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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Bruno Putzeys (Designer) - Dave Hecht (Master Tech) => Topic started by: Eamon on December 01, 2010, 01:00:58 PM

Title: Roland Space Echo repair / refurbishment?
Post by: Eamon on December 01, 2010, 01:00:58 PM
Does anyone have suggestions for me as to where I can send my Roland Space Echo to get it back in top shape?  I can't seem to find anyone local (Seattle) that knows what they are doing with these units.  I'm willing to ship it out for repair if I can find someone good with them.  Also, does anyone know what sort of tape formulation is good for making new loops?  I tried some ampex 456 once, but it seemed to get jammed too often.  I'm not sure if this was the fault of the tape or the transport.

There used to be a guy in Seattle with a shop called Bozotronics that worked magic with these units, but he has long since passed on.  The last two times I tried anyone else local resulted in me spending money but the unit still not working correctly.  It seems to have a problem with tape binding up along the capstan.  I suppose I may just have to learn to repair it myself.   Rolling Eyes

Title: Re: Roland Space Echo repair / refurbishment?
Post by: radardoug on December 01, 2010, 01:20:34 PM
Buy some graphite powder from an engineering shop, spray it liberally on the tape, it will help it go round.
Make sure the pinch wheel is clean and the shaft lubricated. If the roller is bad, see Terry's rubber rollers on the web.
Title: Re: Roland Space Echo repair / refurbishment?
Post by: QUEEF BAG on December 01, 2010, 06:04:35 PM
the splice it self is most critical in gettin the tape
not to hang up.
use the thinest splicing tape you can find, and as little
as possible.
also, sometimes you can put in too much tape, too much drag.
use the some amount of tape or less than original.
Title: Re: Roland Space Echo repair / refurbishment?
Post by: Eamon on December 04, 2010, 02:19:21 PM
Thanks guys!

- Eamon
Title: Re: Roland Space Echo repair / refurbishment?
Post by: sodderboy on December 05, 2010, 07:14:06 AM
Personally, I would NOT spray graphite powder on anything in a tape machine.  Fine if it falls off of the tape that I installed, but I would not add my own.  Especially that Roland where the tape is not in a cartridge.

The first thing is to do basic tape machine maintenance- remove the tape from the path and clean the path, 100% alcohol(not from the drugstore!) for the metal parts and Athan pinch roller cleaner on the pinch.  Just a mildly damp Qtip for the alchohol and a good paper towel for the pinch cleaner.  A small demagger for cassette decks will do the demagging job.  Then you have to determine what is causing the binding- is it a gooey pinchroller, bad pinch tension, or worn tape? There might be a tension spec in the Roland service manual, but feel is what most techs use.

The parts were still available from Roland as of 2 years ago when I bought tape and a new pinch roller.

Regarding the tape, they used "cart" tape that was lubricated with graphite.  One Echoplex user I know uses degaussed 8 track tape from barely used tapes he still finds at garage sales.  Another source is old stock from radio stations.

That is a great unit.  Try to find someone with studio tape machine skills, who would have the necessary tools and cleaning supplies, if you don't want to forge into it yourself.
PS: and a huge thumbs-up for terrysrubberrollers.com!
Title: Re: Roland Space Echo repair / refurbishment?
Post by: meverylame on December 22, 2010, 06:13:11 PM
I've had great luck with Tony @ orbit electronics in Arizona. He's super affordable and honest about the work he does. I sent him 5 roland SRE-555s, 2 echoplexes and a korg stage echo and he worked wonders on all of them. Check him out.

P.S. Don't run any studio level tape in those. Supposedly the thickness of any of those are real hard on the transports. Try the broadcast cart tape as "sodder" suggested.
Title: Re: Roland Space Echo repair / refurbishment?
Post by: zenmastering on February 17, 2011, 12:07:51 AM
I used to be a tech at Roland, a few lifetimes ago.

There should be no need for extra graphite added to the tape path...I never needed to do that.

As far as tape-tension is concerned, there is a spec for it and it is in the service manual...sorry, though; I just don't keep numbers like that in my brain from 25 years ago...

All the other advice you've received is good. It is 'cart' tape and regular types of tape like 456 will not work well enough, as both the formulation and the stiffness is not what is appropriate.

One last little thing; the copper 'spring' with the felt pad was something that I often replaced, not just for the worn felt but also because the copper didn't seem to hold tension as it should after several years of regular use.

Good luck...they're still great 'machines of character'