We do all guitar repair, restoration, refinishing and setup work as well as pick up rewinds and amp and pedal electronics repairs. If it's broken or not playing like it should, we'll fix it.
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June 4, 2010

1970's WEM Super IC Copycat tape echo

The most famous Tape-Echo Unit in Britain, and possibly in the World, the Copicat also happens to be the first repeat-echo machine manufactured as one compact unit. It was designed by Charlie Watkins in 1958, apparently after he heard a similar sound effect generated by two linked studio quality tape recorders for the Italian singer Marino Marini. Following its introduction, the tape-echo sound revolutionised pop music during the late 1950's and early 1960's, being behind the guitar sound of the top British bands including The Shadows. It also served a secondary purpose after being adopted for providing echo on vocals - the two volume controls acted as a rudimentary microphone mixer. These little machines sold by the thousand!!
The circuit of the Super IC was simplified by using four 741 op amps in the amplifier section and two BFY51 transistors in the bias oscillator. There is a clever economy which uses a winding on the capstan motor to generate the low voltage for the electronics. This removes the bulk of the usual mains transformer and means that the leads and footswitch can be stored in a rear compartment and makes the whole thing much neater and lighter.
WEM is still alive and operating in the UK today.

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