Top 23 Best Delay Pedals for 2019

 

Best Guitar Effects is back with a round-up of the 23 Best Delay Pedals available in 2019. The market is filled with delays, and we wanted to narrow things down to the pedals that really stand out. We’ll start with a short guide to delay pedals and the types available and then showcase our definite list of the very pedal delays out there.

 

What Is Delay?

Delay is an effect that records audio and plays it back after a period of time. The sound may be played back once or multiple times or played into the recording again to create the sound of repeating, decaying echoes.

 

Do I Need A Delay Pedal?

Delay is typically used to add more texture to a soundscape by filling in the spaces between your playing with more sound. Delay can be used to create the impression that multiple instruments are playing at the same time or used to add more rhythmic interest to your guitar parts. Being able to create additional layers of instrumentation by delaying your playing offers inspiring new possibilities that go beyond what can be achieved with a dry guitar alone.

 

Delay Vs Reverb

While a reverb pedal produces ambient reflections of your playing, a delay pedal produces repeats of your playing. These effects are similarly used to manipulate the time and space where your playing occurs, and they’re both often used at the end of the signal chain. Some newer hybrid delay/reverb pedals even combine both effects in one pedal for greater creative flexibility.

 

Using Delay With Reverb

It’s common to place a delay before a reverb, but sometimes it can be worth experimenting with reversing the order of these effects. Putting a reverb after a delay can create a space for your delayed signal to sit in, but putting a delay after a reverb can make the reverb sound even bigger and longer by adding more texture to a reverb and extending its decay. Experiment to find the best result for your music!

 

Types of Delay

There are many types of delay and ways to achieve such effects, but these are some of the most common styles of pedal you’ll find in modern guitar pedals.

 

Tape – Tape delay is an early delay effect used in audio recordings originally achieved by creating tape loops on reel-to-reel recording systems. Commercially available tape delay units included the Echoplex and Roland Space Echo. (The sounds of the Binson Echorec can be argued to fall into this category sonically although it used an analog magnetic drum recorder instead of tape to achieve its echoes.) Some pedal builders have attempted to create tape delay sounds using actual tape, but you’ll most commonly find modern tape delay sounds using DSP to recreate convincingly authentic tape echo sounds.
Best for: vintage tonality, spacious echoes, characterful delays

 

Analog – Analog delay pedals typically use BBD (Bucket-Brigade Device) chips to achieve delay effects. Such pedals are usually characterized by a warmer, darker, and more “colored” sound. They’re also typically noisier than digital delays; however, some builders have made great strides towards minimizing the noise and other drawbacks inherent in older analog delay pedals. A few classic examples of analog delays are the Boss DM-2 and Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man which originally used Panasonic MN3005 BBD chips.
Best for: warmer tones, classic delay pedal sounds, old-school mojo

 

Digital – “Digital delay” as a style of delay is typically known for achieving more authentic repeats of your playing, reproducing the sound and nuances of your original audio signal. They’re cleaner, quieter, and brighter sounding than analog delays although many digital delays seek to emulate the sound of analog pedals. While earlier digital delays often simply used digital IC chips (the Princeton PT2399 is still a popular choice in some modern delays), many modern pedals push the limits of DSP to go beyond what “digital” delays were previously known for. The TC Electronic TC 2290 is a famous digital delay rack unit.
Best for: accurate repeats of source material, clean and bright tones

 

Reverse – Reverse delay simulates the sound of recording audio and playing it backwards. Original reverse tape delay effects can be heard in songs like Are You Experienced? by The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Tomorrow Never Knows from The Beatles’ Revolver album. Delay pedals achieve reverse effects by digital means, playing the digitally recorded audio backwards. Use a fully wet (or “Kill Dry”) setting to simulate classic reverse delay sounds.
Best for: mid/late-60’s reverse guitar sounds, experimental textures

 

Modulated – Most modern delay pedals offer some kind of modulation to apply to your repeats. You’ll see such options on many analog and digital delay pedals, and tape delays often have “wow & flutter” parameters to simulate the warbling of old tape. Essentially, modulation is a separate effect applied to various types of delay, but some guitarists (like The Edge) have made this such an integral part of their sound that it’s worth mentioning as a specific type of delay. It’s typically an optional effect, so you can either reduce “Depth” or deactivate modulation if you prefer a dry delay tone.
Best for: delays with movement and more presence

 

Other Types of Delay – There are many other less common types of delay. Dynamic Delay ducks the volume of the delayed signal when you play. Pitch-Shifted Delay is becoming more common with many pedals offering various types of pitch effects on the repeats. Multi-Tap Delay (or Pattern Delay) offers multiple delay taps, often with various rhythmic placement and positioning in the stereo field. Some pedals offer a Hold or Stutter Delay functionality where repeats can be generated at length for glitchy, stuttering effects. Granular Delay, while more common in VST software plugins than in pedal form, is a style of delay that chops up your signal into pieces and delays them. Most of these obscure delay effects are found in DSP based digital delay pedals, arguably the most flexible type of delay for a wide variety of uses.

 

The pedals that made our list aren’t in order from best to worst, but as the author of this article, I thought it would be fun to start with a few of the newer pedals that have become recent favorites of mine. Regardless of your personal tastes, there should be a pedal here that’s right for you.

Here are the Top 23 Best Delay Pedals of 2019!

 

Strymon Volante

Builder: Strymon, Pedal: Volante, Delay Types: Tape/Drum Echo

The Strymon Volante may be the final word when it comes to DSP emulation of classic Echorec & tape style delay sounds in pedal form. Yes, that is a colossal statement to make, but when you take into consideration the great effort Strymon put in to create a pedal that mirrors the broad range of the sounds that are widely considered among the greatest delay tones of all time, this boast may seem more like reality than fiction.

The greatness of the Volante doesn’t rest only in its own accomplishments – the pedal is a continuation of a strong pedigree and the culmination of everything Strymon has achieved previously in the realm of tape & drum inspired delay effects. The tape delay seeds were planted in Strymon’s El Capistan and the TimeLine’s dTape machine. Then the BigSky, Strymon’s flagship reverb pedal, teased the drum inspired Magneto algorithm. The Deco came later, capturing the early delay effects of studio tape machines. Then Strymon brought the Magneto moniker front and center for their debut multi-head delay Eurorack module. And of course, now there’s the Volante, a further refinement to all of Strymon’s efforts in classic delay inspired effects, setting the bar even higher above everything else that came before in many ways.

The Volante offers 3 delay Types: Drum, Tape, & Studio. Drum is the magnetic echo delay, inspired largely by the legendary Binson Echorec. Tape conjures up classic tape delay sounds; think about the Roland Space Echo RE-201 & RE-501 units. And Studio produces studio style echo akin to reel-to-reel tape machines. While the base Type options do have their own subtle and distinct tonal characteristics, each of these delay modes can be used with the full suite of options onboard Volante. Want a hybrid studio echo with 4 playback heads? You’ve got it.

A plethora of surface control knobs give users open access to a wealth of useful parameters that negate the need for menu-diving. A few highlights are the Rec Level which controls the input feeding into an analog preamp section before it hits the digital processor. The analog/DSP magic happening here helps give the Volante some characteristic saturation and grit as you push the Rec Level up. The Spacing knob (along with the 4 playback heads) lets you dial in an incredibly wide range of repeat spacing variations which is especially unique when set in the areas between the Even, Triplet, Golden, & Silver settings. The Low Cut is great for maintaining low end clarity, and Wear reduces the fidelity of the playback medium to darken up the tonality of your delays. The Mechanics knob dials in a variety of mechanical defects, adding movement and lo-fi irregularities to your sound. And that Spring knob adds a very respectful spring reverb into the mix for some classic ambience that compliments the delays very well.

All the most essential parameters are accessible via the surface, so you likely won’t have to consult the user manual over and over again to access unlabeled hidden parameters needed for general functionality. The result is a tactile, interactive interface that allows intuitive exploration of sounds. (But there are some extra bells and whistles below the surface including the useful Spring Reverb Decay, a particularly helpful “Live Edit Function” for getting your reverb sounding just right, and it’s easily accessed by pressing and holding Feedback buttons 1 & 4 while turning the Spring knob–you’re welcome.)

While the features and controllability seem to set the Volante up to be a very capable and solid delay pedal at the very least, what makes it really shine is how great it sounds. Once you’ve set up a nice rhythmic delay and start playing into it, it’s hard not to be mesmerized by the journey this pedal takes you on. Push up the Repeats, and just listen to how the pedal oscillates and morphs the texture of your echoes. The way the Volante responds to the sound of your guitar’s various pickup settings is just awe inspiring; it’s interactive and lush, simply a joy to play in every way. Volante can be subtle and complementary or a deep instrument unto itself that you could use as the basis for your entire sound particularly when you start exploring Volante’s (mono) Sound On Sound capabilities.

And there are tons more features that add to Volante’s arsenal of possibilities. Having 8 onboard presets is nice with the Favorite foot-switch giving you quick access to your go-to favorite. 300 total presets are available via MIDI recall. In fact, Volante’s MIDI implementation is incredibly deep with nearly every conceivable aspect of the pedal able to be controlled remotely via standard 5-pin MIDI or USB. There’s also a multi-function EXP jack which can be used for several interesting things, a couple noteworthy options being parameter expression pedal control or connecting Volante to Strymon’s MultiSwitch Plus for extended performance functionality.

The Volante is a versatile and inspiring pedal and is arguably the new pinnacle of vintage inspired delay pedals.

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Free The Tone Future Factory

Builder: Free The Tone, Pedal: FF-1Y, Delay Type: Dual Digital Delay

Free The Tone have garnered a remarkable reputation for building reliable effects of supreme build quality that are thoughtfully designed to meet the needs of demanding professional musicians. The Flight Time was Free The Tone’s previous digital delay masterpiece, a bold high-fidelity digital delay with a unique retro future aesthetic. (The Flight Time FT-2Y is still in production and appears later in this article.) But Free The Tone are always seeking new sounds and new ways to improve their designs, and the Future Factory RF Phase Modulation Delay is the builder’s latest offering and a very bold foray into uncharted new territory.

The Future Factory offers two independent delay lines that can be stacked in series in mono or run in parallel in stereo. This gives the pedal two distinct ways to approach using the pedal depending on your particular setup, and each of these integration options comes with a compelling set of advantages worth considering.

If you’re running a standard mono rig like probably 90%+ of guitarists, then you’ll enjoy having two independent digital delay lines that cascade into each other in series. Both delay lines can be dialed in together or individually with most parameters being shared between both delays. You can set individual delay times and tap divisions for each delay or just use one delay or the other as needed, placing either in Standby with a dedicated button. The Soft Clipping function applies to one of the delays (and thus is ideal for mono use) and can saturate your delayed signal in a pleasing way with a hint of overdriven grit. Even at extreme settings, you’ll notice a dynamic drive response and can control the breakup with your pick attack. And in mono the Pan controls actually add a tremolo effect to one of the delay lines, giving you some extra moment that you can also combine with the pedal’s majestic modulation.

