Sometimes, even the nicest of guitar tones can sound stale and boring without the right acoustics. Especially if you’re playing an electric guitar in a small space or outside. The best delay pedals will not only fix this issue, but also bring new dimensions to your music and open up many opportunities for creative experimentation.
Finding the best music equipment for your needs and preferences is always a challenge. There are myriads of delay pedals out there, and they vary in so many ways that it can be very hard to choose.
This article will help you pick the best delay effect for you, so you don’t get overwhelmed and confused by all the choices and concepts.
Let’s start with our top pick for the best delay pedal.
There are many more delay pedals on the list, and they vary a lot. Each earns a spot on the list for a specific reason, and which one is best for you depends on your music style and needs.
Let’s get down to it.
The Best Delay Pedals
- Boss DD-20 Giga Delay
- TC Electronic Flashback Mini
- Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man Delay
- Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail
- MXR 169 Carbon Copy
- Valeton Coral Echo
- Line 6 DL4
- Digitech Obscura Altered Delay
- Ibanez Analog Delay Mini Pedal
- TC Electronic ND-1 Nova
- EarthQuaker Devices Avalanche Run
- Electro Harmonix Canyon
- Behringer Vintage Delay VD400
- Empress Effects Tape Delay
- Donner Yellow Fall Vintage
- Boss DD-500 Digital Delay
- Dunlop Echoplex Delay
- Boss Waza Craft DM-2W
- EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master
- Zoom MS-70CDR Multistomp
- Wampler Ethereal
- Mooer Reecho Pro Twin
- Donner Echo Square
- Mugig Echooos
Boss DD-20 Giga Delay
DD-20 by Boss is a versatile beast of a delay pedal that offers an impressive level of creative freedom and control.
The build is as sturdy and optimal as that of any Boss pedal. It’s bigger and heavier than the typical delay pedal, but there are good reasons for that. The double pedal design makes it easy to use the many different features of this powerhouse delay. The left one activates or deactivates the effect, and you can affect certain parameters with it. The right one is for handling presets and settings, but also lets you use the tap tempo function.
This pedal has a whopping 11 different delay modes, ranging from classic to experimental. Standard is a typical digital delay. Tape emulates the classic tape sound of a Roland Tape Echo, and if you press the left footswitch, it’ll emulate a second tape head that plays at half the speed of the first. Analog mimics the classic Boss DM-2 delay. These two retro delays sound warm and authentic, and will sound great with pretty much all gear and guitarists. Twist has a tremolo-like modulation effect added to the repeats. Warp lets you change the feedback and volume of the delay in real-time with the left pedal, even allowing you to create infinite echoes. Dual runs a short delay through a long delay, creating a more complex echo sound. You can adjust the length of both, although the shorter one can’t exceed 100ms which isn’t very long. Pan inverts the stereo panning of the signal back and forth for a big stereo effect similar to a ping pong delay. Modulate modulates the signal to create a wavering, complex tonal character. Smooth creates a slight reverb effect over the basic delay.
SOS (short for Sound On Sound) is the mode that stands out the most, because it’s not really a delay mode. It’s a simple looper. With this mode engaged, you can record your playing and play it back on repeat and play more things over it. You can overdub your recording over and over for ever more complex musical arrangements.
You get control knobs for effect level, feedback, tone, and delay time. Effect level sets the sheer volume of the effect, while feedback determines the volume curve of the repeats. Tone lets you dial in a brighter or darker tone. The lone “Delay time” knob decides how long the delayed signal gets delayed, simulating the distance between the listener and the reflective surface that echoes the sound. A bright LCD display makes it easy to see what you’re doing in close detail, displaying the current effect parameter or the BPM of your tapped tempo. The pedal can run on AA batteries, but it’s a bit inefficient in the long run. It runs best on a power supply which must be bought separately, unlike the batteries which come included.
Four preset banks let you save your favorite sounds for quick access. This is a small and limiting number for a pedal with such versatile sound capabilities.Pros
- Great build
- Convincing analog modeling
- Amazing variety of sounds
- Intuitive controls
- Looper included
- Limited preset storage
- Far from cheap
This is one of the very best delay pedals you can find. If you seek versatility and quality and you have the money to spare, this pedal won’t disappoint. Ideal for the creative musician who transcends genre boundaries.
TC Electronic Flashback Mini
Just like Boss, TC electronic seems to have at least one entry on every list of the best guitar pedals. The elegant Flashback Mini delay pedal, although much simpler than the Giga Delay, is one of the best delay pedals out there. Especially if you prefer simpler designs and you don’t need a hundred different sounds.
This echo unit combines great power with sweet simplicity. On top of its durable metal casing, you find three knobs for controlling the typical delay parameters. FX level sets the volume, feedback determines the volume of subsequent repetitions, and delay adjusts the time between repeats. It’s easy to use even if you’re a complete beginner. The ranges of the parameters allow a lot of freedom without getting too crazy to sound good. The audio quality and delay effect are both superb, not making any sacrifices unlike the more complex pedals.
The flagship feature of the Flashback, however, is the TonePrint system. This feature lets you import presets from the internet via USB and a smartphone app. The official databank of presets features the signature sounds of various famous guitarists, among countless presets from aspiring guitarists around the world.
True bypass lets you pass the signal through without any coloration from the pedal’s circuits. Unlike the really cheap pedals, this one really keeps this promise. The pedal requires a power supply and does not take batteries whatsoever.
This functionality packs a tremendous amount of power inside this tiny and relatively affordable stompbox. While the delay algorithms aren’t the most versatile, they’re without a doubt among the best sounding delay effects out there. The only potential limit to its high-quality echo effect is the lack of stereo output.Pros:
- Sounds fantastic
- TonePrint makes configuration effortless
- True bypass
- Quite affordable
- Only one Preset slot
- Not very versatile
If you’re looking for a small, yet versatile delay pedal solution, the Flashback Mini by TC Electronic may just be perfect for you.
Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man Delay Pedal
EHX pedals always find their way onto lists like this, much like TC and Boss. The Deluxe Memory Man is a smaller, more modern version of what might just be the biggest legend in the history of the best delay pedals. It’s not one of those nostalgic replications that only serves to cheapen the sound and memory of a great classic. This is a full-fledged descendant in its own right, replacing it big and bulky ancestor that’s no longer on the market. From Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour to Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, many famous classics were written and performed using the classic Memory Man.
