The best delay pedals come in two major categories that include analog and digital. Analog delay pedals use solid-state or magnetic tape circuitry to give their echo effects, while a digital delay pedal will use DSP. While digital delay pedals can be flexible, nothing sounds better like the best analog delay pedal.
Generally, a delay pedal will record a snippet of a sound and then play it back after the specified time. The delayed sound can either be played back once or played through the pedal over and over again. With analog pedals, there is something exceptional about the warmth that they give.
They come in a wide range of options from different brands. In this article, we will review the five best analog delay pedals, their pros, and cons, as well as a buying guide to help you what to look for in analog delays.
5 Best Analog Delay Pedals
1. Donner Guitar Delay Pedal, Yellow Fall Analog Delay Guitar Effect Pedal
- Pure analog Whole circuit delay, clear, plump and smooth New Delay effect....
- Aluminium-alloy classic, stable and strong.
- True bypass provide transparent tone,LED indicator shows the working state.
- 3 Knobs, ECHO is mix, TIME for 20-620ms delays, FEEDBACK is the repetions.
- Important instructions 1-Please make sure the the diameter for power plug using...
The Donner Guitar Yellow Fall Guitar Effect is not only a great budget option but also the best analog delay pedal. It is made of a sturdy and durable full metal shell, and it is also easy to use the three dials to adjust and combine to find the desired tone. The time ranges from 25-600 ms and produces genuine analog tones that won't disappoint.
The echo control determines the blending of the overall mix, while the feedback control is for the repeats. It has one of the simplest interfaces when it comes to delaying guitar pedals available in the market today. It provides amazing emulating effects that other delay units might not have access to.
If you're looking to emulate the great sounds and get to make the rock and roll tones without spending too much cash, then this model will over a delay play opportunity at a bargain price. It is quite light in terms of weight which means one can easily carry it to any place.
2. Behringer VD400 Vintage Analog Delay Effects Pedal
- Experience true analog delay and vintage slap-back echo that rivals any tape...
- This BEHRINGER product has been designed to compete head to head with leading...
- Vintage BBDs produce up to 300 ms of delay and advanced noise reduction circuit...
- Dedicated Intensity, Echo and Repeat Rate controls for awesome sound shaping
- Status LED for effect on/off and battery check
The Behringer VD400 Vintage Analog Effects Pedal is another one of the best delay pedals that features a veritable BBD analog circuitry that can clock up to 300ms of time. An outstanding feature of this model is the noise reduction technology that aids in the production of historical tone characteristics.
It also features three dedicated controls that help in the shaping of the sound. These controls include repeat, echo, and intensity, offering a range of sounds from rock and roll to cosmic whisper delays. It also comes with split outputs that allow the users to send wet and dry through separate channel paths.
Behringer Vintage Delay VD400 works with batteries which helps saves the power supply. It produces a warm sound that is very much pleasing to the ears. The quality of the components used for making this model is very high to ensure the users enjoy a long life with this vintage delay.
3. MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay Guitar Effects Pedal
- Rich, all-analog delay
- Up to 600 milliseconds of delay time
- Modulation controls emulate tape echo tones
- Bucket-brigade technology
The MXR M169 Analog Delay Guitar Effects Pedal is one of the best sellers in the world today. It features an authentic analog audio path with BBD technology that is essential for producing dark tones. It makes an excellent delay tone with organic warmth, ace acoustics, and crisp slaps.
This model comes with a regen function that helps to control the repetitions with wet or dry blend and delay. It features a 3 dial design that is versatile and ideal for blues, rockabilly, country, rock and roll, surf, and Floydian progressive rock tones. You can easily access the tones using the top-mounted modulation switch.
Unlike the tape, to tape predecessors, which used to break up, the MXR carbon copy pedal has the ability to provide long delay times which ring and retain the tone. The tone lies between the vintage analog delays and the more modern digital configurations, which helps to increase the clarity and keep the modulation setting from washing out the tone.
4. Boss DM-2W Delay Waza Craft Guitar Effects Pedal
Another guitar pedal that is popular in the market today is the Boss DM-2W Delay Waza Craft Guitar Effects Pedal. It features a stomp-box that has discontinued the Boss DM-2 delay with premium analog circuitry and genuine BBD. It provides an exceptional boss time using its touch responsive components.
This delay unit has switchable sound delay modes where the standard model can serve a 20-300ms range of delay while the custom mode has smother delay tones with double the delay times to add warmth and clarity to the repeats. You also get split wet/dry outputs and an expression pedal input to control the time.
It suits all styles, from moody repeats to subtle slap-backs. It has an amazing sound like the iconic delay models but with better consistency and less noise. If you're in search of an old-school digital delay that goes from simple slapbacks to OTT auto-oscillations, then this is a great option.
5. Rowin Analog Vintage Delay Guitar Effect Pedal
- 【ANALOG DELAY EFFECTS】Warm, clean and smooth vintage delay sound
- 【3 FUNCTION KNOB】ECHO is mix, TIME for 20-620ms delays, FEEDBACK is the...