Stereo guitarists will find an entirely separate digital delay experience that really shines thanks to Free The Tone’s impeccable attention to sonic detail. Having two delays with different divisions/delay times panned hard left and right already creates a big stereo sound. Add in some modulation and things get more lush. Then activate the “RF Phase Modulation”, and your playing dynamics will trigger changes in the stereo modulation movement for more ear-catching interest. This already sounds very expansive, but there’s more. The stereo panning option gives the delays an even more stratospheric quality, creating big spacious movement that will liven up the sound even if you’re using the same delay time and tap division on both the left and right delays. I was a bit skeptical about the necessity of all these features, but the sheer beauty of the sounds coming from this pedal validates all of the effort Free The Tone put into it. It’s very much worth exploring.

Tone obsessed guitars will appreciate the immaculate quality of the Future Factory, comparable in caliber to Free The Tone’s venerable Flight Time pedals. And if you want deeper control of your delay tone, both delays have dedicated 3-band EQs with a few options on each band for setting the Frequency focus point. And the delay lines have general Tone controls as well. This gives guitarists a huge tool-kit for dialing in perfect delay tones that will sit nicely in a mix during performance and in the studio.

There are plenty of other useful features–128 presets (4 recallable via the Tap foot-switch), phase inversion, trails, deep MIDI control, and more. But arguably the single biggest selling point is that the Future Factory sounds phenomenal, and is definitely in that top handful of the most inspiring digital delay pedals around.

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Seymour Duncan Dark Sun

Builder: Seymour Duncan, Pedal: Dark Sun, Delay Types: Digital Delay + Reverb

The Seymour Duncan Dark Sun is one of the most surprising delay pedals I’ve played in 2019. I can’t say enough that it really caught me off guard. It was designed in collaboration with Mark Holcomb of the band Periphery to be a song-writing companion, the kind of pedal that you can plug into and immediately get inspiring ambient sounds to propel your creative endeavors. And how the Dark Sun succeeds in its mission is what makes it so compelling.

The Dark Sun is a hybrid “Digital Delay + Reverb” pedal. The combo of delay and reverb in one pedal already puts the Dark Sun ahead of most delay pedals that only offer delay and no reverb. But it wouldn’t matter if the sound quality wasn’t on point, and fortunately, the Dark Sun shines in this area.

The Reverb is hall style ‘verb with two controls for Mix & Size to determine how much reverb you’re adding to your signal and how big it sounds. The Reverb can be used with the delays or independently, and it’s flexible enough to offer a short room-like ambience or huge, cavernous reflections. Time was put in here to create the perfect companion piece for the Dark Sun’s myriad delay sounds. And that’s where things get really interesting…

The Dark Sun has an 8-position Delay Mode knob that gives users quick starting points for getting their delays moving. The first four settings are for standard divisional settings including quarter notes, dotted eighths, eighth notes, and triplets. The Pattern setting combines quarter notes and dotted eighths for a classic style of syncopated delay repeats (a sound that’s especially lush with modulation). Then there’s a the Reverse setting, and I want to do a full stop here and say that the Dark Sun contains some of my personal all-time favorite reverse delay sounds. I’ll explain why in a moment. Rounding out the Delay Modes are a Ping Pong delay and a Reverse Ping Pong, both of which sound solid in stereo.

In addition to an expected delay parameter assortment, there are several unique functions available from 6 parameters linked to the Tweak knob. You can apply modulation with Rate & Depth controls and even set the Blend of modulation applied to both the Delay & Reverb. (Tip: crank the Blend to put the modulation only on the reverb and enjoy some epic, haunting modulated hall reverb.) The HPF & LPF are incredibly useful for shaping the tone of both your delay & reverb, rolling off the lows and highs, respectively. I can’t overstate how powerful the filters, particularly the HPF which I find critical for maintaining a tight low-end on both reverb and delay sounds. And finally, the Saturation adds an overdriven element to your wet signal to make things sound a bit dirtier and more lo-fi.

The Dynamic Expression function is a remarkably useful function, ducking and blending in the delay & reverb in response to your playing dynamics. This is the Dark Sun’s secret weapon and the key to unlocking some very unique sounds. The Dynamic Expression is what makes the Reverse Delay so compelling to me. You can set the Reverse to 100% wet for that classic backwards guitar sound, then dial in the Dynamic expression just right to have your picking dynamics heard and have your guitar notes morph backwards. Very cool. And while the Reverb seems to be missing a dedicated pre-delay control, the Dynamic Expression can duck the reverb away from your pick attack to give your guitar room to breathe. These are just two of the many uses you’ll find for this function.

Compared to other hybrid delay/reverb pedals at its price point, the Dark Sun stands competitively in contrast to the rest with its deep feature set, remarkable ease of use, and incredible sounds. And I didn’t even mention the 128 presets, MIDI I/O, optional Trails spillover per preset, and routing functionality (the delay/reverb ordering options being particularly useful).

Yes, the Dark Sun is awesome, perhaps Seymour Duncan’s best pedal offering to date, and it’s easily one of the best delay pedals of the year.

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Red Panda Particle V2

Builder: Red Panda, Pedal: RPL101 V2, Delay Type: Granular Delay

The original Red Panda Particle has been a modern classic for years now, a wildcard delay pedal that offered musicians something weird and different from the typical delay pedals that many builders seem content on hashing out. But many fans of the original Particle (myself included) have long been asking for certain small improvements. Well, Red Panda was listening, and they’ve released what is arguably the ideal version of the Particle concept in the new Particle V2.

The Particle V2 sought to retain all of the functionality and sound design aspects of the original while improving upon its predecessor in just about every possible way. Among the most noteworthy improvements to the Particle is the inclusion of presets, with 4 slots available from the surface of the pedal. The Particle V2 has an incredibly wide range of sounds in its arsenal, and now you can easily save and recall your creations. That alone will be worth the price of admission or upgrade for many.

The Tap/Freeze foot-switch is another huge draw, letting you easily sync your delay tempo (and other parameters) and activate the Freeze function. It’s great to finally have the Freeze on a foot-switch, so you can extend the pulsing choppiness of certain sections and then release the Freeze to let the trails drift away normally. And of course the MIDI functionality is a big deal for many musicians, letting you recall 127 presets and take full control of the Particle V2’s surface parameters and extra functionality (like combining multiple modes together for new sounds). There’s also stereo I/O via TRS jacks, so if you want to place the Particle V2 in between your other stereo pedals, you can.

While the Particle V2 does capture the sounds and modes of the original Particle, there are subtle sonic differences, particularly a more hi-fi quality. The really glitchy sounds seem sharper and tighter, and the pitch shifting is smoother. There’s actually a more organic quality to some of the sounds, in a cybernetic bio-machine kind of way. The Particle V2 is just a far more refined version of Red Panda’s granular delay experience. Also, as Red Panda has done so far with the Tensor, expect to see firmware updates from time to time, some that could add compelling new functionality to the Particle V2.

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Line 6 HX Stomp

Builder: Line 6, Pedal: HX Stomp, Effects Types: Multi-Effects

The Line 6 HX Stomp makes yet another appearance on one of our best pedal round-ups, and it’s here where the pedal arguably deserves the most recognition for how well it excels at a particular type of effect. The HX Stomp comes armed with the full arsenal of classic delay algorithms from the Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler (which is still in production). And the pedal also boasts a staggering amount of modern and updated delay algorithms to cover any of the more common delay needs of modern guitarists. And each of the HX Stomp’s detailed delay algorithms has an assortment of tweakable parameters that ensure you’ll be able to dial in stellar delay sounds, whatever the situation calls for.

The 20 new Helix grade delays and legacy DL4 models give you plenty of sounds to draw upon, but the HX Stomp allows you to run up to 6 effects blocks at a time. So you could run multiple delays in series or parallel, and even combine them with reverb or modulation effects, among other things. While it’s obviously a “multi-effects” pedal, if you approach the HX Stomp specifically with a delay focused mindset, you’ll see that the possibilities of this pedal in that area alone eclipse nearly anything else out there. The HX Stomp is one of the definitive modern guitar pedals currently available, and it’s also one of the best delay pedals as well.

Read The Line 6 HX Stomp Review

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Chase Bliss Audio Thermae

Builder: Chase Bliss Audio, Pedal: Thermae, Delay Type: Analog / Pitch-Shifting

Chase Bliss Audio already pushed analog delay farther than any other builder with the universally acclaimed Tonal Recall and Tonal Recall RKM, and they’ve somehow managed to do it again. The Chase Bliss Audio Thermae is an analog delay and pitch shifter that utilizes 4 MN3005 chips to achieve some unbelievably amazing delay sounds unlike any that have been heard before.

The Thermae is a complex pedal that may initially seem overwhelming not only for delay pedal novices but even those already familiar with Chase Bliss Audio’s other master-crafted pedal designs. But after you wrap your head around the basics, you’ll be in for some of the most original and beautiful sounds you’ll ever hear from a delay pedal… even if you still don’t quite understand exactly how you’re achieving the sounds you’re hearing.

Here’s brief explanation of what the Thermae does and how it works…

With the Int 1 & Int 2 knobs pointed up at noon, you’ll essentially have a standard analog style delay. Instead of setting tempo with a “Delay Time” knob, you tap in your tempo with the left foot-switch. Standard stuff, but it sounds killer. You can use the resonant LPF to sweep the tone all the way down to silence, and pressing and holding the left foot-switch induces self oscillation.

Flipping the Modulation dip-switch on the top of the pedal allows access to the killer mod section. You get controls for mod Speed & Depth, a flip-switch for selecting triangle, sine, and square shapes, and a middle toggle control at adds glitchy warbling anomalies to the modulation for some extra bubbly textures. This is a unique difference from Tonal Recall and Chase Bliss Audio pedals that feature “ModuShape”, and it’s a really fitting addition to the weird sounds Thermae can make.

With the Modulation dip-switch in its normal “Off” position, the Int 1 & Int 2 knobs and their adjacent toggle-switches offer some wild sound design possibilities. The two knobs control a pair of pitch-shifting intervals that range from -2 to +2 octaves. The row of 3 flip-switches will set the tap-division of the delay and 2 sequenced pitch-shifting intervals. The sequence repeats at the tempo set by the Tap Tempo foot-switch (or MIDI Clock/MIDI Taps). The real complexity is in trying to wrap your head around intentionally creating sounds you think you want to hear, but I’d recommend not thinking about it too much and just enjoying the endless happy accidents you’ve stumble into. Just remember to save those discoveries as presets!

The Thermae is without a doubt the most original and innovative release from Chase Bliss Audio and definitely one of the most inspiring pedals to consider if you’re looking for something different than your run-of-the-mill delay pedal.

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Meris Polymoon

Builder: Meris, Pedal: Polymoon, Delay Type: Digital Modulated

This year’s list of the best delay pedals is kicking off with the Meris Polymoon. Meris is a relatively new brand on the pedal scene, but with a series of 3 epic pedals released last year, Best Guitar Effects lauded the fledgling 3-person company as the Best New Pedal Builder of 2017. In short, Meris is doing awesome things, and the Polymoon is one of the boldest delay pedal releases in recent years. So what does it do? Well…

The Polymoon’s sounds range from simple digital delays to a whole signal chain of rack-quality effects stacked in series (with parallel signal processing if you use the pedal in stereo). If you turn the bottom 3 knobs of the pedal all the way to the left, you can use the top 3 knobs to dial in a simple delay sound. It’s solid and usable, and thanks to the Tap Tempo with quarter & dotted eighth note options, it’ll handle most basic delay duties with ease. By pushing the Alt button and turning the Feedback knob, you can use the pedal’s Filter to cut the lows for bright “dubby” delays or roll off the high end for darker, analog flavored repeats.

