The inventions experienced in the music industry have brought immense advancements over the years. The innovations have revitalized the sector such that new effects to the music emerge with each coming day. The creativity of artists is fully felt when a set of quality instruments come in to supplement their vocals.
Since ancient times, the music industry has been on upward progress when all that was available was the antique instruments. However, premium and top-notch instruments have been invented in recent times that have improved the quality of sounds in music.
For instance, the emergence arguably the best delay pedal from the early ages was a significant breakthrough in this industry. Its impact on enhancing the sound effects was felt far and wide across the globe. The rest of the post describes its uses, the reasons it is necessary, and the best models for various functions.
- What Is A Delay Pedal Used For?
- Do I Really Need A Delay Pedal?
- Our Top Delay Effect Pedal Recommendations
- Best Delay Pedals Of All Time – MXR M169 Carbon Copy
- Best Analog – Boss DM-2W Waza Craft
- Best Digital – TC Electronic Flashback 2
- Budget Cheap & Affordable Delay Pedals Under 50 – Behringer VD400 Vintage
- Best Under 150 – NUX Atlantic
- Best Under 200 – Boss DD-8
- Best Tape – Source Audio SA260 Nemesis
- Best Chorus Delay Pedal – Electro-Harmonix Memory Boy
- Best Lo Fi Delay Pedal – Wampler The Doctor Lo-Fi Ambient
- For Rockabilly Slapback – Vox DelayLab Ultimate
- Best Boutique Delay Pedal – Keeley Caverns Delay Reverb V2
- Boss – Boss DD-500
- Best Delay Pedals With Tap Tempo – Dunlop EP103 Echoplex
- Best Mini – MXR Carbon Copy Mini
- Best Acoustic Delay – LR Baggs Align Delay Acoustic
- Best Delay Pedal Conclusion
What Is A Delay Pedal Used For?
A delay pedal refers to a stompbox effect used in recording and playing back any sound or music fed to it. The playback usually happens within milliseconds. The pedal releases a slapback effect when the replays are rapid, which a sharp reverberation of all that is played. Extended and long playbacks give cascading episodes of sound that is ideal for producing distinctive landscapes.
The pedals have several settings options based on the model. They have effects level to regulate the extent of processed signal that goes through the signal chain.
There is also a feedback setting option found in pedals that is used to bounce back sounds into the signal chain for repetition. There is then a delay time option that regulates the length of time a pedal waits before it replays audio fed in it.
Do I Really Need A Delay Pedal?
The effects that these pedals bring to the music can never be overestimated. As a soloist or a passionate guitarist, you will make the best out of these tools on your audio.
The control options alone on the setting option will help you manage the duration between two playbacks. You get the chance to adjust time depending on the range selected. You will also control the number of repetitions that occur using the feedback parameter control.
For those who use electric guitars, the secret behind the perfection in this art lies in the utilization of the delay pedal. Delay sounds effect is the real deal behind the amazing performances done all over the world by guitarists.
Our Top Delay Effect Pedal Recommendations
Best Delay Pedals Of All Time – MXR M169 Carbon Copy
An ideal carbon copy can utilize up to 600 milliseconds to delay the playback. This version has an optional modulation feature in the form of a switch mounted on the top.
There are three knobs fitted to help you gain total control over the delays, regeneration, and mixing of dry or wet signals. For advanced variations in tones, you may use rate and width adjustment to regulate the modulation using the inbuilt trim pots enabling you to have the sound of your choice.
The carbon copy gives you anything that you need ranging from excellent echoes to fantastic delays. You have the knob to twist whenever you need such delay effects. For the stage performances, this analog pedal has conspicuous blue LEDs and 9-volt for a seamless operation.
MXR M169 Carbon Copy features:
- Boasts of 600ms delay time
- Fitted with a modulation switch on top
- Utilizes an analog audio path
- Have trim pots adjustable for rate and width regulation
- Fitted with blue LEDs
- Primarily uses 9-volt battery but also has an alternative AC adapter
- Three knobs for mixing, delay, and regeneration
Best Analog – Boss DM-2W Waza Craft
Since its discontinuation, guitarists and soloists have been looking for this vital gadget for use in playback control with invisible success. Its ability to utilize the bucket brigade analog playback technology has made it become the most sought after delay pedal. It was later brought in the market with improved features that amplify its playback capacities.
