Premier Guitar

1977 Roland RE-201 Space Echo

October 20, 2010

In 1973, the Roland Corporation answered guitarists’ demand for a portable, durable, and, most importantly, affordable way to get the popular tape echo sound on the road and in the studio—the Space Echo series. While the RE-100 and RE-200 units were groundbreaking, it only took Roland one year to redefine the line with the release of RE-201 in 1974. Building off of an already impressive set of features, the RE-201 offered a spring reverb tank, bass and treble controls for the effected sound, and 12 operating modes, which could combine the three playback heads in different combinations— with or without reverb. Throw in one instrument and two microphone inputs, all with independent level controls, as well as a line-level input, and the RE-201 became one of the most popular tape echo units not only for guitarists, but vocalists and sound engineers as well. The RE-201 Space Echo was so popular that Roland kept producing them up until 1990, even after releasing the RE-301 and RE-501 models.

An early example of the classic effects unit, this 1977 RE-201 is in great shape, which is a testament to the tank-like sturdiness of the Space Echo. It still runs smoothly and sounds great, thanks in part to the low-tension, free-floating design of the tape loop. From great vintage slapback sounds (à la John Lennon records) to wild oscillation and pitch shifting madness, this all-original RE-201 has it covered.

Thanks to Howie Statland at Rivington Guitars for listing this unit on Gear Search. Whether you’re looking to channel classic mojo through vintage effects or be at the cutting edge with the latest boutique stompboxes, there’s a great chance you’ll find your next effect at Gear Search. More than 47,000 pieces of gear are listed, including some of the rarest gear in the world.