Echo pedals and boxes

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Echo pedals and boxes

Postby dave robinson » Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:30 am

I've been taking an interest in echo devices other than those we know to be 'Hank' friendly of late and finding some excellent competition for the 'tried & tested' stuff that we've all bought over the years. I recently ordered the Strymon Volante which many of you know is a digital Binson Echorec clone and very good it is too. It has the four push buttons to select the four different heads, as well as four buttons to select from which head the feedback comes and you can use any permutation that you wish. Highly recommended with a very authentic vintage sound and very much like the real thing. At close to £400 I opted to return it and will reconsider at a later date, simply because it did's give me anything that I don't already have.
I also picked up a used Strymon Timeline at a price and more to my liking, in as much as the main 'Apache' & 'Wonderful Land' patches are doable at any speed, as well as 95% of all the other Shadows echo patterns and many more. The echo quality is excellent and you are able to dial in 'dirt' & modulation to make it sound vintage, as well as tweaking the echo tone.
That said, I dug out my Zoom MS-BT100 which I've had for five years and put away in a box and forgotten about for the last four years, but I came across it and found that it has all the Strymon Timeline and Eventide sounds on board as well as MXR, Ibanez, Boss and the whole shooting match of echo & chorus pedals, fuzz boxes, compressors and amps that you could ever need and damn good they are too. So much so that I have programmed the entire memory of 50 patches with my ten most used sounds, meaning that they fill the pedal and are only a few 'clicks' of the footswitch apart at any given time. That means my entire sound for any show is on a pedal the size of the small Boss sized footprint.
I have set it up for use through my Fender Twin ToneMaster and it does sound good, so I'll gig it tomorrow night with my Boss FV-500 pedal and see if it's a winner.
The echoes are easy to set up as a Meazzi, Binson or Roland Space Echo for all the Shadows stuff, Gary Moore, Knopfler, Atkins - everything needed, including compression, modulation and distortion which for £90 is an absolute bargain.
I keep threatening to bring out the Klemt Echolette tape machine but it's heavy, old and high maintenance and there's little wonder why I pick it up and change my mind.
I like the fact that I can press a footswitch and the sound appears for any tune we are performing, which is why I no longer take the Hall & Collins or Blue Nebula because they are just dedicated echo boxes, albeit very good. :)
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Re: Echo pedals and boxes

Postby Hank2k » Thu Mar 12, 2020 10:28 am

i dont think as guitar players we have ever had it so good with the technology etc we have available.

There are a large amount of guitar players ditching amps altogether to run modellers etc live for theatre shows. Neville Marten has been using a Helix on the Marty Wilde shows for the last couple of years. Its an exciting time.

You can play a gig pretty much anywhere in the World with just a guitar, lead and a pedal!
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Re: Echo pedals and boxes

Postby dave robinson » Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:02 pm

I used the Helix from 2017 until September 2018 when it froze at the Sheffield City Hall of all places. I sold it and luckily, got my money back.
Technology is fine when it works, but computer based stuff has a habit of failing, which is why I have moved backwards and bought a second hand Vox Tonelab LE.
I'll try the Zoom MS-BT100 with a pedal for back up and I still have my old Coloursound Tone Bender & Tremolo pedal and a couple of tape echoes for emergencies. ;)
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Re: Echo pedals and boxes

Postby dave robinson » Fri Mar 13, 2020 2:13 pm

Just to let people know that I did use the Zoom MS100-BT last night as my effects box and it came through with flying colours !
The next step is to use the amp mods to go directly through the PA without an amp - but am I brave enough to risk it? We'll see . ;)
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Re: Echo pedals and boxes

Postby dave robinson » Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:44 pm

