MLjr v Empress Tape: Help me decide on a delay

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by jbhights, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. jbhights

    jbhights Supporting Member

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    I've been through many.
    Carbon Copy, DD-7, DL-4, Nova Delay, Brigadier v1, Brigadier v2, Timeline

    The Timeline was great - but just too much for me. Programming and layers aren't my preference or style.

    Brigadier was great - but I couldn't get over the "warped pitch shift" change with tapping a new tempo while engaged.

    Never liked the Nova - similar to the Timeline.

    DL-4 was the my longest survivor. But it's huge and I didn't have it moded so there was some obvious tone suckage.

    DD-7 was meh.

    Carbon Copy didn't have a tap tempo.



    So here's what I'm looking for:
    • Compact design (PTjr potentially Mini soon)
    • Onboard tap tempo
    • True Bypass
    • Dotted 8th setting
    • No warped pitch shift when tapping in a new tempo while engaged
    • No presets(layering/programming) I need to look down at my board and see exactly what the current setting are to adjust
    I think I'm down to the Diamond Memory Lane Jr and the Empress Tape Delay.

    I'll mostly be using it for digital delay sounds - I may fiddle with modulation or settings to sound a little more "tape-ish" but mostly just need clean repeats.

    MLjr seems to be far more popular - but the Tape Delay has just a few more features that 1.) may come in handy 2.) may annoying me.

    Also on both of these delays - I've watched almost every demo and searched for the answer in the forums. Can anyone tell me what happens when you tap a different timed delay while the effect is active? Does it "warp" and pitchshift to the new tempo - does it cut out - or does it set new tempo seamlessly. May be a deal breaker. I was under the impression they both shift without warping.

    What's the consensus here? Anything else I should be looking at?
     
  2. SirGilmour

    SirGilmour Supporting Member

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  3. awallace

    awallace Member

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    When you tap a new tempo, the current repeats get muted and the new delay time kicks in with whatever you play after the new tempo is set. Not sure about the Empress.

    Note that there is one exception- the 4th mode does the pitch bend thing on the repeats. We added it because a lot of people wanted that and the original version had 3 modes that operate as I describe above.
     
  4. Resonate01

    Resonate01 Member

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    I will always recommend the MLjr. I have it and it's easily the best delay I've ever owned. It's dead simple (Time, Mod, Feedback, Mix), onboard tap tempo, compact enclosure, what's not to love?

    I'm not a huge fan of Empress personally.
     
  5. jbhights

    jbhights Supporting Member

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    Yes - but I'm pretty sure that the CounterPoint pitchshifts when tapped on all settings.

    Thanks, Aimish. Always cool to see you take time to answer questions here! :beer
     
  6. SirGilmour

    SirGilmour Supporting Member

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    Ill check that out when I get home tonight. I guess I hadnt paid much attention to it pitch shifting when a tempo was tapped.
     
  7. jsytsma

    jsytsma Member

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    Both great delays. If you love really rich modulation, the Empress Tape might not be able to give you quite what you're looking for. Even on the "Lots" mode it's still fairly subtle.
     
  8. Anthony Gring

    Anthony Gring Silver Supporting Member

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    I had the Empress and liked it. I sold it and now have the ML Jr. . That one I LOVE.
     
  9. broken_sound

    broken_sound Silver Supporting Member

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    Each has their selling points. I can't speak much for the MLjr but I love my Empress. The ratio knob really comes in hand for faster delay with less dancing around. The delay is very warm and easy to tune exactly what you want.

    The main drawback is the big selling point for the MLjr, being able to tune in your modulation. A three way switch doesn't really cut it with the Empress.
     
  10. Whereishumhum

    Whereishumhum Member

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    Had owned both, impressed by both and sold both for a E2D. MLjr won't freak out when you tap in a new tempo, the Empress won't either but it can if you want it to. They are voiced differently, MLjr more on the BBD delay side, while the Empress on the tape delay side. You don't have to use the presets on the Empress and can just use it the way you just desribed. IMO they are both excellent and you really can't go wrong with either for your needs. Here are some slight differences that may or may not matter.

    Firstly the tone control. The empress offers three tape age settings and three filter settings so it's slightly more versatile than the MLjr in this aspect. There is always a clarity with its repeat that you can't dial out (please don't get me wrong, I love it), and with the tape age set to new, filter set to none, it can do a quite convincing digital delay tone.

    Secondly the mod control. The MLjr offers a knob while the empress offers three toggle switch settings, the MLjr gives your more range but neither would give you the seasick tone. Modulation on both sound gorgeous to my ears.

