Echorec 3° Delay
The photograph above is of the first prototype Effectrode Echorec 3° echo-delay machine that we began developing many years ago. The unit is based on a restored and modified Binson memory system. We were gearing up to build several of these machines however costs of Binson parts spiralled upwards as supplies began dwindling, and in 2011 they completely dried up. At the time we simply weren’t capable of meeting the technical challenge of accurately milling and machining the magnetic drum to the exact specification of the original Binson Echorec so consequently mothballed ‘Plan A’ and began exploring ‘Plan B’, a solid-state delay line concept for the Echorec 3° (the EC-2A).
However, we weren’t convinced by the solid-state concept and the project was abandoned. In hindsight it seems obvious but the things that make a Binson a Binson are the drum, heads, pulsating green ‘magic eye’ tube and the rest of the tubes in the signal path – the best Binsons had tubes! Remove any of these elements and you no longer have a Binson, you only have a parody of a Binson – a fake. So, lacking a ‘Plan C’, we kept on with methodically researching, documenting and building up experitise on every single detail of the electronic and mechanical technicalities of these incredible machines in the hope that one day something would come up and we’d be in a position to resurrect the Echorec as it should be.
Now, twelve years on, we feel confident we can begin moving the Echorec 3° delay forward again. The project has been given a new lease of life as a British Aerospace Systems engineer recently joined the Effectrode team and a large part of his time will be dedicated to the mechanical engineering aspects of the Echorec 3° project. This fellow is the perfect person to crack the technological nut of recreating the Binson memory system with the level of care and attention to detail it demands – exactly the push we’ve been looking for! More news coming as the project unfolds.
- All Tube: The best Binson Echorecs were all tube. This redesign features 100% analogue signal path based on mil-spec U.S.A. manufactured N.O.S. Sylvania subminiature 6112 and 6111 tubes operating at amp plate voltages. D.C. powered tube heaters and fully smoothed and regulated H.T. power supply to ensure quietest possible operation.
- Full size drum: The same 4.7″ diameter and weight drum as in the original Binson machines. This is essential to maintain high i.p.s. of the storage medium across the heads and minimise ‘wow’ and ‘flutter’ for hi-fidelity delay repeats
- ‘Magic-eye’ Level Indicator: DM70 subminiature tube – very cool visual indication of recording signal levels.
- Multitap: Four playback heads giving nominal delay times of 90ms, 180ms, 270ms and 360ms.
- Head alignment: Heads are mounted on the base plate using an innovative cradle that allows ease of alignment in all three planes and maintains correct contact pressure on the drum face.
- Tap Tempo: Yes, tap-tempo! The DC motor is PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative) controlled to allow accurate speed, and hence delay time control via external momentary footswitch or tap tempo control pedal such as Time Traveller.
- True Bypass Switching: With Effectrode’s unique ‘anti-pop’ or ‘thump’ footswitching circuitry utilising sealed, gold-contact relay to eliminate the possibility of dirty contacts degrading the sound and minimal internal audio path.