The best digital delay pedal is a secret weapon for many guitarists. Delay can surely take your guitar parts to a whole new level, whether it’s to create a sense of motion to guitar solos or a much-needed sense of dimension to riffs. Of fact, the concept of delay has changed dramatically throughout the years.
One of the most exciting pedal purchases you can make as a guitarist for your setup. There’s nothing quite like it in terms of excitement, expressiveness, or dynamics. By adding a small amount of echo to your tone, you can transform your guitar playing into something much more full-sounding than previously. If you repeat a phrase at the same volume, you’ve got yourself a looper.
To put it another way, without delay effects, players like The Edge, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, and Johnny Greenwood would not have been able to make the music they did. The early echo effects employed tape loops to replay the guitar signal before being replaced by bucket-brigade analog delay pedals, which were more reliable and less expensive. Modern digital delays sound and function significantly better than their predecessors.
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BOSS DD-8 Digital Delay Pedal
It’s certainly no surprise that we’re kicking off our reviews with the best delay pedal from BOSS, the makers of a slew of critically praised effects pedals. They are a forward-thinking company that promotes continuous innovation. Their new DD-7 delay models contains modeling that emulates the beloved DM-2 / DM-3 delay. They’ve put the finest of their legacy goods into one monster stomp-box. The Boss DD-7 offers a new modulation delay mode that adds colorful melodious chorus effects to the delay, in addition to analog mode, which pays homage to prior model features and delay settings.
The Boss DD-7 allows you to play with longer delay times, which have been increased to 6.4 seconds. Users can record up to 40 seconds of input in Hold mode, which can then be stacked for a sound on sound loop style performance. Delays can also be reversed to provide interesting effects.
The Boss DD-7 can also work with tap tempo functionality through an external pedal. This is a feature we initially saw on their DD-5 model, but it was removed on the DD-6, causing some confusion, so we’re delighted to see it return, along with the new modes. The stereo output function of the Boss DD-7 digital delay guitar effect pedal produces separate dry and wet signal channels and allows for great spatial sweeps with stereo panning. This is the best digital delay pedal in 2021.
TC Electronics Flashback 2 Delay Effects Pedal
- Flashback 2 delay effects pedal.
- The tc electronic flashback 2 delay packs the company's entire delay legacy...
- TC Electronic groundbreaking MASH technology adds an expression pedal to a...
The TC Electronic Flashback 2 is the pedal for people who want something a little more vintage and pedalboard-friendly delay unit with plenty of flexible delay styles. The long list of users speaks for itself. From rock legends like Tony Iommi and Joe Perry to virtuosos like Guthrie Govan and Brent Mason, as well as modern heroes like Mateus Asato and Jen Majura, the Flashback has something for everyone, making it ideal for you.
The original Flashback was well-liked for its user-friendly design and superb delays, all wrapped up in a small and affordable device. The Mash function on the Flashback 2 expands on this by allowing you to utilize the foot switch as an expression pedal by assigning different functions to different sensitivities. However, if you use an expression pedal frequently, be aware that the reverse delay technology isn’t perfect and is best used in moderation.
The TC Electronic Flashback 2 is the triumphant return of the renowned pedal, which has received a number of changes, the most notable of which being its new MASH makeover. The footswitch becomes a pressure-sensitive, extremely responsive expression control thanks to this ground-breaking technology.
It will be more intense the harder you press. The tape delay and analog algorithms have been completely rebuilt from the ground up, making them more realistic than ever. They expertly mimic the peculiar behavior that is characteristic of true analog. The inclusion of Crystal delay from the Sub’N’Up is another difference from the original, and on top of that, you get three tone print slots for greater freedom than ever before. Using the tone print editor, send user-created signature tones straight to your guitar effects pedal and play them. Using the software, you can make unique tweaks and perform with genuine emotion.
The Flashback, on the other hand, offers a large range of high-quality sounds that can be manipulated directly on the unit or brought in via USB utilizing the same toneprint technology used in TC Electronic’s Hall Of Fame reverb pedal. If you only need a few of the Flashback’s tones, the Flashback Mini allows you to load a feature set smaller selection of delay tones into the pedal and make simple tweaks on the fly without a high learning curve.
Overall, the TC Electronic Flashback 2 is the ideal delay pedal for your needs if you want to go tiny form factor and save money over the big dogs – or if you just want a pedal you don’t have to worry about in a bar situation. This is one of the best digital delay pedals.
Electro-Harmonix Canyon Delay and Looper Effects Pedal
- Tap Tempo with tap divide using the built-in footswitch or an external...
- Tails switch allows you to choose whether echoes repeat or stop immediately...
- Easy access to “hidden” parameters thru Secondary Knob Mode
From the iconic Memory Man on down, Electro Harmonix is known for manufacturing some of the best delay pedals on the market. Electro Harmonix has taken the Deluxe Memory Man and made a more compact but still feature-packed version with their latest model. Not only does the Canyon provide a wide range of echo effects, from the familiar to the otherworldly, but it also has a killer looper.
