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New mini (nano) Deluxe Memory Man

The Whiz

Member
Messages
6,508
My big box dmm is in need of repair. For the cost of shipping it off to analogman for repair across the canuckistan border I’m thinking maybe just pick up a nano for now. Hmmm.

Further to my thoughts...maybe the nano on the pedalboard and the Big Box hard wired power cabled DMM on the "table top board" I plan on creating with some kind of looper system.
 

13stitches

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
296
I just had an hour to compare the nano to a 90's reissue. My (subjective) observations:

- the Nano has a more transparent tone in the preamp and therefore also in the repeats (the big box reissue was rolling off highs)
- contrary to some claiming the modulation is not the same, i could get identical results when going to DMM vibrato settings (blend 10, feedback 0, delay 0, vibrato setting). Chorus setting can be achieved by lowering the rate of the modulation.
- the quality of repeats themselves (apart from the more transparent preamp contributing to more highs) are just as punchy, strong and magical
- Nano is more true to the guitar tone without losing any of the good qualities of the DMM recipe. The Nano seems to have more detailed repeats, but i think it is becasue the preamp feeds a cleaner signal to the BBD chips.
- The big box dmm MIGHT seem to sound a bit more punchy, but it is probably because it just rolls off way more top end
- Even the oscillations are almost identical, if i do not crank the feedback on the Nano (it seems to have more max feedback than my big box DMM)
- Background noise is pretty much identical
- Noise on the longer repeats is pretty much the same, when delay time is the same on both (despite the Nano having more top end detail)
- the Nano has the additional delay length for some lo-fi fun

To me the Nano is a winner, even in a direct A/B comparison with a Big Box reissue DMM. I have been looking for a pedalboard friendy substitute of the DMM ever since i got the Big Box 10 years ago. Total Recall did not sound the same (probably not dialed in right, but just too complicated for myself to do). To me this is exactly what i was looking for.
 
Last edited:

The Whiz

Member
Messages
6,508
I just had an hour to compare the nano to a 90's reissue. My (subjective) observations:

- the Nano has a more transparent tone in the preamp and therefore also in the repeats (the big box reissue was rolling off highs)
- contrary to some claiming the modulation is not the same, i could get identical results when going to DMM vibrato settings (blend 10, feedback 0, delay 0, vibrato setting). Chorus setting can be achieved by lowering the rate of the modulation.
- the quality of repeats themselves (apart from the more transparent preamp contributing to more highs) are just as punchy, strong and magical
- Nano is more true to the guitar tone without losing any of the good qualities of the DMM recipe
- The big box dmm MIGHT seem to sound a bit more punchy, but it is probably because it just rolls off way more top end
- Even the oscillations are similar, if i do not crank the feedback on the Nano (it seems to have more max feedback than my big box DMM)
- Background noise is pretty much identical
- Noise on the longer repeats is pretty much the same (despite the Nano having more top end detail)

To me the nano is a winner, even in a direct A/B comparison with a Big Box reissue DMM. I have been looking for a pedalboard friendy substitute of the DMM ever since i got the Big Box 10 years ago. Total recall did not sound the same (probably not dialed in right, but just too complicated for myself to do). To me this is exactly what i was looking for.

Interesting. You may have just made Mike Matthews a ton of dough. Haha.
 

13stitches

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
296
Just wanted to add - the Big Box DMM's preamp has its own thing - the Nano is a different beast entirely. With overdriven guitar the high end roll-off can sound great, but i personally prefer having that as an option - if i want a roll-off, i will add an eq or an overdrive with tone lowered, etc. I do not want the delay to shave off the top-end when turning on the delay. The absolutely ideal Nano pedal would have a switch to go between the new and the original preamp - that is the absolutely final small piece missing here. I think the new one is simply more usable and don't miss it much. THe old preamp lost more detail than i care for - especially if you use the inbetween settings on a strat a lot - here the new preamp shines.
 

JoyceRoadStudios

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
68
I just had an hour to compare the nano to a 90's reissue. My (subjective) observations:

- the Nano has a more transparent tone in the preamp and therefore also in the repeats (the big box reissue was rolling off highs)
- contrary to some claiming the modulation is not the same, i could get identical results when going to DMM vibrato settings (blend 10, feedback 0, delay 0, vibrato setting). Chorus setting can be achieved by lowering the rate of the modulation.
- the quality of repeats themselves (apart from the more transparent preamp contributing to more highs) are just as punchy, strong and magical
- Nano is more true to the guitar tone without losing any of the good qualities of the DMM recipe. The Nano seems to have more detailed repeats, but i think it is becasue the preamp feeds a cleaner signal to the BBD chips.
- The big box dmm MIGHT seem to sound a bit more punchy, but it is probably because it just rolls off way more top end
- Even the oscillations are almost identical, if i do not crank the feedback on the Nano (it seems to have more max feedback than my big box DMM)
- Background noise is pretty much identical
- Noise on the longer repeats is pretty much the same, when delay time is the same on both (despite the Nano having more top end detail)
- the Nano has the additional delay length for some lo-fi fun

To me the Nano is a winner, even in a direct A/B comparison with a Big Box reissue DMM. I have been looking for a pedalboard friendy substitute of the DMM ever since i got the Big Box 10 years ago. Total Recall did not sound the same (probably not dialed in right, but just too complicated for myself to do). To me this is exactly what i was looking for.