Unlike most modern delay pedals, this one doesn’t use complex digital modeling to achieve an “analog” sound. It’s actually analog and every note is unique and organic. It sounds almost the same as its famous ancestor, while featuring more modern additions that keep it up to date. The build is sturdy and reliable with a simple control interface and a traditional footswitch. In addition to the typical delay parameter controls, you also get two knobs that let you modulate the delay with a vibrating chorus effect.
Chorus is an effect that combines many short delays to simulate multiple “voices” of the affected instrument. One knob sets the amount of this effect, the other sets the depth of the modulation. This refers to how far the pitch of the modulated delays will drift from that of the source signal. The dreamy, shimmering cloud of sound you achieve makes this delay pedal one of the best-sounding delay effects money can buy.
You can get up to one full second of delay time and the output is a rich stereo signal. The pedal has a tough metal chassis and runs on a 24 volt power adaptor.Pros:
- Amazing, classic analog sound
- Great build
- Stereo output
- Simple yet versatile
If you’re looking for that classic, dreamy echo sound of Pink Floyd and U2, this is the best delay pedal for you.
Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail
Those well-renowned guitar pickups you’ve probably found yourself drooling over more than once aren’t the only great things Seymour Duncan have created. With the Vapor Trail delay pedal, they have joined the battle of the best delay pedals.
It’s a simple concept focusing on familiar features with a creative twist or two. And they’ve achieved this at a lower price than much of the brand name competition. Bucket Brigade Device lovers should pay extra attention to this pedal.
You find three main control knobs on its surface. “Repeats” determines the number of repetitions, and “Delay” sets the delay time. “Mix” balances the wet signal. The smaller “Rate” and “Depth” dials let you modulate the effect to taste. This creates a wet, airy effect of the same type as the Memory Man. The sound character differs though. Vapor Trail seems to have a light reverb effect added to the delay. In addition to the effect itself, the pedal softens the treble and adds light compression to the signal, making the sound thick and warm without flooding the mix.
It sounds more old-school than most modern delays pedals, while offering the same amount of control. You can get subtle spatial effects or extreme, other-worldly echoes. This is perfect to make melodies larger than life, turn it on before a face-melting solo to take your guitar sound to another dimension.
The build seems sturdy, with a hard metal casing and a typical true bypass footswitch. Being an analog pedal, it won’t introduce any harsh coloring to the signal. It offers stereo output and an effect loop that lets you color the echoes further. This lets you affect the analog delay, for example, with all sorts of modern digital effects for innovative sounds.
You can power this pedal with either a nine volt battery or a 9-18V regulated power supply, which isn’t included.Pros:
- Amazing analog sound
- Good creative control
- Great build
- Some musicians may not like the reverb and compression
This pedal combines the beautiful sound of analog delay and chorus with the convenience and control of modern pedals. If you play classic rock or indie, this will be a perfect fit.
MXR 169 Carbon Copy
Another Bucket Brigade analog pedal to consider is the MXR Carbon Copy. It’s rated among the best guitar pedals by many experts. It’s been around for quite some time without any reason to change.
The build is rock hard and looks as luxurious as the delay sounds. Inside and outside, it’s premium quality. The overall design and sound is simple. Single input and output, true bypass, and three control knobs. “Mix” and “Delay” do their usual things, and “Regen” acts as a feedback dial. You can also find two trim pots inside, which let you make adjustments to the modulation of the sound. This can let you create very interesting effects, especially when you crank the Regen. At high levels, the sound will oscillate a lot, as is typical for Bucket Brigade pedals.
The analog tone, oscillation, and subtle pitch shift make the delay sound almost alive. Delay time ranges from 20 milliseconds to 600. It’s not the longest delay out there, but it’s long enough for most. This delay sounds very good with distortion, making it ideal for rock and metal. It seems like Dunlop designed this pedal with distortion in mind. Subtle amounts make a nice spatial effect, while more extreme settings are perfect for massive, other-worldly guitar solos. The shimmery effect you get when you switch on the modulation, in particular, will make the sound huge and vibrant.
Much like the Vapor Trail, it offers a lot of sound and a lot of creative control in a small package. A single nine volt battery can power the effect, although a proper nine volt power supply is recommended.Pros:
- Great build
- Premium sound quality
- Impressive creative control
- Adjusting the tiny internal pots is difficult
- No stereo output
MXR pedals never disappoint, especially not the Carbon Copy. It sounds amazing no matter what you play, but where it really excels is in harder styles like metal.
Valeton Coral Echo
Do you like small, affordable pedals that are easy to use? Then this is one of the best delay pedals for you.
It offers 11 different tape modes, which is a whole lot for its price range and size, and three control knobs. There is no unnecessary complexity to understand, just pick your favorite sound and start playing.
“Digital” is a simple digital delay, while “Analog,” “Tube,” and “Tape” are typical retro modeling effects. “Mod” adds a bit of modulation. “Nova” has an airy, shimmering feedback. “Dynamic” generates a clean delay tone where the delay volume rises and falls with the dynamics of your playing. “Sweep” has a filter sweep on the echoes. “Lofi” downsamples the audio quality for a dirty echo that stands apart from the clean tone. “Rev” plays the delay in reverse. Last but not least “Slapback” recreates the classic slapback echo effect.
While the sound doesn’t compare to the higher-end pedals on the list, it’s very organic and vibrant for the price range and each delay mode has real uses. The great variety of sounds this pedal can generate make it a great delay pedal for ambient and psychedelic music.
The big footswitch makes it easy to turn the effect on or off while playing. It’s a true bypass pedal, and unlike many others in its price range, it lets a clear signal through without hiss and hum.Pros:
- Big selection of delay types
- Simple controls
- True bypass
- Control knobs aren’t very precise
- No stereo output
This is the best budget-friendly delay pedal if you like lots of creative echo effects. Ideal for experimental music.
Line 6 DL4
This is an old classic that still stands strong among the best delay pedals of all time. It was very early to offer multiple delay types, presets, and a looping function. Features that have become common over time, in great part due to this popular powerhouse.
The DL4 takes 16 great replications of the most coveted delay modules and guitar pedals and adds its own custom additions to them. If you’ve ever wanted the sounds of the legendary TC Electronic 2290, Maestro Echoplex, Roland RE-101 Space Echo along with other undying classics in one convenient, beautiful stompbox... well, you’ve found your solution.
With each sound, you get controls that the original effect often doesn’t offer. “Delay Time,” “Repeats,” and “Mix” do what you expect. “Tweak” and “Tweez,” on the other hand, add vibrato and flanger-like modulation to the delay signal. You also get three preset slots so you can store your favorite sounds.