The bottom 3 knobs make things more interesting. Multiply adds in more delay taps in various patterns. You can use it to achieve ping-pong delays in stereo or patterns that bounce across the stereo field. It still sounds killer in mono, but the Polymoon is a must-try in stereo if your rig can accommodate it. The Dimension knob smears the repeats. At higher settings it can turn your delays into a reverb-like wash; small amounts provide a nice subtle diffusion that gives your delays a more ambient character. The Dynamics knob activates a pair of dual-flangers that can either respond dynamically to your playing or move via LFO. (Tip: With the delay Mix turned down, the flangers can still be applied to your dry signal.)

The dual-flangers are just one of the many modulation options the Polymoon has. The button on the lower right will add dual-barberpole phasers to your signal. You can have them locked in time with your tap tempo or churning along at a slow 0.1 Hz speed. The phasers make it sound as if your guitar is traveling through a wormhole in space. The Alt parameters of the two left knobs are Early and Late Modulation options, each being able to be either bypassed or set to 15 different active modulation options. There are options for standard chorus-like modulation, FM modulation, and Pitch modulation. Yes, you can select any of these options in the either Early or Late positions.

You can control every effect parameter of the Polymoon via MIDI. There are even a few surprise MIDI CC controlled parameters like Half Speed & Tempo (in addition to Time). The pedal also has 16 preset slots, but you’ll need to either use MIDI or the Meris Preset Switch (sold separately) to access them. The pedal can accommodate instrument and line levels, useful with synths or in the studio, and are several other global options for configuring the pedal to your needs.

The Polymoon has quickly become my personal most-used delay, and if you’re the kind of musician who can appreciate the myriad sound design possibilities this pedal offers, this forward-thinking instrument from Meris will like find a home in your rig as well.

Read the Meris Polymoon Review

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Empress Effects Echosystem

Builder: Empress Effects, Pedal: Echosystem, Delay Type: DSP (Multi)

The Empress Effects Echosystem is the successor to the Canadian builder’s famed Superdelay pedal. And rather than simply add stereo and a few other improvements to its mono-only predecessor, the Echosystem lets you use one delay or two at once in dual parallel, dual serial, or panned left/right in stereo. Not only that, but the pedal gives you dozens of delay algorithms categorized into various types, and any combination of two (even two of the same) can be used together. Needless to say, this pedal is deep.

Forgoing the deep menu-diving of some other multi-algorithm delay pedals, the Echosystem gives you knobs for the units tweak-able parameters all on the surface. The Thing 1 & Thing 2 knobs control unique parameters that are unique to each algorithm. Other than that you get standard delay controls for Mix, Feedback, Delay Time/Tap Ratio, Tone (which may also vary per algorithm), and an Output control to set your overall volume level.

The Echosystem gives users 35 presets for saving your complex multi-algorithm delay creations. You can assign an expression pedal to control multiple parameters at one. It even lets you use MIDI to take control over nearly every function. Empress Effects recently updated the pedal with a Looper that can be used with the delays, greatly expanding on the Echosystem’s creative potential.

This pedal has so much going on for it that it was crowned the best guitar pedal of 2017. If you prefer to keep things simple the Echosystem may not be for you, but all the options it has and with Empress Effects continually adding new algorithms by user popular vote, for many guitarists this may be the last delay pedal you ever need.

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Eventide H9 Harmonizer

Builder: Eventide, Pedal: H9, Effects Types: Multi-Effects

Yes, the Eventide H9 Harmonizer is much more than a delay pedal. It’s the ultimate multi-effects stompbox. But if you were to use the H9 on your pedalboard for just its delay sounds alone, it’s still an exceptional value and may replace any other delay pedal you currently use.
A standard H9 comes preloaded with the Vintage Delay and Tape Echo delays. Additional delays can be purchased from the H9 Control app. An H9 Max comes loaded will all algorithms gives you all 9 acclaimed delays from the Eventide TimeFactor… and then some. The H9 exclusive Ultratap algorithm is a one-of-a-kind multi-tap delay that’s inspiring to behold. Then there’s also the recently released SpaceTime algorithm with fuses the TimeFactor’s Vintage Delay with a huge plate reverb and some modulation for good measure to create an outstanding all-in-one algorithm that’s an excellent last effect in your signal chain.

And let’s talk about the Eventide TimeFactor. I still remember when the pedal was first announced. Yes, I joined the many guitarists whose jaws collectively hit the floor when first hearing that Eventide would be bringing their acclaimed studio effects expertise to stompbox pedals. The TimeFactor was one of their first guitar pedals and is still going strong today. The biggest draw of this pedal is its use of twin delay lines across all 9 of its cutting edge delay algorithms, allowing rhythmically complex and tonally diverse delays that no other pedal can match (except the H9, of course). Its brilliant knob layout makes dialing in syncopated twin delays a synch, too. There’s also a dedicated (and recently refined) Looper, and I personally like “hacking” the pedal for series operation by cascading one delay into the other and using it in my amp’s effects loop. But if you don’t need the looper and want the amazing algorithms of the TimeFactor plus a whole lot more, the Eventide H9 Harmonizer might be the way to go.

Read the Eventide H9 Harmonizer Review

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GFI System Specular Tempus

Builder: GFI System, Pedal: Specular Tempus, Effect Types: Digital Delay & Reverb

The Indonesian builder, GFI System, has been impressing guitarists for the past few years with their ultra compact and powerful Clockwork Delay & Specular Reverb, each currently updated to V3 revisions. The Specular Tempus combines all of the algorithms from both of these pedals into one powerful hybrid delay/reverb combo.

The Specular Tempus gives you 13 reverbs, 13 delays, 3 delay & reverb combos, and 3 diffused delay hybrids for a total of 32 unique algorithms. You can save and recall up to 32 presets, configure the pedal for on-board tap tempo, send the pedal’s tempo to other pedals, and even use a 3-button foot-switch to control bank scrolling and tap tempo externally. There’s already a Send/Return loop, and of course, MIDI. The free SpecLab app for Mac & PC lets you access more functionality as well.

A trio of “Classic” delay modes includes Digital, Analog, and Echoes. The “Hybrid” delays take those 3 delay algorithms and diffuse the repeats for a reverberated delay sound.

There are 10 “Esoteric” delay options with many of them offering entirely unique sounds. The Spectral, Filter, and Formant modes provide coloration and texture to your delays; I particularly like the envelope-controlled Filter algorithm. The Spectral mode sounds almost flanger-like while the Formant mode adds a throbbing, vowel-like effect to your repeats. The Transposer & Ambiental modes add pitch-shifting to your repeats. The Transposer lets you choose from intervals including Unison, Sub-Octave, Minor 3rd, Perfect 4th, Tritone, Perfect 5th, and Octave. The Ambiental mode, possibly my personal favorite delay mode, is a stereo algorithm that lets you use a “Glitter” parameter to gradually color the repeats with either a Perfect 5th or Octave voicing for a shimmer like effect; the first couple repeats will ping-pong across the stereo field before resuming straight through the middle channel. It’s a very unique algorithm. The Dual Stereo, Dual Dotted, and Dual Gold algorithms make further use of the stereo possibilities, and the MultiTap 3 & MultiTap 4 modes each provide 4 multi-tap delay variations to round out the pedal’s delay offerings.

Among the host of Reverb modes you’ll find 3 more “Hybrid” delay options: Reverb+Digital Dly, Reverb+Analog Dly, and Reverb+Echoes. There are many excellent reverb modes available as well with a few standouts being GFI System’s signature Spatium algorithm, their beautiful 70’s Plate mode, and an excellent Shimmer that’s among the best around. The Voices and Swell modes are great Shimmer variations, too, and the Anti-Shimmer in “Doppler” mode produces some interesting vertigo-inducing pitch descension.

The best thing about the GFI System Specular Tempus is the fact that if you’re not sure whether to get a delay or reverb next, this pedal can fill the duties of either very well with some solid options for use delay & reverb together. It’s also a great choice for a positioning between the delay and reverb you already have on your board for expanded ambient possibilities. And if you just want the excellent delays without the reverb, the GFI System Clockwork Delay V3 is also well worth considering.

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Eventide Rose

Builder: Eventide, Pedal: Rose, Delay Type: Modulated Digital

The Eventide Rose is a deceptively simple looking pedal that has a surprisingly wide range of sound design possibilities lurking within its tidy interface. It’s a departure from Eventide’s previous DSP based pedals, built around various digital and analog aspects to create a whole that this something altogether new.

At its most bare with all thorns plucked off, the Rose can function as a simple digital delay line. This is a rock solid delay that holds up to Eventide’s long-running expertise making some of the world’s most sought after rack equipment. From this basic sound you can use the analog Low-Pass Filter knob to roll off the high-end and warm up your delay sound. This gives the pedal a more analog sounding vibe and widens the tonal palette nicely. From there, adding in some standard Sine wave modulation gives you a nice range of classic modulated delay sounds. And if you push the “Phi” button, you get instant reverse delay.

That’s a lot sounds without really going too deep, but there are indeed many more sounds waiting to be cultivated. If you cut the delay range you can dial in some nice chorus sounds and a pretty solid flanger effect. You can even get a faux-Leslie thing going. The Delay Multiplier lets you cut the resolution of the processor to get lo-fi delay tones as well as make the pitch and delay speed increase and decrease.

The Rose has some convenient options for interactive control as well. The HotSwitch can be used to toggle between “A/B” settings for each of the pedal’s 5 presets opening up quick access to extra sounds. With an expression pedal you can even gradually morph between the two settings. Also, the HotSwitch can be used for Tap Tempo or other neat functions such as triggering Infinite Repeat, toggling between Multipliers, or pausing/resetting the Modulation among other things. The Rose also has some deep MIDI implementation that can be used via ¼” MIDI or USB, giving you even deeper control over all of the pedal’s functions should you wish to venture even further into the rosy briar patch.

The Rose is a striking pedal in many ways other than its bold appearance, and it’s perhaps the most unique pedal offering from Eventide so far and one that offers musicians an original approach to crafting delay sounds that can be quite unlike anything else out there.

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EarthQuaker Devices Avalanche Run V2

Builder: EarthQuaker Devices, Pedal: Avalanche Run V2, Delay Type: DSP Delay + Reverb

The idea behind the Avalanche Run V1 delay & reverb was to take the simplicity and sweet sounds of the best-selling Dispatch Master and expand on the options and usability (w/ Tap Tempo, Tap Divisions, etc.) while still maintaining ease of use (no Menus!). The Avalanche Run V1 was a big hit upon its release, quickly becoming what could arguably be considered the pinnacle representation of an EarthQuaker Devices pedal. The Avalanche Run V2 Stereo Reverb & Delay refines their flagship pedal with several notable improvements.

While the V1 had similar delay & reverb sounds, the Avalanche Run V2 now features a true stereo reverb which creates a bigger expanse of sound when running the pedal in stereo. The V2 also features EQD’s new “Flexi-Switch” functionality on the Activate foot-switch; this lets you press and hold the foot-switch for momentary operation so that you can use the delay/reverb on very short segments of your playing. Try this with the Tails Mode to apply repeats to certain notes that will then cascade over your dry playing. As with the V1, you choose between True Bypass mode and 5 different Tails Mode options.