One of Electro Harmonix’s trump cards has to be the layout’s economy: with only a few knobs, you can access a wide selection of the best delay sounds available at this price point. Just in case you forgot why you were interested in Electro Harmonix digital delay pedals in the first place, they’ve included a DMM setting, which gives you access to the iconic Electro Harmonic Deluxe Memory Man sound.
Bottom line, the Canyon earns Electro Harmonix a spot on any list, and it may even let you to free up some space on your board by removing your looper pedal!
Boss DD-500 Digital Delay Pedal
- Digital Delay Pedal with 12 Delay Modes
- Selectable Buffered or True-bypass
- Customizable Control Settings
The BOSS DD-500 is the best Digital Delay pedals. It comes with twelve separate, completely customizable delay modes, giving you endless creative options. The DD-500 also features an easy-to-follow visual display for performing and editing, onboard patch memory for preserving your favorite effect combinations, a phrase looper for creating mind-blowing layered performances, and adjustable control settings for unrivaled real-time expressiveness.
Every time you stomp on the DD-500, you can anticipate studio-level sound thanks to the 32-bit/96kHz processing. We conjured up everything from basic echoes to luscious spatial textures to spot-on emulations of vintage delays. The BOSS DD-500 is one-of-a-kind!
Let’s not mince words: delaying is unquestionably Boss territory. The DD-2, the world’s first mass-produced digital delay pedal, was released by the Japanese business in 1983, and the series is still going strong today. And now, after facing intense competition in the high-end market from companies like Strymon and Eventide, they’ve really stepped up their game.
Mooer Reecho digital delay pedal
- 3 Delay Modes: Analog/Real Echo/Tape Echo
- Delay Time: 5ms ~ 780ms
- Full metal shell
Returning to the more affordable end of the spectrum, Mooer has a contender for best digital delay. We’ve evaluated a lot of their pedals in the past, and they appear to perform the job well and at a fair price on Amazon. It’s built well, but it’s slim to save pedal board space. It has a design that is strikingly similar to the Donners circulating, and we believe they are made by the same company. It has the standard no-nonsense control sets for Echo level, Time, and Feedback.
It also features three delay modes: Analog, which delivers grainy gain, Real echo, which generates natural reverberation that is soft and lush, and Tape echo, which is a fantastic recreation of old-school reel-to-reel delay sounds. It has a lot of positive reviews and demos, which you can look up on Google and see for yourself. Overall, it replicates a wide range of projected delay abilities for a very low price. You’ll have about 7 seconds of delay to work with.
JOYO D-SEED Multi Pedal Dual Channel Digital Looper Pedal Multi-Effect
- Maximum Current Consumption: 75mA@DC9V
- Delay Effect Modes: 4 type
- Maximum Delay Time: 5.94 seconds
As a dual-channel delay, it allows users to fine-tune separate parameters for each channel. It is without a doubt one of Joyo’s best guitar pedals, featuring a variety of settings to play with to shape your delay sound. In fact, the parameters you have control over put it on level with the functional practicality of some of the most expensive versions.
First, we’re given four delay types options to choose from, and they’re all copying a clear analog delays. For healthy beefy decay flavors, use this analog. Reverse to get flipped echoes and modulation for more chorus effects.
To determine how much delay comes through, use the mix slider and essentially play with wet and dry levels. Time will alter the length of the delay and provide feedback on the degree of reverberation. It incorporates a powerful noise gate to eliminate annoying hums, as well as the all-important True Bypass switches.
It also contains a Tap-Tempo feature that allows for up to a 6-second delay period, as well as an external trigger input that allows control pedals to switch between the twin channels. It’s attractive, well-made, and simple to operate, however it’s heavier than some pedals.
TC Electronics Flashback Mini Delay Guitar Effects Pedal
- Tone Print Technology
- True By-pass
- 100's of free downloadable effects
The TC Electronic Flashback Mini is a smaller, more compact version of the original Flashback, featuring a smaller footprint and a lower pricing on Amazon. It’s a mono delay pedal with a lot of options. With the three streamlined features on this smaller model, you can easily shape your sound.
The original model was well-received and provided a varied range of delay sounds; these hobbit-homage models include all of the popular settings; you simply have to look for them manually. It has TonePrint compatibility, which gives users access to a proprietary software editor to better sculpt sound expression, just like all the top TC Electronics pedals from the inventive Danish founders.
The software’s variations and parameters provide limitless customization options. You can choose from saved settings and fine-tune each one to your liking. You’ll also have unfettered access to some true analog delay sounds, such as ping-pongs and slap back bucket brigade decays, to mention a few. The TC Electronic Flashback Mini also includes a Tap-Tempo function with a hold switch and tempo playback.
