As a matter of fact, the filters of the Stereo Echo were designed for this warm, tape-like sound - nothing like the cold feeling of a digital unit.
The stereo effect of the SE is unique: the left channel delay is always equal to 3/5 of the right channel delay. This ratio was introduced to avoid taps overlapping: the echoes interleave from left to right and right to left without crossing path.
This special feature allows the Stereo Echo sounding a little like a reverb - something that no classic delay can do.
Inside the Module
Just like the Stereo Chorus and the Chorus/Delay, the Rockman Stereo Echo includes the compandor noise reduction circuit. This is one of the key features that make it sound clean, when the common analog delays are fairly noisy at long delay settings.
There are four BBD chips inside the Stereo Echo, which are connected in series. The Left Channel - short delay - is picked up after the third chip, and the last chip provides an extra delay for the Right Channel.
The following chart is a simplified diagram of the Rockman Stereo Echo's structure. The right input channel is left untouched, and is mixed towards two outputs with the original left channel, the short delay and the long delay to achieve the desired stereo image.
The output mixer, apart from the same mono-to-wide switches as in the Chorus units, has a three positions switch to select three patterns:
Usage, samples and limitations
The Rockman Stereo Echo has very rich features, and a guitarist will certainly never find the limits of the unit: from discrete slap-backs to huge walls of sound, the Stereo Echo will meet his requirements.
Here are two samples of a guitar solo I have made for the CD of a friend. I have left the Stereo Echo express itself...
Collectibility and conclusion
The Stereo Echo is becoming difficult to catch at a decent price. It was produced in the same quantity as the Stereo Chorus - approximately 6700 units - but people who can buy one do keep it, and a lot of collectors own several of them.
Copyright Rockman.fr 2008