EH Memory Man - New vs Old?

nsriley

Member
Messages
1,524
I have always wanted to pick up an old memory man analog delay(echo)/chorus, like the one that 'The Edge' used to use on his early stuff. I notice EH still makes them, but like most pedals the old ones are more desirable and supposed to sound better. Are the new ones any good, or are they horrible? Right now I use a Boss DD-6 for my delay and really don't like it that much. I want a more analog and warm sounding delay(echo). Also how would I tell a new vs and old memory man? What are some good alternatives instead?

Thanks,
-nate
 

eknapier

Member
Messages
294
I have a re-issue EH Memory Man that I love. Unlike alot of reissues, the Memory Man has stayed essentially intact - same chips are used for the delay circuit and everything. The differences between old and new are actually improvements. THe reissues come true bypass now and take an AC adaptor instead of the old ones with internal transformers (which supposedly created alot of undesirable noise). My problem with the stock pedal was that, since it is true bypass, the input impedence is set internally, not adjustable by the "level" control. I use mainly humbucker guitars and I would overload the pedal very easily. SO i sent mine off to Howard Davis who adjusted the input impedence and the problem is gone. Total lush analog delay. I also got him to do a neat "Leslie Simulation" mod where he changed the delay modulation circuit to include leslie simulation in addition to the standard chorus/vibrato. But now the chorus/vibrato is more flexible because Howard installed a knob that controls speed of modulation in either chorus/vibrato mode or in leslie mode. This thing now is just incredible, and one of the most flexible pedals I own. So in short, if you are using single coil guitars, the stock Memory Man is perfect as is from the factory. If you plan on using humbuckers for it, you might want someone to adjust it for more "headroom." Howard Davis is the man, and will set you up right.
 

nsriley

Member
Messages
1,524
Originally posted by eknapier
I have a re-issue EH Memory Man that I love. Unlike alot of reissues, the Memory Man has stayed essentially intact - same chips are used for the delay circuit and everything. The differences between old and new are actually improvements. THe reissues come true bypass now and take an AC adaptor instead of the old ones with internal transformers (which supposedly created alot of undesirable noise). My problem with the stock pedal was that, since it is true bypass, the input impedence is set internally, not adjustable by the "level" control. I use mainly humbucker guitars and I would overload the pedal very easily. SO i sent mine off to Howard Davis who adjusted the input impedence and the problem is gone. Total lush analog delay. I also got him to do a neat "Leslie Simulation" mod where he changed the delay modulation circuit to include leslie simulation in addition to the standard chorus/vibrato. But now the chorus/vibrato is more flexible because Howard installed a knob that controls speed of modulation in either chorus/vibrato mode or in leslie mode. This thing now is just incredible, and one of the most flexible pedals I own. So in short, if you are using single coil guitars, the stock Memory Man is perfect as is from the factory. If you plan on using humbuckers for it, you might want someone to adjust it for more "headroom." Howard Davis is the man, and will set you up right.
Hey thanks for replying.....good info to know about the reissues.

Anyone else have some thoughts?

-Peace
-Nate
 

drolling

Member
Messages
6,102
I got one of these when they were first reissued a few years back. Mine has an internal power supply and an AC cord. It's also non-true-bypass and even when the effect is turned off the signal's still going thru' the circuit so there's A LOT of coloration to the sound and no possible way to determine unity gain unless you're running it thru' an A/B box in a loop.

But you may want to investigate these older RIs as well because the new one uses 2 chips to achieve 550ms of delay time, whereas the older model employs a single chip (now unobtainable) that some say sounds better.

If I were buying this type of delay today, I'd get a Diamond Memory Lane. Similar control layout and functions with superiour sound and a modulation circuit that's much more musical sounding than the MemoryMan's.
 

eknapier

Member
Messages
294
I agree that the stock modulation circuit is limited on the Memory Man, but I have to rave once more about the upgrade from Howard Davis - chorus, vibrato AND leslie simulation each with speed and depth controls makes the modulation circuit much more musical and useful. Here's the info Howard sent me on the Leslie mod, as he explains it better than I can. I think this is an even more flexible modulation circuit than the Diamond Lane (not that that pedal doesn't look INCREDIBLE as well):

"DELUXE MEMORY MAN "LESLIE" EMULATION UPGRADE - not just a simple mod but a whole new range of effects, plus an expanded range of the effects the Deluxe Memory Man already delivers.

Who does not love that lush, liquid, rotating speaker effect? It is a complex combination of phase and amplitude modulation, hard to produce without mechanically rotating speakers. With this new upgrade you can now get it from your Deluxe Memory Man. You can set it for whatever rotational speed you want, and vary it from very subtle to so heavy it sounds like a rich tremolo. You can blend it with dry signal if you wish, and you can enhance it with feedback to get some indescribable, unique psychedelic and surf effects.