The TonePrint software adds new features and allows customers access to a high-end pedal in a small, economical package. We’ll even say the TC Electronic Flashback Little is the best mini digital delay pedal on the market.
Universal Audio Starlight Echo Station
- Create with stunning emulations of iconic tape echo hardware, with...
- Quickly access sounds with Live/Preset modes, and play with silent...
- Craft legendary bucket-brigade analog delay effects with the color,...
With a stellar reputation in the studio industry, Universal Audio is among the most intriguing newcomers to the pedal market. They’re most known for their Apollo audio interfaces and plugins, so they must keep winning, right?
Yes, it is the answer. The Starlight Echo Station joins a price range that is already very competitive, but it is an excellent choice for anyone looking for somewhat more vintage, analog tones than you could get in other high-end delay pedals thanks to its evocation of the Echoplex and Memory Man Deluxe.
There isn’t much this delay pedal can’t accomplish with the choice of preamp tone coloring, the apparently endless mode options to choose from, the abundance of modulation, and the gain-inducing “Color” knob. The lack of MIDI and reliance on apps may be a little irritating to certain people, but we believe the tonal quality more than makes up for it.
Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo
- Five tape adjustment and tone shaping knobs: Time, Mix, Tape Age, Repeats,...
- Ultra low noise, high performance 24-bit 96kHz A/D and D/A converters.
- 115dB typical signal to noise.
This innovative delay pedal, which won several accolades when it initially came out, seeks to mimic the sound of a vintage Tape Echo unit without the notorious challenges associated with maintaining the legendary analog tones.
Despite being an analog delay pedal, the dTape Echo incorporates patented Sharc DSP Technology, allowing you complete control over the Tape Echo’s every aspect. Within that rich and warm analog sound, this comprises machine health, tone aging, delay duration, tape recording, and more.
As a result, you’ll be able to make a tape delay effect that’s studio-quality or studio-apartment-quality. While tape delays may be a niche sound, fans will agree that it doesn’t get any better than this.
MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay Guitar Effects Pedal (M169)
- Rich, all-analog delay
- Up to 600 milliseconds of delay time
- Modulation controls emulate tape echo tones
The MXR Carbon Copy is a no-frills genuine analog delay pedal that does an excellent job. Why is it called “no-frills”? You usually give up the bells and whistles with analog pedals, such as looping and tap tempo but get a bucket brigade delay.
This is unquestionably a pedal for fans of analog tone with a great slapback echo. The sound is described as “organic,” “lush,” “full,” “subtle,” and having “warm tonal characteristics” by owners of this pedal. You can acquire up to 600 milliseconds of delay time with the Carbon Copy. People like the knobs’ huge size since it makes it easy to dial in settings with your toe while playing. There are three knobs to play with when it comes to control: REGEN controls the quantity of delay/repeats, MIX controls the level of delay, and DELAY controls the pace of delay (there is also a MOD button which toggles the modulation feature). The build quality is excellent; MXR knows what they’re doing when it comes to this.
Analog delay isn’t for everyone, of course. Some individuals prefer the cleaner, crisper tone provided by digital delays like the Flashback and Boss DD-7. Because every repeat of the sound reuses the preceding iteration, analog delay is prone to coloring.
The pricing is not at all ridiculous for a pedal as good as the Carbon Copy. While not cheap, take in mind that you’re paying for a pedal that is widely considered as the best analog delay pedal and has made its way into countless pro pedalboards. The Carbon Copy has found a home on the pedalboards of Billie Joe Armstrong, Billy Gibbons, Zakk Wylde, and Brad Paisley.
The MXR Carbon Copy is a no-brainer for anyone seeking for a simple delay and one of the best analog delay pedals out there, with scores of favorable testimonials from pros and casual players alike, hundreds of near-perfect ratings, and overwhelming acceptance from our panel of reviewers.
Donner Guitar Delay Pedal, Yellow Fall Analog Delay
- [Analog Delay Pedal] Reproduces the warm and natural classic vintage analog...
- [Flexible Delay Pedal] 20ms to 620ms of delay time. Adjustable delay level...
- [Durable Guitar Pedal] Aluminium-alloy classic, stable and strong.
The Donner Yellow Fall Delay sounds incredible, especially when you consider the price. For a simple delay pedal, you can’t go wrong with this.
You have three knobs to experiment with: ECHO, which controls the wet/dry mix, TIME, which allows you to choose between 20 and 620 millisecond delays, and FEEDBACK, which controls the number of repetitions. The Echo and Feedback knobs, unfortunately, are too small to handle with your feet while playing. When not in use, this pedal is touted as “True Bypass,” which means it shouldn’t color your guitar signal. Despite this, some users claimed a small amount of colouring, which we were unable to discern.
