Back in January 2021, stompbox buff and JHS Pedals founder Josh Scott appeared on his popular YouTube series The JHS Show extolling the virtues of Electro-Harmonix’s long-discontinued Slap-Back Echo.
Unlike many of EHX’s colorful product names, the original Slap-Back Echo does exactly what it says on the tin, introducing a classic rockabilly-style slap-back sound that can be controlled using a single blend knob and filter on/off switch.
Lauded by Scott as “perfect,” the JHS head honcho begged EHX to reissue this rare '70s stompbox. Now, the New York pedal firm has responded with the release of the Slap-Back Echo analog delay reissue.
Touted by EHX as a “1978 rarity reissued with modern updates” and the “most pedalboard-friendly chassis yet,” the new Slap-Back Echo is currently available priced $81.
Slap-back echo is one of the earliest electric guitar effects. Famously used during the dawn of rock and roll by legends Chet Atkins and Scotty Moore, this short tape delay sound helped define the voice of rockabilly guitar.
A couple of decades later, bucket-brigade (BBD) analog circuitry was widely implemented into stompbox design, proving a useful alternative to tape while greatly expanding the possibilities of time-based effects.
Some of the better-known ‘70s EHX BBD chip designs include the Deluxe Memory Man delay, Small Clone chorus and Electric Mistress flanger. Although these classic pedals have been reissued in multiples, the under-the-radar Slap-Back Echo has only just been revisited.
Appearing with newly expanded controls and a significantly smaller footprint, the Slap-Back Echo reissue boasts three switchable delay time settings – namely, 45ms, 65ms and 100ms – while the blend knob travels from 100 per cent dry to 100 per cent wet.
A second knob controls gain, allowing a dry-signal boost of up to 20dB (handy for slap-back-drenched solos and lead riffs.)
Here’s a quick rundown of useful info:
- All-analog circuit features true-bypass
- Independent gain and blend knobs
- Time switch features 45ms, 65ms, and 100ms delay times
- Up to 20dB of boost
- Small chassis (3.65 x 2.0 x 2.0 inches)
- 9.6VDC-200mA power adapter included
Visit the EHX website for more information.
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Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Guitar World, Guitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.