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Line 6 DL 4... Good, Bad, Ugly......????

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by michael.e, Jul 12, 2006.

  1. michael.e

    michael.e Supporting Member

    Aug 4, 2003
    Half Moon Bay, CA
    Line 6 DL4,

    Any thoughts about this pedal?

    How reliable have they been as a whole?

    How long is the loop time.

    Looking for a loop unit that I can overdub on to.


  2. markom89

    markom89 Senior Member

    Jun 7, 2006
    I think for the money, nothing comes close. Some of the sounds like the swell you wont be able to find anywhere else, and youve got all these different types of delays right at your fingertips, and a looper!

    Ive had mine for a few months, no problems with it at all, and I gig with it. I did have a problem with the first one I bought though, it was brand new and didnt work right out of the box. Ive heard lots of horror stories about them.

    The looptime was 14 seconds last time I checked, and it can overdub.
  3. dave s

    dave s Member

    Apr 24, 2003
    NE Ohio
    Mine has been on the board for about 4-5 years. It developed a circuit board issue during the first year, was repaired and has operated flawlessly since.

    The good: I just set it and forget it. Have three delays that I use throughout the night--one slapback, one about 180 ms with several repeats for solos and one at about 300 ms for those 'soundscape' single-note picked rhythm parts.

    The bad: I'm sure the DL4 is the only major 'tone-suck' component in my signal chain. Everything else is much clearer when the DL4 is out of the chain. However, I refuse to run two more cables and use the loop. Only one of my two gigging amps has a loop, so it doesn't make sense for me to have it, then not have it. I just deal with it.

    The ugly: It's a froggy-green kinda color and HEAVY for a pedal!

    Other than that, if it's been on my board for that long, it must fill a required 'need' for me.

    Oh, and I have no idea how long the loop function is, but if nobody else knows, the manual is still in the box and I can let you know.

  4. delay_monster

    delay_monster Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    I think the loop time is seven seconds (you can overdub onto it, by the way); you can get fourteen seconds if you record on the 'half speed' mode.

    I had a DL4 a while back, and I sold it when I bought a PODxt. I've since bought a real amp, and I have once again bought a DL4. I like it a lot. Of course, it doesn't feel the same as a real analog delay, but any so-called digitizing of the sound doesn't bother me nearly enough to get something else. It has a lot of delay sound options (it's very flexible), and it has three presets as well as tap tempo. For me, convenience and flexibility very slightly outweigh its shortcomings.

    As for reliability, I haven't had a problem with either of the DL4s I have owned. I also have an Echo Park, and I like it very much, too.
  5. 6789

    6789 Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    Hitting a switch will give you a 28 second mode that I think sounds just as good as the standard 14 second mode.
  6. Moe45673

    Moe45673 Member

    Jul 5, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    If you want a pure looper, have a look at the Boss RC units, the Boomerang, or the EHX 2880.

    I've heard too many horror stories about reliability issues with the DL-4 to trust 'em. I love my Boss DD-20 and am not a big "loop" kinda guy, so that doesn't bother me (plus I find it to be more user friendly and flexible for real-time use). I do own an RC-20XL, but I use it purely as a practice tool (indispensable, IMO).
  7. clothwiring

    clothwiring Member

    Jan 26, 2006
    Central NY
    Here's my experience. I have not had reliability issues. The volume drop issue was fixed by doing the swich (search for my DL-4 thread from the last few weeks). I've had some issues with it being noisey on my board, but if I get the transformer in the right spot it mostly goes away. As my board shrinks in # of pedals I think I'll get it noise free with the DL-4.
  8. Aj_rocker

    Aj_rocker Member

    May 13, 2006
    Bath, Uk
    BUy a Boss DD-20 and a tap tempo pedal, it much better than the line 6. It can hold more presets and is more user freindly.
    just 2 cents

  9. rawkguitarist

    rawkguitarist Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    Great feature set... actually killer feature set! I've not had any reliability issues with mine, have had it for about 6 years.

    Tone wise... it's not the best sounding delay made. Although it does sound good. The feature set I think makes up for some of the not so stellar tones for live players (I watched Bill Frisell use one a lot a couple of weeks ago in Austin).

