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Designing a new Tape Echo

Posted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:46 am
by HollowRootStudio
That's how obsessed I've become (:
It's in prototype phase and I would love feedback.

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 1:50 am
by interruptor
A beautiful project. I'd never be patient enough to actually finish something like this.. After reading the different sections of your website I am very impressed with your confidence in approaching seemingly huge projects. After seeing those pictures of your house I am sure you will also succeed with that ghost echo :-)
I wish you all the best with the fx unit as well as with your wife, children and business!


Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 4:02 am
by HollowRootStudio
Thank you Interruptor! I appreciate the encouragement! :)

This forum has always been a great resource and education spot for dub/reggae music and gear. It has been a go to for me, even long before joining. Very glad it's here!

I hope it's ok to post pics & such as the project progresses.

Thx again,

Posted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 2:09 pm
by interruptor
That's no problem of course..


Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 7:12 am
by HollowRootStudio
Just finished a video update of The Ghost Echo.

here is the full blog post:

Just the video:

I'd love any feedback (:

Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:09 pm
by AUX1Dub
Ill be interested in your results. Keep us posted.

Little Update

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:03 am
by HollowRootStudio
Made some headway on the eq section & integrating it with the spring reverb. Also redesigned the pcb again... smaller and smaller is better. Here's a pic of the beginning of the second prototype with a blank proto board ready for components. In this prototype all components and hardware will be very close to their final resting spot. This should better test for noise or other signal issues.


Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 3:11 pm
by AUX1Dub
The question is, are you gonna build them for sale? Im curious to see how this comes out.
How are you going to store the tape?

Right on

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:07 pm
by HollowRootStudio
Thanks for the question and interest Aux1Dub.

The tape transport will be very simple - similar to the Copicat, Echoverb, Reverbatape, and other short loop systems. The loop will be about 26" and be very easily replaced. The 3 play heads will be movable. Here's the rough layout so far.


I'm hoping to sell them if there is enough interest and it proves to be a good machine :)

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 6:54 pm
by AUX1Dub
Heck... I would be interested in the reverb alone. I love to support DIY musicians. If the price is comparable you can put me down for one. To me paying $1000 for a Fulltone is not an option especially when you hear so much negativity about Mike Fuller.
I am tired of my Echoplex and would love to add on to my collection. I like your design and hope you do build copies. Consider selling your reverbs separate perhaps.

Right on

Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:02 pm
by HollowRootStudio
The reverb alone unit would definitely be 'affordable'. Most cost associated with the multi-effect is in the tape echo components (heads especially).

I have thought about a standalone reverb unit as well. It would be a stereo / dual mono unit, also with a single band parametric for live or static tone shaping.

First I want to get a good working prototype of the echo/rev/eq and then think about the details of a second auxiliary unit.

Any input is appreciated to as I'm is still developing the machine.

Thanks mate!

Video Update and Pics

Posted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:53 am
by HollowRootStudio
This last stint took a while. Now the Reverb and EQ sections are working. Here's a like to the video demo with the machine as an aux effect.

Here's a couple pics of it's current state as well.




Any comments or suggestions are appreciated.

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:38 pm
by pryere
Very impressive. I will follow your progress with interest.

Swing/Tension Arm

Posted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:52 am
by HollowRootStudio
My focus is now on the tape transport section of the tape echo. Here's a couple pics of the swing/tension arm...



One of the rollers in the pic was machined here at home and likely will be how I make them for a while.

Posted: Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:30 am
by Red eye
Thats a great looking project youre working on!!!
Cant wait to see the progress and see and hear the result.
Big up for only even starting building stuff like that!

Maybe it would be cool to have some control over the brightness in the spring verb part in any way instead of just dry/wet.
Thats just a thought tho...this thing rocks big time any way!

Respect and good luck on finishing it.
Keep posting please!


Posted: Sun Dec 01, 2013 2:32 pm
by HollowRootStudio
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback Red eye!

I'll think about the brightness level on the reverb. Practically, I think a 'bright' & 'dark' switch would be a way to go for that... giving a different flavor of reverb without allowing the reverb to feedback too easily. Hmmm...
I'll get into that after the tape echo section is functional and see how everything is working together.

Cheers! (: