eric's gear page


Type: Delay

I guess it's not too outlandish to assert that I am more obsessed with echo than with any other type effect. For example, it's not unusual for someone to have three distortion pedals on their pedalboard; it is very unusual to have three delay pedals (my board stocks two delay pedals and a reverb). I love echoes. Well used echoes fill in all the empty parts of a song, create ghosts behind corners, fly off into space, show up and play next to you during solos, play counterpoint in rhythm, thicken, distort, digress, (similarly, poorly used echoes sound like a useless mess)... They're even great when they go away-- switching from something that echoes and reverberates so something completely dry can hit like a hammer, nailing a dramatic change that wouldn't be nearly as effective were the delay not present in the first place.

The main flavors of delay are Digital, Analog, and Tape, and, I'll be honest, I've never owned a tape echo unit-- they're very expensive, require a bit of maintenance, and are (by pedal standards) huge, so they're not very practical for me. I have owned several analog and digital delays, though, and the hype surrounding them both is incredible. The people who swoon over analog delays simply because they are analog (so warm! so much better than digital!) are often overlooking that they are using a cheap, shitty pedal, which ruins their tone when bypassed and, no matter how "warm" the echoes are, their uneffected tone underneath now sounds terrible. Similarly, some people gush about digital delays (noise? no way, it's digital-- what you get out is an exact copy of what you put in) will somehow not notice that their signal is converted from analog to digital, processed, and then converted back to analog at the pedal's output, which, in a lot of cheaper pedals (and some expensive ones I could mention) completely alter the sound, can often have digital quantization noise, and generally sound awful.

In my opinion, all three types of echo have merit, and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. But a pedal will not sound good simply because it's digital or analog, it will sound good because it is well designed, with real care taken by the pedal maker to have the effect sound as good as it possibly can.

Delay Pedals

Akai E-1 Headrush
Empress Superdelay
Arion SAD-3 Analog Delay
Boss DD-5 Digital Delay
Digitech XP-1000 (jetpackmods)
Delta Lab Effectron JR 1050
Digitech Digidelay
Electro-Harmonix Holy Grail
Guyatone MD-3 Micro Delay
Jacques Prisoner
Line6 Echo Park
Omnifex Analog Delay


Pedal Builders

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