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DL4 or Deluxe MM?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by delay_monster, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. delay_monster

    delay_monster Member

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    Hey all. I'm enjoying this forum so much... is GAS contagious, by the way?

    Okay... my situation: I've recently bought a decent amp, and up until then I'd been using a PODxt direct. So, now I've decided to go a little more simple (a good amp and a few effects). I'm sick of the POD's death-by-menus-and-options format.

    My biggest effect need is delay. I've unofficially decided on this plan: I'm planning to pick up an Echo Park to take care of any tap tempo stuff I need (mostly because it has the option of dotted eighth subdivision), and I need another delay to take care of the ambient and atmospheric sounds (and some extra vibe for guitar solos).

    So, for ambient delay, I'm thinking I'll either get a DL4 or a Deluxe Memory Man. I'm torn between the two, though. I used to own a DL4, and I was pretty pleased with its performance and features. I did hear some minor undesirable tonal coloration with some of the settings, but nothing that bothered me enough to stop using it. The DL4 would give me more sound options (not sure if options are really what I need right now!) and three presets, but the DMM would be an authentic analog vibe that's not a copy or model of anything. I know it's a compromise either way: either compromised tone with convenience and flexibility, or compromised convenience for genuine organic sound.

    I need some outside opinions here (especially from all of you dog-eared guys!). I'm also open to other delay units if there are any you'd like to suggest (though my budget is fairly limited). Thanks!
     
  2. theanalogfuture

    theanalogfuture Member

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    if you're going for atmospheric stuff go for the DMM.

    I mostly use mine as a near reverb. It's perfect for getting lush soundscapes that enhance your playing.

    it's not a delay; it's an echo (as ed from toneczar says)

    if you've already got an echo park, you don't need the same thing with way too many more features. (DL4) You need the magic of analog.
     
  3. delay_monster

    delay_monster Member

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    Thanks for the support, theanalogfuture. Just got the Memory Man! I'm quite stoked. Can't wait to actually plug it in to my amp! Thanks again for the suggestion.
     
  4. theanalogfuture

    theanalogfuture Member

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  5. teddy boy

    teddy boy Member

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    Memory Man for real organic delay! Or the Memory Lane... then start thinking about the Echoczar... Jeez, it's a viscious circle and you're in it!
     
  6. delay_monster

    delay_monster Member

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    I totally love the sound. There's something there that isn't in the modelers. Sounds more real. That's the best way I can put it. Only one question: Are these things naturally kind of noisy? There's a little white noise as the repeats fade out on mine. Also, is it difficult for you to get unity gain when you have the pedal on versus off? I'm trying not to overdrive the input too much, but it's hard to avoid some distortion as it gets closer to unity gain.
     
  7. drolling

    drolling Member

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    I had a DL-4 that I used mainly for looping. The DMM model sounded nothing like the real thing to me.

    But analog delays are noisy. The longer the delay, the louder the hiss - it's just the nature of those old 'bucket-brigade' chips. When digital delays first came out, a big selling point was the quiet operation, but eventually people started realizing that along with the noise, they were missing a lot of character (vibe, mojo, whatever..) as well. That's when everybody started wishing they hadn't traded in their old analog delays for 10 bucks..

    I have an early DMM reissue (non-true bypass, AC cord) and it's impossible to determine unity gain - there's also very little headroom. Fortunately I'm using weak single coil p-ups, humbuckers distort & overload like crazy. But I love the thing in spite of its idiosyncrasies - it's part of the *personality* of the pedal..
     
  8. moodog

    moodog Member

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    Check out the Ibanez DE-7 while your taking those others out for a spin, you might be surprised.
     
  9. Enjoyer

    Enjoyer Member

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    I have really been fighting the urge to chime in on this thread, but a few beers and temptation (or is it weakness?) got the best of me.

    +1 on what drolling said.

    I know that I have been highly critical of the DMM on various threads on this board, but please view those comments in context with the discussions that I posted on. Despite all its faults (and it has MANY), drolling hit it on the head when he said, "But I love the thing in spite of its idiosyncrasies - it's part of the *personality* of the pedal.."
    I do too.
    delay monster, you made the right choice in choosing the DMM over the DL4. Next step is moving to the Memory Lane (and you WILL and then eventually you will move on to the Echoczar or the next killer Analog delay that comes along - thank God there is interest and , apparently, a market for quality analog delay now). As a well recognized analog delay junkie (35 years on this 12 step analog delay program), I will affirm and attest that it is a most slippery slope. If you live up to your delay monster name, you are already on the path.
    ENJOY THE RIDE!
     
  10. delay_monster

    delay_monster Member

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    Thank you so much, wise friends! I spoke with a good friend last night about all of the quirks of the DMM (and, just as I thought, they're all normal quirks--all of your feedback has supported my suspicions)... So, my solution to the gain issue (especially overdriving the input) is this: I'm enlisting my good friend from Bumbox Amps to build me a bypass box for the DMM, and I'm going to stick a boost pedal after the DMM in the loop to enable me to keep the input on the DMM low enough to avoid overdrive while maintaining an acceptable output level (whew, long sentence).

    By the way, thank you so much for all of your help here, everyone! It's amazing how much brotherly love and support there is here among artistic folk and gear enthusiasts... okay, no more mushy stuff :).

    drolling, Enjoyer, teddy boy, theanalogfuture, thanks so much for your help! I'm on my way to living up to my delay monster name!
     
