Anyone looking for guitar delay pedals should first understand just how unique each model is and how difficult it is to find a good one without prior research. You should, of course, use their controls, modification options, and time variations as arguments for or against buying such a device, although you should also take people’s opinions on board when discerning on such a purchase. To help you even further, we put together a list of the ten best delay pedals for guitars that we consider to be among the very best out there.
Best Delay Pedals for Guitars – Reviews
9Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai
The Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man with Hazarai is a power-packed delay looping guitar pedal that comes with a tap and record foot switch. Featuring controls and settings that are easy to understand, it includes a blend feature, filter, delay, repeat, decay, and Hazarai functions.
It also comes with an inbuilt looper that performs up to 30 seconds each loop. Considered as one of the most creative guitar tools on the market, this pedal comes with 8 presets that can be programmed according to your needs.
8Line 6 DL4 Stompbox Delay Modeler
Featuring three presets that can be programmed according to the desired level and an inbuilt tap tempo mechanism, the Line 6 DL4 Stompbox Delay Modeler is a powerful delay pedal that comes with a set of great features. With its true bypass switch, users can produce tones that are direct from the guitar to the amplifier.
Thanks to its special expression pedal input, users can control all the effects and settings, real time. Easy to utilize and compact in size, this unique guitar pedal can be run via batteries or a power adapter.
7TC Electronic Nova Delay
Featuring 6 delay effects that are studio quality, the TC Electronic Nova Delay comes with preset as well as manual modes. This powerful delay pedal also features 9 variable programmable presets that allow users to save their individual tones.
Unlike most delay pedals, the Nova Delay allows users to create unique sounds and tones and meets the mark that every modern guitar player would expect. Designed with a compact floor-based construction, this pedal can deliver high quality, studio-like sounds, and tones.
6Boss DD-7 Digital
The Boss DD-7 Digital is a high performing, top quality guitar pedal that comes equipped with some of the best features that should be in a delay pedal. With a heavy duty modulation mode, a classic analog delay mode and other pedal controls and settings, this pedal allow users to increase the delay time, adjust the feedback and change the effects as per their need.
Thanks to its external footswitch this pedal can be utilized “handsfree” and this can be purchased separately. With this pedal, users can create amazing effects and sounds, which makes it perfect for recording as well as for performing live.
5MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Pedal
The MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Pedal is a powerful, all analog delay guitar pedal that produces rich, soulful tones and sound. Backed up with up to 600 milliseconds of delay time, it comes with a special modulation mode that controls emulate tape echo tones.
Thanks to its uniquely designed bucket brigade technology, this guitar pedal can easily produce warm authentic tones that are only found in old school pedals. Featuring a three knob design and construction, including one knob for the delay, one for mix and one for Regen, this heavy duty guitar pedal is the ideal choice for those wanting to record as well as perform live.
4TC Electronics Flashback X4 Effects Pedal
Designed and crafted with 16 various delay types and effects, the TC Electronics Flashback X4 Effects Pedal features three different presets that can be programmed according to the user. Equipped with an inbuilt tap tempo function, this pedal comes with tone printing as well as a 40-second loop function.
Measuring 13 inches by 7 inches by 4 inches, this compact sized pedal can be carried around with ease and can be utilized for both live performances as well as live recording.
3Eventide TimeFactor Twin Delay Stompbox
The Eventide TimeFactor Twin Delay Stompbox comes with two individual delay settings that last up to 3 seconds. Featuring 9 different delay effects and a handy 12-second looper, this delay guitar pedal can be utilized directly via the instrument or via line level inputs and outputs.
Unlike other guitar pedals, this one can be upgraded via its USB input. Through its MIDI function, this pedal can control all parameters including the footswitch, or any expression pedal input.
2Donner Yellow Fall Vintage
Uniquely designed and crafted with an aluminum-alloy body, the Donner Yellow Fall Vintage guitar pedal boasts a classic, modern and stable outlook. Thanks to its True Bypass function, it produces transparent tones and features an LED indicator light that blinks to indicate its working state.
Equipped with three different knobs, including one for Echo, one for time and one for feedback, users can mix the echo, adjust the delay time that can go from 20 to 620 ms as well as adjust the feedback levels.
1Joyo D-Seed Dual Channel Digital Delay
Featuring four different delay effect modes, the Joyo D-Seed Dual Channel Digital Delay is a power-packed guitar effect pedal that consumes a maximum of 75mA@DC9V of current. Offering a maximum delay time of up to 5.94 seconds, this heavy duty guitar pedal is designed with a wide range of practical functions.
The four delay modes include a copy mode, an analog mode, a reverse mode and a modulation mode. It also comes with a special tap tempo function that allows you to set the delay time you would like.
