Here’s my vintage effects rig from the other day: an original 1984 Ibanez Tube Screamer TS-9 into a 1974 Roland Space Echo RE-201. My 1965 Fender Jazzmaster was delivering the goods and my 1964 Gibson Scout was in charge of amplifying the signal.
The Space Echoes perform best with a clean boost or low gain drive pedal set clean in front of the instrument input. This helps boost the input signal and matches the input impedance for a strong clear echo. This is my favorite setup because it adds a little bit of tube amp style drive before the echo. The resulting tone is very lightly overdriven but takes full advantage of the tape echo’s warmth and natural random imperfection.