An interesting V2 update change has been the increase of enclosure width to be slightly wider than the V1. While some pedalboard space obsessed guitarists might initially glare at this, I think it’s a refreshing contrast to pedals that squeeze foot-switches so close together and so close to the edge of pedals. If you’re not using a MIDI effects switcher and actually plan to step on the foot-switches of your pedals during live performance, you need a reasonable amount of space between foot-switches to be able to activate effects without accidentally stepping on others. (This enclosure width with additional foot-switch spacing has also been implemented on the new EarthQuaker Devices Pyramids pedal, so expect this to be the norm on EQD’s dual foot-switch DSP effects pedals.)

But aside from the Avalanche Run V1 vs V2 changes, what really makes this pedal such an inspiration machine are its killer delay modes with the optional reverb for incredibly lush ambience. The pedal gives you Normal, Reverse, & Swell modes. The Normal is a standard hi-fi digital delay; you can use the Tone to roll off the high-end if you want a darker, more “analog” sound. The Reverse is a killer backwards delay; it’s a must-try with expression control for switching between normal and reverse delays at will. The Swell is a great ambient digital delay that swells in your repeats while you play; shoegaze fans will dig this one. My favorite mode is the Reverse, particularly for using like a standard delay but with the different textural sound of the backwards echoes. It’s killer with the reverb for floating, cloud-like ambience. The reverb itself is like a large room or hall for a nice, full sound, and you can use the reverb’s Decay & Mix to dial in something subtle or massive.

The Avalanche Run V2 is one of EarthQuaker Devices’ best pedals and still one of the best delay pedals available.

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Alexander Pedals Radical Delay DX

Builder: Alexander Pedals, Pedal: Radical Delay DX, Delay Type: Lo-Fi

The Radical Delay DX from Alexander Pedals is the new wildcard in this roundup. It’s essentially a lo-fi delay inspired by obsolete technology, old school video games, and all things radical, wicked, gnarly, and bodacious. It also has 6 delay modes, all of which can be pushed into making crazy weird sounds that may make you think the pedal is broken or malfunctioning… but that’s all part of its charm.

The coolest part of the whole pedal is the Clock parameter which reduces the resolution of the processor which in turn reduces the quality of everything the pedal is doing. It’s a lot of fun, like a unique take on a bit crusher style of destruction effect. It’s very rewarding to find ways to destroy your sound from time to time, like a system crash that blows up your guitar rig and then suddenly returns everything back to normal. Make your audience think something went horribly wrong, and show them how it’s oh-so-right.

The 6 modes start with one conventional-ish delay, and then things get nuts. The Mod mode is a simple digital delay with modulation, albeit with a slightly more lo-fi sound than your typical digital delay. It’s nice and can go from mild to extreme. Clock it down and things go off the rails. The Dual delay stacks a couple delays in series for pattern delays. Reverse is a gnarly take of that type of delay with the Tweak knob letting you achieve faux tape stops like a broken Walkman. The Bend delay lets you shift the pitch of the delays with various intervals spanning -1 to +1 octave. The Arp mode applies some auto arpeggiation to the delays with 8 selectable patterns available. Madness will quickly ensue if you spend too much time with this one. And the Dynamic Delay is a kooky little algo that can dynamically change the delay time to bend the delay pitch and create all kinds of bizarre video game sounds and lazer bird noises.

The Radical Delay DX also gives you 16 presets, Tap Tempo, MIDI control, and more connectivity possibilities via its MultiJack. While the pedal does pack in a ton of features in such a small enclosure, I’d say that with all the bizarre and crazy sounds this pedal can make, it’s just simply one of the most fun unorthodox delay pedals out there for those you like things more than just a little bit weird.

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Strymon TimeLine

Builder: Strymon, Pedal: TimeLine, Delay Type: DSP (Multi)

While many builders have encroached on Strymon’s commanding lead in the area of multi-algorithm delay pedals, make no mistake, the Strymon TimeLine is still the boss when it comes to immaculate delays in a single self-contained pedal.

The Strymon TimeLine felt like a second coming in the world of digital delay and DSP processing. With a hulking colossus of a processor and an engineering team who knows how to make the most of it, Strymon dropped a bomb on the pedal world when they released the TimeLine. With 12 of the best delay machines the world has ever heard (and an excellent 30-second Looper) there is a breadth of delay sounds on tap that few pedals can even hope to contend with. The TimeLine is also a standout delay pedal in terms of MIDI implementation; it allows you to control any parameter or function (including all Looper functions) from any MIDI-compatible controller, pedal switcher, or sequencer/DAW such as Ableton Live. Whether you just want to drop it on your pedalboard and play or integrate it into your mad scientist MIDI guitar rig, the Strymon TimeLine covers all grounds with ease and efficiency and still holds its own in a sea of formidable competitors.

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Dr. No Effects Moon Canyon

Builder: Dr. No Effects, Pedal: Moon Canyon, Effect Types: Delay/Reverb/Overdrive

The Moon Canyon from Dr. No Effects was made in collaboration with Sarah Lipstate of Noveller and represents a bold artistic statement that goes beyond its aesthetic presentation. Just look at it – this is one of the most beautiful looking and artfully crafted pedals ever made and was clearly designed to inspire before you even plug in your instrument. Most importantly the Moon Canyon provides some unique sound design possibilities that warrant its inclusion on this list.

The Moon Canyon is actually a multi-effects pedal with delay being the final effect in the pedal’s signal chain. The delay circuit is based around a PT2399 digital delay chip, and the sound has been tuned to have a warm analog style character with a max delay time clocking in at a little over 500mS. The delay controls are simple enough with knobs for Repeats, Time, and Mix. The delays dissipate smoothly as you increase the Repeats, and as you push the knob past noon towards about 2 o’clock, the pedal will begin to oscillate for that runaway trails effect.

The Moon Canyon’s Reverb is placed before the Delay which goes against the convention of using delays before reverbs. But while this signal flow is less common and many guitarists seem to default to the standard “delay before reverb” pedal order, this aspect of the Moon Canyon is what contributes to its most unique sounds. The Reverb itself is a beautifully cavernous long reverb that also has a subtle modulation (which is more noticeable when you crank the Reverb knob and solo the effect). If you activate the Reverb & Delay together, you’ll feed the reverb into the delay, extending its ambience in a rhythmic pulse set by the Delay’s Time knob. In addition to the Delay’s ability to extend the Reverb decay, the Reverb will affect the sound of the Delay by imparting a diffused quality to the repeats which becomes more prominent as you increase the Reverb knob. Since the effects can be individually activated, you have performance flexibility to add Delay to extend the Reverb on a whim or play with a standard Delay before adding in Reverb to change the Delay sound; the foot-switches are also close enough together to quickly switch between both effects with a single stomp.

There are three other noteworthy features the Moon Canyon offers. The far right foot-switch activates a Drive section that brings in a very respectable 3-knob overdrive (with Tone switch) that is based around a JRC4558D chip, a revered IC that’s been used in the TS-808 and other noteworthy overdrive pedals. The Loop foot-switch activates an external effects loop that is placed between the Drive & Reverb, handy for adding in other effects. (I personally like to use the Moon Canyon’s Loop I/O to route the Drive and Reverb/Delay sections to two separate send & return loops on an effects switcher; this allows remote access to both the Drive and a Reverb/Delay combo setting.) The Moon Canyon also boasts two mono outputs for splitting the signal to feed two amps or separate effects chains. The Moon Canyon can satisfy your basic delay needs while adding some creative potential to your pedalboard.

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Chase Bliss Audio Tonal Recall (original & RKM)

Builder: Chase Bliss Audio, Pedal: Tonal Recall & RKM, Delay Type: Analog Delay

The Chase Bliss Audio Tonal Recall and Tonal Recall Red Knob Mod are at the head of the pack when it comes to classic analog delay tones for modern guitarists. Utilizing reissued MN3005 chips, the Tonal Recalls revisit and refine the sounds made legendary by pedals like the Boss DM-2 and Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man. While these pedals offer a slew of features, perhaps the most commendable aspect of these pedals is how Chase Bliss Audio engineer, Joel Korte, has been able to achieve an impressively clean, low-noise analog delay signal that can be contoured to taste with their respective Tone knobs. This lets you dial in classic analog delay tones similar to your favored vintage unit but with less noise and grit than the rustic pedals of old.

While the specs of both pedals are similar, the RKM is notable for containing 4 MN3005 chips (this original Tonal Recall has 2). This doubles the possible delay times up from 550ms to 1100ms. The additional circuitry raises the noise floor slightly, but most users won’t mind. The oscillation of the Tonal Recall RKM is also improved to be “smoother” to accommodate the longer delay times with higher Regen (feedback) settings. The RKM can also be slightly brighter than the original Tonal Recall, but both pedals can still be darkened for similarly murky delay sounds.

The modulation section is noteworthy for guitarists who appreciate the subtle movement of certain vintage delays. In addition to Rate & Depth controls, there’s a waveform selection switch that provides Triangle, Sine, and Square options. Crank the modulation knobs and flip this toggle for some weird sounds. Keep ’em low with Triangle or Sine waveforms for classic modulation.

The pedals also feature presets (2 onboard, 122 via MIDI), tap tempo with 6 selectable divisions, True Bypass or Buffered Trails modes, exp/CV control of knob parameters, MIDI control of parameters & other functionality, and much more. The pedals’ “Ramping” options will let you automate the movement of knob parameters for evolving delay sounds and unique performance possibilities.

The Chase Bliss Audio Tonal Recall and RKM variation are among this builder’s most loved and universally praised releases, and fans of classic analog delay tones will find much to love in either version.

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Catalinbread Belle Epoch Deluxe

Builder: Catalinbread, Pedal: Belle Epoch Deluxe, Delay Type: Digital Tape

The Echoplex EP-3 needs no introduction among tape delay connoisseurs. The legendary sounds of this machine’s smooth delay echoes, runaway oscillation, and sought-after pre-amp coloration give the EP-3 a reputation that has long spoken for itself. Catalinbread already found success with their Echoplex inspired Belle Epoch (Eric Johnson is a noteworthy fan and user). But Mr. Howard Gee sought to go further than any other pedal builder before and create the most accurate sonic reproduction of the iconic EP-3 in pedal form. His swan song of Echoplex emulation is the Catalinbread Belle Epoch Deluxe, the final word in attaining true EP-3 tone from a stompbox.

All the expected EP-3 amenities are here, from the juiced up 22-volt power rail and (late spec) JFET preamp to the articulate delay section that emulates the sound and feel of the Echoplex without the tape and associated maintenance. How does it sound? In a word: beautiful.

The Belle Epoch Deluxe’s primary controls for the delay are Echo Delay (delay time), Echo Sustain (feedback/regen), Echo Volume, and Record Level which sets the input signal level for when it hits the record amplifier. This unique control ranges from complete silence all the way up to a hot overdriven sound. It’s great for saturating the sound as it hits the delay; once it starts repeating, the delay signal will smoothly dissipate in a pleasing diminuendo to silence. The Echo Sustain can be set higher (around 1-2 o’clock before it starts oscillating) to really get those nice long decay times. The controls are highly interactive, particularly how the Record Level affects the Echo Level and likewise the decay from the Echo Sustain. As you refine the setting of one parameter, you’ll want to play with the others to get things just right. Luckily, it sounds pretty epic no matter where things are set; it’s just a matter of managing your levels and oscillation. And speaking of oscillation, there’s a dedicated foot-switch to kick on spires of oscillating repeats at will.