The looping feature is a powerful addition that works in great harmony with the delay effects. You can record up to 14 seconds of audio and replay it. In addition to normal playback, it can replay the sound in reverse or at half speed. Or double speed, if you trick it by recording at half speed and then switching to normal speed.
The pedal looks amazing and seems very durable. The clever design with multiple footswitches makes live looping easy. You have one switch for recording and overdubbing loops, another for playing and stopping what you’ve recorded. Clicking the third switch makes the loop play only once, so you don’t have to hurry to play and stop loops. The last one toggles the special playback modes, half time and reverse. The tap tempo feature makes it easy to sync echoes and loops, which could otherwise be a big struggle. For more control and a more dynamic sound, you can plug an expression pedal into the DL4 and control various parameters to create swells and far-out breaks.
It's power and versatility is hard to match, and it’s popular among professional musicians of all genres. The guitarists who’d benefit the most from a pedal like this are those who play experimental, technical music. If you’re a fan of bands like Minus The Bear, this is your ideal delay pedal. It’s the exact one they use.
The circuitry is high quality with a true bypass circuit that does nothing to your signal. Both inputs and outputs are stereo, making the modulated echo sound huge and vibrant. The looper sums any signal to mono before processing though, but this is rarely a problem since you’re very unlikely to put any stereo effects before the looper. While it runs fine on batteries, you don’t want to run out of power while playing, so buying a separate power supply is a good idea.
This pedal has been at the top of the charts for ages, and it’s safe to assume that it will remain among the best delay pedals for many years to come.Pros:
- Fantastic build
- Beautiful modeling of 16 classic delays
- Lots of creative options
- Looper included
- A bit clunky
For those who want a great selection of beautiful modeled decay effects with plenty of options for customization, there may not be a better pedal out there. If loopers are your thing, this is also a great choice.
Digitech Obscura Altered Delay
As the name implies, this pedal from the guitar effect masters at DigiTech specializes in warped echoes that do more than repeat what you feed the pedal. You can still get normal delay sounds out of it too.
The build quality is great, better than the typical DigiTech stompbox. It’s small and very tough, you won’t have any worries about whether it will fit on your pedal board or survive the wear and tear of frequent use over the years. The included velcro, hook, loop pad, and stomplock make it perfect for almost any pedal board. Stereo input and output jacks give you more sound options and more options for where to place the pedal in the signal chain. The soft-touch footswitch makes no noise when you press it. The visual design is a nice touch that should bring joy to metalheads and deadheads alike.
Four knobs let you dial in the sound you like. “Level” sets the overall volume, while the “Time + Repeats” knob controls the delay time and feedback at once. The delay selector offers four delay modes. “Analog” is a typical analog-sounding echo, “Tape” gives a convincing tape sound, “Lo-Fi” degrades the sound, and “Reverse” plays things back in reverse. The “Tone + Degrade” knob is the flagship feature and really brings each delay style to life.
Depending on the mode, it introduces different modulations. With tape, high degrade settings makes the sound flutter and warp like a worn-out tape cassette. In the analog mode, degradation means warm, analog-style distortion that increases with each reflection. How do you degrade the Lo-Fi delay? By making it even more Lo-Fi, of course. Each repeat sound a little more bitcrushed and broken. The reverse effect warbles and gargles when you mangle it, turning the already strange effect even crazier. Putting this pedal in infinite sustain will produce unbelievable noises that sound nothing like what you fed into it, and you can tweak the controls as it’s repeating for some really trippy effects. This is very cool for ambient and psychedelic music.
The “trails” switch up top makes the echoes ring out naturally when you switch the pedal off. The dry signal passes through a separate analog circuit even when the effect is engaged. One feature that feels amiss, however, is tap tempo. With such complex echoes, it would be nice to be able to synchronize them to your tempo without dialing in the exact tempo through lots of trial and error. The overall versatility of this pedal makes up for the lack of this feature though.
It’s important to note that this pedal doesn’t take batteries and doesn’t ship with a power supply. So if you don’t already have a spare power supply, you can’t use the pedal unless you get one at the same time.
There’s also tap tempo and an extremely beautiful sounding Delay Tails On/Off Switch that really adds lush dynamics to your guitar lines. The repeat and hold switches allow you to make some crazy noises whilst you’re in mid song and the soft click, vacuum style footswitch means you don’t get that annoying “click” noise in the delay sound when you engage the pedal. Digitech have also included a nifty Stomplock knob guard that ensures you don’t change any settings when you stamp on the pedal as well as a custom-cut Hook and Loop Pedalboard Pad that lets you add the pedal to your board with ease.Pros:
- Four unique delay sounds
- Great customization options
- Solid build quality
- Trails function
- No synchronization whatsoever
- You can’t change delay time and feedback separately
This pedal is versatile and unique, yet affordable. It’s an ideal option for experimental guitarists, especially in the psychedelic genre.
Ibanez Analog Delay Mini Pedal
Much like their guitars, this delay pedal by Ibanez offers a lot of effect at a great price. It’s also tiny and sturdy, making it highly portable.
The analog sound quality is impressive, and you can get up to 600ms of delay. A big, sturdy footswitch makes it easy to engage and disengage the effect while playing without any struggle. The big knob in the middle lets you set the delay time, ranging from a quick 20 ms delay through slapback echo to huge, cavernous echoes. You can go from a subtle repetition to a long, bouncy chain of echoes with the “Repeat” knob, and the “Blend” knob lets you balance the wet signal against the clean guitar. AD Mini offers a lot of sound control for a stompbox the size of a candy bar.
The pedal may feel a little unstable if you don’t secure it in place. Other than that, its tiny size doesn’t affect it much, and it’s tough as a tank. While the control knobs may seem a bit small and hard to use, it shouldn’t be hard for someone who can hit the right strings on an electric guitar.
The sound itself has a classic tone to it, coming from more BBD chips. Each repetition is a little more degraded than the previous one, getting darker and grittier over time, like a classic space echo. That makes this pedal an ideal option for dub and psychedelic rock. The warm, hazy, metallic tone suits most retro styles of music as well. Longer feedback settings can create some really mangled echoes, but they don’t sound too distorted. Unlike many BBD delays, this one has a nice, airy treble sheen that gives more clarity to lead sounds.
It’s a fully mono analog effect with true bypass. It doesn’t take batteries and it doesn’t come with a power supply, so you need to get a separate PSU.Pros:
- Small and convenient
- Great value for the price
- Beautiful analog space echo
- Very limited sound options
- Only mono
If you love analog delay but don’t like the price and convenience of modern mini pedals, this is what you’re looking for. Ideal for dub musicians.
