Guitarist – echo, the illusive boyng

Idling around YouTube, as is my want from time to time, I found quite a few flustering about the exact echo used by Hank B. Marvin – the ‘B’ standing for Brian which is his real Christian name. :roll:

[Pointless ramble start:] There’s a number of folk claiming to have discovered/emulated the mystery. However, there is also some interview footage where Hank describes and shows exactly what he used/uses and how it was achieved?

The ‘secret’ – which I don’t remember being a ‘secret’ at the time – being among the top of the range toys being bought for him at the time, was a beyond-the-pocket-of-Mr-average Meazzi tape echo box from Italy. The technology was essentially a loop of tape with a small spool motor to rotate it, passing over an erase/record head followed by 3 or 4 playback heads. :omg: You turn the heads on or off, vary the signal strength, vary the tape motor speed, vary the erase strength, and there you go, select what appeals to you.

Typical modern digital machines tend to be of the type where they take the first bong and let you vary the time of it’s repeat and then how many follow-up repeats. To emulate a multi-head tape echo it needs to be (what I understand) is termed ‘multi-tap’.

YouTube - hank marvin echo

In the above clip Hank talks about a computer programme that has been worked out to simulate his boyngs. So you can no doubt use a computer with a midi interface? Or, if you’re a Luddite like me, cringe at the price of trying to get a Meazzi. Back when, the poor-boys home grown alternative was a Watkins Copycat. Cheaper than the Meazzi but still not cheap, though much better than the affordable analogue ‘bucket brigade’ units that eventually turned up.

Possible to get an old unit on fleeBay :roll:, or, a brand new state-of-the-art version from Charlie Watkins (still hanging in there – good man). But, Charlie’s asking £975 !!!! :omg:

Watkins Copicat by WEM Watkins

Agree he was a major part of British music history – the man who stated he could build a sound system to knock down the GPO tower, and wasn’t kidding! – but sod propping up his pension.

There’s a lad on YouTube showing how he coupled two Boss echoes together for the Hank sound? He gets a few things reasonable, but there’s no ‘gallop echo’ per the benchmark Apache? Then again, two Boss echoes would set you back some £270 (Amazon). :omg:

Not all gloom, I believe there is a poor-boy alternative, and actually a surprisingly good one. Also on Amazon is the Behringer Echo Machine EM600 for £42 sobs. :omg: Model number is important as Behringer make several echoes. It’s sold by Blue Aran (who are probably Behringer's unofficial main agent in the UK), and, if you go to their company site, you can get it inc. delivery for £36.56. Now that’s the real deal! :wink:

Behringer EM600 £34.00

What’s special about this pedal (apart from the price), is among it’s selection of settings are Multi 1 and Multi 2, which has to be short for Multi Tap 1 and 2 because that’s what they do. A bit of thoughtful setting (for Apache it’s ‘dee-dum…dee-dum’), and you can gallop to stardom! :roll:

As Colombo says, one more thing. Not mentioned on Hanks interview (or other footage I viewed), is that the sound is compressed to buggary. The ‘bell’ type sound is no accident – it’s compressed. And, the sequence is Guitar-Compressor-Echo. And perhaps a modest amount of reverb on the amp if you’re like me and appreciate something to paper over the cracks :clown:

[Pointless ramble stop]


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