Need help with a new tape echo unit

jeromydarling

New Around These Parts
Joined
Jul 14, 2020
Messages
1
#1
Hey friends! I'm a long time Tapeheads and Gearslutz guy and a recording artist with a cassette based studio (and about 6 multi track cassette recorders). I thought I'd poke my head in here to ask for some help:

5 years ago I acquired the rights to a 6 head tape echo unit that was called the EchoVerb. It was built by a former tape echo engineer (I believe he worked for Watkins/Copycat way back in the day). The unit was for sale for about a year between ’07-’08 and did pretty well. It has digital controls, and even a crazy tape reverb switch (sounds a little like spring reverb, but sexier). It was a high end, studio grade unit.

Reviews:
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/blue-coconut-unity-echoverb
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/pro...937-echoverb-6-head-tape-echo-amp-reverb.html

After I acquired the rights I began searching for an engineer to help reverse engineer it and add some upgrades. I’ve since been through 5 different engineers, all of whom had to back out due to physical/mental health issues.

---Stop reading if you believe in curses---

I’m now doing what I probably should have done back then, I’m reaching out here to see if anyone knows any reliable, and preferably healthy, audio engineers that could help me get this to the finish line. I demo’d the unit for Vintage King for their Head of Product Development in a studio in MI back in ’15 and we got a handshake deal for them to distribute as soon as it was “completed”. I can explain more as needed and send photos

Here’s what I don’t need:

1. Sarcastic comments about how this is stupid and I should give up
2. Hopeless remarks about how it can’t be done
3. In general, anything other than what I’m asking for above

I only say that to save us all some time. Maybe I’ll get no responses, but as a working husband and father, I’d rather not wade through a bunch of snide remarks disguised as advice. If you really feel they’re necessary just shoot me a DM Hope that’s ok to ask for. I love Phoenix for keeping tape alive and I know most folks are just trying to be helpful, whether or not their comments reflect that.
 

Skywavebe

Journeyman
Joined
Jun 13, 2010
Messages
377
Location
Bensenville, IL
Tagline
Work too much
#2
I think it will be difficult. I talked to a guy the other day that took the head off his E bay purchased deck and wanted to exchange it to the position of the reverse head as the deck was a auto reverse deck. Well, you probably can do that if you have the experience and tools but in this case it did not work and then when he put the heads back, the deck no longer plays. I don't know what he did to get to this but taking heads off and moving them around can only be done with some knowledge of setting them up correctly. From what you say a specially machined head mount might work but like they did in the Roland Space Echo they left the heads where they were and had a variable speed motor to vary the echo speed. In Engineering before one spends hundred of thousands of dollars to make something it might be best to examine or just buy a unit that already has those properties and features. In other words why reinvent the wheel?
 

J!m

Chief Journeyman
Joined
Dec 24, 2019
Messages
1,447
Location
Connecticut
#3
I was seriously looking into offering a new, quality cassette deck, that could play and record, as well as hold it’s own with the best from the past.

All I can say is: I wish you luck.

If you had something that needed repair, and you had a service manual, you might find a competent tech (such as Sam) to get it operational. But to engineer what you want- all the “right” engineers are retired, dead or both. I have similar issues in my “paying” job, in that the big OEM (Pratt & Whitney in my case) has driven out all the old, well paid and knowledgeable engineers and replaced them with kids right out of school. It’s not working so great for them... frustrating as hell for me since no one can make a decision or get me an answer on anything.
 

Skywavebe

Journeyman
Joined
Jun 13, 2010
Messages
377
Location
Bensenville, IL
Tagline
Work too much
#4
Yes, Today's people try to use a stepper motor for the capstan. They do not even know what is wrong with that.
That guy who got the license from Studer or Revox to make that unit lost it as he could not come up with a working unit to sell as I bet there were
technical problem they could not solve today. The old timers that made these old devices we see today are gone and so today's people can only make digital junk which as you know is junk throw away like stuff.
 

Gepetto

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
8,511
Location
Sterling, MA
Tagline
Old 'Arn Enthusiast
#7
Hey friends! I'm a long time Tapeheads and Gearslutz guy and a recording artist with a cassette based studio (and about 6 multi track cassette recorders). I thought I'd poke my head in here to ask for some help:

5 years ago I acquired the rights to a 6 head tape echo unit that was called the EchoVerb. It was built by a former tape echo engineer (I believe he worked for Watkins/Copycat way back in the day). The unit was for sale for about a year between ’07-’08 and did pretty well. It has digital controls, and even a crazy tape reverb switch (sounds a little like spring reverb, but sexier). It was a high end, studio grade unit.

Reviews:
https://www.soundonsound.com/reviews/blue-coconut-unity-echoverb
https://www.gearslutz.com/board/pro...937-echoverb-6-head-tape-echo-amp-reverb.html

After I acquired the rights I began searching for an engineer to help reverse engineer it and add some upgrades. I’ve since been through 5 different engineers, all of whom had to back out due to physical/mental health issues.

---Stop reading if you believe in curses---

I’m now doing what I probably should have done back then, I’m reaching out here to see if anyone knows any reliable, and preferably healthy, audio engineers that could help me get this to the finish line. I demo’d the unit for Vintage King for their Head of Product Development in a studio in MI back in ’15 and we got a handshake deal for them to distribute as soon as it was “completed”. I can explain more as needed and send photos

Here’s what I don’t need:

1. Sarcastic comments about how this is stupid and I should give up
2. Hopeless remarks about how it can’t be done
3. In general, anything other than what I’m asking for above

I only say that to save us all some time. Maybe I’ll get no responses, but as a working husband and father, I’d rather not wade through a bunch of snide remarks disguised as advice. If you really feel they’re necessary just shoot me a DM Hope that’s ok to ask for. I love Phoenix for keeping tape alive and I know most folks are just trying to be helpful, whether or not their comments reflect that.
Can I ask what rights you acquired if not the documentation on how to build the unit?
 
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