TC Electronic ND-1 Nova
If you weren’t too impressed by the Flashback Mini delay mentioned earlier, this is its more advanced sister.
In typical TC electronic fashion, the sound quality is superb and the design is intuitive. It’s easy to get started with this pedal, but there’s much to learn and customize as well. The versatility and creative control is impressive. It also comes with its own 12 volt PSU.
Those who like to play around with effects will love this delay unit and its many control. Five knobs and five buttons let you do a lot. “Delay,” “feedback,” and “mix level” do their typical stuff. “Color” emphasizes specific frequencies, while “mod level” lets you add modulation to the echo. You have three different modulation types to choose from, which you select with the “mod style” button. A dedicated tap tempo footswitch makes it easy to synchronize the repeats to your playing, and the “subdiv” button selects a rhythmic subdivision for the delays. The audio tapping function makes it even easier, letting the pedal analyze your playing and adjust its tempo to it so you don’t have to tap the tempo. Although the result isn’t always perfect.
You pick a delay type with the “type” button. “Delay line” sounds like a typical delay. “Dynamic” raises and lowers the repeat volume based on input velocity. “Reverse” plays the repeats backwards. “Ping pong” flips the left and right signals back and forth. “Pan” pans the sound from side to side. “Slapback” creates the classic effect of the ‘50s. The cool thing is how when you switch from one mode to the next, the previous delay spills over instead of cutting off and clicking.
Nine preset slots let you save all your favorite settings, using the “preset“ button. The “manual” button disengages the preset and brings you right back to whatever settings are currently dialed in. There’s no true bypass circuit, the main on/off footswitch only stops producing more echo, while letting the existing feedback ring out. It does color the signal a bit, but it shouldn’t be a problem for most.
What makes this delay stand out from most pedals is the length of the decay. A whopping 2290 ms, making it one of the very best delay pedals for ambient music. The generous LCD display lets you know the exact length of your delay, which is also a rare feature among guitar pedals that benefits those who like to play with big delay sounds. The general ease of use of this pedal is superb, with its intuitive design, tap tempo, and red diodes that show you exactly what’s active and what’s not.Pros:
- Easy to use
- Versatile with generous creative control
- Nine preset slots
- Stereo effects
- PSU included
- No true bypass
- Inefficient preset selection
This pedal offers a great variety of sound for an agreeable price. Guitarists who like to base songs around cool delay effects will love this the ND-1 Nova.
EarthQuaker Devices Avalanche Run
Here’s a more unique approach to the delay pedal concept. It doesn’t model classics or try to be anything it’s not. Instead, it presents you with a versatile delay and reverb combination that you can tweak in a lot of different ways. This lets you create your own ideal spatial effect with one simple pedal.
Do you like long reverbs? This pedal gives you up to 2 seconds of delay. That’s almost as long as the Nova. You can tap the tempo using the right footswitch and choose between various subdivisions using the “Ratio” knob. If you hold down the tap switch, the pedal produces a self-oscillating noise that can add a creative quirk to many musical phrases.
The main effect itself is a crisp, high-quality delay that can range from dark to bright depending on where the tone knob faces. The lower two knobs let you add a lush stereo reverb to the repeats and adjust its length. The big “EXP” knob determines which parameter you control if you plug an expression pedal into your Avalanche Run. The rest of the knobs do just what they claim.
There are three different modes which you select with a flip switch in the middle. The reverse mode reverses the repeats but not the reverb, creating a unique, trippy effect. The swell mode pumps the volume according to the volume of the input signal, letting you emphasize hard strokes with more echo. In all modes, the highest decay setting makes the delay go on indefinitely. With each repetition, it degrades a little more until it’s a complete Lo-Fi mess. You can create amazing build-ups and breakdowns with this effect, especially if you use it with an expression pedal. The special Flexi-switch “Activate” footswitch makes this effect even more useful. If you press and hold it down, it only affects the sound for as long as you keep it held down, disengaging when you lift your foot. If you click it the normal way, it toggles the effect on or off the normal way.
A hidden switch lets you switch between true bypass or buffered bypass. This way you can let normal echoes ring out when you want to, and cut them out when you don’t. Whether you play an experimental, psychedelic genre or not, the creative spatial effects of the Avalanche Run will breathe new life into your music. You can make simple, beautiful echoes or crazy noises or anything in between.
Build-wise, it’s sturdy and the circuitry seems great. The stereo input and output jacks in the back can help conserve space on your pedal board.Pros:
- Not the highest sound quality
If you like to experiment with your effects, this is a great choice for you. It’s fantastic for space rock and ambient music in particular.
Electro Harmonix Canyon
This fresh delay pedal from EHX hit the market in 2017. On top of delay, it also offers some reverb and a 62 second looper.
There are 11 modes. “ECHO,” “TAPE,” and “REVRS” are straightforward enough. “MOD” adds a layer of modulation. “DMM” is short for Deluxe Memory Man, and sounds similar to the classic pedal. “MULTI” is a multi-tap delay, letting you divide the delayed signal into one straight delay and one that repeats at a divided or multiplied rate for a rhythmic effect. “OCT” runs the delay through an octaver. “SHIM” gives the echo an airy shimmer. “VERB” adds reverb. “S/H” means sample and hold, a mechanism that’s complicated to explain, but basically causes bit reduction of the signal, giving it a Lo-Fi crunch. “LOOP” activates the looping mode.
Creative control is a bit limited, only letting you adjust the effect level, delay time, and feedback. Since the sounds are already so different, this doesn’t matter much. The range of time settings is vast, from a mere 5ms all the way to 3 whole seconds. That’s really long for a guitar pedal, and you’ll have a hard time finding one that can match this. This thing has as much power and versatility as some pedals twice its size that cost twice as much.
It’s a small, lightweight build without being the least bit flimsy. The switch doesn’t take much force to engage and the LED light is bright enough even outdoors. There are no L/R input/output jacks, but there’s a second input that lets you use an external switch to tap the tempo. It also comes with its own nine volt power supply, adding more value to the already nice price.
The looper is basic but very useful for those who like looping as an occasional special effect rather than a central element of your music. With the convincing retro sounds included, this is perfect for those who like to play various classics in a cover band.Pros:
- Wide variety of sounds
- Great value for the price
- PSU included
- Limited controls
If you want a ‘50s sun records style tape delay, an ‘80s DMM echo, and a modern shimmer all in one place, this pedal covers your needs. Ideal for cover bands.