Some users claim that this is a digital reproduction rather than a true analog delay pedal. Even so, it’s been compared to the MXR Carbon Copy’s analog tone, which is excellent praise considering you can get four of them for the price of one of those! Whether it’s true analog or not, it sounds darker than most digital delays, and the repeats are prone to harmonic distortion artifacts, indicating that Donner did an excellent job with the sound.
This small pedal is simple to fall in love with. We think this is the best budget option because it is the cheapest and has a great sound in a sturdy housing. This is the best delay pedal under $200.
Boss DM-2W Delay Waza Craft Guitar Effects Pedal
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The Boss DM-2W is a re-creation of a well-known pedal that became commercially viable thanks to the improved availability of a certain chip. On top of the original Boss DM-2 platform, the expression input and custom / standard selection switch add further options. The expression input allows you to connect an expression pedal and alter the timing of the effect while playing, allowing you to adjust the delay time while playing.
For those with darker (more bass and mids) voiced gear, the Custom / Standard switch is handy. The pedal works in normal mode like its predecessor, with a dark voice and a delay period of up to 300 milliseconds. The unit’s repeats have a louder (but still clearly analog) tone in custom mode, and the maximum delay time is increased to 800 milliseconds. This is the best delay pedal under $100.
Strymon Timeline Delay
The brushed steel finish gives this pedal an unique and high-end appearance. The design is appealing, and the usage of green LEDs is a brilliant choice. Instead of using a notch or mark on the knob to point to an effect, the master selection knob employs individual LEDs for each effect, with the selected effect’s LED illuminating. Even in low-light situations, this makes selecting effects simple. It stands out from the mass due to its exceptional build quality and impression of exclusivity.
Using the Strymon Timeline Delay was a breeze, and I was able to make extensive modifications to the sound with no effort. The layout and the old-school LCD screen assist a lot, but it’s the way everything is organized that allows anyone with even a fundamental understanding of delay to make this pedal sing to their melodies. Each effect has at least 8 characteristics that you can fine-tune to a minute degree before saving it to one of the 200 memory locations and recalling it when needed. There are so many options with sound that you’ll have to rely on your own imagination to overcome any problems.
It also has excellent networking possibilities, including MIDI support. It can be controlled using a MIDI controller, making switching between presets a breeze. While playing live, an expression pedal can be connected to precisely manipulate particular characteristics. Overall, this is one of the most user-friendly and feature-rich pedals we’ve come across. The Strymon Timeline Delay is in the elite echelon of delay pedals on the market right now because to its analog sounds. They have the same warm and vivid sound as a true analog pedal.
It’s a well-made instrument, and even the most dedicated guitarist will have a hard time putting a dent in it. Everything looks and feels wonderful, and the build quality is simply outstanding. Turning the knob produces a satisfactory response, which takes us to the question of how simple it is to operate. This pedal is jam-packed with functions, including a looper, yet the way everything is laid out and operated feels so natural that even inexperienced guitarists will have no trouble setting up the Strymon Timeline Delay. This is a very capable pedal that will make you happy regardless of the delay type you choose. Few pedals are as good as this one if you want a truly amazing pedal that can handle analog effects with ease. This is the best delay pedal for the money.
Tom’sline Engineering Digital Delay Pedal
- 3 DIFFERENT DELAY OPTIONS IN 1 PEDAL,3 modes - Echo/Mod/Normal. Easy to get...
- BIG RANGE DELAY - Endless sound repeat counts, super long delay time length...
- EXCELLENT CONSTRUTURE - Tiny footprint protection on the pedal avoid...
It has three delay options this time, which are Echo, Mod, and Normal. It has an infinite number of sound repeats and can produce infamous delay sounds to a reasonable degree of quality. It has a proprietary bar on the delay guitar pedal face that prevents foot activity from banging the dial during performances, which is a wonderful innovation worth mentioning.
It comes in a dehydrated gift box. The obligatory Velcro stickers, while a touch gimmicky, are a great bonus if you’re buying this as a gift for someone, but they’re probably more geared at teenagers than adults. We recommend it for beginners because it is unlikely to impress more experienced acoustic or electric guitar players. On the other hand, for a shoestring budget, it does a very good job at serving up some useful delay effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the Difference between Analog and Digital Delay Pedals?
The difference is that an analog delay pedal has a physical, mechanical feedback loop. This means it uses springs to create a delayed signal from what you play on the guitar or bass. A digital delay pedal does not have this type of feedback mechanism; instead, they use algorithms to calculate how much time should be added to each note played in order for them to sound like they are being played after the initial input.
What Is a Digital Delay Pedal?
A delay effect creates an echo or reverberation by delaying audio signals from one input channel to another. The most common type of delay uses analog circuitry that repeats incoming sound waves at regular intervals. This can be done with either digital technology or using mechanical components such as springs, magnets, and reeds.