Help Me Choose My First Delay Pedal!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by StraturdaysR4TheBoys, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. river_jetties

    river_jetties Member

    Nov 14, 2007
    another advantage of the Boss is that there are a million youtube videos about how to use and tweak it.
    StraturdaysR4TheBoys likes this.
  2. Stratburst70

    Stratburst70 Member

    May 25, 2013
    If you’re looking for a good basic delay with some twists, the MXR Carbon Copy Mini.

    If you want to dip your toe into more esoteric uses and want some preset storage, the Boss DD-20 sounds great, can be found all day for $150, is easy to use and will deliver freakier textures.
    StraturdaysR4TheBoys likes this.
  3. ChampReverb

    ChampReverb Silver Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2007
    Slightly west of Boston

    -bEn r.
    StraturdaysR4TheBoys likes this.
  4. GeorgeTheBarbarian

    GeorgeTheBarbarian Member

    Apr 6, 2019
    I have both a DOD Rubberneck and a Boss DM-2W and like them both equally for their own merits. The DM-2W is the mainstay on my board. It does all the basic delay variations and do them well. I prefer it over the Carbon Copy that I have always found a little dark.
    I plug the Rubberneck in when I need the extra features (not very often to be honest).
    If you are looking for a solid delay pedal I cannot recommend the DM-2W enough.
    StraturdaysR4TheBoys likes this.
  5. chicrito

    chicrito Member

    Jan 12, 2015
    Analog? Boss DM2w. Simple digital with lots of cool stuff? EHX canyon
    StraturdaysR4TheBoys likes this.
  6. Leader Desslok

    Leader Desslok Member

    May 2, 2019
    I recently got the DOD Obscura Delay. It really like it. It has tap tempo, and more parameters than a lot of other delays. The circuit itself is digital, but the four settings are voiced to sound like tape, analog, lo-fi, and reverse settings. They all sound great. Oscillation sounds great, as does the degrade knob. Really versatile.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2019
    StraturdaysR4TheBoys and fab38 like this.
  7. kramm47

    kramm47 Member

    Feb 11, 2019
    Want to weigh in as someone who went from delay newbie to delay junkie in the last year.

    The simplest delay I have and use all the time is my EHX Canyon. It sounds great, can do more than delay (with tweaking it can be an octave pedal, a chorus, and a reverb), and sounds great out of the box but can get much deeper. I use the tap tempo all the time, in live situations, and it's accurate and great. I should note I use it on my acoustic board, but it works just as well with my electric.

    The last delay i would sell if I had to sell all my gear would be my Digitech Obscura. Four modes with a ton of variety. Does great slapback and great ambient, plus it's got crazy... ahem... mojo. Thanks, @Tom van kramm! The tap tempo is a bit less simple but still fine, and the depth this unit is capable of is absurd for the price. $80 new from Pitbull Audio, among others.

    The Canyon does everything well and easily. The Obscura doesn't do quite as much but what it does has a ton of character.

    I have a Flashback v1 which I like, but the strum tempo thing is terrible.

    Good luck. One big key - don't dime the knobs right away. Keep everything relatively low to start and experiment. Happy hunting!
  8. Tootone

    Tootone Member

    Sep 24, 2016
    Regards Mega Delays.... they are expensive, but you are buying a toolbox that will help you learn stuff about delay you probably didn't even realise existed. They aren't that complicated if you can be bothered reading the manual, and anyways you will pick it up pretty quickly just through use. They are useful if you don't want to be limited by simple delays. For example, if you play U2, Pink Floyd, Led Zep etc "Mega" delays should be under your consideration. They are also good value for the price.... to get the same scope with just individual units would cost many $1000's. They will grow with you.

    The $100-$300 range is where all the stiff competition is at, and there is a bewildering amount of choice. You will find where one pedal excels in one area, it may be limited in others.

    Good analogue delays are great, but they can be limited in scope in ways you're not even aware of until you use them. There are some truly sh!te analog delays also that will take your $$ as you buy into the "analogue bbd is best and worth the premium" culture.

    IMO, the best first time approach is to get a digital emulation type pedal. Mentioned a lot are the TC Flashback and EHX Canyon. The DD7 is a well thought out workhorse, but is limited in scope as far as emulations are concerned... but the quality and bang for buck are exceptional.

    IMO, for many objective reasons, I recommend:-

    Digitech Obscura - Analog, Digital (lofi) and Tape modes are beautiful sounding emulations of the "the real thing". The Degrade and Tone controls add further enhancements to its versatility, providing the ability to create a well designed and wide scope of textures. It's limitation is sensitivity on the delay time control, making the Tap Tempo a must use feature. However, in Live use, the Tap Tempo mechansim is a little cumbersome. For ~ $100 though, this is a no brainer.