The left two knobs warrant some brief explanation. The far left knob selects one of six programs from the Echo Program Matrix. The Depth knob controls the depth of the accompanying unique modulation for each selected program. The Echo Programs include the Classic EP-3 tape voicing, a Dark “analog” voicing inspired by BBD analog delay pedals, a Roto-swirl setting that sounds like an EP-3 running through a Leslie, a Manually Sweeping Resonant Filter voicing that can produce wah-like sounds and other filtered tones, and two Deluxe Memory Man inspired modes, one for chorus and one for vibrato. An expression pedal is a must if you want to make the most of the sweeping filter mode or control the speed of the Roto-swirl’s rotating speaker effect. And a pedal is generally useful for adjusting volume on some settings or controlling the delay time, especially in combination with runaway oscillation.

This isn’t to be misconstrued as a review verdict or to heap more hype onto an already GAS-inducing pedal, but if you love tape delay, you need to try this pedal for yourself. And if you’re an EP-3 fan in any way, you likely need this pedal.

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DOD Rubberneck

Builder: DOD, Pedal: Rubberneck, Delay Type: Analog Delay

DOD is a beloved classic pedal brand that has been on a big upswing in the past few years thanks to the efforts of Tom Cram and a team of talented individuals. DOD pretty much rose from the dead with its moniker appearing on several solid pedals in recent years, the greatest of which is arguably the DOD Rubberneck Analog Delay. Not only is it the best pedal in the DOD renaissance lineup, but it’s arguably the best analog delay pedal in the $200-300 price range.

The Rubberneck is loaded to the brim with features including some you won’t find in any other pedal. The most unique aspect of the pedal is its namesake “Rubberneck” feature that lets you stretch and compress the delay time to shift the pitch of your delayed signal up or down an octave, fitting for a pedal from a sister brand of DigiTech, the brand responsible for the Whammy.

The 3 large knobs provide controls for Time, Repeats, and Level. The smaller dual-concentric knobs give you control over modulation Rate & Depth and Tone & Gain, the latter parameters being particular useful for coaxing the best delay tonality and saturation out of this pedal. There’s also a tap division flip-switch and another switch that lets you activate delay spillover Tails and mute the dry signal. Pressing and holding the Tempo/Regen foot-switch activates oscillation, and a small mini-knob next to the foot-switch sets the onset for the regeneration. The Rubberneck effect is initiated as a momentary function of the Effect On foot-switch with the Rubberneck Rate mini-knob adjusted whether delay time is stretched or compressed and how quickly it happens.

Aside from all that surface control, there’s a Send/Return jack on the back that allows you to use a TRS cable to insert other effects in the delay chain. Another jack allows connection of the DigiTech FS3X Footswitch to remotely control Rubbernecking, Modulation on/off, and Tap Tempo/Regen.

The DOD Rubberneck is one of the most feature-packed and versatile performance analog delay pedals ever seen and an exceptional product that showcases the dedicated passion of Tom and the talented team who spared no attention to every detail when bringing this pedal to life.

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Strymon DIG

Builder: Strymon, Pedal: DIG, Delay Type: Dual Digital Delay

Simply put, the Strymon DIG is an immaculate sounding digital delay pedal. It’s one of the easiest to use twin delay pedals out there and has plenty of options for creating complex or subtle rhythmic delays. It has 3 modes – adm, 24/96, 12 bit – that each offer a difference in character, adapting this pedal to different styles of playing. Tap tempo, expression control, and stereo outputs (and optional stereo ins via TRS cable) add extra utility. Be sure to try the secondary functions as you can further tweak the tone, change the delays from series to parallel, and even activate a ping pong delay mode when using it in stereo among a few other things. The DIG is Strymon’s magnum opus in the realm of 80’s rack delay emulation.

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Source Audio Nemesis

Builder: Source Audio, Pedal: Nemesis, Delay Type: DSP (Multi)

The Source Audio Nemesis Delay is a pedal I’ve been looking forward to for quite a long time (…since Winter NAMM 2015, Summer NAMM 2015, & Winter NAMM 2016). It’s a powerhouse digital delay pedal in a reasonably compact format that features 24 delay engines (12 onboard, 12 accessed via Neuro app). That’s a pretty big deal already. Then there’s Stereo I/O, Tap Tempo, Hold a.k.a “Freeze” control, and complete MIDI functionality with up to 128 presets recallable via MIDI. And that’s just scratching the surface really.

The Neuro Mobile app offers incredibly deep control and preset management along with access to the 12 additional delay engines. Any of those delay engines can be downloaded and “burned” to any slot on the rotary encoder knob. The extra delay engines are definitely worth exploring as you’ll find a dark and warbly Oil Can delay, a Complex Rhythmic delay that offers more multi-tap variations, a high-passed Dub delay, and much more.

The real genius of the Nemesis Delay is in the sheer amount power it offers from its simple-to-use surface knob layout. No menu diving needed. Couple that with world-class delay sounds, and the Nemesis Delay is a winner if flexibility, impeccable sound quality, and ease of use are paramount to you. And should you want to explore everything this pedal has to offer, the MIDI functionality and Neuro Mobile app possibilities are a huge bonus when you want to get adventurous and want to dig deeper.

Be sure to explore the Intensity knob with each delay type as it functions differently in each mode. For example, in Analog Delay mode, the Intensity will act as a tone style control, giving you range of Dark, Warm, & Bright sounds. In the Shifter Delay the knob will select from pitch shift options including -1 Octave, +Minor 3rd, +Major 3rd, +4th, +5th, & +1 Octave. This gives you deeper control from the surface of the pedal without the need for menus.

Source Audio have been doing great things for about a decade now, but the Nemesis Delay will no doubt be the pedal that takes this ambitious builder to new levels of success. It was a long time coming, but the Nemesis Delay was well worth the wait.

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Electro Harmonix Canyon

Builder: Electro Harmonix, Pedal: Canyon, Delay Type: DSP (Multi)

The Electro Harmonix Canyon Delay & Looper is an incredibly versatile and value-packed multi-algorithm delay pedal. It gives you 10 excellent delay modes and a capable Looper. It also gives you tap tempo with selectable sub-divisions.

While the pedal has many modes, it’s the quality (not the quantity) of them that makes the EHX Canyon a standout value. It has modes that emulate the venerable EHX Deluxe Memory Man, a great Tape setting, Echo for a straight digital delay, Mod for rack-style modulated digital delay, Multi for multi tap delay effects, a solid Reverse delay that intelligently detects your playing to generate its repeats, a Delay + “Verb” mode that applies a plate reverb to your repeats, a killer Pitch Fork inspired Octave delay mode, a Shimmer mode that also draws on EHX’s killer pitch algorithms, and a great Sample and Hold mode that can achieve some awesome stuttering delay effects. Add to that a 62 second (!) Looper, and you’ve got a sure-fire hit pedal.

The Tap In jack that allows users to tap in a tempo via an external foot-switch may be the selling point that tips the scale in favor of this pedal over other single-stomp delay pedals. As great as the Canyon’s modes are, it begs us to wonder what a flagship EHX multi-algorithm delay with presets, MIDI, and a cooler name with less cringe-inducing artwork would be like. (Please, EHX, don’t call it the “Grand” Canyon. Ugh.) But the Canyon shows that EHX is more than capable of creating plenty of world-class delay algorithms. The Canyon has one of the best pedal releases of 2017 and is easily among the best affordable delay pedals you’ll find in 2018.

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Strymon El Capistan

Builder: Strymon, Pedal: El Capistan, Delay Type: Tape (DSP)

There are lots of delay pedals that try to emulate the sounds of a classic tape echo, many of which do a pretty solid job, but the Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo is without a doubt the final word in authentic sounding tape echo delay in a compact pedal. With 3 different tape machines, each with 3 different modes of operation, there’s a huge foundation available for building the ultimate tape echo sound. While the 5 surface knobs make it easy to dial in your tone, there are 5 more “hidden” knob functions (including reverb!) for 10 total adjustable parameters. And while it certainly sounds amazing, it’s the tap tempo that really pushes this pedal over the top for me. Once you’ve dialed in the ultimate tape echo sound, you’ll always be able to sync it right along to the music via tap tempo without fiddling with sliding heads or tape speed. The El Capistan is a marvel of modern technology and the ultimate tribute to the tape echo machines of old.

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Free The Tone Flight Time FT-2Y

Builder: Free The Tone, Pedal: FT-2Y, Delay Type: Digital Delay

When it comes to straight up digital delays, Free The Tone’s Flight Time is arguably the new king of mono digital delay pedals. With a knob-less interface that recalls both the TC 2290 and the time travel input panel on the DeLorean from Back To The Future, the Flight Time FT-2Y is at once a tribute to the past and testament of the future.

The Flight Time FT-2Y succeeds the FT-1Y by adding Line/Instrument level options, a convenient Preset Swapping functionality, and a MIDI Out/Thru jack for saving presets externally or connecting other pedals. Perhaps more notable are the internal changes. Free The Tone has refined FT-2Y’s analog circuitry, power supply section, and digital circuits and firmware to dramatically improve the pedal’s sound quality. The FT-1Y already sounded fantastic (with a notable user being David Gilmour who has been known to use two Flight Time units in his rig), but the FT-2Y produces an even more high fidelity sound.

The Flight Time gives you plenty of options for crafting the perfect digital delay sound. You can set Delay level, Feedback, and overall Output level. Delay Time can me manually set in milliseconds or BPM or by using Tap Tempo and selecting from one of 10 subdivision options. You can set Modulation Rate & Depth for classic digital delay modulation effects. There are even dedicated Low Pass and High Pass Filters for creating a perfect delay tone to place in the mix. The unique Offset parameter lets you move the delay placement ahead or behind or a rushed feel or a behind the groove sound; this parameter is a subtle but very special aspect of the Flight Time that can enhance the feel of your delays and help place the repeats in your mix better. You can even flip the phase of the delays if needed.

There are some cool auxiliary features as well including a Trail function and the BPM Analyzer which activates an onboard microphone that will detect ambient rhythm sources and shift the BPM slightly to keep your delays locked in time. When I tested this function by playing along to recorded music and increasing or slowing the speed slightly, I was impressed that the BPM Analyzer actually worked as stated. This could be very useful when playing with a drummer who isn’t playing to a click track.

You can meticulously set the levels of all parameters and store them to 99 presets. You can also take control of most functions via MIDI. A novel Rec & Repeat function allows you to plug in an external foot-switch to gain use of very basic looping style functionality. I’m a big fan of the Hold function; while most of the Flight Time’s sounds are in a more traditional vein, the Hold could be used to trigger stuttering repeats at will. The only real drawback to the whole package is the fact that the Flight Time is mono only, but that’s perfectly fine if you’re running a conventional rig with one amp. And for live use it’s best to set up your presets and levels beforehand as you can’t quickly grab knobs for fine-tuning while on stage. But the precision with which you can craft your digital delays is second to none, and the Flight Time FT-2Y sounds flawless.

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That concludes our Top 23 Best Delay Pedals for 2019. Thanks for reading!

 

Tell us your favorite delay pedal in the comments!

1647 COMMENTS

  1. Volante hands down. The SOS function has been extremely inspiring, and my favourite vintage delay sounds (echorec and echoplex) in a single pedal with the Strymon level of detail that goes into the sound engineering and its my delay of the year.