- 【SOLID CONSTRUCTION】Made of high-quality zinc alloy, durable and sturdy.
- 【TRUE BYPASS】True bypass provide transparent tone.LED indicator shows...
- 【MINI SIZE】Small and exquisite,can save a lot of space on pedal board
The Rowin Analog Vintage Delay Guitar Effect Pedal features a great mix of traditional tape echo vintage delays with more modern ones. It features a durable full metal shell that has been made from good-quality zinc alloy. Typically, this model is a rebrand of the Donner Yellow Fall model with a more budget scale.
It is a beautiful vintage with well function BBD compact pedal. It is one of the guitar effects pedals that are easy to use. The aim is to reproduce the warm, smooth, and vintage tones for a lower budget. It features three easy-to-use controls in the form of knobs, including Time that ranges from 20-600 ms, Feedback used to control the delays, and Echo delay that is used as a mix.
This best budget delay features a flexible postpone time that comes in handy for a wide range of musical styles. The reverberation control will change the sum timeframe in which the deferred sound will ring out, while the criticism handle will give a command over the postponed sound.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Analog Delay Pedal
1. Delay time and Feedback
The delay time is indicated in milliseconds, 100 milliseconds for every second. Ideally, the higher the delay time control is turned, the longer the time the device will capture the signal from the guitar. An example would be if you dialed 500 milliseconds of delay time, then you'll capture half a second of what you play.
Feedback, on the other hand, describes the number of times the delay will reproduce the signal. This means that the higher you turn the feedback knob, the more repetitions you will get. Every delay pedal comes with settings for delay time and feedback, and you need to ensure that they are well labeled to avoid confusion. Check the product description or manual if you're unsure about certain control.
2. Tap Tempo
The tap tempo is a very useful feature in delay pedals. It is a button or a footswitch that you repeatedly tap in order to set the delay time. While some models will give you the option of a button/footswitch and a knob, others will only give you a knob to set the delay time.
While it is not essential for a delay pedal to have a tap tempo footswitch or button, it is quite useful because it allows you to match the delay time to a specified tempo which in turn helps in the rhythmic effects. It is important to consider if you're comfortable using a button or a footswitch to set the tempo.
If you're playing live, then a footswitch will come in handy since you can set the delay time while still playing. However, if your delay pedal can save presets, then the tap tempo function is not that important. You will find that some delays also work with apps or editors to provide you with a different way to set the delay time.
Delay pedals come in two main configurations; stereo out and mono out. Mono out refers to when your pedal has only one output, while stereo out means it has two. The main advantage of a stereo output is that you can run two different output with the effect and send it through two amplifiers.
What this does is make it sound fuller and wider. However, this stereo setup can be expensive. On the other hand, a mono output is a simpler version of stereo output.
4. Delay, Echo, and Reverb
You need to understand the differences between these three terms; delay, echo, and reverb. This is because most of the time, echo and delay are confused with each other. Delays are usually longer, while echoes have a shorter time. Moreover, echo pedals are usually paired with a form of frequency filtering on the repeats while delays, especially digital delays, feature more fidelity.
On the other hand, reverb is described as a blended and random repetition of the sound produced quickly after a sound is made. Since your brain might not notice the series of repetitions, it will sound like you're playing in a space or room.
5. Saving Presets
Not all pedals will allow you to save the presets, so if this is something you're hoping to get, then you should be research to find out if your best analog delay pedal has one. Presets come in handy when you need to switch between the different delay settings quickly.
They allow you to save different settings and switch between them, most of the time from a footswitch. However, since most analog pedals have only one delay type, this feature may not be important. Still, if you pick a delay pedal with multiple delay types, it is always good to find the best delay pedals that can also save the presets.
Many delay pedals come with a built-in looper. A looper is not only great practice, but it is also a great live performance or songwriting tool. While some delay pedals have loopers with only basic features, others will offer you all the features that are in a standalone looper.
However, you may only find the built-in loopers in delay pedals that have multiple delay pedals. For this reason, if your delay pedal lacks one, then you should consider buying a separate looper.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Analog Delay Pedals
1. Is Analog Delay better?
Analog delays will give a warmer tone and produce more clarity. However, it has fewer parameters to adjust than a digital delay pedal, and they tend to offer short delay times compared to a digital delay pedal. Although they won't go on forever, they are a great option to achieve those vintage tones and subtle delay effects.
2. Can you mix analog and digital pedals?
You can mix an analog and digital delay pedal without any issue. However, you will want to be careful when it comes to power. It is important to find a good power supply, more than one supply, if necessary. Some digital pedals may draw enough power such that they give their own dedicated power supplies.
3. How do you tell if a guitar pedal is digital or analog?
Most of the time, a pedal with multi-effects is digital, and a standard chorus/distortion is most likely an analog pedal. You can also open up the pedal, and if you find a chip with tiny legs surface that has been mounted on the PCB board, it is most likely digital.