    Line 6 should take the DL4 and update it with the upgraded sound quality of the Echopark. It's delays sound MUCH BETTER. (I have both)
  10. TimH

    TimH Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    I bought one...got it home only to discover it was DOA. Took it back and bought a DD-20. Couldn't be happier.
  11. delay_monster

    delay_monster Member

    Mar 2, 2006
    Hey aarondavis, how was Bill Frisell? I've just recently been turned on to his music, and I absolutely love it. The record I have is a live record, and it sounded like a DL4 that he used for the delays. I was wondering if it actually was a DL4. Thanks for the confirmation... how was the show?
  12. drmathprog

    drmathprog Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    I bought 2; both were DOA. I wasn't tempted to try 3 for 3.
  13. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    Good: great sounds, nice to have presets, tap tempo

    Bad: size, weight, power supply, volume drop, I had two die on me onstage. Haven't used one since, never will again.

    Ugly: yes

    Just my opinion.
  14. kidamerica17

    kidamerica17 Member

    Mar 1, 2006
    I had one and sold it to buy a Memory Lane (which I'm now selling to buy a DMM). There were a bunch of useful sounds that seemed really great during the honeymoon period. After that wore off, I couldn't get past the metallic sound of my tone, both when the the pedal was on and off. I don't know how this thing could be true bypass. It's probably better live than at home, which is why it ends up on so many player's rigs.
  15. david eaton

    david eaton Member

    Jan 7, 2002
    Murray, KY
    I've had one since they came out (98 or 99). No problems whatsoever. Very simple to use, the presets are nice in that unlike some other stomp pedals if the knobs get moved during set up it doesn't change the setting. (Of course, if you haven't written down the setting you don't know what it is).

    It is big, but I have no complaints. Full of good, tweakable sounds.
  16. Big Bob

    Big Bob Guest

    +1 for NO problems whatsoever. Going on 5 years now...gigged regularly. I run mine in a paralell loop and just mix in the pure delay. Sounds great while leaving my dry tone untouched. Tap tempo. 3 presets.

    It is a big clunker. I need the tap tempo switch up front so it takes up valuable space. If the could have a jack for the tap like Boss that would be awesome. I also wish the pedal had more output volume.

    Its a good buy on the used market if you find a good one as I did.

  17. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2002
    I've had mine since they came out and have gotten a lot of use out of it with no problems. I mainly use it for a few delay settings that I have stored on the presets. My favorites are the analog delay, digital delay with mod, reverse, dynamic delay, lo-fi delay, and the auto-volume echo. The last two are sounds that I haven't heard from another delay pedal, which is why I've kept mine around.

    I also use mine as a loop sampler quite a bit to build "pad" tracks of volume swells, eBows, and other sounds in the studio. The DL-4 definitely has its own sonic signature when looping, especially when using the half-speed mode.

    If I were shopping today, then I'd probably spend a lot of time A/B testing the DL-4 with the Boss DD-20.

  18. jbro

    jbro Silver Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2006
    Bought one when they first came out.. hundreds of gigs and who knows how many rehearsals later, and knock on wood I've never had any problem with it. Great flexibility, good sound. I love the fact that you can set an expression pedal to control whatever parameters you want on each preset. The looper is the only one I've ever used that will go SEEMLESSLY from record to overdub mode. This is a pretty essential feature for making ambient drones/pad type sounds.

    A few months ago I bought a DD-20 (new) because I thought it would be neat to have the extra preset and also a physically smaller pedal. Used it on 2 gigs, never left my PP2 powered pedal board - and on the 3rd gig it wouldn't power up. Tried swapping power cords around, messing with the input, etc. Dead. Returned it and was never temped to get another one. I don't see an advantage compared to the DL4 after owning both. The delay time knob on the DD-20 is set up to work either in very small incriments, or in big steps.. you can't get that pitch-warp effect like with a real analog delay. The DL-4 does this with no problem, just grab the delay knob and twist it, or assign a pedal to do it. Also, to get from preset #2 to #1 on the DD-20, you have to press a pedal 3 times - and the delay spillover only works from one preset to the next. Very clumbsy if you like to jump between delay sounds mid tune.
  19. Shnook

    Shnook Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2005
    Roanoke, VA
    I bought mine in 2001. No problems at all. It's been used just about every time I've plugged into an amp.
  20. david henman

    david henman Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    toronto area
    ...i replaced mine with a boss dd20, which is more reliable and easier to program and use on stage. unfortunately, the dl4 was more "musical" sounding, especially the delay w/mod.


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