Apparently continuing with their recent push towards digitally re-creating some of the world’s most beloved analog guitar gear, BOSS today unveiled the RE-20 Space Echo twin pedal––a digitally modeled re-working of the classic RE-201 tape echo machine.
The original Space Echo (right,) which was first offered by Roland beginning in the early-’70s (and stayed on the market well into the ’80s,) is still highly prized by analog enthusiasts like myself for its warm, organic tone, and wonderfully unpredictable results. Sadly, when digital delay effects hit the market with their ease-of-use and ultra-clean echo effects, traditional tape echo machines went the way of the dinosaur.
Everything Old Is New Again
With the RE-20, Roland & BOSS claim to have “recreated every sonic detail and nuance” of the Space Echo through the magic of digital modelling, but I suppose only time will tell whether the pedal can truly live up to its illustrious predecessor. While the unit may never take the place of the original in the eyes of serious analog audiophiles, I certainly welcome any attempt at adding some real character back into the rather sterile “delay” market.
According to BOSS, the RE-20 Space Echo actually boasts a few improvements over the original, including a much more compact size (hey, it fits in a twin-size pedal,) a longer delay time, effects parameters that are controllable via an expression pedal, and a tappable footswitch for adjusting delay time.
Oh yeah, and they’ve re-created the original Space Echo’s now thoroughly retro 12-position rotary dial Mode selector. Nice touch. I’ll be keeping an eye out for mp3 samples.