Eddie Van Halen achieved part of his iconic sound using classic tape echo units such as the Echoplex. These classic units of yester-year however are expensive, unreliable and nowhere near pedalboard-friendly. Keeley’s Magnetic Echo can let you emulate that desirable sound in a small package.
Keeley have perfected the Mag Echo to sound as close as possible to units such as the Echoplex. Using a hint of Lo-Fi delay, the filtered echoes are warm and can complement your guitar sound – clean or distorted.
The magnetic tape in old-school units suffered from wear and degradation, however this created some amazing sounding modulation on delay repeats. This is why Keeley have added a circuit similar to their Seafoam Chorus pedal, letting you modulate the echoes to replicate that incredible sound without any hassle.
Simple Layout, Easy to Use
The Magnetic Echo has a simple and practical layout, easy to adjust in the studio or mid-song. You can control the volume of your repeats with the Level - set it low for just a touch of delay to thicken your sound, or set it high for some percussive Edge-inspired sounds.
The Regen control lets you decide the number of repeats, turn it down for some slapback delay or crank it to get some crazy self-oscillated sounds. The Time control affects the speed of the repeats, and with 40-600ms of delay time available you have a versatile range available. Set this control low for some instant country-inspired slapback, or raise it for some slower experimental sounds.
The Depth and Speed controls allow you to control the modulation. With the Speed low, a slow and subtle chorus can be achieved, or turned up you can get an intense yet musical warble. You can easily affect the intensity of these effects with the Depth knob.
Here’s what Keeley have to say about the Magnetic Echo:
Keeley Magnetic Echo – The Mag-Echo pedal simulates tube tape echo sounds by using the delay circuit and a little bit of modulation. Tape echos have long been regarded as a warm and very guitar friendly form of delay. The Mag-Echo achieves similar results by using a touch of Lo-Fi delay, a slightly filtered echo response to keep things warm, and some modulation. Modulation, or “Wow and Flutter” in the tape world is a slight pitch shift or wavering that occurs as the tape is pulled across the heads. The modulation we use is similar to what we use in our Seafoam Chorus, a slight wavering of pitch on the trails of the repeats. With a simple set of controls for the delay – Time, Regen, and Level and with the “Wow and Flutter” controls – Depth and Rate you can create some very vintage or rather unique tones.
Delay Time – This Time control roughly sets the length between your repeats between 40ms and 600ms. This range is well suited for classic, vintage delay sounds that are great for slap-back or medium length delay times.
Regen – This control sets the number of repeats. You can set this for a single slap back echo or turn it up for a runaway, self-oscillating or self-regenerating echoes. (Now go back and twist the Time control for some crazy sounds!)
Delay Level – The Level control is your mix, how loud you want to hear the echoes.
Wow and Flutter Controls:
Depth – Turn this control to achieve deeper and deeper chorusing and pitch shifting on your echoes. As you raise the control the Depth and Rate LED will start to glow giving you a visual indication as to the amount of modulation you are applying to the repeats.
Rate – This is your Flutter control. It’s another way to control how poorly your tape echo is performing! Not that any tape deck was every in this bad of condition, but it sure sounds good to have a little pitch modulation on your echo! Using these controls gives you a nice way to create unique and very musical delays.
Whether you’re into Rockabilly slap-back echoes, experimental sounds, or just want a great classic rock sounding echo, the Magnetic Echo will sound great in your rig.
Keeley Electronics started to develop and produce this delay way back in 2005. But as things happened, we worked on other projects, always keeping an eye on the growing delay and echo market. We sure you will be very happy with the tone of this echo/delay/modulation effect.
It’s pretty clear from this unbiased shoot-out that the Magnetic Echo wins. The delays sound more like the original and not as filtered and cut off. The modulation is more sophisticated. Price point is the same!