  11. BrentSP

    BrentSP Member

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    I'm getting kinda worried. I bought a brand new DMM for $210 (should be here next week). I use a LP with Duncan customs 14.6k into a Fulltone OCD or FD2 out to the input of either a Bogner Shiva or Brentwood Epoch. I have a feeling between my pickups impedence and boost pedals I'm in for a overload mess with the DMM........am I right? :jo
     
  12. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    I use a bunch of dirt boxes and the DMM and sometimes they are nearly all on. It can sound messy, but so what? This is rock'n'roll! :dude

    Ok, I'll get serious, even though there's a lot of thruth in what I just said ;) The DMM's headroom isnt that great and it can be somewhat noisy. But boy does it sound super good. I think you can't remove those problems without removing part of the magic at the same time. You might get something good, but at the same time a bit (or a lot) different. And even if there are some slight problems, they don't matter to me that much and I sometimes do get very pissed if I'm not satisfied with my sound. I got pissed when I had the earlier RI though which did not have true bypass and the level control left me confused many many times..

    For instance, the Memory Lane is an upgraded DMM, right? It sounds absolutely fabulous, and I'd really want to own one. It has a great eq, which enables it to do tricks that the DMM can only dream of, has an overall clearer sound that makes it sound better in a band context and the basic texture with the modulation is still very much like the DMM. But anyway, there are tricks it can't do that the DMM can, and vice versa of course! So the DL is superior in ways, but wont make the DMM redundant. I guess I wouldnt buy the ML if I had to sell my DMM, 'cause I love the DMM so freaking much.

    I guess I'd really love to own a DMM, a ML and a workhorse bread & butter Ibanez type of delay with possibly shorter delay time. I would probably use the ML + the Ibanez live and leave the DMM to studio work.. wait! I might still want the chaos one can get with DMM.. I guess I need a guitar tech.. ;)
     
  13. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    One thing still.. It also playes a huge role where you use your DMM at. I too get kind of bugged when I play just alone, trying sounds, by the hiss and all that, but a guy in the Les Paul Forum has a great signature which has some truth also in this matter, it goes something like this: "short neck tenon, long neck tenon... what the f*** does it matter when the drummer stars playing?" :)
     
  14. BrentSP

    BrentSP Member

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    ToneRanger,

    When the input is overloaded what does it actually do tonewise? Are the repeats distorted or the overall main signal distorted?
     
  15. delay_monster

    delay_monster Member

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    Well, everyone, I've had somewhat of a change of heart... I played with the DMM for a bit, and I decided this: while it had incredible sound and character (authentic analog character at that), it was slightly lacking in the features I might need.

    So, in the end, it came down to practicality. I'm also a singer, so I can't afford the luxury of adjusting knobs (even adjusting knobs with my feet) on the fly while I'm singing. I decided (quick sigh) to go with the Line 6 DL4. I returned the DMM. I may pick one up at some point when I can justify spending the money for a single delay. I think I need more of a working man's delay for now. The biggest drawing cards for me with the DL4 are its three presets, its looping and tap tempo features, and its decent sound quality. It's not quite as warm or organic as the DMM or other analog delays, but it's good enough for rock 'n' roll (at least for what I'm doing).

    I owned a DL4 a while back, and I was pretty happy with it. I got rid of it when I picked up the PODxt (the POD could do most of the stuff the DL4 could do, so I had no reason to keep the DL4). It's funny how you come back to the stuff you know, huh?

    So, anyhow... thanks so much for your input, everyone! I guess change-my-mind_monster would be more appropriate, huh?
     
  16. BrentSP

    BrentSP Member

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    Me scared now :( . I bought mine new from a Ebay store.......I need to check there return policy just in case I guess. Maybe I should of went with a BYOC delay.
     
  17. delay_monster

    delay_monster Member

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    Don't be scared. Take heart. I just needed more options for my ADD self... The DMM sounds great. Very warm and lush.
     
  18. BrentSP

    BrentSP Member

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    Hold me........:(


    :D


    I'm just afraid of slamming the input to hard causing a big mess in the overall tone.
     
  19. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Member

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    delay_monster, you don't have to say you're sorry, a mans got to do what a mans gotta do! So whatever works best for you is always the best way to go, IMO.

    I on the other hand look at the feautures this way: most of the gear that I know are very low on features, but the few things they do, they do really well and I try to find my comfort zone right there and make it work as well as possible. Sometimes limiting the features and just concentrating on couple of sounds gives the best results: you get more out of your playing too, I guess.

    BrentSP, don't worry. I think when the DMM overloads it's the whole thing, but I find that's exactly what makes it special. Ofcourse it depends on what situation your using it, for example two guitarists in a band using the DMM might be a bit too much. We used to have that, but now I have the DMM and the other guitarist has the Memory Lane, I think they complete each other pretty well.

    I think this kind of discussion always sidetracks us musicians :) It's always funny think about all the idiotic stuff you worried about the stuff you were waiting or ordering, when you think too much you always seem to make up problems that actually are not there. This is rock'n'roll and not engineering. It's kind of usual that in these kind of forums the engineering aspect gets a bit over emphasized. Remember, it wasnt supposed to be right to overload those tapa recording machines either, that used to be the thing people tried to avoid.. Ok, a bad analogy but anyway. If it works, it works! :)
     
  20. drolling

    drolling Member

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    Brent, I'm not certain about this, but I think the new Memory Man's have a bit more headroom due to the true-bypass circuitry (will someone who's got one please chime in here?). My old one's got some kind of internal preamp that's always on - I can get it to clip w/the weakest pickups I own.

    Do your amps have effects loops? Mine are old single channel non-masters, so all my effects have to go in front, but I have used the DMM in the effects loops of a Soldano & a Boogie w/great results. The noise floor also seems greatly improved in a loop. If I had a modern style amp, that's where I'd place the DMM, no question.
     

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