Behringer Vintage Delay VD400
Behringer are somewhat infamous among many musicians for their cheap, plastic, noisy budget pedals. However, those pedals are far from the only things Behringer makes. And while the price tag might make you think this pedal belongs in that category, it really doesn’t.
Don’t be deceived by its looks or price, this is a true analog delay with a BBD chip. It sounds warm and clean and could rival some of the much more expensive analog delay units. It can produce really subtle effects too, but on the other hand, you can’t push it over the top. So extreme delay lovers may want to look at another pedal. It does produce a bit of noise, but nothing out of the ordinary. It’s true bypass and has no impact on your signal when it’s off.
When it comes to the build, it’s not the best. This is how they make it so cheap. It’s got a plastic casing and the knobs aren’t the most sturdy ones out there. The footswitch is nice and big like on a Boss pedal, but the way it clicks isn’t comparable to brand-name pedals. It runs on a nine volt battery or a Behringer PSU-SB DC power supply, neither of which is included.
The three knobs have unusual names but do familiar things. “Repeat Rate” determines the delay time, which goes up to 300 milliseconds. “Echo” and “Intensity” control the feedback and volume. Being true analog, it lets you play with the parameters while sound goes through without causing any digital artifacts. This is very different from other budget pedals.
If you’re not sure about how much you really need a delay effect, get this one. It won’t cost you much yet it sounds good.Pros
- Amazing price
- Dual input and output options
- Tap tempo compatible
- Low build quality
- Limited sound options
Cheap, easy to use, and it sounds good. These are the best delay pedals for beginners and for analog lovers on a budget.
Empress Effects Tape Delay
Empress Effects isn’t a very well-known guitar pedal manufacturer, but with products like this, they should be.
This delay pedal combines a convincing emulation of tape echo with generous control over the sound. With its excellent sound quality, this is one of the absolute best tape delay pedals on the market. The tape sound is warm and gentle in general, although the three different tape age modes produce different amounts of grit and pitch drift. In other words, it should satisfy all potential tape delay needs. You switch between them with a small flip switch in the top-left corner.
The build is reliable and elegant, not to mention small considering how many features it offers. It’s a true bypass pedal with the option to toggle buffered bypass/trails instead. The dry signal path is true analog and lets the signal pass through more or less spotless.
Other than the commonplace knobs for “mix,” “feedback,” and “output,” it also has a “d time|ratio” dial. This knob can control either the time setting as usual, or the subdivision of the tapped tempo. An additional switch lets you pick between slow, tap tempo, and fast delay times, which affects what the knob setting does. A simple filter switch lets you choose between a lowpass filter (which cuts out the delay treble,) a highpass filter (which cuts out the delay bass,) or an unfiltered signal. This helps ensure clarity of sound by reducing clashing frequencies. There’s one more flip switch, which adds subtle modulation if you flip it to the left or intense modulation if you flip it to the right. This gives the echo a more ethereal, vibrant tone.
The layout and function of the knobs and switches allow for a lot of playful creativity, while remaining super easy to use.Pros:
- Great design
- Intuitive controls
- Amazing sound quality
This is a work of art that doesn’t suit every guitarist. If you love high-end pedals and need one of the very best delay pedals to match the rest of your guitar effect collection, look no further.
Donner Yellow Fall Vintage
Donner is another underdog guitar effect manufacturer. But when it comes to packing a lot of sound into a tiny format with an affordable price tag, this is among the best delay pedals out there.
Unlike the Behringer above, this is a digital pedal. It does sound analog though, which is impressive for this price range. The sound has a distinct character rather than mimicking a well-known classic delay.
It’s got a hard, yellow aluminum casing that seems sturdy despite its tiny size. The rest of the design is simple and straightforward. Single input and output, a classic on/off footswitch, a big time knob, and two small knobs for volume and feedback.
One more noteworthy feature is that it offers true bypass, which is uncommon for pedals this cheap. The overall sound quality is better than most would expect from a pedal like this.
You can power it with either a battery or a nine volt DC power adapter.Pros:
- Small, lightweight build
- Very user-friendly
- Great value for the money
- The parameter knobs are too small for on-the-fly use
- It has a cheap feeling to it
Minimalists who only need a cheap, simple solution should look consider this delay pedal. Audiophiles and those who like sound design should look for something else.
Boss DD-500 Digital Delay
The bigger, badder cousin of the DD-20 Giga Delay pulls no punches. With 96 kHz, 32-bit audio quality and 12 varied delay modes with plenty of parameter control, this is a real studio-grade powerhouse. Between the sheer power and versatile echo capabilities, there are almost no limits to what you can do with this delay pedal.
Starting with the basics, it offers both true bypass and buffered bypass. It’s got a looper built into it, with separate switches for recording, replaying, and stopping the loop. A bright, generous LCD display makes it easy to see what you’re doing, even on stage or in a dark studio. There’s a USB socket for connecting the pedal to your computer, and a MIDI input that lets you affect the pedal with a digital instrument or computer. You also have the ability to customize controls, both external and on-board.
With so many features and controls, it’s a relief to find out that the internal memory lets you save all your favorite sounds. The actual number of memory slots is 297, but nobody uses that many presets. While the control surface may seem complex and cluttered, it’s easy to get familiar with everything in no time and then it’s all intuitive. Four buttons let you navigate the menus and write or overwrite presets. Next to the buttons, you find all the typical control knobs: Feedback, tone, time, effect, and modulation. The modulation is a lush chorus that ranges from subtle to crazy. The time knob is also used for dialing in the values of things in the various menus. Last but not least, you can tap the tempo with the bottom-right footswitch.
What really makes this an amazing delay unit, however, is the selection of delay modes. It features impressive emulations of various classics as well as innovative, modern delay effects. These are the delay modes:
- Standard - Clean, digital delay
- Analog - Emulates classic Bucket Brigade delays like the early Boss DM pedals
- Tape - Produces vibrant emulations of classic tape delays like the Brinson Echorec 2, Maestro Echoplex, and Roland RE-201 Space Echo.
- • Vintage Digital - This mimics those ‘80s digital delay effects, such as Boss DD-2 and Roland SDE-200 and SDE-3000 modules.
- Dual - Uses two delay lines in serial or parallel routing, or in one of three different A/B modes.
- Pattern - Lets you set 16 delays to different times for creative rhythm effects.
- Reverse - A typical backwards delay, but with more control.
- SFX - Produces various crazy special effects, great for psychedelic music.
- Filter - Uses a filter that sweeps across the frequencies or responds dynamically to your touch.
