The first space echoes from Roland where launched about 1973 (RE-100/RE-200). But the RE-201, launched about one year later is our most received and serviced tape based echo unit. We get one in every 6-8 weeks. We mostly do a full tape path service, change the tape and tweak all electronic adjustments to bring you back the original distinct sound. For service parts, we use echo fix, the leading supplier of repair parts and tape loops. We will fix every kind of defects, deteriorations, misalignments and difficult to find faults. We have the spare parts and the right tools to replace motor bearings, motor speed sensors and adjust everything back to factory specifications. We also fix/keep alive the original reverb tank that very often suffers of a mechanical ageing problem. We get the reverb back without changing the tank.
The RE-301 came out 1977 with slightly different electronics to the 201 but still very similar sounding in basic tape echo modes. But it added a very nice chorus mode (BBD based) and a sound on sound feature, adding an additional playback head just at the end of the full tape length! This provides for extremely long delay times... rather for sound experiments than musical echo FX. A great mod is to get the S-on-S signal out permanently on a separate jack and use/mix it externally by processing the very long delayed signal e.g. with long and lush reverbs/harmonizer to create a "moving" background drone sound mixed back in. The original reverb tank suffers from same ageing degradation as the 201 but will be fixed by us like for the RE-201.
This unit was a further variant of the RE-301, providing the same functionality but the tape path electronics was "enhanced" by a compression/expansion processor to get better tech. specs. regarding tape hiss and saturation. But at the same time, this affects the overall sound and regeneration behaviour substantially. The RE-501 will create its own, still great echo moods, but will clearly differ in sound compared to a 201/301. Reverb tank suffers the same problems as the other Roland Space Echos. Sound on Sound differs from the 301 as it is no longer at the end of the full tape length but just a longer distance away from the standard 3 position playback heads. Thus, it "just" adds a longer echo mode.