Deluxe Mem Man and overload

chrisr0712

Member
Messages
1,008
Does the DMM overload too easily with overdrives and boosts before it? I'm not using high gain, just slight to medium gain. I'm thinking of trading in my echopark for one.
 

teddy boy

Member
Messages
1,756
Hi,

I'd say pretty easily. My DMM has the overload LED pretty much on all the time when I use my TBIAC with the voume set to about 11 o'clock. I don't hear any real distortion on the delay repeats before I turn the volume alot higher though. Nice pedal!
 

Pappy

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
639
While the Deluxe Memory Man is my favorite analog delay, it has a serious problem with overloading IMHO. It got to a point where I had to stop using it for live shows because it was driving me crazy. I ended up replacing it in my live rig with a Boss DD-20 which gets *very* close to the DMM sound without the overload problems (and I'm very picky). I still use the DMM for recording, though.

The other guitarist in my band tried one of those mods and it did not work well for him. YMMV.
 

eknapier

Member
Messages
294
I've had my Memory Man modded by Howard Davis for higher input impedance and hot pick up mods. While it certainly increases headroom to the pedal - there still seems to be a threshold point where it will overload - if using too much volume boost before the delay.

Does anyone know if this a problem with analog delays in general or if it is specific to the memory man? I'd heard that Keeley was designing a delay that, the more you boost it, the fatter it sounds. That would be incredible, very different than the DMM. But it is such a great sounding delay, and I also had the leslie mod done to it, so the modulation is much more versatile, two distinct modes of modulation plus an added speed control. I've gotten by this pedal, and it sounds killer, but I guess I sometimes wonder if there's something better out there - specifically - something that can take hotter signals. Maybe I should just get a digi delay as a substitute, cause I know Digital delays are supposed to have much more headroom.

Any thoughts anyone?
 

drolling

Member
Messages
6,102
I've heard that recent issue MMs are true-bypass & wall-wart powered, but mine's from the very first batch of RIs.

Like so many EH products, the Deluxe MemoryMan's a wacky effect, w/many characteristics that are not common to most analog delays.

I will agree about overloading. The weakest pickups can cause it to distort like crazy, and with the feedback turned up, it will start to clip at very low input volumes.

Even bypassed, the signal's processed by some kind of internal preamp, so it's almost impossible to determine unity gain and the guitar's tone is always heavily colored.

It's noisy, too. Mine has a chip that's supposedly performs better than the two that they're using now, but it still makes a heckuva racket at extreme (550ms) settings.

As you can imagine, it's worse when you put an OD/fuzz in front of it. It's probably not the best choice for anyone accustomed to digital delay, but I love the thing. It self-oscillates like nothing else I've heard, and the *chorus/vibrato* mode is just plain sick.

A cool pedal, but if you want something w/similar features but less noise & more headroom, I'd take a look at the Diamond Memory Lane.
 

tfire

Member
Messages
284
Originally posted by Pappy
While the Deluxe Memory Man is my favorite analog delay, it has a serious problem with overloading IMHO. ... I ended up replacing it in my live rig with a Boss DD-20 which gets *very* close to the DMM sound without the overload problems (and I'm very picky).
Pappy: what settings do you use on the DD-20 to get the DMM sound?
 

BillyK

Member
Messages
2,582
Great thread.

eknapier: living in a parallel universe - I've got a DMM with headroom issues and I already own a DigiDelay as an alternative to the DMM. I think the DigiDelay is good, especially for the money, but my delay quest is not over yet!

So, is the headroom mod worth it or not?? I am on the cusp of sending my DMM to Howard Davis.
 

Pappy

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
639
Originally posted by tfire
Pappy: what settings do you use on the DD-20 to get the DMM sound?
I use the modulate setting which I believe is supposed to emulate a DMM. You have to change the rate & depth, though, because the stock setting sounds a bit weird to me. This is easy to do, though, via the manual. I have a/b'd the DD-20 with my DMM many times and find that it sounds *very* close. The DMM has a little more mojo, though, and a bit more murkiness in the repeats. The DD-20 has more headroom and less noise, though, so it's a fair tradeoff (plus, it has 4 presets, a manual mode, and many other cool sounds).

In the past, I tried out the LIne 6 version of the DD-20 and found the DMM setting to sound NOTHING like a DMM. Mostly, the modulation sounds all wrong IMO.

As I mentioned, I still love the sound of my DMM so I use it for recordings. Mine is from the very first batch of re-issues with a hard-wired power cord. I tried one of the newer re-issues and found it to sound significantly different than mine. While I can't remember what those differences were, they were enough to make me sell it immediately.
 
B

basscracker

Originally posted by analogmike
Memory Man IC chip upgrades

There are a few web sites and posts about improving the sound of an EH deluxe memory man, by replacing the normal 4558 op amps with some high tech chips. The noise and tone in a memory man comes from the BBD chips, not the op amps. The BBD chips have about 10,000 times more noise, and very low fidelity. That is normal in an analog delay and nothing can be done about that, it's why people love their sounds. So replacing the op amps will have little benefit, or so I thought.