- Slow Attack - Otherworldly echoes that fade in slowly with playing dynamics for an ethereal effect.
- Tera Echo - Huge, vibrant echo effect inspired by the innovative classic Boss TE-2 delay pedal.
As you can see, these modes have multiple sub-modes inside of them. So, rather than 12 different delay effects, you have many more. Plus a lot of creative control over the parameters. And, best of all, a built-in equalizer for even better tone control. This makes it the perfect delay pedal for experimental musicians and those who love tweaking sounds. Guitarists who want a quick and easy fix are better off with something simpler. Note that software updates bring even more amazing options, making the most versatile delay pedal on the list even more versatile.
With such an unbelievable amount of versatility and high quality packed into one single pedal, be prepared for a big price tag. It’s merited, but it’s not for everyone. Also note that it doesn’t come with a power supply, so you need to buy one of those as well unless you have one lying around.Pros:
- Superb sound quality
- Great delay type variety and parameter controls
- Looper and equalizer included
- 297 preset slots
- Great connectivity, including MIDI input for external control
- Very expensive
Other than the price, it’s hard for any pedal to rival the capabilities of this one. If you need something that accommodates more or less every genre and playing style, this is your best option. Crystal-clear echoes, trippy spatial effects, and anything between is at your hands if you get one of these delay pedals. You will never be bored or disappointed with your delay sound.
Dunlop Echoplex Delay
Fans of Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, or Neil Young should pay close attention to this tape delay pedal. And while it looks simple, it’s more than a mere recreation of the classic Echoplex delay. With its different sounds and wide control ranges, it can really define your sound.
It’s small and simple without sacrificing quality or durability. On the surface, you find the three standard knobs and a simple footswitch. One the right side is an input jack, on the left there’s an output jack and an input for a tap tempo switch. The MXR M199 Tap Tempo Switch isn’t included, however.
The Echoplex offers between 40 and 750 milliseconds of delay time. If you use the tap tempo function, you can extend this up to four whole seconds. This is one of the longest delay times on the list. The volume knob does more than increase the volume if you activate the vintage sound switch. First of all, it drives and saturates the signal just like when you run a hot signal onto tape. It also increases modulation, making the delay sound older and more stretched the more you push the volume. You can use this tape effect without echoes too. Just leave the volume high, drop the delay all the way, and turn the sustain up really high. Since the delay is so short, and the tape effect also acts as a limiter, you get a really fat, warm sound.
You can toggle trails to let echoes ring out naturally. You can also toggle stereo TRS. When both are active and you let a note ring out, the sound will swirl and deteriorate in a very cool manner. At high volume and sustain settings, this will create some crazy effects that slowly fade into darkness.
This is not the pedal for those who want a pristine modern pop sound. If you like saturation, modulation, slapback echo, and otherworldly effects, you’ll have a lot of fun with this pedal. Since it allows for very subtle settings, it’s a nice pedal to have on at all times to enhance your overall guitar tone. If you play indie, surf rock, or rockabilly, this is the ideal echo pedal. However, its warm tone fits almost any genre and playing style.Pros:
- Great tape delay sound
- Doubles as saturation pedal
- Easy to use
- Requires external switch for tap tempo functionality
Anyone who loves tape delay of every intensity and quality will love this brilliant pedal from Dunlop.
Boss Waza Craft DM-2W
The Boss DM-2 is one of the most classic delay guitar pedals. The Waza Craft DM-2W reproduces its sound in great detail, but using higher-quality Waza Craft components and adding various improvements that bring it up to date.
It’s tough as a tank with a cool design, and the typical Boss structure makes it very intuitive. Effects-wise, it’s like having two delay pedals in one. A modern BBD line provides a warm tone and a delay time of 20-300 ms. A second mode, called “Custom,” offers a clearer tone and up to 800 ms of delay time. This will grant you anything from a slapback echo to a call-and-response delay in virtually any song.
One of the coolest things about the DM-2W is that it has separate outputs for delay and direct out. This lets you add more effects to the delay without affecting the original signal, or vice versa. Or you could output only the delay. There’s also an expression pedal input that lets you control the delay time while playing. Playing with this feature can make it sound almost like a tape delay.
Three knobs let you shape the sound to your liking. “REPEAT RATE” sets the delay time, “ECHO” and “INTENSITY” determine the feedback and overall volume. Any combination of settings on these dials will produce great sounds, and you have a lot of creative control. However, there are no presets, so you’ll have to remember your favorite settings.
DM-2W is included in the BOSS Collectors club, where you get extra freebies with each pedal you get. You can even get a free pedal when you have four Collector’s club pedals. There’s also a five-year warranty included.Pros:
- Great analog sound with two modes
- Amazing build
- Wide parameter range
- Separate outputs for wet and dry signal
- No presets
This recreation brings one of the best delay pedals of all time into the 21st century with an impressive set of features. A very musical delay, ideal for classic rock and blues.
EarthQuaker Devices Dispatch Master
Here’s a very simple delay that still has a unique twist. It doesn’t emulate anything, and it doesn’t offer multiple modes. Much like the Avalanche Run, it offers delay and reverb in one compact package. This malleable spatial effect lets you simulate huge caverns full of bouncing echoes.
In addition to the usual controls for time, repeats, and mix, you also get a reverb knob. The time knob controls the decay of the reverb as well as the delay time. The “Repeats” knob also affects both effects. The effects become intense very fast when you turn the knobs. That’s not to say that you can’t achieve subtle effects. It’s just that the huge space effects are its forte.
It’s a true bypass pedal and leaves your dry signal intact. The build quality isn’t the best, but it’s not bad either. The footswitch is sturdy yet forgiving. This pedal has single input and output jacks and a socket for the nine volt power supply.
Despite its minimalist design, the sound quality is good and the effects themselves sound amazing. The only downside is the lack of a tempo feature. This is an ideal stompbox for those who want a powerful reverb and decay combination in one user-friendly pedal. You can get powerful slapback echoes and really lush sounds out of it, and no matter how you set the dials it never sounds bad.Pros:
- Small and simple
- Reverb included
- Great creative control
- Limited delay options
While it’s not the most advanced delay, the included reverb and great customization capabilities make this a great pedal for those who love big sounds. Rock and pop guitarists will love it.
Zoom MS-70CDR Multistomp
If you like the combination of delay and reverb, why not also get a chorus effect in the same pedal? Unlike those elaborate but questionable multi-effects that Zoom are famous for, this one gives more focus to a selected effect combo. And it does it well.