As it comes from the factory, the Deluxe Memory Man has only two modulation speeds - very slow for producing the chorus effect, and one faster speed for vibrato (this is selected by the "chorus/vibrato" slider switch. This new "Leslie" modification upgrades the modulation oscillator with an added MODULATION RATE control pot. In addition it changes the chorus/vibrato switch to be chorus/vibrato at one setting, and the new LESLIE ROTARY EFFECT at the other."

The cost for the mod is $95. Well worth it, for sure.
 

drolling

Member
Messages
6,102
You know, that does sound pretty cool. How do I get a hold of Howard? I'm sure he could do something with my older model.

A real Leslie spearker has only 2 speeds. Fast or slow - and they're fixed, so the only way you can get those in between speeds is by 'braking' or 'shifting' from stop to slow to fast. Most dedicated Leslie simulators have a pedal or a button to control this function. Does Howard's mod include some way to acheive this effect?
 

gkelm

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,745
Originally posted by drolling
I got one of these when they were first reissued a few years back. Mine has an internal power supply and an AC cord. It's also non-true-bypass and even when the effect is turned off the signal's still going thru' the circuit so there's A LOT of coloration to the sound and no possible way to determine unity gain unless you're running it thru' an A/B box in a loop.
There is a mod somewhere on the web with a relatively easy mod for TB that I have yet to try.

Originally posted by drolling
But you may want to investigate these older RIs as well because the new one uses 2 chips to achieve 550ms of delay time, whereas the older model employs a single chip (now unobtainable) that some say sounds better.
There may be something to that. I have and older one with built-in cord, and bought a newer one for the flexibility of the adapter...but I thought the newer one did not sond quite as good. Never looked at the chips, but that could explain it.

Greg
 

eknapier

Member
Messages
294
It could be the chips, but it's also possible that it is the "input impedance" issue I was mentioning. I know mine sounded ALOT better when I got it back from Howard Davis. Here's how he explained the issue to me:

"Most Memory Man pedals have an adjustable gain stage (drive level control) that introduces complications with total bypassing. This is because with total bypass, this variable gain can result in a volume mismatch between the dry (bypass) and effect-on signals when the footswitch is thrown. The level control can be set so the dry and effect-on volumes are equal, but this level setting may not be optimum for signal to noise ratio, which requires as high a drive level as possible without causing objectionable distortion - unless such distortion is desired. So you CAN have a total bypass mod done on such a Memory Man, but you then lose the ability to adjust the drive level exactly as you might want it and also keep the balance between bypass and effect-on volume levels.

The reissue Deluxe Memory Man now comes from the factory with direct bypass, but with the input level control stage as it was originally when wired for buffered bypass. This is workable with most pickups, but bypass level matching problems can occur with low output or very hot pickups. For corrective modifications, contact me."


To me, this kinda nails the prob right on the head, before the mod the pedal sounded alot dirtier and "clickier." Now it is soft and lush. Just a thought.
 

ducmike

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,701
I have the newer Memory Man, I haven't notice much distortion with my only hum. guitar, but with my CPR or Hellbaby on it does have more distortion. I really like the pedal and I think it is a very good value in the analog delay market. I'll have to check into the mod.
 

threm

Member
Messages
676
Originally posted by gkelm
There is a mod somewhere on the web with a relatively easy mod for TB that I have yet to try.
Greg
http://www.diystompboxes.com/pedals/mmmod.html

I have two DMM RI and the max delay time is not 550 ms. That`s an old myth as it`s rather 350 ms when some modulation is added. Adding modulation eats the actual delay time.

I have measured several DMM`s. Even the Yamaha E1010 (one of the sweetest non-tape analag delays ever) with an official max delay time of 300 ms beats the DMM in that respect.
 

gregovertone

Member
Messages
537
something odd--
i had a DMM, it had the attached ac-- the modulation sounded god awful--
nothing like chorus or vibrato-- just a warble that made no sense....
then a guitar student brought a model with a detached ac to lessons, and the modulation sounded fantsatic---
exactly how it should--

leads me to believe there was something wrong with my model-- which is a shame-- because it really turned me off to the DMM for a long time.
 

eknapier

Member
Messages
294
from all that I've read, there just seems to be some major discrepancies between how these are set up from the factory. It's a great unit, but some are magical, and some are duds. I got this info also from Howard Davis (the Memory Man):

"The Deluxe Memory Man was designed for a 550 msec. maximum delay. Some units, due to component tolerances and other manufacturing problems, do not have this long a delay time. A mod can be done that corrects this condition."

With my unit, I notice no loss of delay time when in modulation mode. The Deluxe Memory Man is a great unit, but buyer be warned that it might not be set up to its full potential straight from the factory. This is workable in most situations, but some people, like me, just tend to be more picky: constantly looking down at my pedalboard wondering: "what if this, or that...." So for people like me, it's great to have someone like Howard Davis around, who was the original designer of this pedal, set it up to sound like it was intended. I don't wonder any more what it "could" do, the new problem is remembering all the wonderful settings.
 




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