After writing the above I got some new DMM pedals, they are now using ST electronics MC4558CN dual op amp chips. I replaced all five of these chips while I was in there (those knobs are a pain to remove) with new Texas Instruments TL072 chips.

Dry sound when playing clean - it is improved. Put the mix to pure DRY (no echo) and the tone when playing clean is a little purer. I was surprised.

ECHO SOUND: also clearer when you listen to 100% delayed sound, much clearer and closer to a digital delay sort of tone. Seems to be more difference at lower delay times.

When I turn up the MIX for about 50% delay I tested for noise by playing a low string gently. The modified pedal is a bit noisier, may be a unit to unit discrepancy or could be the TL072 chips allow more high end through which contains the noise.

OVERDRIVEN sound : running a good OD pedal into the DMMs, with the gain knob set for unity gain (LED just glowing) the sound of the stock one seems a little warmer to me, both dry and echo sounds. But the modified one is clearer again.

DISTORTION : Running a good distortion pedal into the units, the modified one is clearer, the repeats are almost too clear. The stock one has repeats which are darker and more in the background. At this point in the test I brought out a '59 reissue Les Paul with burstbuckers 1 and 2 and played through the Maxon SD9/808/silver, into the DMM into a '66 blackface Deluxe Reverb plugged into a '73 Marshall 4x12 cabinet and just played for 45 minutes as it was a MAGIC combination! Gilmour, Hackett, Page sounds were flowing... best tones I ever got for leads.

Anyway, the difference with changing the op amps is more than I thought it would be. But not sure whether I like it enough to go through the hassle of pulling the board out... depends on what you want, clarity or a warm background echo. Most people will prefer the upgraded op amps I think. Also the new pedals may not be using sockets so the chips might need to be desoldered.
 

tfire

Member
Messages
284
Originally posted by Pappy
I use the modulate setting which I believe is supposed to emulate a DMM. You have to change the rate & depth, though, because the stock setting sounds a bit weird to me. This is easy to do, though, via the manual. I have a/b'd the DD-20 with my DMM many times and find that it sounds *very* close. The DMM has a little more mojo, though, and a bit more murkiness in the repeats. The DD-20 has more headroom and less noise, though, so it's a fair tradeoff (plus, it has 4 presets, a manual mode, and many other cool sounds).

In the past, I tried out the LIne 6 version of the DD-20 and found the DMM setting to sound NOTHING like a DMM. Mostly, the modulation sounds all wrong IMO.

As I mentioned, I still love the sound of my DMM so I use it for recordings. Mine is from the very first batch of re-issues with a hard-wired power cord. I tried one of the newer re-issues and found it to sound significantly different than mine. While I can't remember what those differences were, they were enough to make me sell it immediately.
Thanks for replying, but could you please be a bit more specific? Where exactly are the DD20's knobs when you think, "that's close"?
 

eknapier

Member
Messages
294
So, is the headroom mod worth it or not??

Oh yea, it definately helped out tremendously, I have to really push the pedal hard to get the clipping that before was hard not to get in any situation.
 

Pappy

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
639
Originally posted by tfire
Thanks for replying, but could you please be a bit more specific? Where exactly are the DD20's knobs when you think, "that's close"?
Actually, every setting using the "modulate" model sounds like the DMM. I personally use 390 milliseconds for most things and set the echo level and feedback to taste. All that I needed to do is to reduce the speed and intensity of the modulation a bit. The general tone of this model is very similar to the DMM no matter how you set it.
 

BillyK

Member
Messages
2,582
eknapier:
Thanks man. Exactly what I wanted to hear. Did you also swap out the opamp at the input stage (TL072?).
 

eknapier

Member
Messages
294
No, i didn't switch opamps, i'm not sure howard davis does a mod for that - I did his leslie mod though, much more flexible modulation circuit. I'm not sure I'd want to switch opamps based on the description above:

"much clearer and closer to a digital delay sort of tone"

I wouldn't want the DMM to have a more digital tone, I like it dark and down...
 

tfire

Member
Messages
284
Originally posted by Pappy
Actually, every setting using the "modulate" model sounds like the DMM. I personally use 390 milliseconds for most things and set the echo level and feedback to taste. All that I needed to do is to reduce the speed and intensity of the modulation a bit. The general tone of this model is very similar to the DMM no matter how you set it.
OK, go it, thanks for the info.
 

Pappy

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
639
Originally posted by tfire
OK, go it, thanks for the info.
Actually, I just remembered that I turn the tone of the echoes down quite a bit - around 9:00. The main difference between the DD-20 & the DMM is that the echoes have a bit more clarity on the DD-20. The tone control really helps to reduce this clarity if so desired.
 




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