    Alexander Quadrant. More expensive ($200-300?), but close to par with the Obscura as far as emulation choice and quality is concerned. It has a Tap Tempo mechanic that is fast and easy to use, and "mega delay" type features in a Boss-sized footprint.

    Second Hand - Line6 Echo Park.
    For <$100 this is as good as it gets for budget "mega delay" options. A subset of the famous Line6 DL4, it has some "tasters" of more exotic delay types like Swell, Ducking, Sweep, Multi. It is showing its age a little. Full digital conversion has a perceptible "tone suck" darkening of your tone (even when bypassed) but you can bring this back with amp EQ. The good news is, the DSP is still powerful enough to provide "unglitchy" emulation. It is a well thought out design and covers a lot of ground for such a humble control scheme.
    TIP: Make sure you are getting the Module AND the Docking Station (Tone Core) before you buy. Don't be tempted to remove the module - leave it alone.

    There was a problem with the Flashback 2 Tap Tempo, tempo not saved when bypassing... I hope this is now fixed, otherwise it renders the tap tempo useless/pointless.

    I see quite a proliferation of inexpensive boss-sized multi-pallette delays hitting the market. Almost to the point I think there may be a generic "multi-delay DSP chip" being mass produced over East, which is cropping up in multiple different branded pedals.

    The most important factor with delay is the tonal/EQ quality of the delay repeats... not a bargain bucket "compendium" of iffy sounding delays. Be wary that you aint just paying for the logo.... ;)
    StraturdaysR4TheBoys and fab38 like this.
  9. RunninWDevil

    RunninWDevil Member

    Dec 21, 2018
    May be true for some but not for everyone. Especially because we don't really know the setting in which the OP is going to use it. Recording studio? Probably want that ideal tone. Bar gig? Not sure the tonal nuances matter so much and functionality rules here. For a first delay, I'm not sure how you get a better bang for your buck than the Flashback - you can get the first gen for $70-80 on Reverb - unless you absolutely needed a foot-activated tap tempo.

    (FWIW, my first delay was an early 2000s big box Memory Man but I'm not sure I would recommend that to most people in the OP's situation)
    kdm1218 likes this.
  10. fab38

    fab38 Member

    Dec 13, 2016
    French Alps
    A lot of excellent advices here.
    I'm a delay freak, I own and have owned several and several ones, and after all these years it is obvious that your delay will sculpt your sound if you use it at high settings, whatever the delay.
    So, for a first one, when I read the many kinds of music you play, try something "neutral" that coud fit each of your different needs.
    Digitech Obscura, Line6 EchoPark are very good options.
    Rubberneck not really, because it has its own personnality, really.
    Timeline and other big boxes could be too big and complex. Kinda demoralizing.

    And when you know the kind of delay sound you really love, you will change for a more dedicated pedal that will allow you to go further.

    And in fact, you will begin a never-ending love-and-hate story with delay pedals. And you will read a lot of threads in TGP, that will make you buy brand new boxes that you don't need.:D
    StraturdaysR4TheBoys and kdm1218 like this.
  11. Tootone

    Tootone Member

    Sep 24, 2016
    I'd say a bar gig is where you need good quality of delay tonality the most, especially if you are playing one amp. A bad sounding delay slapping you upside the head for two hours at gig volume will drive you nuts.
  12. outdoorpja

    outdoorpja Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2014
    Ewing, NJ
    Lovepedal EPH3 for a simple, beautiful delay to add some dimension to your sound. DOD Rubberneck for something with more bells and whistles (and tap).
  13. StraturdaysR4TheBoys

    StraturdaysR4TheBoys Member

    Nov 8, 2017
    Thanks for the advice everyone! I've seen a few names like Canyon, Boss pedals, Flashback, Digitech, and Line 6 pop up the most, so maybe that says something. There's also no doubt, just like any other pedal type, that there is some level of preference here, which is great cause I'm hearing pedals suggested that I have never considered.

    I found a local guy who is coincidentally selling a Diamond Counterpoint for $135. I know there's supposed to be a new Diamond delay coming out soon, but this seems like a good deal for a simple digital, but analog voiced delay with 4 different mods, tap and modulation. Thoughts?
  14. Penguinchit

    Penguinchit Member

    May 4, 2017
    My first delay was the Flashback. It was really cool except the strum tempo. That sucked because it can't be done during a song. Went to a Canyon after that and although it's a great toy, it has too much stuff in too little room to be useful for me. After that, I went back in time to the Boss DD-20. That monster rocks! It has tons of features and is super easy to use. 4 banks to save stuff and input for a tap so I can keep the select switch open. Can be had for $120-150ish.

    But the DD-200 is on my checkout list because it looks like a blend of the ultra simple and versatile DD-20 and ultra versatile and not so simple DD-500, all in a smaller footprint. I'm drooling.

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