It is fitted with adjustable sound modes that make it really versatile for the use of the modern music industry. It uses an entirely pure analog circuit and can achieve a range of 20-30ms on its standard model. A guitarist can flip to a customized mode that changes the sound effects to a finer analog state with a time that is twice as its default setting. This pedal brings you perfect tone and touches effect using uniquely crafted analog components and quality circuitry.
Boss DM-2W Waza Craft features:
- A quality analog system with a bucket-brigade delay signal
- Maximum of 800ms period
- Perfect playback of antique DM-2 tone
- Custom option for warm and clear sound
- A pair of the jack for separate direct and delay sounds
Best Digital – TC Electronic Flashback 2
The TC Electronic Flashback 2, our pick for digital, gathers the entire pride into one precise and affordable stompbox crafted for the current and future use in the industry. This pedal utilizes mash technology that brings an expression control point to a classy delay panel that replays your touch meticulously while saving the space on the pedalboard.
It blends the delay effect with excellent customized expressions. Its ability to incorporate unique algorithm and two slots for tone print coupled with flashback two delays bring you the solution you need for exceptional tonal excellence.
The pedal can be connected externally to a footswitch to tap the sound hands-free for playback. You can readily choose from its three options: dotted eight and eighth tones or a combination of these two.
Flashback 2 handles a dry signal uniquely, giving a purely analog path that combines with the commanded signal. Additionally, TC electronic delay pedal has tone print technological capacity to download customized delay techniques composed by renowned guitarists.
TC Electronic Flashback 2 features:
- Fitted with a single screw easy to access the battery
- Three-tone print options to save favorite sounds
- MASH footswitch capacity that brings expression regulation under your foot
- Compact pedal
- Toneprint technology to download custom sound styles
- Utilizes stereo delays and has a 40s looper
Budget Cheap & Affordable Delay Pedals Under 50 – Behringer VD400 Vintage
Guitarists have always adored the unique sound that emanates from ideal bucket brigade analog delays possible with the proper use of Behringer VD400 Vintage Analog – our choice for under $50. It comes out clear, atmospheric, and brooding with the capacity to produce effects that echo distinction and ambiance at a go. The relic pedal provides up to the tune of 300ms delay period.
The delay pedal comes with a simple understanding of controls that you can dial to bring effects such as the tape-style and extended trolling effects. You can also drive your direct sound and delays via distinct signal chains using the spit outputs fitted in this Behringer VD400.
You can easily charge your VD400 pedal using its 9-volts battery or use the PSU-SB DC power source. Its blue LED notifies you when the delay mode is activated while the on and off switch maintains signal consistency when the pedal is in its bypass mode.
Behringer VD400 Vintage Analog Delay features:
- Operates on 9-volts battery or the PSU-SB DC power source
- Quality on/off switch to sustain integrity during bypass mode
- Utilizes vintage slap-back echoes and pure analog delays
- Has bucket brigade delay that produces 300ms of delay
- LED on/off status to occasionally check the battery
- Controls for specified intensity, repetition rate, and echo to enhance sound shaping
Best Under 150 – NUX Atlantic
NUX Atlantic pedal, our pick for under $150, adds a unique, smooth, profound, and oceanic breeze sound effects. With it, you will get a taste of echoes that whisper as well as the tiny crystals of ice move with wind as they shimmer across the sky.
The NUX pedal presents an ideal delay coupled with reverb algorithms all in one metal enclosure. The metallic enclosure features 3 classic reverbs and an equal number of delays. There is also an additional shimmer that lets you create a waterfall effect for the intros, interludes as well as the endings.
This pedal comprises three distinct delay effects. It has the 70s that range between 40ms-400ms that is essential in pick up of the 70s retro feels. The second option is the 60s that ranges between 55ms-550ms that work as a dusty and warm echo machine impact comprised of analog components. The last effects option is the 80s which whose range lies between 80ms-800ms for the digitally copied pure delay.
