say today really. I've been kinda quiet both online and off recently. Except that while doing research, I noticed a couple of things that I found interesting.

First, the name of the RE-201 - the Space Echo. Although this awesomely cool name is clearly visible on the front panel of the 201 in the brochure photos, no where in the actual brochure is it ever referred to as the Space Echo. It's always referred to by the model number. And Space Echo is such a cool name that I think that was a lost opportunity, especially since, according to Wikipedia's RE-201 page, it is what the 201 became commonly referred to by the masses. Listen to the people, people! 

Second, the brochure keeps on bringing up the fact that the reverb unit incorporated into the RE-201 was manufactured in the U.S.A by O.C.E.  I've heard the name before, for example, in the Boss RX-100 reverb owner's manual (PDF) where it is referenced as "The three spring OCE Reverb Unit". But, I have no idea who or what exactly O.C.E is. And the few Google searches I did brought up nothing. I hate it when Google searches come up with zip. 

So... um... anyone got more info on O.C.E.?

Email me or leave a comment. Thanx.


Reslosound said...

Yep, the tape really does just flop about under the perspex lid, it's designed so that the tape isn't always under tension. Korg also produced a very similar unit the Stage Echo, that was better made but they didn't sell as many. HH also used that same "floppy" tape storage method. The Space Echoes also have a great sounding built in spring reverb, 2 for 1!

RetroSynthAds said...

Thanks for the info! Appreciated!

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