RE-20 Space Echo Review

manufacturer: Roland date: 03/01/2011 category: Guitar Effects
Roland: RE-20 Space Echo
Getting a particular sound out of this pedal is as easy. The RE-20 contains a reverb section as well as an echo section each containing 3 knobs (6 total).
 Sound: 6
 Overall Impression: 6
 Reliability & Durability: 7.5
 Ease of Use: 8.5
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reviews (2) pictures (2) user comments vote for this gear:
overall: 6.8
RE-20 Space Echo Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 11, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: Craigslist

Ease of Use: Getting a particular sound out of this pedal is as easy. The RE-20 contains a reverb section as well as an echo section each containing 3 knobs (6 total). Reverb contains Bass, Treble and Reverb volume knobs and Echo contains Repeat Rate, Intensity and echo volume. There is also a mode selector knob in the middle containing over ten different repeat and reverb modes along with a reverb only mode. Last there is an input volume knob at the end and a peak indicator at the top. This is a twin pedal with a tap tempo section. // 9

Sound: My Setup= (I just started so dont laugh)= *Squier Affinity Strat >> Pro Co Rat Distortion >> Roland Space Echo >> EHX Memory Boy Delay ** This pedals sound was not at all what I was looking for. Although others have claimed this pedal to be amazing, I find it to be far from it. Beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder and while many are raving about this pedal, there are others out there who appreciate a good warm tone that I'm trying to reach with this review. When switched to the reverb only effect you get a decent reverb but a reverb that sucks a lot of your tone and lacks personality. Once I tried the reverb I only hoped the echo would be better but obviously it was bad as well, this pedal is very unaffective for quality guitar sounds. In fact, the reverb on my $100 Behringer mixer is much better than the Roland RE-20. The delay on this thing is not that bad and it seems very similar to that of the Boss digital delays, so if your into those pedals, this is right up your alley. I'm not here to start a digital vs. analog debate but for those of you who enjoy warm analog tones steer clear of this guy because he won't do it for you. When compared to my EHX Memory Boy, the Memory Boy wins all the way and he's half the price. Again beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and there are many of you who would simply adore this pedal the second you got your hands on it but only if you can appreciate pedals like the digital delays Boss offers in addition to anything digital. If you have a Digital Delay sell it and buy this instead, you'll be able to customize your tone better. If you appreciate analog sound go with a Memory Boy if your strapped for cash but if not go the right way and get a EHX Deluxe Memory Man, you'll be 5 times happier. The Roland Re-20 is a great tool for many people out there but not for the critical guitar player. The RE-20 in my opinion is best displayed when hooked up to a keyboard or synthesizer, that's where its true colors are displayed not through a guitar for that matter. // 4

Reliability & Durability: I have'nt had this pedal long at all so I'm not the guy to be telling people misinformation but Boss makes durable pedals and they don't seem to have many problems so I'd say that this pedal is most likely reliable. I would definitley gig with this pedal and wouldn't see a need for any back up. // 9

Overall Impression: I play rock music and I bought this pedal because I knew Omar from the Mars Volta played with the real tape edition and I wanted some of his sound so I bought it hoping it would sound close enough to a real tape echo and I was sadly dissappointed. But the space echo is not completely in vain because I'm not even selling it, it's a great addition to my keyboard and that's what I highly recommend it for but I wish I would have spent that money towards a Deluxe Memory Man instead. // 5

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overall: 7.3
RE-20 Space Echo Reviewed by: unregistered, on march 01, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 280

Purchased from: Long & Mcquade

Ease of Use: Pretty Easy to use and get a decent sound. And I do mean decent, not great. Stereo input and output allows for great stereo sounds--Though, there are better out there in the delay world. Input volume knob is nice to have but not really necessary. Dialing in a decent tone is pretty simple and easy. Delay/Echo is very easy to get going. The tap tempo makes it really easy. The modes knob, I feel, is okay. There aren't a lot of modes that are worth staying on however, but I'll get to that in "Sound". Rotary LED displays your tempo. Having an expression pedal option is nice, but I don't use it. The manual is pretty straight-forward. Just a simple Boss manual with some examples of good sounds. // 8

Sound: My setup contains: '72 Telecaster Deluxe into a Boss FV500 and then to a WH4 DigiTech Whammy, into a mix(explained later) then into either a Fender TRRi or Mesa Trem-O-Verb via switcher. When I was using it, It was at the end of my chain. Noisy? Here is my biggest problem with this pedal. You remember when I said this thing has a rotary LED? Remember how I also use a DigiTech Whammy? When these two pedals are on the same chain, I get an AWFUL sound comping from my amp. After about 5 minutes of screwing around, I came to the conclusion that the rotary LED in conjuncture with the WH4 was messing with the signal. A loud scratchy swell coming from the speakers was clearly coming from the LED. This problem eventually led to me not using this thing anymore and lending it to my other guitarist. It's sad because I actually really enjoy the sounds I can get out of it. As for effects: Reverb is pretty lousey, but that's not what I bought it for. When combined with the delay effect it's actually nice. Delay/Simulated Echo is actually really nice depending on your taste. When dialed in correctly, you get a pretty similar sound to the Original rack version. The repeat rate knob is unique in the sense that it has a delay of its effect. It emulates what would happen on a real tape device. If you tweak it, it will slowly catch up to the tempo that you want, making for some really kick-ass tracking. The mode knob has 12 settings. 1 for reverb, 4 for delay and 7 for a mix of the two. They differences between them is simply a change in tempo range. I only used 3-4 of the twelve available. The expression input is nice in a studio but not really practical on stage as it requires a spot (and quite a large one) on your pedalboard for it. Boss could have made things so much better if they had the tempo pedal dual function as an expression. When dialed in, you can get some very good early Gilmour sounds. It is a unique sounding delay pedal. Possibly one of the closer tape echo modeling to the real thing I have come across. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Can't say I would depend on it. After seeing how it reacted to a widely used pedal such as the WH4, who knows what configurations will piss it off? Just takes some tweaking I guess. It would be fine in a gig situation. If you rely on batteries, this thing takes six AA. Just to warn you. Standard Boss Durability. Built sturdy. No problems here. // 6

Overall Impression: I play experimental Post-rock/Post-metal. It matches these genres reasonably well. I have been playing for 6 years, three years in a band. Since I have stopped using the Space Echo, I now use a Malekko 616(Amazing price for what you get) and a Maxon AD999. I would have liked to know about the problematic rotary LED. It might just be a defect, but who knows? I wouldn't buy it again if lost or stolen. I love the unique flavor of this pedal. I hate the problems and the reverb. My favorite feature would most likely be the tap tempo and the thing I mentioned before about the repeat rate knob. Decent. Not great. // 7

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