    Thirdly in subdivison controls. MLjr gives you a toggle switch to go through three settings, the Empress gives you five marks on one knob and to use one, simply turn the dtime knob to the ratio mark and tap in your tempo. MLjr features a kill dry switch inside the pedal, the mix knob on the Empress gives you full wet when set to fully clockwise. Additionally, the Empress features an output knob that can give you some descent dry signal boost, I found it very useful to go just a bit above unity to help balancing the impression of guitar going deeper and quieter with a time-based effect engaged, but that's just how it sounds to me.

    That's about it. Again, one quality that imprssed me on both is that they require minimal to none tweaking to sound great, and helps you to focus on playing rather than tweaking. Can't go wrong with either really. Guys from both company hangs out in this forum as well so if you have some questions, they can directly chime in and help.

    Wish I helped and if there is any other opinions you want to know I'm here.

    P.S. If you decide to go with the Empress, make sure you get the 2:3 ratio on the dtime/ratio knob version, they are rare. ;)
     
  11. la noise

    la noise Supporting Member

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    The hi-pass and lo-pass filters on the ETD are exceptional. They
    really open up a lot of tonal options you can't get on the ML Jr.

    Both are great, though! :aok
     
  12. playguitar6789

    playguitar6789 Supporting Member

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    I've had both and kept the MLjr. ETD is cool in it's own right, but two things didn't really work for me: the modulation switch and the output volume knob. I like that the MLjr includes a mod knob for better control over amount of modulation, and I like that the volume of the pedal is preset to unity instead of having to fiddle around with an output knob every time I take my board out of the case.
     
  13. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    My favorite Delay is the Moog MF104M Super Delay.. But it isn't Small/Mini. But the regular MF104M is similar and readily available. I also like that it is all analog. It does have a Huge learning curve.

    I also like to run it through a Kyle Chase EP3 Echoplex Preamp which can all but turn a Delay into an Echoplex without the tape fuss.

    The Kyle Chase EP3 also has both the Early and Late 70's circuit. Its an exact copy using NOS parts. I also use this as an Always on Device but it works great with a good delay.
     
  14. petty1818

    petty1818 Member

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    Very difficult choice. I have owned both and they are both fantastic and straight forward to use. I think that the MLjr sounds a bit better with a variety of rigs but you would be happy with either. The only reason why I sold my ETD was because it added noise to my signal. From what I have researched, it seems as though I had a faulty unit. I want to try another one in the near future though.
     
  15. zul

    zul Supporting Member

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    I love my ETD.
    Love the hi pass and lo pass switch. Dry is fully preserved.
    I added the ext tap out so that I can use tap with the three presets.
    Output knob is superb as it will even out the perceived preset levels when using varying amounts of delay.
    It sounds gorgeous on ye old tape setting; yet will give me almost pristine delay when I want it.
    There's a sweet spot which can give you almost infinite repeats or runaway feedback. Also, blips if you want.
    It's all I need and more.

    I never owned the MLJr but have borrowed one. From what I remember that was a great sounding unit too. Happy hunting...and do tell us which you chose.
     
  16. Trotter

    Trotter Supporting Member

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    I had both and kept the ML Jr. It just seemed to mix in a little better and work for my rig. The Empress is a great pedal though!

    Part of it is just deciding if you're after an analog voiced delay or tape voiced delay
     
  17. yawiney

    yawiney Member

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    Have to send my Empress SD in for an update and was thinking of a ML Jr. for a back up and because i've always wanted to try 1. Very clean and still warm at the same time. The 8 pre-sets are easy to access. Very versatile. After reading this thread I may look into a CounterPoint as a back-up instead. Seems like it more fits the bill to fill in for the Empress.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
  18. foodforthegods

    foodforthegods Member

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    Both awesome pedal. The memory lane jr is more of a digital delay that sounds like a dbucket delay while the empress is a digital delay that sound like a tape delay. The empress is better at straight digital delay and it's easier to work with the initial signal. My only complaint about the empress is limited options on the modulation. On the other hand the diamond is warmer and has a modulation knob. Both pedals shines but it depends of your needs.

    Onboard tap tempo Both
    True Bypass Both have switch inside between buffered or true bypass
    Dotted 8th setting IMO the Diamond win on this because of it's dedicated mode
    No warped pitch shift when tapping in a new tempo while engaged I've never noticed any issues with both
    No presets(layering/programming) I need to look down at my board and see exactly what the current setting are to adjust not issue with both. The empress can be set in preset mode or tap tempo mode. The diamond mode switch is there to flip between the subdivision (quarter, dotted 8th, triplet)
     
  19. Abandoned

    Abandoned Member

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    I say it all depends on if you want an analog sounding delay or tape delay really.

    With that said between this two - I'd want the ml jr.
     
  20. TakisMasterKey

    TakisMasterKey Member

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    Off topic mode on:
    Hey Aimish, apart from the pitch bend thing and the total delay time, would you say that the 1st and 4th mode are the same tonaly? How did you voiced the 4th? It seems a tad darker to my ears, compared with the first, but that could be my impression only
     

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