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Re: Echoplex Digital Pro Documentation Whining

On 9/6/01 2:44 PM, "Kim Flint" <kflint@loopers-delight.com> wrote:

> I think the EDP and the Repeater only compete in the minds of people who
> really don't understand either device. Depending on what you are doing 
> looping, one or the other is the obvious choice. But neither one of them 
> a replacement for the other.

I agree they don't compete.

> this has been real obvious lately on this list, where a lot of people 
> bought the Repeater clearly thinking it was something different from what
> it is. (the point Andre was trying to make and getting flamed for.)  
> people then put up feature wish lists for the Repeater that make it 
> what the really wanted was an Echoplex! If they had bought an EDP, they
> would have the features they want. The things the Repeater excels at 
> appear to even be of interest to some of them, or are secondary.
> So why didn't they get an EDP? Probably this is also a case of poor
> documentation also. The echoplex could use some clearer explanations of
> what it does and the types of uses it excels at. That is rather lacking 
> the Echoplex page of Looper's Delight right now, so I'll try to add more.

I think a look at this statement from the opposite perspective is worth
taking.  I am (or was) an Echoplex user.  Most satisfying piece of gear I
ever bought next to my first guitar.  No I didn't defect to buy a Repeater
(financials and life shifts caused me to sell my echoplex).  However, I can
tell you why someone who might own an Echoplex might "not understand" 
to be tempted by the Repeater to be the their next looper.  Its obvious the
Echoplex as much as I love it could be improved on.  The hardware has both
survived the test of time and continued to be compelling.  However, at the
same time I can't help but think of what could be if Gibson/Trace-Elliot
would feel compelled to release the EDP II.  Not just a software update, 
a next round on the hardware. So, forgive me for starting another how would
I improve the EDP list... But I think it is worth pondering in the context
of the release of the Repater. This is the list of reasons a "misinformed"
echoplex user / potential buyer might be swayed to the dark side and want a

1) Stereo: The repeater's can work in Stereo.  Sure the Echoplex can work 
Stereo by getting two of them.  Since the day I got my Echoplex I always
wished I had two.  I play a Roland vg-8 and layering the stereo output on
the through the Echoplex just seemed like the ultimate setup.  However, in
total it would cost a street price of a little less than 3 times that of 

2) Price - the cost of buying a second Echoplex has been as I already said
the inhibitor to 1).  I can imagine that a few people like myself, very
satisfied with their mono echoplex, wanting Stereo and thinking about 
a second Echoplex to achieve it, have thought... Hmmmm... Maybe I will get 
Repeater instead to satisfy that requirement and check out what this new
device can do.

3) Persistence - being able to turn off your looper and turn it back on 
your work still there.  Huge!!!!

4) the ability to efficiently move data on and off the device via removable
storage.  The MIDI method is useless.  Sure you can do it by playing it 
and recording it... But the Repeaters method is much more efficient and
elegant and I don't need additional equipment.

4) More Memory.  Now in general the 3 minutes of the Echoplex loaded is
generally enough for me.  But I am an American and more is always better : 
But more seriously, the Echoplex as I bought it came with way too little
memory.  I didn't get one 3 or 4 years ago, I bought mine out of the first
batches coming from Gibson.  For the cost of the machine and cost of RAM
today, there should have been no reason for gibson not to load the memory.
I think they do now, but it was a pain in the butt getting what is now
considered obsolete memory for the EDP.  I know it was revolutionary and
forward thinking at the time it was built, but we are talking about the EDP
competing today.  Don't get me wrong the EDP is still competitive, but this
is no longer an advantage.

5) Digital connectors... Just mainsteam stuff in 2001.  Most of my gear is
now connected digitally, even my monitors are digital.

Those were the initial big grabbers for me... However, things like being
able to change tempo/pitch, additional numbers of tracks and loops all 
very tempting.  Sure, I want everything the Echoplex does today and as
people have pointed off the last 2 weeks, the Echoplex got a lot of stuff
right. The intresting thing will be to see what folks will buy now that 
can go into a store and sit down side by side and try both out.  Which
brings me to my final "temptation" of the Repeater over the EDP:

6) Advertising: The Echoplex although from this forums perspective may be a
well known piece of gear... I think it is generally un-heard of.  Maybe, I
am wrong and just hang in the wrong circles.  However, when I bought my
first Echoplex it was 100% by being a watcher on this forum for months and
going for it.  I found the forum only because I heard Phil Keagy and 
I had to learn more about the Jamman.  A web search brought me here and
convinced me the EDP was the way to go.  However, when I was thinking about
it none of the dealers in my area or even the bigger on-line retailers I
dealt with at the time actually carried the Echoplex.  Zzounds listed it,
but it wasn't available.  I thought things would get better when Gibson
re-released, but I still don't see any in the retail stores and Musician
Friends is the first folks I have seen just recently start to carry it in
their catalog.  You go into a store and ask and it is likely the sales guy
won't know what it is even if they can order it.  However, the Repeater
seems to have done a much better job getting some hype about its existence
going beyond this forum.  Guitar Center and Sam Ash in my town both claim
they will be getting one in and on display.  The first guy I talked to in
both places actually knew what they were and was aware of the huge delays
around them.  Why do I care if the Echoplex gets advertised... Because it 
a great piece of gear.  Lots of people buying it inspires improvements in
the software, hardware, and competition which I think is ultimately good 
everyone.  Further, when the guy interested in looping goes into the store
to compare the EDP and the Repeater to find out he really wanted and EDP...
Guess which one he is going to buy if the EDP isn't even there.

It is clear from the talk in this forum the past couple of weeks that the
Echoplex and repeater hit slightly different markets.  But my own interest
in the Repeater came from wanting the next version of the Echoplex.  As I
already said I just sold my Echoplex, not because of any desire to buy a
Repeater or lack of love for my Echoplex, but because money got tight and 
was on a low utilization path for the next couple of years because of
changes in priorities around family and work.  Someone commented that in 5
years I would be buying it back... And I agreed.  But why not just leave it
in the closet for 5 years... Well I personally hope that in 5 years
Gibson/Trace-Elliot will have released EDP II and addressed some of my wish
list items.  If for no other reason, I welcome the Repeater.  I hope it has
got the folks at Gibson/Trace-Elliot thinking about what they need to do to
continue to dominate this particular area.  The Echoplex is such a forward
thinking piece of equipment (even now).  What would that team of folks
(including Kim) do to propel us forward for the next 5 to 10 years...