NUX Atlantic Multi:
- Boasts of three delay effects: 70s analog, 60s tape, and digital 80s
- Has a delay and reverb capacity
- USB port for timely updates
- Reverb plate for shimmering effects
- Utilizes a stereo input
- Fitted with serial or parallel output and internal routing
- Tap subdivision options for tap tempo
Best Under 200 – Boss DD-8
The Boss DD-8, our top choice for under $200, is equipped with an array of selections with its excellent sonic range packed into a single small pedal. Guitarists enjoy vintage analog, clean digital, and tape types of delays.
For efficiency, the designers also have incorporated modulation of echoes as well as delays like reverse and shimmer. The pedal has a new warm variety to accommodate echo tones that are soft and +RV type that combines quite well with reverb and delay altogether.
It also has a looper that runs up to 40s recording duration and infinite overdub capacity. Its new GLT model offers perfect rhythmic effects to the sounds. DD-8 has an extensive control option that artists can readily utilize to breathe life into their music. They can tap various tempos using the onboard switch to control the GLT and warp to bring about unique effects.
The guitarists can also bring in the footswitches to unlock additional creative options such as prolonged loop control, unique twist effect, and on-demand tap tempo. An alternative option is also available where you can continuously control delay time, feedback, and level at once.
Boss DD-8 features
- Looper offering up to 40 seconds recording period
- External control support with two footswitches
- Particular twist function available for every delay mode through the footswitch
- Three freshly established options: warm, +RV and GLT
Best Tape – Source Audio SA260 Nemesis
The pedal can set your guitar in the analog delays or old tapes and, at times, get out hilariously with modern pitches, filter modulating, or rhythmic delays.
After setting and getting the sound you intend to have, you may save it among the 128 recallable presets. You can also save 8 other presets through the onboard controls. The Nemesis has a MIDI control and a deep editing capacity possible through the use of Neuro Mobile application.
This pedal is capable of giving you the unique tape echoes, multi-tap reverse arrays, and pitch shifting. Besides, you are sure of getting quality digital delays that will undoubtedly leave you smiling. Nemesis Delay comes with 12 engines for primary delay effect and an equal number available through the Neuro mobile app.
Source Audio SA260 Nemesis features:
- 128 recallable presets to help in saving your preferred sounds
- Universal bypass that chooses either relay-based or analog buffered true bypass
- External switching capacities that make changes on the presets quite easy
- Neuro mobile app helps to alter additional parameters as well as saving and sharing presets
Best Chorus Delay Pedal – Electro-Harmonix Memory Boy
The memory boy then utilizes the memory man as the starting point for expansion with extra modulation characteristics. It includes a pedal input that helps in external control over modulation rates and period.
The memory boy boasts of a 550s delay time that allows the guitarists to exploit unlimited textures. It also comes with 3-way toggle switches used to add a chorus or vibrato and even control time for the delay externally using the expression pedal.
Since its invention in the early years, Electro-Harmonix has been utilized to design analog delays that have featured on some of the big recordings and used by famous musicians across the globe. This pedal provides the guitarists and analog lovers a streamlined model of a classic pedalboard. Its organic and warm tone defined all that guitarists wish to get from the analog delays.
Electro-Harmonix Memory Boy features:
- Consists of analog delay with feedback
- Designed for up to 550ms delay duration
- Fitted with an expression pedal for rate modulation and delay time control
- Has the option for square and triangle modulation waveforms
- Choose between vibrato or chorus rates for modulation
Best Lo Fi Delay Pedal – Wampler The Doctor Lo-Fi Ambient
The delay pedal exhibits a unique aspect that works excellently for the ambient sonic and the old school playback. When you give a slight spin of depth and rate knobs on the pedal, the repetition of the self-oscillating effects repeats easily.
The repetition happens without interfering with what you are playing. The pedal has an easy to use layout with features like onboard control for tap tempo. This control has four easily selectable rhythmic subdivisions, making this delay pedal outsmart many other delay engines available out there today. As proof of how the Doctor Lo-Fi is easy to use, you only need to plug the pedal in, step on its footswitch and you will have things going as you wish.