great comparison! I was comparing the nano to an unmodded big box dmm that I thought was a great specimen (they can be hit or miss on the used market). So the only thing I will say, which doesn’t contradict your frequency comparison, is my big box sounded a little fatter overall, with richer lower-mids and bottom end. So this made me perceive it as goopier. But a lot of it can be perception based and the treble roll-off. I did feel the big box sound was more girthy and moodier, obviously the nano is brighter. Could also be the true vs buffered causing the big differences. Another difference I found was that in cranking the dmm opamp for its overdrive or to drive an amp on edge of breaks up, as many do, big box does this slightly better. I also loved the way my XO sounded driving my amp. I can’t say the nano can’t do it, it’s just a different beast in that regard considering it’s a different opamp and components, etc…
 

Sammicus15

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
374
Just to chime in on the Nano vs. Xvive Echoman…

The Echoman bears no resemblance to any version of a Memory Man, imo. I owned the Xvive when I had my modded big box (not a fair comparison, I know) and they were nothing alike. To me, one of the hallmarks of any Memory Man is that despite its analog nature, the repeats still have a certain fidelity to them that fades out in a very gradual pleasing way. The Echoman is just kinda murky mush. That’s not a bad thing - just different. A fun pedal for sure, but not close to a MM.

I owned three different big box versions, all with the Panasonic MN3005s, as well as the “Tap Tempo” version (not to be confused with the TT) that also had the MN3005s, and now the Nano.

To my ears, they all share that fidelity in the repeats. Not identical, but all close enough to bear the name Memory Man.
 

13stitches

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
296
great comparison! I was comparing the nano to an unmodded big box dmm that I thought was a great specimen (they can be hit or miss on the used market). So the only thing I will say, which doesn’t contradict your frequency comparison, is my big box sounded a little fatter overall, with richer lower-mids and bottom end. So this made me perceive it as goopier. But a lot of it can be perception based and the treble roll-off. I did feel the big box sound was more girthy and moodier, obviously the nano is brighter. Could also be the true vs buffered causing the big differences. Another difference I found was that in cranking the dmm opamp for its overdrive or to drive an amp on edge of breaks up, as many do, big box does this slightly better. I also loved the way my XO sounded driving my amp. I can’t say the nano can’t do it, it’s just a different beast in that regard considering it’s a different opamp and components, etc…

There's no contradiction between our observations - less top-end roll off = more punch/thicker sound perceived. A switch between new and old preamp would have been perfection. To my suprise, iprefer the new preamp - sounds livlier and i realized HOW MUCH the old one changed the guitar tone.
 

JoyceRoadStudios

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
68
There's no contradiction between our observations - less top-end roll off = more punch/thicker sound perceived. A switch between new and old preamp would have been perfection. To my suprise, iprefer the new preamp - sounds livlier and i realized HOW MUCH the old one changed the guitar tone.

Yes this is true, the old one requires eq and level compensation for that reason, and also why it’s so popular to mod them to true bypass. For me though, if I were to stick with my big box, which I’m not because I sold it, it would be completely unmodded and live in a true bypass loop switcher. Also from my experience the increased delay time mod on the dmms is a bad idea.
 

shizzaq

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
798
If you run a buffered pedal before the old one it doesn't have all that high end roll off. The preamp in the new nano is closer to the the big box than the tap tempo versions. The repeats on all of them is close enough. I still can't bring myself to sell my big box though.
 

13stitches

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
296
If you run a buffered pedal before the old one it doesn't have all that high end roll off. The preamp in the new nano is closer to the the big box than the tap tempo versions. The repeats on all of them is close enough. I still can't bring myself to sell my big box though.

I thought about that and will definitely check them out with a buffer in front - thanks for the hint!
 

soma

Member
Messages
1,536
Thinking about one. My most important questions:

What's it like into a breaking up amp?
What's it like after a fuzz face?

Cheers.
 

Bluesful

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42,919
I thought about that and will definitely check them out with a buffer in front - thanks for the hint!

I made this quick recording a couple of months back to see what impact a buffer has on my XO.

There's 2 clips:

  • Chords (Clip 1).
  • A picked part (Clip 2).

In each clip there's 4 samples, in order as follows:

  1. Guitar straight into the amp.
  2. DMM on (mix at 0).
  3. DMM on (mix at 0) with buffer before it.
  4. DMM on (mix at 0) with buffer after it.













 

13stitches

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
296
I thought about that and will definitely check them out with a buffer in front - thanks for the hint!

So putting a buffer in front of the big box DMM got it much closer to the Nano, the Nano still having a slightly bit more top end detail. After this comparison i think the Nano is a winner even more so.
 

13stitches

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
296
I made this quick recording a couple of months back to see what impact a buffer has on my XO.

There's 2 clips:

  • Chords (Clip 1).
  • A picked part (Clip 2).

In each clip there's 4 samples, in order as follows:

  1. Guitar straight into the amp.
  2. DMM on (mix at 0).
  3. DMM on (mix at 0) with buffer before it.
  4. DMM on (mix at 0) with buffer after it.















Interesting, this seems to have a big effect, but no way as much as i heard on my Big Box reissue with and without a buffer in front. Wenn i have more time, will make a proper video with comparisons.
 




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