This is perhaps the strangest tape echo in ESTECHO’s collection. I’m still not quite sure what I bought exactly! It looks like it comes from a vintage hospital and it weighs a TON! The whole thing is built in solid metal, it must weigh at least 15 kilograms… Every time I move this thing around, I grunt and pant!
I’m still trying to figure out what it was designed for, because it’s obviously not made for the gigging musician! Perhaps it was built for radio stations? It doesn’t have any rack ears, but there was probably a different front panel available that had them. At 42cm wide, it would certainly fit in a rackmount, although with such weight the whole thing would probably warp!
Strangely, the EM-1000 was manufactured by Denon, a company that markets consumer electronics, not music production instruments as far as I know. Maybe they had (or have) a pro-audio division for radio stations or recording studios, which could explain EM-1000…
The most surprising thing is the tape format: 1/2 inch! I’ve never encountered — or even heard of — a tape delay using 1/2″ tape. The tape heads, rollers, capstan, VU meter and pinch roller are all oversized, and the whole thing is built like a tank. As far as I can assess, all the parts are of excellent quality, and the engineering is remarkable. This must have been very expensive at the time…
This EM-1000 is in great shape cosmetically, mechanically and electronically. Fortunately it came equipped with a loop of tape in decent shape. I’m still not sure what kind of tape I should use as a replacement, probably 1/2″ tape made for 8-track reel-to-reel recorders. VHS tape would probably do, but I’m afraid of low fidelity and of dirtying the tape path…
The EM-1000 has everything I need in a delay: great sound, lots of headroom, four heads that you can mix in as you like (although for some reason the pots are even with the front panel, so you need a screwdriver or a tough nail to turn them), a VU level meter, 100% wet output possibility, tone controls, variable speed, a pinch roller you can disengage with a switch… If only it wasn’t so heavy! That’s pretty much the only problem with this tape delay; its weight condemns it to stay in a studio and never see a stage in its whole life…
Technical Info / Service Notes
The only problem I had was that it didn’t come with a power cable when I bought it, and the power jack (see pic below) is a strange Cannon (with two n’s) connector, kind of like XLR but not quite. When I tried plugging in an XLR jack it didn’t go in — turns out that, in order to ensure that you won’t plug in a power cable in a signal jack (or vice-versa), the power jack’s alignment notch (on the side of the XLR/Cannon connector) isn’t in the same place relative to the pins. So even though the pins themselves are spread out the same way as a regular, 3-pin XLR, you can’t insert the connector.
I checked around for a while on the net to see if I could find a 2-pin Cannon connector that would fit, and they do exist (I saw some on the Cannon website), but it was too much trouble for me, so I just pulled out a regular XLR jack I had lying around, and proceeded to file off the alignment notch! It worked like a charm, and now I can provide power to the unit without having to modify the back panel jack. And don’t worry, I won’t plug the power cable in the input jack!
|Manufacturer||Denon Instruments Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan)|
|List price||Unknown (prototype?)|
|Transport type||Tension tape loop, 1/2 inch|
|Head selection||Volume pot for each head|
|Wet output only||Yes, dry signal output on/off switch|
|Tone control||Bass and treble for delay signal|
|Related models||I've never seen anything like it!|