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The Guitarists Guide To Delay Pedals
If there’s one secret weapon that can be found in the arsenal of many guitarists, it’s the delay pedal. These pedals are designed to create layers of sound that are ideal for creating musical landscapes. Regardless of whether the guitarist is trying to create the illusion of a larger space, or making carbon copies of notes they just played, or simply want to boost and extend their guitar sound, then one of these pedals are an absolute necessity.
Unfortunately, in today’s market, it can be difficult for consumers to buy the best delay pedal available. In the past, it wasn’t too difficult between there were only one or two brands, and many musicians merely relied on the advice of their local guitar store. Nowadays, there’s an ever-increasing supply of delay pedals available, with just about all of them claiming to be the one that the guitarist needs. This can muddy the proverbial waters and make choosing one of these pedals seem like a chore.
That doesn’t have to be the case, however. Consumers can and should be able to buy the best delay pedal that suits their playing style and their individual needs. That’s why we’ve decided to write this guide, a guide that will give the guitarist all of the information they’ll need to buy a great pedal for either onstage performances or use in the studio. With that purpose as our goal, let’s jump right into this article and find out exactly what a delay pedal does and the effect it produces.
What Is A Delay Box & How Does It Affect Sound?
Delay pedals are stompboxes that are capable of not only recording guitar sounds played through it but are also capable of reproducing that sound back in only a few milliseconds. Depending on how fast this sound is reintroduced to the guitarist, this can result in either a buildup of sounds or it can simply create a reverberation, or slap-back, of the notes the guitarists just played. What are some of the effects that can be created using the best delay pedals? Let’s take a look at some of the more common ones below.
Effects Produced By Delay Pedals
- Chorus Effects
- Reverb Effects
- Note Compression
- Echo Effects
- Reverse Tape Effects
- Tremolo Effects
- Vibrato Effects
Buying The Best Delay Pedal Possible
Now that we’ve described just what delay pedals are capable of doing, and we have recommended some of the models that we feel are the best, we thought that we would arm all of our readers with the information they need to choose the best delay pedal possible. So below are some of the things that guitarists or other musicians might want to consider when shopping for one of these pedals.
Choosing A Digital Or Analog Delay Pedal
As is the case with any stompbox, there’s a debate between whether analog or digital delay pedals are the best ones for musicians to use. This is a debate that’s been raging ever since the first digital delay pedal, the Boss DD-2, was released in 1983. Some people claim analog pedals produce the best effects, and others say that digital ones do, so musicians can be torn about which one they should choose. That’s why we’ve decided to break that tension a little bit and say that the musician should buy the one that they prefer. Yes, all of our readers have read that correctly. If a musician has a preference then that’s the one they should choose–end of the story.
However, if the musician doesn’t know which one they might or might not prefer, then allow us to offer just a little bit of advice. In our experience, digital pedals are the most flexible of all delay pedals because they’re usually equipped with presets and other helpful features. Therefore, digital pedals are easier to use, and that can allow the guitarist to focus on their playing and not messing around with their stompbox.
Does The Musician Need To Set An Exact Delay Time?
Another thing for most musicians to consider is whether they need a pedal that allows them to set an exact delay time. Some pedals allow the musician to set a general delay time and others allow for a delay time to be set down to the exact millisecond. Although some musicians might find the latter to be useful to create the precise effects they’re looking to create, for other musicians, it’s more precision than they’re ever going to use. As is the case with most features found on these pedals, it’s actually a matter of personal preference. If a musician feels that their music is more art than science, then the can choose a model that only allows for a general delay setting. However, if the musician feels their sound benefits from more precision and less artistic feel, then they may want to choose a model that offers more control.
How Important Are Presets?
The next thing for musicians to consider is the importance of presets. Some musicians spend quite a bit of time crafting parts of their performance, so they may want a delay pedal that allows them to switch or cycle through different delay settings. For example, the musician might be playing a song that starts with a slower delay at the beginning of the sound and ends with a sharper delay on the backend. Having preset settings will allow the musician to make that transition a lot easier and potentially a lot quicker. Pedals that offer plenty of different sound effects or different types of delay are all equipped with presets because, in those instances, they become invaluable.
Does The Pedal Need A Looper?
One of the most frequently asked questions is whether a delay pedal needs a looper or not. In our experience, we think that most musicians would probably benefit from having a looper equipped on their delay stompbox. Unless, of course, they already have a standalone looper that they use. So if the musician doesn’t want to spend extra money on a standalone looper, then they should buy a delay with a looper feature. However, if they would prefer the advanced suite of features that standalone loopers provide and don’t mind spending a little bit of extra money, then they can buy a delay without this feature.
Some Final Features To Consider
Having just covered some of the basic features that the consumer should think about when buying the best delay pedal for them, it’s time to talk about some of the other features musicians might want to consider before buying a new pedal. The following features make the pedals easier to use or expand on their capabilities, so it’s a good idea for musicians to keep them in mind.
Types Of Delay Needed
- Pedal Size
- True Bypass
- Inputs Vs. Outputs
- Modulation Mode
- Feedback Levels