RE-20 Space Echo Review

manufacturer: Boss date: 03/30/2009 category: Guitar Effects
Boss: RE-20 Space Echo
One of the most beloved echo effects ever made, the Roland RE-201 Space Echo, has been reborn as the Boss RE-20 Twin Pedal! Roland and Boss have recreated every sonic detail and nuance of the original. Experience the legendary tape-echo sound of the RE-201, and get lost in space with this retro-modern marvel.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8.5
 Ease of Use: 8.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) 14 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
RE-20 Space Echo Reviewed by: JayJayE, on september 05, 2007
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 0.1953

Purchased from: Ishibashi Music

Ease of Use: Really easy. It may be a twin pedal but it is very no BS and wel laid out. Three knobs for reverb, three knobs for echo, one mode dial, on input level, on/off pedal, tap tempo pedal. Couldn't be more simple for a pedal that does echo and reverb. The tap pedal is a godsend for playing Live and unlike the DD-6, is on a seperate pedal. // 10

Sound: I use P-90 equipped guitar (Ibanez Talman and a Fender Jag with Phat Cats) through a Vox AC30CCH. The sound is great if you like the warmer analog tone of an echo as opposed to a delay. It's smooth and distorts if you really dig in but it's a nice natural distortion. You can can reverb alone (a nice Z string reverb), have just echo or blend the two. The reverb and echo settings have a natural chorus to it which really makes the sound shimmer. It really shines for lead, giving your sound big spacey sustain. I play mostly indie/alt/punk rock. Simular to The Jam, The Clash, The Smiths, The Cure, Arctic Monkeys, Interpol, the like, plus some Floyd and U2 thrown in. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It's a Boss, enough said. One thing all Boss pedals have going for them is their rugged construction. I don't think I need a back up. Takes regular 9 volt adapters which is good. And the lighting is pretty easy to see on stage. I can depend on it for sure. // 10

Overall Impression: Great pedal for those Who love retro Floydish echo tones. Great sound, easy to use and built like a brick sh*thouse. The only draw back is it is large so it takes space on your board but still, it's like than a EHX Memory Man. I've never heard the original RE-201 unit however so I can't compare. Great pedal! // 9

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overall: 8.3
RE-20 Space Echo Reviewed by: toyboxmonster, on march 30, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 249

Purchased from: Lauzon Music

Ease of Use: The RE-20 Space Echo is a little hard to get used to at first, simply because there is so much to deal with. The manual helps in this, but only just; it includes information about both this stompbox and the Original Roland Space Echo, sometimes without making it very clear which unit the information pertains to. The Space Echo has eight knobs, two footswitches, and four LED lights. The knobs allow for a very precise tweaking of sound, with addition of a very pleasant spring reverb at will. Such a degree of control over such a subtle sound does mean that it can be a little hard to eork everything at first, but it is worth the effort to learn all about it. It is possible to set this unit in long mode, which makes it a longer delay, but I strongly recommend getting a second delay instead, as long mode makes it a tiny bit muddy. // 7

Sound: If you want an all-out, versatile delay, then this is not the effects box to buy. The RE-20 is more useful to achieve a warbly chorusing sound than it is for anything else. The Twist function is also very nice once you've learned to use it and can serve to build dynamics in a song. All 12 presets are very usebable, though I usually find myself keeping to the echo-only and the reverb-only settings, as the combo settings tend to be a little undefined. I have my unit set to long mode, which gives a bit more of a delayed sound, but once I purchase a good delay box, I'll set it back to the more defined short mode. The echo quality is very good, though there is a slight volume drop, even with Echo Volume turned to full. The Space Echo isn't noisy at all on batteries. I haven't gotten a chance to try it with an adaptor yet. This is an effect that is best bought to add some flavour to a pedalboard, rather than to serve as an effect in itself. Placed in front of another delay, it adds a gorfeous warbling texture to a sound. On it's own, it's a pleasant sound and a good, simple echo. The reverb is the single best imitation of a spring reverb I've ever heard; the RE-20 is worth it if only for this. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Boss stompboxes are some of the sturdiest pedals I've had the chance stomp on, but I'm not so keen on the construction of the double pedals. The footswitches simply seem fragile and somewhat wobbly (not unlike DigiTech boxes). The RE-20 is particularly irritating simply because I have to stomp on the right (tap-tempo/Twist mode) footswitch so often. I think as far as tap-tempo switches go, click-switches (such as the ones featured on MXR and EHX boxes) are more reliable. The casing of the double pedals also seem much thinner than that of other Boss units. // 7

Overall Impression: I play ambient rock, and my main concern is always the texture of my sound. The RE-20 is by far the most essential pedal in my (ever-changing) rig, and it is the only effects box I would never consider trading or replacing. it's gentle, warbling sound is a crucial component to my sound, and I can't imagine going without it. I currently play a Fender Jaguar Special > Boss PS-5 > Dunlop Cry Baby > DigiTech Grunge > Boss RE-20 > Digiverb > Fender JAM, and even with the number of digital pedals I'm using, the tone of the RE-20 is not lost. Once again, this is not a pedal to get as a first purchase, as it is very subtle and is more of a textural Tool than a definite effect. // 9

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