It’s still more than a 3-in-1 delay. You get a noise gate and a simple equalizer as well. This is great for clearing up a noisy signal chain with many pedals, and for general sound sculpting. There’s also a tap tempo function, and a trails feature so your effects fade naturally when you disengage the pedal.
When it comes to build quality, it’s better than other similar pedals. It’s a sturdy metal design with a firm footswitch and solid controls. It’s a convenient shape and size for pedal boards, and it’s very portable. A small LCD display lets you see what you’re doing, and there are separate inputs and outputs for the left and right signal.
There are 26 delay presets. For each one, you can adjust the usual parameters using the three knobs by the screen. The parameter ranges are about average, letting you dial in both long call-and-response delays and slapback echoes. Using the EQ gives you great tone control and can save you from a cluttered mix. The four buttons around the bypass switch let you navigate various menus, and the three knobs do various things depending on which menu you’re looking at. The display makes it clear what affects what, so it’s very easy to use.
In addition to the delay, you get 29 reverb presets and 16 chorus presets. This lets you create huge, lush spatial effects. If you’re a solo musician, this creates a nice backdrop and fills out the soundscape, making you sound like a one-man orchestra. Or you can use subtle settings for these effects to simply breathe more life into your guitar tone.
As for the negatives, the delay options are very limited and audiophiles may find the sound quality a bit lacking.Pros:
- Great value for the price
- Stereo input and output
- Other effects included
- Easy to use
- Somewhat inorganic, digital sound
- Limited delay options
This is an affordable, portable pedal that fits on any pedalboard and gives you a lot of effects to play with. Unless you crave high-quality sound, the value and convenience of this pedal is hard to beat.
How do you want your echo to sound? If your answer is “ethereal,” you’re looking at a great option. It’s another 2-in-1 pedal with delay and plate reverb.
The design is great, with a hard metal casing and top-mounted input and output jacks that help conserve space. Less cable clutter is always good, especially on a pedal board. The circuitry offers relay true bypass switching, sparing your dry signal from any impurities.
Despite only offering one delay type and one reverb algorithm, the vast parameter control lets you turn it into a myriad of different spatial effects. The delay and reverb can work together or each on their own, but the interplay between them is what makes this one of the best delay pedals out there. You can create dark, dank cave spaces, shimmery clouds of echo, and anything in between. The trails switch lets you choose whether to cut the effect off or let it fade when you step on the main footswitch.
You get up to one second of delay time, and there’s also an additional delay line that plays rhythmically with the first one. You can set it to four different subdivisions using the central flip switch. This way you can get syncopated echoes like the popular “quarter notes and dotted eighths” combination. At extreme time settings, the two effects blend together, literally blurring the lines between delay and reverb.Pros:
- High quality build
- Good creative control
- Reverb included
- Only one delay type
For those who love spatial effects, this is a top choice. Ideal for ambient music.
Mooer Reecho Pro Twin
This odd-looking delay pedal has a few tricks up its sleeve.
First of all, there are six different delay effects. “Digital” is a straightforward digital delay. “Analog” is a warm, analog emulation. “Real Echo” emulates a real spatial echo. “Tape Echo” is a full tape delay emulation. “Tube echo” adds tube saturation to the delay. “Galaxy” is an effect that works by cutting out the sound before the effect tone to create a space effect. There are three additional effects on top of the delay. These are “Mod,” which adds chorus-like modulation to the echo; “Reverse,” which plays the echo backwards; and “Dynamic,” which pumps the volume to follow the input signal.
The last mode is “Loop,” which turns the pedal into a looping unit. You can record up to 20 seconds and you get unlimited overdubs. Due to the two footswitches, it’s easy to record, play, and stop loops. When not in loop mode, the left switch lets you tap the tempo, while the one on the right turns the effect on and off. Pressing down both switches for three seconds will save your tone, and doing it again will recall the saved tone.
Each delay mode has its uses, they’re not the pointless novelty presets you might expect from a multi-delay pedal. The sound quality is also great, at 44.1 kHz with a 32-bit sample accuracy. The “hi cut” and “lo cut” knobs let you attenuate the treble and bass to sculpt the sound for the mix. You also get separate knobs for dry and wet volume, so you can make this effect as massive or subtle as you want. The “P.PONG” button, in particular, makes the sound very big as the repeats bounce left and right. This is possible because of the stereo input and output sockets. You can also activate trails for smooth transitions or keep it off to remove excessive echo.
The time and feedback knobs behave as expected and allow a wide range of settings without getting too crazy.
It has a sturdy metal casing, yet remains a convenient size and weight about a pound. You need a nine volt power adapter to power this pedal.Pros:
- Six good-sounding delay modes
- Great design
- Good creative control
- Looper included
- Doesn’t include power supply
This is a great choice for those guitarists who want a selection of classic and creative delay effects along with a looper in one convenient package. It’s perfect for ambient music.
Donner Echo Square
Another budget pedal from Donner. This one, however, is a lot more elaborate.
First of all, you get seven delay modes. They’re familiar faces by now. There’s Digital, Analog, Tape, Mod, Sweep, LoFi, and Reverse. They sound as you’d expect do nothing out of the usual. You can also switch between the “Normal” and “Treble” modes, so it’s almost like having twice as many delay modes. You can control the delay time, feedback, and effect mix with each corresponding knob.
It’s a compact, lightweight pedal with a full metal shell and mono input and output. The true bypass footswitch seems sturdy. A big LED indicator is a big plus, making it easy to see the working state. However, there’s no power adapter included.
When it comes to the sound, it’s not bad at all. The analog delay has a dark, warm tone to it, while the tap is smooth with a subtle warble. The chorus of the mod mode adds a nice depth to the tone without drowning the tone or getting cheesy. Overall, it’s a good, versatile delay pedal that will satisfy most guitarists. It’s great for a budget pedal.Pros:
- Durable build
- Great value for money
- Great variety of sounds
- No tap tempo
- The footswitch can put up a bit of a fight
If you’re looking for a cheap delay that gives you a lot of different sounds, this could be the best delay pedal for you.
How about nine different delay algorithms in one neat package? That’s exactly what this delay pedal offers.
In a durable aluminum alloy die cast casing, to be more specific. It’s not very heavy, but it doesn’t feel like a cheap toy either. The circuit is true bypass so you get a pristine signal when you click the responsive footswitch off. It has the three typical parameter knobs and a mode selector. Other than the mono input and output jack and the PSU jack, there’s nothing more on the surface of this delay stompbox.