  2. I can never have enough delay on my board! I love the MXR Carbon Copy for simple slapback delays, I run the JHS Lucky Cat for more dialed in staccato delays, and I just added the Chase Bliss MOOD for spacier delays!

  3. My bf joined a metalcore band lately and I know he needs to buy a new delay pedal. I remember MXR Carbon Copy was recommended to him but I’d like to win him one from you for his birthday ;)

  4. I like Free The Tone and Electro Harmonix Canyon. I would love to grab just the Canyon at this time. They both seem very versatile. They are both nice to look at, too.

  5. Id always say delay is the most powerful effect to lift the sound a rig has. Favourites I like the look of would be the tempus for quality delay, and then the H9 for a completely different element in wet effected delay aswell!

  6. Regardless of features, all these are amazing instruments in themselves.
    But as for sound quality, Empress is a really beautiful sounding delay.

  7. ‘The Strymon Volante may be the final word when it comes to DSP emulation of classic Echorec & tape style delay sounds in pedal form.’
    The forthcoming, tube-driven Boonar Deluxe: Hold my beer.

  8. I’d have to say the moon canyon is pretty sweet! Having a simplistic layout and 4 button switch set is nice so I don’t have to remember double taps or what-have-you. I play Metal so a little overdrive combined with delay is a superb combo for solos, fills or atmospheric control!

    • After trying out the Superdelay once in a store ( and unfortunately listening to the Tube Tape Echo at the same moment which made it hard for the Empress ) it is indeed the best non-tape delay sound I have ever heard. I believe the echosystem should make anyone pretty much set on delay.

  9. I’m of the thought that this category is the one with the greatest selection of really great pedals. Which makes it that much harder to choose just one! It’s like asking which super-car would you like to drive?

  10. The Strymon Timeline is a godsend. I use it on everything. Not just guitar but any track that needs a beautiful delay gets sent through the Timeline. I have even used it as my main delay aux track and even on the mixbuss. It can do it all.

  11. Currently rocking the Strymon Timeline! Just came off of a Boss DD-500, however. Both of these pedals are beautiful delays, open to deep customization, and professional sounding effects pedals. The TC Nova Delay was one of my first delays and it is a wonderful unit with onboard tap tempo that I recommend as well. Can’t wait to see what my board looks like this time next year…or month!

  12. I love guitar pedals so much they are the main thing I take to studios when recording. Everything goes through them, drums, keys, vocals occasionally guitars… The only problem is that there are so many I never know where to start. Keep up the good work guys this is super helpful!

  13. I love delay pedals of any type. I run everything possible into them and usually use two chains of pedals to run multiple instruments at once.i like most everything I’ve used by Earthquake but the TC Flashback is more affordable and does everything I need. I don’t need an all in one so a pedal that does delay and does it well but doesn’t cost as much as a laptop is ideal for. TC Flashback is the one for me.

  14. It’d be the Chase Bliss Thermae for me, if I could ever justify the expense. It just sounds like it gives you another dimension to work with.

    As an interim I might need to get a second-hand Memory Boy Deluxe – the effects loop on it could well let you emulate the Thermae’s pitch shifting features.

  15. I honestly don’t think I could pick a favorite, it’s been a great couple years for delay. Polymoon, Rubberneck, FB2, Nemesis….

  16. Best delay I have used was on a Zoom.9030…first got it for guitar fx then started using it years later as an outboard fx box for my live vocals. I know there are tons of better units out there but being a working class guitarist/vocalist…sometimes you have to make the best of what you have and can afford

  17. Thermae is definitely my favorite new delay by far. The Chase Bliss crew is amazing, and I love everything they’ve put out, but this pedal is truly incredible.

  18. So loving the Tonal Recall, poly moon and el Capistan. Psychedelic ambience is finally front and centre with modulation getting the space it deserves. It’s an amazing time to be alive if you love pedals (and hoppy IPAs). My big box deluxe memory man MN3005 has never been so at risk. Winning the giveaway would help save me from a pedal swap out! I can only hold out so long from these stunning pedals!

  19. Tonal Recall hands down, Chase Bliss is a modern master in design and the implementation of usable modulation, keeping the playability of more subtle aspects with room for experimentation and exploration.

  20. Is there really a huge difference in expensive pedals? I’ve never owned one but I’m definitely in the market now. I’ve got about $5000 for the whole band but I need a solid pedal board. HELP!!

  21. If you’re looking for best all around delay with presets from 2018 it’s probably the GFI System Specular Tempus. Big sound in a small box.

  22. The best delay I’ve ever had is a Diamond Memory Lane 2 I slaved to get. Slaving hard to get a tonal recall, but the money could go to a new guitar instead! Great article guys!

  23. Mmmm…I’ll say my 2 favorite delay are still my nemesis DElay and the avalanche run, but I love my fernweh JPTRFX too. And I have to try the Moon Canyon who seems awesome!

  24. What sort of surprises me most about this list is that it overwhelming favors DSP/digital delays over analog ones. DSP has come a long way (the only pedals on this list I own are the H9 and the Echosystem, which both have excellent analog algorithms–I especially love the DMM on the Echosystem that leds me blend in chorus and vibrato–, and they don’t make me pine for noisy BBDs), but it seems like it was only yesterday that the market was overrun with a revival of the analog delay.

    Of course, I’ve never gotten the impression that BestGuitarEffects is courting the “set it and forget it” crowd, and DSP offers a lot more options for tweaking. :)

  25. I totally agree with the points made about the El Capistan. Its the one pedal I am totally sure I will never part with. This pedal works on anything I throw at it, from spoken interviews to distorted vocals, drum buses even whole mixdowns. It has so much freedom when you start experimenting with keeping the time at 0 and the mix at 90 – 100%. It can be a tape filter, tape saturation, tape delay, reverb. Take the repeats all the way down and tap the tempo of your track and boom, you have a glitchy tape delay that you have total control over with the “hold tap” function.

    Right now the Meris Polymoon and the Red Panda Particle is really grabbing my attention. While the Capistan is really colourful and creates beautiful sounds, it is not really experimental. You can get the signal to feed, use the loop function for some funky stuff, but you can’t really create that many soundscapes with it. And these two pedals seems like they can be an instrument of their own.

  26. Oooh, Nearly missed out on this. All of your reviewed pedals are great and I’d be happy to have any of them on my board

  27. Big fan of modulated delay, I’m fond of the meris and chase bliss stuff but world be glad To give the Free the Tone a try. From all the pedal geeks out there tanks guys for this giveaway.

  28. I’m a fan of the tc electronic flashback x4! always wanted the green Line 6, but went with the TC for the different delay styles per loop channel

  29. My boy says that Tonal Recall RKM from Chase Bliss Audio is all he wants so I’m trying to be a good Dad to a great son and win win win one here here here… wee weeee weeeeee!

  30. I know it’s about a million years old, but surprised that there’s no mention of the Boss DD-7 – it does a pretty good impersonation of a DM-2, and the way the digital delay sound cuts through the mix is awesome. Some amazing pedals on this list though, that Tonal Recall is absolutely incredible…

  31. These are some awesome delays! Yeah, technically, the H9 isn’t a dedicated delay…. but it’s whatever you need it to be, which is really cool. I want to ditch my Space and my existing delays and just go with 2 or 3 H9s.

  32. I use a TC Flashback X3 and a Melos tape echo, and would love to use my old Pearl AD33, but for it’s high level of hiss. A delay that combines the best sounds of these and adds programmability would be PERFECT!

  33. My bandmates keep telling me I’ve got the best guitar but the crappiest pedals. So I have to upgrade and there’s no better lift off than Chase Bliss Audio Tonal Recall RKM! It would be my main squeeze and I could finally contribute some excellence to my band. So cheers for the giveaway… hip hip hooray, hip hip hooooray ;)

  34. I’ve been wanting to try out a Rubberneck but they seem so hard to find in Australia? Has anyone else been able to get their hands on one down under? Looks like a good replacement for my Way Huge Supa Puss I think!

  35. ★ Tonal Recall RKM ★ would be a perfect companion to my analog synths and other vintage flavored gear which I’m using for various electro-industrial music goodies.. it has been on my wishlist since it came out but my husband just doesn’t let me be a proper gearslut.. was just daydreaming about it being in my home studio and ohh, what fun did we have.. please let me love and cherish it..

    Joel Korte from Chase Bliss Audio rocks.. you can just sense that all his pedals are driven by passion! (◣_◢)_\m/

  36. The Strymon DIG is my favorite delay pedal of all time, but I really think the Polymoon might knock it out of that position. Just gotta get my hands on one somehow…

  37. Have not too much experience with different delay pedals. I have used all the BOSS lineup, and still like the original DM-2, however, now use the TC Electronic Flashback. While not as ‘organic’ as some of the higher end boutique pedals, I do like the tone print option for ‘fine-tuning’ the effects.

  38. Have not too much experience with different delay pedals. I have used all the BOSS lineup, and still like the original DM-2, however, now use the TC Electronic Flashback. While not as ‘organic’ as some of the higher end boutique pedals, I do like the tone print option for ‘fine-tuning’ the effects.

  39. I’m still happy with Avalanche Run v.1 but that new edition makes me hungry. Same with Flashback – the problem is that i like delays/reverbs :).

  40. I got an EHX Canyon some months back, super rad pedal with lots of great delay modes, pretty much covers all the bases + the looper is a nice addition. Def killer!

  41. The guys at GFI are really bringing out some great sounding pedals and the Specular Tempus doesn’t disappoint, simple yet versatile with a small footprint covering multiple sounds… what’s not to like!

  42. No doubt, all are great echo/delay pedals. I have a tc electronics alter ego, and its the bomb! Would like to have one of these puppies to spice things up.

  43. I use a Source Audio Nemesis, which is an amazingly versatile pedal, but there are many great pedals to experiment with.

  44. At the risk of repeating myself (pause for delay) they are all such ridiculously great pedals. But if I had to choose just one, it would have to be the Dr No Effects Moon Canyon pedal. Lets face it, who cares what it can do, it is just the ultimate in cool, times ten.

  45. I’m still all about the Strymon pedals but there are a few more that look really cool and I bet sound out of this world like the The Moon Canyon from Dr. No Effects. There are so many here how could you own just one?

  46. For me the Timeline hasn’t ceased to be a wonderful source of inspiration. I like to put all kinds of effects in the loop.
    If space is an issue, I’ll use my Brigadier or, on an even smaller board, the TC Flashback. But for most gigs I like to have a dedicated tap tempo button.
    For character I’m really loving the Way Huge Supa Puss (those chirps), Catalinbread Adineko and Dawner Prince Boonar – especially the last two can be wonderfully reverby.
    That said, there are plenty machines still on my list – The Particle for more whacky effects, the Rubberneck for it’s dirtyness, the Belle Epoch Deluxe for the preamp and oldschool vibe, The Empress and Polymoon for experiments in the digital realm as an alternative to the Timeline and the Chase Bliss because I just overall really love Joels output – every pedal a winner.

  47. I remember purchasing my first Delay in the mid ( or so) 80’s. Was a BOSS DD3 when they first came out. Ended up having an injury and couldn’t play for over 20 yrs. Picked up my old Strat in the beginning of the year. Was frustrating as hell, used to be a pretty good player and now like many other things have to learn again. Although it’s coming fairly quick. Muscle memory started kicking in on my left hand, remembering songs i’d totally forgot about. Picking hand is where the issues are, nut practising a couple hours a day and not giving up.