As well documented here I have tried many of the current crop of digital delay machines on offer at various price points and in all honesty I can say that a humbly priced Zoom G3 will get Shadows players a great acceptable sound for what's needed, as will the Zoom MS-100BT that I have.
I tried many high end machines too and have to say that all of them are excellent, the technology today is exciting.
I have tried The Strymon Volante, Strymon Timeline, Nemisis, TC Electronics Flashback x4 machine, Mooer Ocean triple echo, Fender Mirror Image and a plethora of others when I went to Gear4Music a couple of weeks ago and I ended up buying a used Strymon Timeline on eBay for £280, which is a good price considering the £420 price tag at Gear4Music. However, as good as it is I decided that what I wanted was the 'singing' quality of a vintage drum/tape echo box in a small package, similar to my real Klemt Echolette but small. lighter and more serviceable. The one to do that is the Strymon Volante so I found a used one for £300- job done.
The Strymon Timeline sold for £285 within minutes of me putting it back on eBay, so happy days.
I know that to some it will look like a lot of messing about, but I like to see and hear stuff for myself and although YouTube is a fantastic outlet of demos of all this gear, the people demonstrating don't necessarily put the equipment to the test to what I'm wanting to hear, so you have to do it yourself. It's a good job that I don't have anything better to do with my time, but that's the beauty of being semi retired I guess.
Some will question why I had the Volante and sent it back then still pursued other gear, but I learned a valuable lesson through this site, that there's nothing better than 'hands on' investigation rather than just accepting advice that is based on opinions. I spent a lot of money getting caught up in all of that, especially buying stuff related to Hank, the fact being he never bought any gear in his career, most of it was buckshee, he'd use anything available if it was free, he actually said as much when I met him, I should have listened and worked it out. :lol:
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Re: Echo pedals and boxes

Postby emielvisser48 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:16 am

Hi Dave,
That is very interesting about the Zoom MS 100. I have a MS 50 which is basicly the same with the tape echo setting. I programmed mine with the information I found on the Internet, like Meazzi, Echoplex etc.
I wonder what information you used from programming.
Could you give a example of some time settings and volumes?

Kind regards,
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Re: Echo pedals and boxes

Postby dave robinson » Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:32 am

The MS100-BT has many more echo machines available than the MS50 and I use ones that are not on the M50.
Yo can however use the timings found on the echotapper site on the MS50 and get some satisfactory results.
You need to put some time in and work it out as different machines will have different levels but it's all in there if you look. Start by searching for the head space timings and then select four separate stompboxes on the M50 and apply those timings to each, taking care to keep level to around 50% and feedback down to zero to begin with. Also bear in mind the echo tone and roll off the bass. You then add feedback to head 4 to give you the basic Wonderful Land sound, then adjust using comparisons to the records. It's time consuming and you need patience, but it's all there if you want it enough. I'm still playing with it and learning, but I just acquired a better priced Strymon Volante that has it all on the front panel and that's where I am now concentrating my efforts and very rewarding it is too. :)
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Re: Echo pedals and boxes

Postby emielvisser48 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:27 pm

Thanks for your reply and your tips.
Good to see that I used the same information and methode to program the unit.
Funny that I wrote on this site some years ago and I got just one positive reaction. Looks like the unit was not very populair, but for this price and posibilties this one is unique.
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Re: Echo pedals and boxes

Postby dave robinson » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:17 pm

There was the MS-50 first which if I'm not mistaken has all forms of guitar pedals on board i.e. Modulation, Distortion, Dynamics and Echo/Reverb.

Then there was the MS-70 which was dedicated to Echo / Reverb / Chorus.

Finally the MS -100 BT was introduced which has many more on board effects, plus it's capability to download more using the App from the Zoom Library via BlueTooth, which were originally charged for but are now free. There are echoes for the MS-100 BT that are not on the other two and do the job of vintage tape emulation very well.
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Re: Echo pedals and boxes

Postby emielvisser48 » Mon Mar 23, 2020 1:38 pm

The ms 50 has 25 echo's and reverbs, ms 100 22, according the Zoom information.
I just use the tape echo, which I think is very good.
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