Most of the delay modes are nothing new. There’s digital, analog, classic, tube, tape, and rev. They sound like most other pedals with similar modes. There are three interesting ones though. “Fluctuant” has a cool volume variation. “Gradual” reduces the sample rate of each repetition, turning long echoes into a lovely Lo-Fi mess. “Sweep” has a resonant filter sweeping up and down the frequency spectrum.
It’s a versatile pedal that’s quite impressive for its price range. It has tap tempo functionality and wide parameter spans. The downside is that it doesn’t take batteries and doesn’t come with a power supply.Pros:
- Sturdy build
- Great value for money
- Wide selection of delay effects
- Doesn’t take batteries and there’s no PSU included
If you need a cheap, simple pedal that’s still very versatile, this is a great candidate. Ambient guitarists, in particular, will enjoy this delay stompbox.
What to Look For in a Delay Pedal
As tends to be the case with musical equipment, there are many different types of delay pedals with different sounds and controls, and it’s important to know the main strengths and weaknesses to pay attention to.
Here are the main important features of the best delay pedals you should understand and look for when picking one out.
Digital vs Analog
First things first, the two primary types of pedals are digital and analog. Their strengths and weaknesses are very different, and which one is best is a matter of preference.
Most people do prefer one over the other, whether it’s for the sake of sound quality, simplicity, feeling, or creative freedom.
Analog pedals use actual mechanical components to achieve the sound effects you seek. This makes the signal sound more “real” or “natural,” with a certain warmth to it. Many people prefer this sound because it’s smoother and more organic.
The downside is that the equipment can be very bulky and sensitive. It may take time to warm up, or produce inconsistent results. The main limitation is how much of the effect it can produce, and how much you can change the tone of the effect. Analog guitar pedals tend to be simpler and less versatile than digital ones, but they retain more of the characteristic guitar sound.
Digital pedals achieve similar effects by transforming the audio signal into digital data and modifying it before converting it back into analog sound and outputting it. This can conserve a lot of space and it also opens up many new possibilities for sound modulation and creative control. On the other hand, it can cheapen the sound and take some of the life out of it. However, some people prefer the digital sound over analog tones.
The delay effect has been around for a long time and people have found many ways to create it. Each classic type has a distinct sound. Modern digital effects often mimic these, using the name of the original technology to describe the sound.
Tape delay is the oldest of them all. This used to involve copying actual magnetic tape and offsetting the timing to simulate an echo. Then came pedals and modules that recorded and replayed the tape to make it easier and give more options for fine-tuning the sound.
Magnetic tape does some interesting things to sound that younger readers may not be familiar with. The format introduces a warm saturation and slight compression effect that people tend to love. It also creates a slight wobble, known as “flutter and wow,” as the tape stretches.
The beautiful, dreamy sound of tape delay is still a mainstay in many types of modern music. Indie and ambient, in particular, are rich in tape delay. While pedals that use actual tape still exist, they’re rare, expensive, and quite tricky to use. There’s no shortage of digital modulations that do a good job.
Dub delay uses a send circuit where the signal repeats a number of times, losing volume and often sound quality over time for a nice fading echo effect. Early delays of this type, like the classic Roland Space Echo, gave rise to the dub genre.
Ping pong delay takes a stereo signal and flips the left and right signals to make the sound bounce from side to side.
These are the most distinct and important delay effect styles. Many modeling delays offer emulations of multiple types of delay. This is great for those who don’t have a favorite or who want the ability to use different types of echoes for different songs or parts of songs.
Getting an authentic analog delay or specialized high-end digital replication will grant a much better sound in general. If you prefer versatility and creative freedom, a multi-modeling delay is better. It’s almost like having all the best delay pedals of yesteryear in one unit.
In addition to the sound the pedal produces, there are other features that set the best delay pedals aside from the competition. These can vary a lot and come in different forms.
These are the most important features to understand and look out for.
Setting a specific tempo for the repetitions is very practical, and some music styles depend on it. It also makes it easier to avoid crowding the mix with stacking echoes.
One common way to achieve this is with a tap tempo function. You tap a switch to the beat of the music and the delay adapts to this tempo. It can be hard for beginners to get just right, especially with a small footswitch, but it produces the most organic result.
Other designs let you set an exact tempo (in beats per minute) using a knob or button. This makes it easy to get the timing exact, although some may find the perfection a bit too robotic and stale sounding.
Not all delay pedals have a stereo signal. Ones that do can offer different stereo effects and controls over them.
Delay pan lets you play an echo on one side. More advanced ones can play one delay on the left and another delay with different settings on the right. Stereo offset delays the echo slightly on one side for a wider stereo sound, while ping pong makes the sound bounce back and forth.
Many delay units offer a basic filter or two so that you can emphasize or attenuate specific frequencies. This helps set the echo apart from the main sound and avoid flooding the mix, and it can sound more natural as well.
Dialing in the right sound every time can be frustrating. Especially if you’re new to delay and unable to get the sound just right, or if you like to use different sounds while playing.
Digital pedals often let you save combinations of settings for later use. They also tend to come pre-packaged with professional presets from leading sound designers or famous musicians.
The number of preset slots varies between pedals, and many offer none at all.
Looper units have become a popular feature of modern music making. The biggest advantage is that you can play many complex layers without a band, taking both solo jamming and street performance to another dimension. While standalone looping pedals tend to give you better sound and control, having one built into a delay pedal is really convenient. Especially if you only need simple looping. The two effects are very synergistic.
Different designs have different ways of handling a deactivated effect processor. Older and cheaper pedals may color the sound a lot even when turned off, although most pedals these days are true bypass. True bypass uses a separate circuit, often analog, to let the sound pass through unaffected, although differences in circuit quality affect how well this actually works. The only downside to true bypass is that it cuts off any remaining delay or reverb tails when you deactivate the effect.
To deal with this problem, some developers implement something called buffered bypass. This feature lets the sound ring out in a natural manner while any new input comes out clean. Some pedals let you toggle this function on or off to taste with a switch that’s often called “trails.”
Final Thoughts on the Best Delay Pedals in 2018
Whether you want a spacious echo effect to liven up your tone, a slapback to get the right vintage sound, or a call and response delay to make your lead phrases more fun, a good delay pedal will take your musicianship to new heights. Even a great guitarists playing tends to sound sounds small and stale without at least a little bit of delay. It breathes life into music, making it sound more three-dimensional.
Having read this article, you should find it easier to choose between the best delay pedals on the market. If you still haven’t found your favorite, give it some more thought. Determine what features you really want, what your price range is, and which qualities are more important to you. Then look over the list again.
Don’t delay your decision, only delay your guitar signal.