Ever witnessed a hot debate among guitar players? Well, just make your opinion about the “best delay pedal”. Or make it even worse and specify whether the digital delay or analog delay is the superior one.
Well, in this post, I will outline the best delay pedals for guitar, particularly those for different budgets and tastes.
Top 5 Best Delay Pedals for Guitar Comparison Table
Best Delay Pedals for Guitar 2018
1. MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay (600ms Delay)
There came a time in my guitarist career that I needed warm analog delay, which I found it in the amazing MXR M169 Carbon Copy: the Best Delay Pedals for Guitar.
This pedal is great for analog tone that I would consider as “subtle,” and “full.”
The analog delay includes the retro-bucket brigade. I would definitely consider the MXR M169 Carbon Copy as the victor among all the digital and analogue delay pedals for your guitar. Its delay time is 600ms.
As a real analog pedal, taking the MXR M169 Carbon Copy implies that you’ll give up some extra features such as tap tempo and looping. It’s highly usable due to its large knobs and hence easy to dial in the settings using the toe while playing. It has three knobs: DELAY, MIX and REGEN (controlling delay or repeats, delay level, and toggles modulation respectively).
However, MXR M169 Carbon Copy will not work for all guitar players. For example some players could want more crisp and clear tone that only the digital de can produce.
Line 6 DL4 Stompbox Delay modeler is both a digital delay plus a looper with a 14 seconds delay time.
It has sixteen echo and vintage delay effects. It’s a great stompbox that offers digitally modeled effects. It has Space Echo, EP-3 solidstate Echoplex, and EP-1 Tube Echoplex among other delays.
It provides a variety of sounds such as instantaneous reverse delay, tape loop echo, and tube driven. Line 6 DL4’s Loop Sampler has fourteen sec for memory plus 800ms for Pre-delay and includes a reverse and half speed overdubbing. Line 6 DL4 is highly simple to use with the full programmable sound controls for stage and studio.
I loved that the DL4 delay pedal is rugged and flexible. It has amazing sounds like the Auto-Volume Echo that couples a tape-style echo and the volume swell. Further, it has 4 footswitches that you’ll use to save and recall sounds. Also, the 6 knobs will be helpful to select models and change various parameters.
Using DL4 Delays
What’s a Delay Pedal?
In music terms, delay pedals are popular effects pedals that you can use to enhance your sound or even alter it by playing with various chords and riffs.
But what is delay? Well, delay may be described as the audio effect and the effects unit that would record the input signal to the designated medium (audio storage) and replays it after some time.
Further, you can now play the delayed signal either on recording or played it back many times. The tuner pedal and the delay pedal must be among the first two pedals you purchase when starting your guitar career. Therefore, as noted above the delay pedal will simply play back various notes you play.
Desirable Delay Pedal features
Right off, I have to state that the “analog vs digital” question will be the most significant consideration you’ll have to make while shopping for the guitar Delay Pedal. This is in addition to considering cost, size, and quality of the delay pedals for guitar.
So, which is which: analog or digital delay pedals for guitar? Well, the analog or digital consideration is related to circuitry that produces the delay.
Analog Delays came during the 1970s when many of the pedalboards had an analog reverb and delay. Like its name suggests, an analogue delay employs the analog circuitry top create its delay effect. Building from its simplicity, the digital delays were innovated to extend beyond the basic controls.
But what is unique about the analog delays over the digital delays? Well, analog delays have some unique features that would be difficult to get with the digital delays. For example, analog delays will give you the highly organic tone and simple basic effect.
However, with the analog delays, replaying the effect would lead to imperfections and coloration. Further, analog delays tend to produce shorter delay times compared to the digital delays.
However, feeding distorted or thick sound to the analog delay pedal could lead to reproduction of harmonics at each repeat and hence lead to poor sound outcomes.
Compared to the analogue delays, digital delay allows sharp precision at a reasonable cost. Further, digital delays have different modes that enable improved room to create an amazing tone with the guitar. Notably, digital delays re controlled though some pure logic from computer chips.
Digital Delay will not have sound coloration like the analogue delay and it more flawless since it is algorithmic in nature. Depending on the guitarist’s requirements, they’d want to choose the digital delay because it’s more versatility and it produces longer delay times. Therefore, it’s possible to process the delays with different effects such as tap tempo and reverse echo.
So much of that, which is which analogue or digital delay?
Ultimately, the debate of the choice of analogue or digital delay finds itself to the rig you have and your personal taste. Notably, digital delay is favored for by guitarists for its
attractive additional features & higher versatility while analog delay is best for simplicity, warmth and quality.
Therefore, for a dirty signal and when you need long delays, digital delay would be effective since it won’t incorporate unwanted surprises in each repeat.
Digital delay pedals offers increased with capabilities such as reverse and looping. However, if you’ll not require a long delay, then the analog delay would be appropriate for you since it incorporates warmth and character; this is suitable if you have a clean signal.
I am a 36-year-old trained audio engineer, music producer, and Guitar player; passionate about all things music.
I can track bass, guitars, keyboards, and drums and can also program drums. I mix and master with high-end plugins such as Waves, Audiority, Blue Cat, HOFA, etc