    Can’t believe the numner of pedal brands around now, it’s great.. sooo many choices. Since my ex wife sold all my pedals many years back and all I have is a J Rocket Ikon OD… I’d take any of the three in this givaway. If I had to pick it would be Tonal Recall or the PolyMoon.

    Great Review !!

  48. So easy to get lost in the rabbit hole, the meris is exciting though from the perspective of someone who is used to having too much choice in the H9. Sometimes it’s best to stay simple o encourage creativity. This is a good little website for letting new pedals on the radar. Would love to see an article on classic and under-rated delays.

  49. Oh man great article. Chase Bliss Audio has some great stuff, would love one of them. I’ll have to go try a DOD too, good to see them back in the game

  50. As an analog freak, all I have are two vintage Boss ce-2b chorus pedals for stereo use and one newish Diamond Halo chorus/phaser. All I’m really missing is a flexible analog delay and Chase Bliss Tonal Recall RKM is my Holy Grail I can not afford… so what else can I do but keep rubbing my lucky charms! :))

    Hope this is not reserved for US only and can take a flight to the heart of Europe… :)))

    p.s. I like how @droppingacidpedaletching transformed it visually… droolworthy!

  51. I am not a frequent user of my BOSS DM-3 delay, but after reading the pedal reviews here, I might have to mess around with it more often. I recently bought an excellent Tremolo pedal from Empress Effects, so I might have to try with their delays too.

  52. What, no Caroline Guitar Co.’s Kilobyte Delay?!

    How can you omit such a musical, lush and somnobulistic pedal?

    Not only is it very pedalboard-friendly, its sounds certainly induce happy and hypnotic states (at least for me). And, you can power it with a regular supply (like a One-Spot, or with a 9v battery, so you’ll not lose power if it becomes disconnected for some bizarre reason!

  53. Haven’t had the chance to check ’em all out, but the Nemesis sounds great, the Strymon delays are top notch and I really like the Earthquake delays! :)

  54. I have the Tonal Recall and Particle to go along with my panther delay. No JHS love on the top 20 ? However can always use another delay.

  55. At the risk of repeating myself (pause for delay) they are all such ridiculously great pedals and l’ve said this before but if l had to choose just one it would have to be the Dr No Effects Moon Canyon pedal upon reflection. Let’s face it who cares what it can do, it is just the ultinate in cool, times ten.

  56. My current delay is the Danelectro Dan-Echo pedal…tasty tones, from “Sun Sessions” slapback to Hendrix trippy echoes, right up to Edge-like ripples…analog delay rules!

  57. One can never have too many delay pedals. One can never have too many delay pedals. One can never have too many delay pedals. One can never have too many delay pedals. One can never have too many delay pedals. One can never have too many delay pedals. One can never have too many delay pedals. One can never have too many delay pedals. One can never have too many delay pedals. One can never have too many delay pedals. One can never have too many delay pedals…

  58. I’ve only tried 2 of the pedals in this review, the Strymon Timeline and the TC Electronic Flashback. Most of the pedals rated as the best are in somewhat larger enclosures, and can take up a fair amount of real estate on a pedalboard. I own the Timeline, and reviews, including this one, continue to rate it at or near the top of the heap. If I want a smaller box, the TC Electronic Flashback (I have version 1, not version 2 which is reviewed) serves the purpose, though I have a few others (Catalinbread’s Belle Epoch and Echorec, TC Electronics Alter Ego 2, etc.) all of which do a good job for what I need.

  59. I only have one, Donner Yellow Fall Analog Delay mini pedal. Super simple, small footprint, and just a nice simulated analog delay at a really cheap price! I’d recommend it to anyone looking to add a delay pedal for low cost. I would like to acquire a Carbon Copy or a reverb/delay combo pedal, since my new amp doesn’t have reverb built in. Of course any of the giveaways would be great too!

  60. My favorite delay currently is the Industrialectric Echo Degrader. The tape modulation can be controlled by your playing dynamics. Like if you set the input sensitivity high and hit the strings hard, the delay time speeds up at least a semitone or two, and slows down the same amount once whenever it stops recieving input.

    P.S. Does anyone remember the Way Huge Supa Puss? I just realized how similar CBA’s Thermae is to it, although they have a different control layout. Both Analog Delays, with sequence modulated delay times to create pitch shifting intervals. They’re both amazing.

  61. The Strymon El Cap works the best for me. I’ve tried the timeline, DLS, boss, line 6, eventide and although I enjoyed the myriad of delays in some of those pedals I always gravitated to the tape delay. The El Cap gives me darker repeats and a tap tempo. It’s size was a better fit for my board as well. I’m still interested in exploration though.

  62. I’m a huge fan of the CBA pedals in general so because of that my favourite of the above pedals would have to be the Tonal Recall, all though I wouldn’t complain about having any of them

  63. My favorite delay/reverb sounds are modulated, and what I like to call a “slapback reverb,” which is basically a very short but fairly prominent reverb that sounds off in similar short time frames as slapback delay, and which I tend to hear inside of empty cargo trailers and other similar environments.

  64. Still missing a delay on my rig setup! I used to just use the delay on my old DFX Marshall but that has long since passed away. My new Orange Amp doesn’t have any of the gizmos installed on it so I have been slowly amassing my pedals again and while its essential for what I want, I haven’t gotten around to getting a delay yet. Always been a tape fan but would literally settle for anything and all of the ones above would tick the box! I’ve been drooling over the echo system for a while, but may have to wait a bit longer for that beauty to make it to my board!

  65. I’m a huge fan of Chase Bliss Audio & Free the Tone’s lineups of pedals. Always top-tier quality, and great for a tweaker like me.

  66. Strymon always delivers, though I like the easy-to-customize sound of the Flashback and the nearly indestructible DD’s Boss produces as well.

    If I were to pick my-top-notch-delay though: the EQD Avalanche Run reverb/delay: versatile and beautiful (both in sound and design).

  67. Great reviews, so many options! Belle Epoch Deluxe is sounding like a great choice to me at a decent price. I think I may have to pick one up soon!

  68. What an amazing list of amazing pedals! For me, the Chase Bliss Audio Tonal Recall is the winner, as it has so many functionalities in such a small package. To own one would be wonderful.

  69. I’m loving my El Capistan, but this giveaway would cover all grounds anyone could imagine! These are the most incredible pedals!

  70. For 6 months now using the Specular Tempus from GFI. Still finding new delay/reverb effects as 32 unique algorithms is a lot to tweak and discover. Indeed the best delay/reverb in one pedal around. Pity you cannot store all on the hardware, and have to switch to MIDI.

  71. need more delay! its never enough lol!
    I use a DD20 and a Carbon copy! but i still want more! I want to stack a delay between every other effect on my bouard.

  72. Free the tone flight time ft-2y, Chase Bliss Audio Tonal Recall rkm, Meris Polymoon
    And as far as that Dr. No FX & Troy? Using stem cells to make pedals! Having it make sound? as to lead me out of my Raised gates. Lol ( no, these are cool )

    Like those underground or at least use to be, occult ground – Tales of Alienation Tale of Advent reads

    No serious? all are awesome! But I’m always looking for that new sound! Ha ha ha. Party ON…

  73. I use delay more than most other things. I love my Capistan, amongst others, but often also find myself going back to my old Boss DD5 too, which I have used for about 15 years, but which I still love so much!

  74. I would love to try these pedals out. Problem is that most pedals can’t be denied anymore before they are bought. Most music shops don’t have pedals that are displayed to use. Winning any of these would be great! Thanks guys!

  75. I just got a canyon which I think is a totally amazing pedal. I don’t miss the innumerable presets from the nemesis, it’s just easy to use great sounds.

  76. TC Electronic Alter Ego X4 the sound quality seems fantastic to me, the different types of delays give what they promise, and the edition via toneprint is very useful, both to create and to load the presets that they offer you.
    It’s those pedals that make you touch new things, that helps you to be creative.

  77. Right now, the delay pedals i’ve Been using are the Earthquaker Avalanche Run and the OBNE Mondegreen. The Avalanche Run is cool on so many levels, but the Mondgreen has got this “weird” factor that is a lot of fun and adds some cool (subtle or not so subtle) elements to the sound. I’d really like to try the Chase Bliss stuff out as the demos look and sound awesome. I feel like I’d get lost for days in one of theirs.

  78. Following these reviews, I purchased an Ehx Canyon delay pedal, which I found very good quality, a little bit hard to control but I got extremely pleasant tones out of it. I just would love to have a Polymmoon though (or the FTT)

  79. I really love the Eventide H9 – it takes quite a bit of work to get anywhere near to mastering it, but
    if you put in the necessary study/work it will repay you.

  80. While the MOOG MF-104Z is my favourite of all times, its dimensions made me look somewhere else, the original Tonal Recall was the end of the quest, until the RKM came out – the absolute all around best of analog delay.

  81. I’ve had a number of delay pedals and thus far my favorite is the TC Electronic Alter Ego II. It has a number of built in tweakable delays and the ability to download a toneprint to one position. I can change that toneprint at any time by using my cell phone to transmit a saved toneprint to the pedal by opening up the toneprint app on my phone and picking the toneprint I want to use. Then I simply hold the phone up to my guitar’s pickup and push beam to pedal on the phone. The phone then transmits the toneprint by communicating to the pedal by an audible burst of sound. There are more versatile pedals out there but this one meets my needs and has a rather small footprint on my pedal board as compared to the much bigger size of most delay pedals for sale today.

  82. Great picks for best delays. Though I thought the Walrus Audio Arp 87 might have the list as it does some mightily weird modulated delays.

  83. Just amazing what’s available now with pedals generally, but especially delays. Only about 10 years ago people were scrambling to pay $500B-$600 for what would now be considered a pretty half-arsed pedal. Now, no one’s creativity is limited by gear choice.

  84. I haven’t purchased a new pedal in forever but I have been fiending for a Tonal Recall or El Capistan for years to replace my DD-3 and Echo Plus combo… Though the Polymoon may have just taken their place. Following those I’m enamored with the Thermae, Echosystem, and Avalanche Run. All of these new delays just seem amazing at creating the worlds of sounds I hear in my head with a little patience and imagination.

  85. I personally use an Empress Echosystem, an Eventide H9, and a small Boss DM2-W that I want to replace by a Tonal Recall: this delay is fantastic and so creative. It’s not only a delay it’s a real “sound machine” that creates amazing electronic-like sounds. It’s not so easy to use at the beginning but the possibilities are so infinite, that when you start to understand how it works, then the only limit to your creativity will be yourself!

  86. I have a Boss DD500 which is really awesome when you delve deeply into the editing. Though I think the Thermae is something I’d love to try. It does things that no other pedal can do.

  87. Love everything that Chase Bliss make! Also GFI are an awesome company. I would like to put a special mention to the Alexander Quadrant!!!

  88. My favorite delay that I own is hands down the smallsound/bigsound No Memory. It is so fun to play live and it just sits so well in the mix as either a wonky quick echo or a full max time delay for leads. No matter what board I’m building for what project big or small, that pedal is on there.

  89. I have a MXR Carbon Copy. Really the only delay pedal I’ve ever owned but it’s a ton of fun and pretty versatile. Easy to use and I can dial in almost any delay I want. I would Hihly recommend it!

