From Guglielmo Cicognani’s Gurus Amplifiers comes the new Echosex 2 delay pedal with tube-driven preamp. This is essentially a reissue of the Binson Echorec, an Italian analog echo device made famous by players such as The Shadow’s Hank Marvin, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and Roger Waters, and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. The Echorec was different from other devices of the time by utilizing a magnetic drum recorder to create the echo effect instead of a tape loop.
This new version improves over the original Gurus Echosex unit in reliability and by more than doubling the maximum delay time to 660ms. It is housed in a metal case with Plexiglas top plate, through which you can see the 12AX7/ECC83 preamp tube backlit with a green LED. There are five surface controls: Bass/Treble (affecting only the repeats), Age of Damage (pitch modulation), Volume of Echo (wet/dry balance), Length of Swell (feedback), and Echo (delay time). There are also DIP switches on the side of the unit to change input sensitivities (0dB or -10dB), output sensitivity (0dB or +4dB), and for having the repeats killed or fade out when the bypass footswitch is engaged. For connectivity there are ¼” in and outs and a jack for 9-12VDC power supply.
Although not completely analog (it uses the popular PT2399 digital chip to provide the delay), the Echosex 2 produces lush delays that can have a slight tinge of overdrive to them. If you are looking for absolutely clean repeats that do not distort, this probably isn’t the delay unit for you. The Echosex 2 has a wide range of available delay sounds, capable of everything from rockabilly slap-back echo to beautiful oscillating madness. The Bass/Treble control dials in the character of the repeats from dark to bright without affecting the dry tone at all. When playing into an overdriven amp or with a fuzz box before the delay set to darker toned long repeats, lead lines gained Gilmour-esque qualities. The Age of Damage control provided a nice touch, simulating the modulation that arose in the original Binson units as mechanical parts became worn, creating a warble beloved by Echorec enthusiasts. With a short delay time, low-moderate feedback, and dialing up the Age of Damage control a very cool chorus-like sound was produced that could provide an alternative to your favorite swirling stompbox. This pedal could also be used as a tone fattening preamp with the delays dialed out and the input/output DIP switches set to your needs.
Overall I am impressed with the Echosex 2 and could definitely see it having a home on my own pedalboard. There are however three features I wish they had included: a multi-head delay feature like the original Binson Echorec, tap-tempo, and an expression pedal input so I could go between standard delays and taking it into self-oscillation. Perhaps in future versions these features could be added, but in its current incarnation the Echosex 2 is a warm, easy-to-use delay pedal to add some spacey dimensions to your sound.
-Eric Lucero, Pitbull Audio Product Specialist
60 to 600 ms delay time
Adjustable input/output levels
No moving parts & easily transportable
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