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Never piss off a guy who loans you a space echo right before he moves cross-country. Even if he is a bit of a jerk. You might just lose that vintage toy you never knew you needed. After a 'lil servicing and a fresh tape the rackmount chorus-echo I had was amazing. I could go on and on about the tape echo. Its great and we all admit it... but the features that make this badboy stand out for me are the jc120 chorus effect unit (wow, lush!) and the really nice solid-state spring reverb. Also, this guy has a footswitch jack for pretty much every parameter and more ins and outs than you can shake your guitar out (if you're the sort who likes shaking your guitar at 70s effects units instead of playing it). Did I mention these units are really studio friendly? I didn't need to. Best multi-effect box ever. I think my favorite trick with this thing was setting it up for a shimmery slap in single-head mode and a self-oscillating dub delay in sound-on-sound and then controlling the delay on/off with a footswitch and the feedback level with a momentary switch for insane super swells. I used to just cause sonic chaos if the audience wasn't digging my band. I think my noise sections were more popular than that act's tunes. Then again, we were so loud who could tell the difference.
The last tape echo system developed by Roland, the SRE-555 is a rack mounted version of the 501. With beautiful analogue delay (echo) from 3 playback heads plus the original signal, the variety of options and settings allow you endless choice to create the right effects for your sound. The spring tank reverb is stunning, and with a volume control it allows you to dial in the right amount. Basic EQ (treble and bass) are enough to shape the sound, and the chorus can go from simple thickening to wildly warbling - very subtle to crazy! Balanced and unbalanced inputs and outputs also give you the option to take separate sends of the effects for studio sessions, i.e. split reverb from the echo. Full foot switch controls for each effect. This thing is built like a tank, and sounds divine.