The Binson Echorec is considered by many musicians to be the paragon of echo-delay effects units. The Echorec comes from a time when electrical instrumentalities were made with pride and built to last, however it’s not indestructible. The precision delicate electro-mechanical parts require constant care and maintenance. The heads and drum must be kept clean and lightly oiled to reduce friction and minimise wear. And, even if properly serviced and maintained, nothing lasts forever. The heads inevitably wear down, the rubber in the idler wheel hardens with age, motor bearings run dry and then wear or cease, even the electronic components deteriorate. Electrolytic capacitors gradually dry out and no longer hold charge, resistors drift to open circuit, and the tubes slowly lose their ability to amplify, and the performance of the machine slowly, but inevitably declines over the years. Additionally, Echorecs manufactured during the mid 1960s onwards possess a unique problem with the insulation of the internal wiring, which has a nasty habit of breaking down—it ‘sweats’, releasing corrosive gases which then cause further damage to any metal parts within the machine.
But keep calm and do not despair—these wonderful echo machines are entirely serviceable and almost impossible to ‘write-off’ completely. Tubes can be swapped out, resistors and capacitors can be unsoldered and replaced with new, worn or damaged mechanical parts can replaced with N.O.S. (new old stock) parts and there are plenty of enthusiasts out there who are rebuilding multi-section capacitors or even machining their own magnetic drums (one of the most difficult and expensive Binson parts to procure). Within these pages you’ll find everything you need to keep your vintage model ‘T7E’ Echorec 2° (6-knob) or ‘Export’ (4-knob) running like a dream machine. There’s also supplemental background info on the older ‘T5E’ Echorec 1° and ‘Baby’ models, and the later, more technically advanced, hi-fidelity PE 603—it’s all here. Schematics demystified, how to find or make your own replacement parts, fascinating historical information and detailed, technical articles delving deep into the idiosyncrasies of the Echorec and explaining how to maintain and service your machine and unlock its true potential.
Finally, do take time to take a look at the Effectrode Binson Blog which details a full Echorec restoration from the ground-up. The work included a complete rewire, repainting and even rebuilding the multi-section electrolytic power supply smoothing capacitors. These pages are under constant revision and updated frequently in a quest to provide the most comprehensive and accurate service information on the internet—the authoritative guide to the Echorec!
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