The next thing to do is just twisting the knob to achieve the actual tone of your choice without having to read operator manuals.
Wampler The Doctor Lo-Fi Ambient features:
- Properly designed to allow plug in and play capability
- No menu or computerized editors
- Utilizes analog signal path
- An onboard tap tempo controlled via footswitch to give rhythmic regulation
- Maximum 0f 800ms delay operating on four subdivisions: quarter, dotted eighth, eighth and triplet
For Rockabilly Slapback – Vox DelayLab Ultimate
This pedal has 30 effects that include the modeled vintage, analog and tape, dynamic delays, modulated delay, and reverse, among others. Its delay programs can be used in combination with a looper for excellent playback.
The stereo looping has the capacity to capture up to 28 seconds. The pedal comprises 24 bit/44.1Khz convertors, stereo operation, patch bypass, and pedal control unit that regulate a variety of parameters. Delaylab pedal also has an interface that is friendly to its users and comes in an appealing design.
The dials on its upper row control the primary delay parameters, which include mix, feedback, and time. The speed and tone controls regulate advanced parameters such as repetitions, speed of the delays. Their combination with intensity dial controls the modulation. You can adjust the time in 1millisecond steps up to the limits of 4 seconds.
Vox DelayLab Ultimate features:
- Sync mode to allow the creation of multiple rhythmic effects
- Quick use of multiple parameters to create complex effects
- Distortion and dual delay options to provide expressive power
- Reserves up to 30 different rewritable presets
Best Boutique Delay Pedal – Keeley Caverns Delay Reverb V2
The Keeley Caverns Delay Reverb V2, our boutique choice, has a dual effect pedal that mixes reverb and delay for an excellent end on its pedalboard. Keeley Caverns Delay pedal has an analog mode of delay with options for modulation.
It has a warm delay that runs up to 650ms that combines with modulated reverb, shimmer, and spring. The Caverns also features trails option as well as a true bypass. It has a simple and compact design, which makes it a perfect fit for a small board or fly rig layout that may have limited space requirements.
The new Keeley Caverns pedal has time-based effects that are blended via its perfectly crafted design. The reverb aspect of the pedal comprises three cavernous sounds: the shimmer mode, modulation mode, and spring mode. The aspect of the pedal features a unique magnetic echo circuit that matches the analog delay signal lines.
It also has a modulation switch that offers the options for adding flutter and wow effects to the repeats. The pedal will produce the echoes correctly in the mix, either with distortion or clean.
Keeley Caverns V2 features:
- Features trails or true bypass
- Jacks that are top-mounted for a compact pedal board layout
- 3 way switch modulation options
Boss – Boss DD-500
Boss DD-500, our pick for the Boss brand, stands as the most versatile and powerful pedal that ever exists. Its state of the art toolbox provides 12 distinctive modes of executing delays. The delay quality enhancement features include editing controls, MIDI, patch memories, and a graphic display.
Guitarists can come up with any sound they can imagine with proper use of the 12 modes. These delay modes are engineered to create everything ranging from the tape echoes, vintage delays, and warm to modem complex delay signals that use filtering, shifting, and other sophisticated processing.
DD-500 has DSP that runs at 32-bit/96 kHz to realize quality musical tones and audible personality using the superior 12 delay modes. By the use of the default options, the A, B as well as TAP/CTL switches provide in-built control for the bypass, bank selection, two patches, patch ID and many others on one display screen.
Additional parameters can be obtained by manipulating the optional pedal or the switches. The MIDI I/O opens several other control options displaying advanced setups.
Boss DD-500 features:
- 32-bit/96 kHz processing capacity for studio stereo
- 12 versatile options ranging from antique to trendy modes that offer limitless creative capacities
- Graphic LCD display to enable easy editing and seamless operation when performing
- Quick controls and inbuilt patch memories
Best Delay Pedals With Tap Tempo – Dunlop EP103 Echoplex
The Dunlop EP103 Echoplex Delay, our tap tempo pick, is famous for its warm and organic modulation that provides an appealing musical sound. This pedal produces EP-3 tones using its simple Hi-Fi analog dry pathway and the primary control interface.
