Since its introduction in the late 1960s, best guitar delay pedals have been considered as one of the most important gig item for musicians. Delay is without any doubts a very important effect that can be added to a pedal board.
Thus delay pedals are an important part even if you are a lead guitarist trying to add motion to your own albums or a seasoned player trying to add more dimension. But before that let us understand the basic about a delay pedal.
What is a Delay Pedal?
Delay pedal, echo whatever you like to call it, is a digital device that helps you to improve and modify your guitar sound. It plays back and records the music with better texture and depth of the sound. It is mostly a go-to purchase for any solo guitarist and works wonders for bands too.
How to Choose a Delay Pedal?
When it comes to choosing any product there are a number of things one should consider. Your requirements or needs from the product should be given utmost importance. A few fair points to be thought about are quality, price, brand, design and the sound effect produced by the delay pedal.
Choosing the type of delay pedal is very important. There are majorly three types:
First is Analog-digital pedal which is highly recommended for beginners as it is inexpensive and easily available in the market. Second is an Analog delay pedal that produces repetitive sound effects whose clock-cycle is the shine spot. Last is a tape pedal that gives warm sound effects and has qualities of traditional DSP.
Secondly, deciding on the effects one want from the delay pedal is crucial in the decision making. A digital Analog delay pedal is an appropriate choice if you want the sound effects rich and warm. On the other hand, if you are into crystal-clear sound effect you might want to purchase a traditional delay pedal.
Last but not the least, true bypass is what you should think about while choosing a pedal. True bypass makes sure that the sound is crystal-clear and the effect is dismissed as soon as you stop playing. Unnecessary vibrations are avoided.
Analog vs. Digital Pedals
A clarity is required when it comes to an understanding of types of delay pedals that are available in the market. Here is a simple view for you to understand the two most commonly used types:
When sound passes through a physical process where it is altered by different piece of equipment in better terms transistors and capacitors it is called Analog. The sounds effects from this pedal is warmer and better. If you already have experience in playing, this should be your go-to pick.
Whereas, in digital pedals the sounds are converted to ones and zeroes which means sound is physically altered using Analog and further by digital components and then converted back by using Analog. This method is also known as Analog digital- digital Analog converter. These pedals do not sound as good as Analog due to an intensive process of alteration. The parts used in these pedals are less expensive and the process uses algorithm to give effects which makes it more affordable. Due to the number of effects this pedal provides, to play and practice with, it is very popular amongst beginners.
Here are a few delay pedals that might suit your needs and help you make a worthy purchase:
Best Guitar Delay Pedals
Donner Yellow Fall Vintage
This pedal gives a warm rich effect and is suitable for anyone who love to play guitar. It is a classic Analog pedal, inexpensive and has only single effect on it. It is completely reliable for users who are die hard fan of echo tones. The 6 seconds of delay it gives is almost unexpected from this compact package. The 3-knob good control gives it a crystal-clear sound, comes with strong, rich build to fall-in-love with like. The performance level is trustworthy an absolute click for people with limited budget.
The pedal will give very cool sound effects to music like jazz, 70’s rock, blues, etc. A perfect combination of delay and reverb. If you are a jazz enthusiast and dig for clear ambient tones, don’t wait any longer, this is what you would love. Easy adaptation and an interesting twist of music is what it offers at a sustainable price, as I would say it’s worth it!
The company just keeps coming with more and more features in the same exact size box. The pedal is although a little expensive compared to other pedals it is still worth every dime. Since it is easy to use and comes in a compact design with commendable battery life, it is a go-getter for beginner and even experienced guitarist or a band. The body build is solid and no compromise has been made in regards to its quality and design.
The Boss DD-7 gives you 6.4 seconds of delay which is significantly better than any of it’s previous models. It also provides with 40 seconds of recording when on hold mode. If you wish to go handsfree an external footswitch and Expression pedal can come to a great use (need to be purchased separately). You can control tempo, delay time, feedback, and effect level easily using both external footswitch and Expression pedal.
Donner pedal- the alpha force!
Guys! Here you get 3 in 1 which is a huge thumbs-up. So, in this pedal you have delay, chorus and high gain and the best part is that it can all be run together. The layout is beautiful, it is small, compact and the switches work in just a click. This is a big yes for people looking for chorus pedals.
The sound effects are extremely cool and impressive, it’s clean and sharp. You will not be disappointed with this purchase.
Electro Harmonix canyon
It looks small but is capable of loads of different functions including a loop of 62 seconds. It has a tap tempo, slash divide function and a cool hold button too, not to forget 9 other different delay sounds to play with.
The slash divide function is pretty amazing when you press and hold it, it puts everything into secondary function except loop and echo mode. It can be used as straight-ahead reverb. You can change the tap tempo by just clicking foot switch, how simple is that? It has an LED light on it that acts as a sun on the given design of the pedal giving atheist vibes, just beautiful!
For beginners and experimental junkies this is what you should invest in.
It’s a perfect buy for those on tight budgets. Minimalism is the key here! This pedal comes with reliable audio quality and tap tempo. The build is strong and therefore it is durable. It comes with four different modes that includes copy, Analog, modulation and reverse delay.
I would not suggest this for beginners, go for it if you have little experience and your way around to pedals. Otherwise, it is a good buy for the price.
For those who are crushing over warm and richer guitar sounds and has a thing for echo tones, this is a must-buy for you. It offers reliable bucket-brigade, variety of delay effects that comes with a simple design, and cool effects. There isn’t much negative to say about it except it is on the pricier edge. Saying that also brings the point that it is easy to use which makes it worth the price and is convenient for beginners at hand.
When it comes to the more affordable price-range pedal, we have a pedal which gives natural echo vibrations with 3 delay modes and 7 second of delay to play with. Shimmer effects, time and feedback of this is on point. Compact size with tape echoes and true bass is what you get at this price which is more than enough compared to any other brand, considering the money being spent.
TC Electronic Flashback Mini
Don’t be fooled by its size! A small pedal that gives high sound without compromise and varied set of delay sounds made simple. Not only does it offer a diverse range of effects with 3 streamlined functions but also 7 seconds of delay and endless adjustment capacities.
It is the best mini digital delay pedal so far that has audio tapping feature which engages when you hold the bypass switch. Along with the software that lets you send modified effects to your pedal from your phone or computer, isn’t that incredible in a size like that?
This offers 7 mode delay effects which are digital, Analog, Tape, mod, sweep, LO-FI and reverse. The body is metal build, sturdy that you get at a very affordable price. It is a small size pedal with true bypass and really good sound. For someone who doesn’t want to spend much on a delay pedal and yet wants diverse effects to experiment with, this is the right buy for you.
This covers our list of the top 10 best guitar delay pedals. If you have any more doubts or queries, feel free to drop them in the comments below and we will help you out. For more updates like this, keep visiting Kozy Panda.