NAMM is an exciting time. New products. New builders. But some items really get the buzz going. This year, it seems that T-Rex Effects has something quite buzz worthy. They unveiled their T-Rex Replicator tape delay! Now if you’re not familiar with tape delays, they were the first type of delays available to studios and musicians. Echoplex, Space Echo were a couple of early tape delays from the late 50s to the early 70s.
The principle is when the source signal is recorded to actual tap and played back at a set interval. The vintage units are hard to find and are quite expensive. Fulltone offers the Tube Tape Echo now, and there has been a wave of digital tape delay emulators – Strymon El Capistan as being one of the leaders for this.
The problem with tape echos are that they can be expensive, the tape can be noisy and wear out.
But now.. T-Rex Effects will be offering a Tape Echo at a great price point this year ($799 or there abouts – close to half the cost of the Fulltone) and address some issues of the vintage machines and adding some modern improvements! First off, the tape wearing out.. they’re using US chrome tape which can hold up for a long time. They claim they have worked a trial unit for three months continually without significant signal loss. They also ensured that the tape cassette will be easy to replace. No word on availability of replacement cassettes, though.
Another interesting feature they added was an additional play head. Dual heads will provide the rockabilly slap back, and the second head can be applied on/off. Also, they added chorus functionality and the ability to overdrive/sustain the unit.
Now, what’s got people going nuts.. tap tempo! By adding a tap tempo circuit and adding a ‘stepper’ motor, they’re allowing you to control the speed with your foot! Pretty cool.
Let me know what you think by commenting below!