Coming forth from the outer universe, the brand new re-imagined Boss Space Echo RE-202 – the digital sequel to the most famous of all galactic vibration enhancers, the 1974 Roland Space Echo RE-201.
Boss, of course, is the Roland Corp’s offshoot and pedal dynasty and has been pumping out effects pedals since 1976. The RE-202 contains all the familiar knobs from the original tape unit, just digitised and condensed into a pedalboard-friendly, 3-footswitch unit. We reviewed the space echo pedal in our studio Noise Machines.
With added stereo input and output, 4 memory slots for easy recallability, MIDI control, the RE-202 has a handful of brand new controls to try and hit the sweetest spots that the original units have; control over tape age, saturation, and wow and flutter. Plus an additional play head too.
Handily, unlike the original units, with this box you can simply flip between guitar and line inputs digitally rather than deal with building a creative impedance set up just to make the unit sound at its absolute best when running a guitar directly in.
Soundwise, the echo section is pretty close to an original – very similar to the demonstration we did a little while ago in a shootout between the Boss RE-20, a plug in version, and an original RE-201 tape unit.
Maybe the blown out feedback doesn’t quite reach the wild heights of tape oscillation, and perhaps the reverb emulation doesn’t quite flick my springs like an original box, but it’s close enough for the stage, and maybe 10 times more conveniently sized and weighted, and will easily fit onto a pedal board.
Plus this new number also has Hall, Plate, Room and Ambience ‘verbs built in too. It takes a good read of the manual to change the modes — you can find that info on Boss’s site.
Speaking of the RE-20, the RE-202 adds all of the above mentioned features, plus has three clickless footswitches that include two brand new features – Warp – which is something like a ‘Hold’ function for your repeats, and Twist – which is an upward oscillation effect.
Maybe one day they’ll fulfil my fantasy of adding in a random tape loop splice cut to playback for the random echo drop-outs that really make the original units special. Trust me, it’s part of the magic.
The Boss RE-202 Space Echo will set you back $719 Australian dollars and is available from all half-decent music equipment hawkers. For more info head over to Boss.info