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Watkins Copicat Instructions

Updated April 17, 2017

The Watkins Copicat is a tape echo unit produced in the UK. First invented by Charlie Watkins in 1958, the earliest models used a loop of tape passing over four recording heads to create delay. The Copicat has varied in design over the course of more than 50 years of production, but the basic principles of operation remain the same. The Copicat can be used with a musical instrument or with a vocal input, like a microphone.

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  1. Connect the Copicat to the instrument using an instrument cable. Most models have two input jacks.

  2. Connect the Copicat to the amplifier with an instrument cable using the other input jack.

  3. Turn on the amplifier and the Copicat. Make sure the tape is running through the loop smoothly.

  4. Adjust the settings of the Copicat. The buttons vary from model to model, but they perform the same actions. Gain adjusts the ratio of input to output power. Reverb adjusts the amount and speed of echoes. Swell adjusts the echo volume. If your model comes with preset buttons, these are programmed delay times. Experiment to find the best sound to fit your needs.

  5. Use the foot pedal to activate the Copicat while playing.

  6. Tip

    Magnetic tape units are fragile and should be carefully maintained and repaired frequently. The Copicat is a relatively rare model of tape echo unit. It is prized largely by collectors.

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Things You'll Need

  • Amplifier
  • Instrument cable
  • Guitar or microphone

About the Author

Jessica Ring began writing and editing professionally in 2006 for "The Voice," her university's collegiate newspaper. She is a certified English teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and English literature. She is currently in the process of obtaining her master's degree in education.

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