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Roland Tape Echo Pinch Rollers

We need to talk about rubber, how to change it, and why it’s so important to the long term health and performance of your tape echo. And because size does matter.

We only ever fit freshly refurbished Roland rubber rollers in the machines we sell. We send the old rollers to be re-rubbered by the same people who refurbish rollers for studio multitracks, and we carefully replace the old bearings with high quality new parts.

This process is involved and takes a great deal more time and money than simply buying a new off the shelf replacement.

So why do it?

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – rubber performs better than any other pinch roller material (ever seen a studio tape machine using anything else?).

Rubber is tried and tested: it lasts and will maintain its performance for decades to come (there are machines with rubber rollers that are 50 years old and still running).

Finally, size does matter: we’ve seen motor issues caused by non-original/softer/slippier replacement rollers requiring more tension against the capstan.

Fresh rubber and new high quality bearings help us to achieve exceptional results in our Roland Echoes.

So if you care about sound quality and echo performance, fit a rubber roller. And when you consider a machine for sale, ask how old the pinch roller is and whether it’s been changed or refurbished by a professional?


We’ll add a video here soon, but these photos should help. Make sure you install the new roller with the side with the bearing slightly proud on the BOTTOM – so the top is indented. The you will need to use one or more extra washers to sit round the spindle and close the gap between the top of that and and the roller. Then you can put the screw and its own small washer back on top. The goal is to minimise up and down movement of the roller, but without preventing it from moving freely.

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