Guitar pedals inject your playing style with power, personality and texture. Delay pedals are one of the most popular supporting devices for electric lead guitars. You should regard them as mystical items that embellish your guitar sound. These pedals make your playing seem more impressive, by turning straightforward melodies into sophisticated compositions. All in all, delay pedals deliver a rich, professional and fuller sound and lead guitar tone. Here are our choices for best delay pedal for lead guitar options.
- Our Lead Guitar Delay Pedal Recommendations:
- Choosing A Lead Guitar Delay Pedal
- How do you set a delay on a guitar lead?
- Do I really need a delay pedal?
Our Lead Guitar Delay Pedal Recommendations:
Strymon Timeline Delay Pedal
The Strymon Timeline is the most advanced digital delay ever made, and we can prove it. With studio-class algorithms and 24 bit/96kHz audio processing, you get meticulous detail in every note of your repeats.
The Timeline has two modes to give you more flexibility than any other delay pedal on the market – Trails mode lets you turn off your repeats with no decay or modulation so they stop instantly when you take your foot off the switch, while Looper mode gives you up to 4 seconds of looping time with unlimited overdubs! No matter what kind of music you play, there’s something here for everyone. I like it on an acoustic guitar as well.
MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay
The MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay is an analog-delay stompbox with bucket brigade technology and 600ms of delay time. It has controls for Mix (dry/wet blend), Regen (delay repeats), Tone (high cut filter) and Modulation (chorus effect).
This pedal will give you warm, rich tones that are perfect for any style of music. And it won’t break your bank either! You can get yours today at this low price! Act now before they sell out again!
Check out more best analog delay pedals here.
Boss DD-7 Digital Delay
This digital delay pedal features up to 800ms of delay time, selectable modulation speed, and a low-pass filter for your repeats. It’s also equipped with an analog dry output so you can easily integrate it into any rig.
With its simple design and easy operation, the DD-7 makes it easy to achieve great sound without breaking the bank! Whether you’re looking for warm echoes or long delays, this digital delay pedal will get the job done right especially when paired with wah and overdrive!
Take a look at these other Boss delay pedals too.
TC Electronic Flashback 2 Delay Pedal
It has a delay time that ranges from 10ms to 600ms, and the pedal is equipped with an expression input for controlling the effect in real-time. The Flashback 2 also features TC Electronic’s signature TonePrint technology, which allows you to download custom presets created by your favorite artists directly into the pedal.
The TC Electronic Flashback 2 Delay Pedal will give you access to over 300 different artist presets and 50 of your own ambient guitar creations via its free TonePrint Editor software. Plus, it comes with a tap tempo function so you can easily sync up delays with songs or other effects on stage. And if that wasn’t enough, it’s also compatible with MIDI devices so you can control parameters like feedback and delay time using footswitches or external pedals. This makes it easy to create complex sounds without having to take your hands off of your guitar!
Line 6 DL4 Stompbox Delay Modeler
The Line 6 DL4 is the most advanced stompbox reverb delay modeler ever. It’s a small pedalboard in a box that gives you access to 16 of the world’s greatest delays and echo effects, including Tube Echoplex, Deluxe Memory Man, Reverse and Rhythmic delays including reverb pedals effects. You can store your favorite sounds for instant recall at any time. And it comes pre-programmed with an awesome set of tones from some of rock’s finest players.
Now you can have all those classic sounds on tap whenever you need them—without having to carry around a bunch of heavy pedals! Just plug into the Line 6 DL4 Stompbox Delay Modeler and get ready to be amazed by its amazing tone-shaping capabilities!
Choosing A Lead Guitar Delay Pedal
Here’s what to look for when choosing a best delay pedal for lead guitar.
The initial thing you should take into account is whether to purchase digital delay pedals (how to use a digital delay pedal) or analog pedals. Guitarists tend to be divided in their opinions on this issue. Some of them opt for digital without thinking twice, whereas others can not be without analog pedals. Therefore, it is the same as any best type of delay effect equipment — neither model is definitively better than the other.
Also read – Difference between analog and digital delay
As far as the details go, analog pedals in your signal chain are devices that alter analog currents in a particular manner. The effect they have varies, based on your style of playing. Microprocessors are used on digital pedals to alter your signal. These are similar to those used on personal computers.
Digital Delay Pedals
Most digital effects delay sound less natural than their analog counterparts, however they offer more precise input reproductions. The responsiveness of analog is a big advantage, with fuzz and distortion pedals, however many guitarists like digital delays that they can adjust with more precision. Bear in mind that digital pedals are responsive to your guitar playing, just not to the same extent as analog pedals.
Certainly, precision is vital to produce delay effects that sound good and complement your track. With certain delay pedals, you can specify the delay time in milliseconds. This is helpful if you wish to use delay to produce different rhythms, hooks, riffs and licks. Although a tap tempo can do something similar (see below), it tends to produce effects that are out of sync. Other types of pedals provide you with an extra app to use on mobile devices, which can set the delay time. Also, there are inbuilt screens on some pedals, which enable you to program the precise delay time required.
As mentioned above, delay pedals have a feature known as Tap Tempo. This is a push switch that you can tap to program the effect’s ‘time’ parameter, to correspond with a particular beat per minute (BPM). For instance, if you wanted the delay to synchronize with the band’s rhythm, you just have to tap the switch when the band plays. This will put effect in sync with the other musicians. Sometimes, it is simpler to program the time parameter like this. Tap Tempo is not a vital feature, but if you want to use it, a footswitch is recommended. Undoubtedly, it is easier to use your foot to program the timer while you play, rather than trying to kneel down.
How do you set a delay on a guitar lead?
The primary controls for delay pedals are delay time, delay feedback and delay level. These enable you to operate the pedal’s fundamental features. As well as this, there are other variables to think about. For instance, speed, depth and filter are additional controls, which allow you to adjust the tone further. Delay pedals with the standard controls are more user friendly and sufficient for most guitarists. If you opt for extra controls, you are an advanced musician aiming for an intricate sound. Suffice to say, you need a fair amount of technical expertise to get the most out of these models.
Some delay pedals have an additional feature known as ‘true bypass’. Once this feature is activated, the pedals send the signal from the guitar straight to the amplifier, with no buffering effects, interference, noises or hums. Essentially, true bypass beautifies the sound, while avoiding the glitches commonly experienced with in between pedals.
Do I really need a delay pedal?
Finally, when choosing a delay pedal for lead guitar, you should examine the pedal’s best build quality. If you intend to transport your delay pedal to different gigs, and use it regularly in live performances, you need it to be made from high quality materials. Generally speaking, it is best to avoid pedals that have a plastic body, or that are notably inexpensive. This is particularly true, if the manufacturer is obscure and you have never heard of them. Metal cases are much better than plastic cases when playing live.