1982 Roland RE-501 Chorus Echo Effects Unit

1982 Roland RE-501 Chorus Echo Effects Unit 

A blast from Roland's past! Resplendent in all its analog chorus and tape echo glory! This remarkable piece of engineering is a feature rich continuation of the Space Echo. The repeats themselves are a bit more high-fidelity than previous Space Echo units, while still having all the tape echo character you'd hope for.  As well as adding spring reverb, integrated noise reduction, and a lush chorus effect, this unit solved a lot of the problems people had with the Space Echo in a genius way. 

Unlike other tape echos where the tape is spooled on a cassette-style cartridge- this unit has a special chamber where the tape is free to move around. This ease of movement reduces wow and flutter and also helps prevent tape wear- an important feature nowadays with the increasing rarity of the tape. The design also allows for much longer tape samples to be created- over three seconds in length! 

This unit has 6 different echo modes. The first three select between different tape heads. Mode 1 is the closest tape head and results in the shortest repeats. Mode 3 has longest travel length and can create some expansive delay lines. Modes 4-6 combine multiple tape heads for dual and triple repeat lines. Combine this with the onboard spring reverb and you've got the famous Dub beat that Lee "Scratch" Perry is so well known for. 

The built in chorus is an analog bucket-brigade circuit using the MN3007 chip set. It is similar in tone to the Boss CE-1, but a slightly different circuit. This unit also has a bevy of input and output options making it easy to pair with whatever instrument you want. 

This unit is in remarkably good condition considering its age. There is a small scratch near the Repeat/Single slider (visible in photos 5 and 6). The 1/4" input jack is slightly loose and has a small scratch around it (see photo 4). A previous owner carved their driver's license number inside the unit near the tape heads (see photo 12) and also on the back near where the power cord connect to the unit (see photo 16). The tolex on the top of the unit has a couple of scratches on it (visible in photos 15 and 18).  Otherwise, this unit is in excellent condition. Everything functions as it should and there are no scratchy pots. 

Also included is the original owner's manual, the original cleaning instructions, the original cleaning kit, and an additional tape loop. 

Serial Number:166288

Weight: 22lbs 14.5oz