When we decided to revive one of the finest magnetic echo-delay machines ever built, we knew it will be everything but an easy task. Months of research, in-depth study, development and fine tuning were needed to bring it back in all its fame.
Boonar™ is an effects pedal precisely designed to deliver sound and feel of the legendary Binson Echorec, a multi-tap magnetic drum echo unit. Everything is in there and more: from thick, juicy tube tone, glorious multi-dimensional echo repeats melted with haunting reverb decays, variable delay time up to a full second and separate playback heads switching system to an amazing and distinctive external look dominated by a gold finish and green pulsating "magic-eye" level indicator, all packed in an incredibly compact stompbox form.
Boonar shares the same analog signal path as original Echorec but we used high voltage driven FETs as tube emulators and replaced magnetic memory drum with a DSP unit. We developed a special DSP code that faithfully replicates all the characteristics of the actual Binson memory system that we named a virtual magnetic drum.
Reveal an authentic Binson sound and enjoy in magical echoes of the past!
Controls the output volume of the delayed signal coming from the playback heads. This control is based on Input control setting.
Adjusts the EQ of the delay signal. Just like in original Echorec machine, this effect is subtle, changing from darker to brighter.
Swell (Length of swell)
Sets the amount of regeneration/number of repeats from single repeat (slap back delay-Echo mode) of each playback head to infinite. On the edge of self - oscillation Boonar will start to produce those specific luscious swells that bubble, creating a complex multi-dimensional wall of sound.
Sets the rotational speed of the virtual magnetic drum which is directly proportional to the delay time of the machine. Unlike Binson Echorec with fixed drum speed and delay time of 300ms max on the 4th playback head, Boonar provides delay times from ~40 ms on the 1st playback head up to a full second (1000 ms) on the 4th playback head! Fully clockwise setting corresponds to the fastest drum speed hence shortest delay times. Binson Echorec delay time setting is at 3 o'clock.
This control adds all those sweet aging characteristics specific to Binson Echorec. When new Echorec repeats are bright, metallic sounding and repeat pretty accurately since magnetic drum was quite an improvement over magnetic tape. But with aging there is a slight loss in volume and high frequencies due to a wear/poor playback heads alignment and a very unique modulation is introduced in the delay signal. This modulation is mostly caused by worn mechanical parts that start to irregularly drive the memory disc/drum and unlike other delay modulations this one is more of a vibrato than a chorus effect.
With Drum Age control set to zero (fully clockwise), there is a minimum aging effect present in the delay signal. Increasing it to 12 o'clock will add a subtle amount of modulation producing a pleasant wow effect, while on maximum will introduce a nice warble with noticeable loss in high frequency and volume on the playback heads. Another important characteristic is that Drum Age modulation frequency (the rate of the warble effect) is directly proportional to the Drum Speed - as the drum speed is increased, so is the rate of the warble and vice versa.
A lot of time and hard work went into recreating all those characteristics, meaning carefully measuring all the parameters on the actual machines and transferring them into the Boonar's DSP - virtual magnetic drum.
Controls the level of the input signal to the delay path. This control enables Boonar to accept all kinds of instruments with various signal levels on the input. Cranking the Input Control all the way up will produce those beautiful overdrive effects on the delay, specific to the Binson Echorec.
Binson Echorec had a 12-position rotational switch that was used to select different playback heads and combinations for single and multi-tap delay. We wanted to overcome that limitation and added a separate playback heads switches for a maximum of 16 possible head combinations. All four playback heads outputs are true analog.
The Level Indicator called a "magic-eye" displays the level of input signal and repeats.
Switches between standard Repeats mode - a multiple repetitions depending on the Swell control potentiometer and a Swell mode which puts a portion of signal from all four playback heads into the output mixer to produce those reverb - like, "cathedral tone" effects.
Boonar utilizes both True bypass and Trails mode simply interchangeable by setting internal DIP switches according to the provided scheme. Trails mode keeps Boonar's preamp and output buffer engaged keeping that juicy Binson Echorec tube tone always on, and when bypassed echoes keep repeating until they naturally decay, depending on the Swell potentiometer setting. Trails mode is factory preset.
Dry volume (Kill dry)
Internal trim pot sets the level of the dry signal coming from the preamp into the output mixer. It is factory set to unity gain.
Internal DIP switch sets the input impedance from very low - 47K Ohm in Original mode (Binson Echorec mode) to 1M in Modern mode which brings more sparkle, dynamics and a bit more output volume.
Modern mode is factory preset.
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Last Updated: March 27, 2018
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Best sounding delay pedal I've ever owned. Highly recommended
Both functionality and aesthetically, the Boonar nails that Binson Echorec sound. It's also surprisingly small which is great. The swell mode is perfect for the intro to Pink Floyd - Time, and the echo can go into a wonderful self-oscillation.
The Boonar delay really is the bomb. I hesitated a bit because I already have the EHX Grand Canyon, which has an Echorec sim as well as many others, but who can't use another great delay. This has an awesome sound. Neither you nor I are likely to ever own, or even play, a vintage Binson Echorec, but this little gem does a great job of simulating the sound of these vintage units. You can many different sounds with this unit; my favorite seems to be with the fourth head selected and the swell/repeats switch as well, and the volume, swell, and tone **** around 2 or 3 o'clock, with drum speed perhaps a bit higher, though it's good to vary this depending on the sound. This adds a great sound to almost whatever I'm playing, on electric or acoustic guitar.
I bought the boonar to get a different flavor of delay and I was intrigued by the multi-head sound of rhythmic echoes. I have a few analog and digital styled delays. This definitely has its own delay sounds and I really enjoy it. I ended up tweaking **** and creating new riffs for over an hour the first time I plugged it in. Very fun pedal. If you're looking for something different than a standard sounding delay or want to get into the psychedelic sounds of the 60s and 70s this is a great pedal for you.
I’ve never had the opportunity to play with an actual Binson Echorec but this pedal captures the flavor of what I’ve heard in recordings. The Boonar is well built and easy to use. It’s a great tool to have in your sonic palate.