help me find a delay that does not kill tone

Daniel Travis

The delays you're asking for are a dime a dozen. It would be much harder to find a delay that did kill your tone.

Yes. Pretty much all digital delays and ones with a dry-through will work.

I know I'll get flamed for this, but in my experience, delay tone loss in a myth. I added a series loop to my JTM build and it still gushes tone, even with a TC Flashback X4.

I wont flame you, I converted to the loop side too. Especially playing higher gain stuff, it just works.

Try a Boss DD-3.

Good call. the dd3 should be everyone's first delay. It's one of those ones that everyone always comes back to, like a comfortable hoodie.

Run your delay through the loop with a lehle parallel, this will make most delays sound considerably better.

Also a great suggestion. Lehle stuff is spendy but worth it IME.

My suggestion would be Deep Blue Delay. Analog dry thru is essential. Keep the mix low as others have mentioned.

If the Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay doesn’t work for you in this respect, nothing will.

This sounds like a delay I need to try :D


Gold Supporting Member
the tone is under a microscope, I just want my original sound not messed around with
I'm focusing on this part of the OP...

That said, my experience with the Timeline is that it thins out the base tone. Quite noticeably, in fact. Other pedals may brighten your tone due to having a buffer, which is what I think is happening with my DM-2w. I love both of these pedals, but under a microscope they do change my tone.


Gold Supporting Member
It's a pipe dream though, let's be honest. And MOOD (cited by op as a contender) is a glitchy happy accident machine.

I would argue the right answer is to pick one or two and try them to see. This is more "craft" than study... You don't know what you can live with until you've tried living with things.

a lot of times my autocorrect changes MOOG to mood. Maybe that happened here


Silver Supporting Member
Free The Tone Future Factory(stereo, 2 delays), or Flight Time(single delay). Does not effect your dry signal, and delays can stay totally clear like original signal, or you can filter them...


Platinum Supporting Member
A delay pedal will react with your playing and picking techniques, whether you pluck softly or with more impact. All FX work this way, the "Level" knob (some brands refer to it as Volume instead) is where you adjust how prominent you want the Repeats (Feedback on some) to be heard accompanying your playing.

I was only stating what I think the OP is talking about. It’s hard to tell what he’s bothered about, or if he’s even tried any delays.

To be honest, if he is a “gear maestro” then seems to me he should know the answer to these questions :p Ha just messing with OP.


I don't believe we can help you OP, if the vague description of "sound" being "messed around" with the qualifier. Any effect is going to change the sound of what you're hearing through your amp.


Silver Supporting Member
I don't believe we can help you OP, if the vague description of "sound" being "messed around" with the qualifier. Any effect is going to change the sound of what you're hearing through your amp.
I'm basically looking for the most transparent delay. I want nice, prominent repeats, with just the right character, but it must be transparent enough that when I step on the switch it will be unnoticeable. Even under the most unforgiving circumstances, I don't want anyone to be able to discern when the delay is engaged or disengaged.

Wait.......... What?! o_O


Suhr S-Classic, V60LP's, Soft V neck
Gold Supporting Member
I the beginning, Delay on a guitar signal meant using tape delay via the Echoplex live or in the studio by literally running a loop of tape between two machines. The delay signal was decayed by the very physical properties of the oxide recording tape and how dirty the heads may have been. Analog delays have more of a tendency to mimic that bit of dirt in the repeats. Digital Delays as a rule do not degrade the repeat signals, but faithfully and pristinely reproduce the repeats just as the first one. Decide which esthetic you want for your voice and choose appropriately. Many digital delays have done the math to reproduce that analog delay decay to some degree as well. Pick your sound and see what you find by researching the options available to you.


it's not so much "clean signal path" although that it very important, it is the case of the dynamic range between the absolute quietest note right up to the loudest note. This really effects the feel and response of your playing when playing, well for my personally.

No one has had this issue?

assuming dynamic-quietest-loudest = guitar volume knob, the following all gave me full control and same tone as with delay off (of course mixed low):

big box DMM
way huge supa puss

good luck

note: les paul custom in 100w marshall plexi user


I use a Duncan Vapor Trail or Roland 501 for delays since they both have a wet only separate out. Any delay with a discrete wet and dry output will work though. I send the wet and dry to either a Deluxe Reverb, or a Super Reverb or a Marshall Superlead but any amp with two separate channels will work. For the Fenders you need to do a one wire mod so you have Reverb on each channel which also puts them in phase with each other.

Using delays this way lets you add the effect and your dry guitar sound never changes. You also have the amp tone controls to modify the delay tone and you can use a volume pedal for control of the wet signal. So this is a wet/dry mono rig but you can also use two amps if you like. Or go crazy and use four cables for a wet/dry mono feed to the Deluxe and Super Reverb at the same time and experience tonal nirvana.


It sounds to me like you're having a problem with delay running into the front ends of your amps, causing sort of a compression effect?

This can only really be solved with running delay in an effects loop or after a line out into a separate power amp. Assuming this is the problem you're having.

I second this. Line out > delay> 2nd amp. far superior 4 my purposes.


For me - Mad Professor Deep Blue, and I see some others here agree. To my ear, it does the least to the sound of your guitar. I think T Rex Replica is pretty close too. Ive been let down by some others that are dry-through. In concept, they shouldn’t color your original tone, but somehow I’ve been bummed to find that some still do.


Silver Supporting Member
Strymon DIG. Best analog dry-through in any delay pedal I’ve ever tried, aside from the awe-inspiring tones. To fully appreciate the DIG, you have to play stereo at a minimum, and wet/dry/wet if you can. I use the latter, and it's magic in a box. It may not be rack quality, but it beats any other delay pedal out there, in my opinion. YMMV.

I just picked up a DIG yesterday. Intent is to dial in a solid lead tone. I've been able to dial in the closest rendition to what I hear inside my head. I will say that some of the Strymon, I guess we are calling it, "sheen" is still there but nothing like the big boxes. So far highly impressed. Some say lack of midi is a substantial downfall, but with a favorite switch and the ability to bend over and tweak knobs here and there in a live situation what this pedal has to offer is substantial. If someone can instruct me in how to post a cellphone recording I'd be happy to share short-term results.


Hi after consistently be unimpressed with majority of "high quality/component delay pedals that either suck tone or diminish dynamic the crap out of your dynamic range so I am asking the TGP community to help with find a simple high quality analog /digital delay pedal (without modulation) that does not kill tone and has really high quality dynamic range.

I am using a Carr slant 6v and a Dr z maz 18 so the tone is under a microscope, I just want my original sound not messed around with.

Thanks everyone.

Kind of a side topic, but...
I bought a Egnater Tweaker 40 some years back (after finding out now that the trafos were undersized and now just waiting for it to blow up) and so far this is the only amp I’ve ever had that has a footswitchable effects loop.

Man, I wish more amp manufacturers would at least offer that as an option. I find I really only have my El Capistan delay/echo and a small reverb unit in my effects loops. Very rarely (maybe on a song or two) do I use reverb at gigs, mainly just a little at band rehearsal because the space we play in is kinda dead sounding.
I use echo or delay now and then, but it’s such a GREAT option to be able to turn off the whole effects loop when not using those either pedal, the lions share of my playing, and not have it mess with the tone. Also is easier to reach with my foot on the switch on the floor.

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