Its delay control regulates the playbacks between 4ms-70ms. The sustain control option governs the number of repeats while the volume control adjusts the repetition output levels.
The pedal can produce first fresh tape echoes with flutter and wow modulation when on its default mode—the quality of your repeats ages when you push the volume knob quickly. As a result, the tone darkens, distortion effects come into play, and modulation increases as you further rotate the knob clockwise.
Echoplex Delay also has a tap tempo function that lasts up to 4 seconds of delay, controlled using the M199 MXR Tap Tempo acting as the switch. The guitarists can set the Dunlop EP103 for an entirely wet mode with the input and output modes of its stereo controls.
Dunlop EP103 Echoplex features:
- Age control to regulate effects from dark to distortion
- Delay time of 40ms-70ms
- M199 MXR Tap Tempo adjustment switch that offers up to 4 seconds delay
- Stereo input and output capacity that uses TRS cables
- Digital and Hi-Fi analog audio paths
Best Mini – MXR Carbon Copy Mini
The guitarists who play rock and roll found the MXR Carbon Copy, our choice for mini analog, an indispensable tool in their performances. The pedal uses a bucket brigade technology to enhance simplicity coveted by the guitarists.
The pedal is quite versatile, with its two switch voice control and an equal number of carbon copy circuits. The Carbon Copy Mini Analog Delay features organic analog warmth coupled with ease of use within the MXR enclosure.
The pedal repeats the mellow wash and dark effects when on its default mode. The designers have added a bright switch that controls high frequencies to attain distinct repetition of vocals.
You can use the mod switch to regulate the internal speed. Use the depth control options to add shimmer, tape echo, and liquefied chorus effects in your playbacks. Guitarists are also at the liberty of using the mix, regen, and delay controls to change their signal parameters. They can also use toggle mod switch and controls to achieve slap echoes that offer excellent wails and lingering sound effects.
MXR Carbon Copy Mini Analog features:
- Uses pure analog audio pathway
- Three knob interface comprised of the mix, regen, and delay
- Boasts of 600ms delay time
- Utilizes bucket brigade technology
- Consists of a bright switch that increases tone versatility which adds clarity to the playbacks
Looking for more small mini options? Take a look at our article on the best mini delay pedal options.
Best Acoustic Delay – LR Baggs Align Delay Acoustic
The players who take advantage of the LR Baggs Align, our top pick for acoustic, enjoy an added taste and control to their performances without subduing their plays. The circuitry in the pedal preserves the guitar signal unaffected while finely complimenting melodies and the rhythms you play.
The LR Baggs Align Delay has a tap button that allows seamless tempo synchronization alongside the true bypass switching. This feature helps the delay effects to stay out of the signal pathway when you are not using it. The stomp on this pedal can help you to focus on acoustic tones featuring excellent sound effects.
LR Baggs Align Delay also has ideal effects that digital and analog pedal models have to offer. Its time knob controls your repeats only, thus giving the needed effect without altering your original guitar play sound. There is a division that places delay at the dotted eight segments of the ongoing tempo. The tap control helps you to set your preferred delay tempo manually.
LR Baggs Align Delay Acoustic features:
- Repeat knob to regulate the preferred number of playbacks
- Time adjustment feature to regulate the duration between the original and the playback signals
- True bypass control retains the authenticity of the original signal
- Modified circuit to maintain the guitar signal unaffected
- Tonal control brings a desirable range of clarity and warmth.
Looking for more options for acoustics. Take a look at these best delay pedals for acoustic guitar options.
Best Delay Pedal Conclusion
Artists find acquiring the right music gear a challenge and, at times, involving. They may move from an instrument to the next without a guarantee of getting the right choice that meets their needs. Despite such hassles, they eventually ought to come up with suitable music tools to keep their career moving. As such, artists ought to arm themselves with the right information and specifications of the instrument they need. The knowledge and the skill to use the tool are also vital. An artist should also compare the features and prices of various delay pedals as they endeavor to get the best out of the available choices. The above discussion presents all that you may need to make an informed decision to pick the good delay pedal model.
Looking for other ideas? Take a look at these articles: