Best Delay Pedals for Guitar: Top 5 (For Home & Live Gigs)
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There's no denying it. A great delay pedal can make your guitar playing sound super lush.
But which one do you go for? There are some fantastic sounding delay effect pedals out there, but there are also some pretty naff ones.
There is no need to worry about which is the best delay effects unit for your individual needs. Why? Because we've done the leg work for you by finding the five best pedals out there today.
So take a look at the top delay fx units that'll improve your guitar playing sound and make practice time more fun. Who wouldn't want that?...
You can't argue with TC Electronic. They certainly know how to make a darn good delay pedal, and this is shown in the Flashback. TC's ace sounding delay pedal contains some of the most legendary delay sounds around.
Classic TC 2290 delay, ping pong, analogue and tape delay are just a few of the 11 quality delays you'll get in this pedal. Save yourself time by using the handy 'TonePrint' feature, which allows you to import custom made sounds by a bunch of famous guitarists.
Practice your solos and melody playing over chord progressions and unleash your inner creative player using the Flashbacks 40-second looper. Useful.
Get studio-quality sounds and solid build quality in this one small stompbox delay. We feel that anyone serious about guitar effects pedals need a TC Electronic on their board. The Flashback is a bang on place to start.
- 11 delay types including looper - expansive delay options from subtle repeat to total time-warp
- Tap tempo - set delay times by picking or strumming your guitar
- TonePrint technology gives you instant access to custom pedal sounds made by top guitarists
- 40-second looper with infinite sound on sound recording
- Analog-Dry-Through circuitry helps preserve the analog tone
- Spillover on/off switch gives you super-smooth and natural transitions between sounds
- Delay Time, Feedback, and FX Level controls
- 6 seconds delay
Power: 9V battery (included) and DC Adaptor (sold separately)
You'll love: The clever way the TonePrint feature works via computer or the free app. Simply choose the sound you want, hold your phone next to your pickup and bang...it goes straight into the pedal
You might not dig: Tap tempo used on the fly can be tricky because the pedal doesn't mute straight away
From bedroom noodler to touring session guitarist, guitar players trust and respect Boss for a reason. They make bloomin' great guitar pedals. The upgraded DD-8 Delay pedal won't disappoint these expectations.
The compact and robust DD-8 will make your guitar sing thanks to the modulation mode for a chorus-like delay to classic analogue delay mode. It's easy and user friendly to get your head around too.
The stereo outputs on the pedal give you the chance to go wild with stereo effects such as left to right sweep panning. Couple this feature with the nifty 40-second looper and imagine the immense layers of sounds you can create - perfect excuse to get lost in your guitar playing if ever we heard of one.
The Boss DD-8 is great fun, sturdy, and not too expensive. A real winner, in other words.
- Modulation Delay mode with chorus-type delay sound
- Analog Delay mode with classic rounded BOSS DM-2 analog delay sound
- Upgraded delay time of up to 6.4 seconds
- Loop function with 40 sec record time
- Delay time, feedback, and effect level can be controlled via external expression pedal (sold separately)
- Tap tempo controlled by external foot switch
- Durable and quality build construction
Power: 9V battery (included) and DC Adaptor (sold separately)
You'll love: The bomb proof build quality Boss are known for
You might not dig: An extra foot switch is needed to use the tap tempo feature
With its straightforward layout and ability to fine-tune delay times within the millisecond, the Vox StompLab pedal is an excellent buy if you're after your first delay pedal.
And unlike a few other delay pedals on the market, the tap tempo feature is right there and ready for you to use via the first integrated footswitch.
The StompLab is much more than just a delay pedal; you get a vast 103 types of modelling effects, including modulation, delay and reverb options, which means replicating that delay sound from your favourite guitar parts will be a breeze.
With the ability to edit and save 20 of your own user programs, you'd be barking mad to overlook the StomLab.
- Combine Loop and Delay effects simultaneously
- 120 memory slots with 20 editable
- 44 amp emulations
- Modelling of vintage delay effects such as analog BBD devices and tape echo
- Rugged enough to use on stage
- Super low price tag
Power: AA battery x 4 and DC Adaptor
You'll love: The famous song presets included. Plug in and play away
You might not dig: Some users have moaned about the manual being rubbish.
The Memory Boy is based around the iconic 1970's Memory Man pedal and is a mouth-warteringly juicy sounding analogue delay as a result.
The Memory Man made the Edge's most iconic delay sounds (listen to "Sunday Bloody Sunday"), and you can get pretty much the same sounds from the less pricey Memory Boy.
Because Electro-Harmonix likes to design their effects based on sounds from famous musicians and well-known songs, you're sure to recognise a few sounds when you start having a play.
The four controls (delay, depth, blend & feedback) make using the pedal easy and quick. Select between the Vibrato or Chorus modulation rates and create quirky or classic delay effects to make your guitar sound anything from rockabilly to psychedelic.
Want to tweak your sound even more? You can always add an external footswitch to control delay time and mod rate.
- All analog delay with Feedback
- Up to 550ms delay time
- Selectable Chorus or Vibrato modulation rates
- Choose between triangle or square modulation waveforms
- Expression pedal control of delay time or modulation rate (expression pedal extends the range of modulation rate)
- Robust industrial-like appearance
Power: 9V battery and DC Adaptor (included)
You'll love: The characteristic dark and depraved delay sounds
You might not dig: Limited delay time compared to some other similar priced pedals
5. Dunlop Carbon Copy Analog Delay Guitar Pedal
If you're after a warm analogue delay sound that's simple to use, the MXR Carbon Copy is your man. It has a tiny footprint, is cheap as chips to boot and has an impressive 600ms of delay time for you to have fun with.
From rock 'n roll style slapback echo on your riffs to rhythmic repeats on your solos, the Carbon Copy delivers what many users have described as genuine analogue warmth. Well, it does have a purely analogue audio path and true hardwire bypass, so no wonder it sounds so sweet.
The dark green spark finish makes the pedal stand out from the competitors on looks alone. But the Carbon Copy isn't just a beauty; she sounds fantastic too. Winning combo.
- Pure warm analog delay
- Up to 600 milliseconds of delay time
- Modulation controls emulate tape echo tones
- True bypass with bright led
- Controls for delay time, mix (dry/wet blend), and regen (delay repeats), optional modulation via a top-mounted switch
- Controls: Mod switch, Delay time, Mix, Regen
- Small and compact size
Power: 9V battery and DC Adaptor
You'll love: The warm vintage analog tones other digital delay pedals struggle to achieve
You might not dig: The power input is in an annoyingly close place to the 1/4 inch jack input meaning it could potentially be tricky to place on your pedal board
Summing it Up
So, you can improve your guitar sound and lose yourself in hours of playing fun by getting a delay pedal off this list.
You don't need any more reasons to justify adding one of the most inspiring guitar effects pedals to your gear list. Just go for it. We salute your good taste.