Boss has unveiled the RE-202 and RE-2, two new digital pedals based on the iconic RE-201 Space Echo bar echo of the ’70s and ’80s.
The RE-202 features a triple foot switch and additional functionality, while the RE-2 lowers the Space Echo’s sound to its most basic.
Based on analysis of several older RE-201 models—one of which was in a primitive state lurking in the Boss/Roland archives—the new pedals promise to recreate the iconic unit reverberation and distortion using entirely new algorithms, covering every possible nuance of tape, track, recording/playback mechanism and variations. Kinetic and preamp coloration and spring reverb character.
Let’s take a closer look at each pedal in detail…
Boss RE-202 Space Echo ($399)
Not only does the RE-202 recreate the look of the RE-201 but it also packs all the controls into the original unit, including the 12-position mode selector.
The boss promises “total accuracy” regarding vocal pedal behavior, from gradual changes in pitch to unbridled feedback.
While you’ll never need to replace a physical tape on the RE-202, you can replicate the age and changing nature of well-worn tapes via custom settings, while Saturation and Wow & Flutter control preamp tones and adjustment.
There are new additions as well, not least a doubling of the delay time, tempo control, four preset memories and a fourth virtual tape header for five additional audio groups. Additional foot switches for oscillation fun can also be used with torsion and twist functions.
You also get stereo inputs and outputs and selectable guitar/line-level playback, while dry audio can use the RE-201 amplifier’s tone or a perfectly clean signal.
Referring to the functionality of the Boss 500 Key Units, you can mute the dry signal for parallel effects settings, while the pedal can be controlled via external foot switches, expression pedal or MIDI via MIDI mini jacks. A micro-USB port is also available for product updates.
Boss RE-2 Space Echo ($299)
Condensing key characteristics of the RE-201 into a compact pedal, the eagerly awaited RE-2 features an 11-position selector, with access to three virtual tape heads with or without pulse frequency.
The echo/echo combination can be adjusted via independent level knobs, while additional adjustment comes from the Wow & Flutter control door.
Like the 202, the RE-2 features an extended delay time, as well as crossover capability and selectable stereo inputs and outputs. You can choose between the dry, unprocessed signal that is equipped with an amplifier as well.
There are also tempo or torsion controls, accessible by pressing the foot pedal switch, as well as support for external control via a separate jack.
The RE-201 was first launched in 1974 and is considered by many as the ultimate space echo, due to its three-band header, spring-loaded reverb, rich modulation, warm saturation and compact tape and tweeter.
Production eventually ended in 1990, before Boss released its first shape pedal in 2007 with the RE-20 two-foot wrench.
However, due to the plethora of strap-echo pedals that appeared in the ensuing years from the likes of Strymon, Wampler, NUX and others, fans were clamoring for newer, more refined incarnations of the original manufacturer.
So much so that Mockup of Waza Craft RE-2W In 2019, before Boss finally confirmed that a compact RE-2 was on its way earlier this year, after a mysterious sale of early units on eBay drove the internet frenzy.
If Boss can deliver its acoustically accurate research, RE-202 and RE-2 might as well The Tape echo pedals to own. Best work on these case designs too. very nice. Really very beautiful.
For more information on both pedals, head over to Boss.info.
“Wannabe internet buff. Future teen idol. Hardcore zombie guru. Gamer. Avid creator. Entrepreneur. Bacon ninja.”