  90. You can’t have enough delays! I have a Memory Toy, a Boss Pitch Shifter/Delay (the Slowdive special), a SiB Mr. Echo + and a Guyatone box from the 70s… All essential. And still not enough!

  91. The Belle Epoch Deluxe is my current fave, but having just gotten a Chase Bliss Spectre, I’d sure love to give the Tonal Recall a spin.

  92. Man I sure do love delay, I haven’t messed around with too many of them just strymon dig and Seymour Duncan vapor trail, as well a the multi effect Dr scientist bitquest. I love how is the smaller companies that are making the better products, had my eye on the free the tone and Chase Bliss for a while, definitely next Tier delays for sure

  93. Chase Bliss Audio Tonal Recall RKM
    Chase Bliss Audio Tonal Recall
    Chase Bliss Audio Tonal
    Chase Bliss Audio
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  94. I have a boss DD7 which I like real well but it does not have all the capabilities of these delays. I would love to win one of these delay pedals and upgrade my board!

  95. As mentioned before, your list is impressive. I currently own the Catalinbread Belle Epoch Deluxe. Playing/owning any of the Chase Bliss pedals would be incredible. The SolidGoldFX Electroman has recently caught my interest thanks to its review on 60 Cycle Hum.

    Overall a great list that covers all budgets!

  96. Always a great read! As mentioned before, Avalanche Run is a lot of fun, but you can’t top the Tonal Recall, in my opinion.
    “SEE YOU AT THE PARTY, RICHTER!!”

  97. Great list.

    My absolute favorite is the Nemesis from Source Audio. Previously I looked after the Avalanche run but in the end it the Nemesis was the better choice.

    I think that delay pedals are one of the most creative pedals I’ve used. At least for the melodic parts. And the rest of the band loves it.

  98. Great list!

    My favourite delay that I own is probably the Ibanez DE7, the only downside to it is the lack of tap tempo or trails, it sounds incredible though! I have a Boss DD7 with the functionability but I can’t get those great sounds out of it. Tonal Recall is probably everything and more anybody would ever need in a delay. That functionability!

  99. After feeling like I’ve pretty much gotten the most I can out of my combo of DD-7 running into a DD-3, I think it might be time to try something new, and this has certainly provided some great inspiration and direction!

  100. So far, besides the sheer flexibility of my Source Audio Nemesis. My favorite delay is the Boonar Binson Echorec style pedal. Great tones, and simple operation!

    Cheers!

  101. I’m owner of a Strymon El Capistan. True proffesional sound. Favourite pedal in my studio.
    Looking to try the Polymoon
    Thanks

  102. I really want to see what the Meris sounds like. I’ve tried the Tonal Recall, and an early version of the Free the Tone Delay. Free the tone was super clean digital, and the Chase Bliss pedal had a ton of analog goodness in it.

  103. How come there are no Boss pedals here? I have always loved Boss delays (maybe it’s because I grew up on them) but even in the multi-effects like the ME-50 and the MS-3 have great delays. Never tried a Wazacraft delay nor the DD-500 but the DD-7s are also really good.

    Otherwise, it’s a solid list. I started out loving delays but found that I really don’t use them that often anymore, which is why I went to a multi-effects unit for it. The Boss delays are so reliable, I’ll use them over boutique pedals.

  104. Another great effect rundown. Sooooooo many options these days and that is a great thing, so thanks for giving a little insight to some of these pedals.

  105. I’d love Thermae for some bubblin’ goodness, I have Timeline and El Capistan and they’re great but Thermae seems to bring something entirely different to the table. Although I just love the Moon Canyon aesthetic. Simply too many pedals to GAS for…

  106. I’m slowly building out my first pedal board…..
    overdrive – tick
    fuzz – tick
    novelty pedal – tick
    delay – ….. …… (looks at empty space on board!)

    Good round-up and helping me home in on a few i hadn’t come across before (so more YouTube and article reviews to distract me from my practicing!). The simplicity of the older pedals like the Deluxe Memory Man have appeal, but then the capabilities of the Specular Tempus and Thermae are incredible.

  107. The Echosystem is super good! Honestly endless tones in there and I’m sure years from now I’ll still be finding new stuff.

  108. I agree that all of the pedals listed are awesome, and I would love the Tonal Recall.
    However, as has been mentioned in other comments, I can’t believe there’s no Boss pedals on this list.
    They are iconic and so ubiquitous. You even use them as a reference in some of the delay type descriptions at the beginning of the article.
    I currently own a DD20 and a MS3 for my Boss delay needs.

  109. Right now, my go to delay is the Line 6 Echo Park. I keep going back to this pedal. I also use a Cusack Tap A Delay Deluxe .

  110. I’ve been using an M9 for years now and it still holds up when it comes to capability balancing with interface. I essentially use it as a DL4, but it has a screen, 3 independent delays, dozens of presets and tap synched subdivisions. Having the verbzilla settings on there too is a huge bonus.
    I’ve heard great things about a lot of these delays, mainly the tonal recall, and I’d love to see the awesomely weird CT5 on this list.

  111. So, currently I’m mixing a guitar trio album and my client uses the RKM Chase Bliss all over the place. On my own board I have the TimeLine, but this is something else… It’s alive! Hope to lay my hands on one in the future! Said the bass player. :D

  112. I just got a Boss DD-20 and even though it doesn’t offer to adjust many different parameters, every sound you get out of it is really usable. However, you can never have enough delay pedals.

  113. I love the Warble Swell Echo by Mattoverse. It’s warm and beautiful; and the modulation adds the perfect amount of coloration to my guitar tone. Perfect for slap-back or cascading long repeats, it’s a really versatile pedal that sounds fantastic.

  114. I’m a big fan of all types of delay. Right now I’m using a JHS Panther Cub and really like it. But I’d LOVE to win one of these!!!!!

  115. So many great delays to choose from but I think for my taste the GFI System Specular Tempus and the Free The Tone Flight Time are just awesome pedals!

  116. Wow… lots of great petals. Of the delays that I’ve seen, the TimeLine and TonalRecall are probably my favorites, though all of the featured petals have their own benefits. I only own a single DOD delay (not shown on this page). Would love to have a couple more.

  117. In the future i’d love more coverage on companies like Ezhi & Aka, Montreal Assembly, Drolofx & Pladask Elektrisk, all of whom are making significantly unique and versatile pedals at extremely buyer friendly prices

  118. Meris’s Polymoon and Chase Bliss Thermae are definitely top of my list for cool new creative tools. The empress echosystem though has amazing functionality and seems like a great box for touring when you need a lot of different delays and times to be programmed and ready to use. Everything on this list does look incredibly tasty though! If only I could have them all!!

  119. My favorite of these is the Source Audio Nemesis, but that is only because it’s the only one in this list that I’ve played. I’d really love to try the Chase Bliss thermae, and the Tonal Recall, as well as a lot of the others mentioned.

  120. Hi,
    I honestly don’t know much about delay pedals, but my boyfriend has stated that he wants one. This article was super helpful to me! So I really appreciate how in depth you went with everything and also how you made it simple enough for someone like me (someone who knows absolutely nothing about any of this) to understand!!

  121. I’ve got a TC Electronic Hall of Fame and love it but am looking for a really crazy delay pedal. Can anyone recommend something? Thanks. Tom

  122. The only delay that I’m using is in my POD HD500X. It works well for me because I can pre-program sounds and set song tempos. Would be awesome to expand my pedal collection with any one of these delay pedals. If I could build a dream board, it would probably have two delays, one would be the timeline for it’s programmability/presets/tap tempo and the other would be a great analog set it and forget it type of delay pedal.

  123. I’d want the Tonal Recall. For 1 because it’s the 1I know the most about. 2 it’s analog. 3 it’s got the smaller footprint of the 3 delays.

  124. Been looking for a digital delay to add to my analog, it’s tough to find one with tap in a regular hammond size box. Currently leaving towards the JHS lucky cat

  125. any one of these delay pedals is excellent. I would like to win Strymon El Capistan or Solidgoldfx Electroman MKII, or Eventide H9 Harmonizer Demo

  126. Delay really is an amazing effect, no matter what you put it on. However, there is a certain sweetness with the tone of a guitar with delay. It’s the only effect I exclusively use on guitars in my songs.

  127. For my money, the Earthquaker devices rank up near the top. The site provides meaningful sound bites and a useful, user-friendly site. I can’t help but like the fun they have with the descriptions and the over-all look, as well.

  128. My favorite delay is strymon timeline . I am looking for a second delay to install on my pedalboard. Meris Polymoon looks really cool and it’s one of potential candidates.

  129. The demos for the DIG are incredible. I think it’s my favorite sounding delay pedal – I am waiting for strymon to release the big box DIG alongside the Timeline. I still think bang for buck, the Timeline is the best stompbox delay pedal money can buy before you go of into rack-land. The smear, stereo spread and customization vs ergonomic ease of use is still unbeatable.

  130. I have the Avalanche Run and love everything about it. Adding a CV expression pedal is a must for this pedal; opens up so much more.

  131. My favourite delay, apart from the ones I already have, is the Meris Polymoon, because of the interesting modulation effects.

  132. So many great delays out there! Currently, I am enjoying the Keeley Caverns delay/reverb for atmospheric parts and a Digitech Obscura for more traditional/warped sounds, but would really love to try a Strymon at some point.

  133. i’m a great fun of the red panda particle but i’d really like to dig into the tonal recall. watched some demos, it sounds amazing!!

  134. I currently use the Keeley Mag Echo. It has been on my board for about a year and it sounds fantastic. With the blend of modulation into the delay signal, you can make it sound like a saturated tube delay or a vintage tape delay. That being said, without a tap tempo, it is limited.

    The delay I wish I currently had would be a toss up between the meris polymoon (solely based on the great review you have here) and the strymon timeline. Both increase versatility and provide me what I need in the tap tempo.

  135. The Catalinbread Belle Epoch and the actual EP-3 sound nearly identical to my ears. But when the EP-3 feeds back, it gets that bizarre swirling/crackly distortion oscillation. I haven’t heard any other pedals get that oscillation sound, although the Belle Epoch gets close because its preamp distorts during oscillation.

  136. What a great year this has been for delay. For raw functionality, I like the Empress Echosystem. For unbridled weirdness, my sonic possibilities have been reshaped by adding an EXP pedal to the Fairfield Meet Maude. From low, rumbling hills made from soggy Grape Nuts(tm) to atonal, warbles akin to 1950s Sci-Fi castoffs like Space Typhoid II or It Came From San Berandino.

  137. Even when I am not using a delay as an active effect, I almost always have a low effect/high repeats setting on my Carbon Copy to add that good, good washy-wash.

  138. I have an empress echosystem and I love it. I love everything empress does actually.

    I’ve heard good things of the polymoon from friends so I’d be really stoked to win one!!!

  139. Bought an Echosystem earlier this year. Absolutely stellar piece of gear.

    Not *nearly* as hard to use as the Timeline and others of that ilk. No menu diving, which is one major reason I chose it. The other is the true dual-engine design. One or two delays of any kind in series or parallel?

    Oh…my……

  140. If you compare specific delays side by side (digital vs the original), digital effects have still a long way to go but at a live situation it does not matter really.
    I like the TC Flashback 2 for its ability to tweak your own sound. …but I‘m an individualist I guess ;) In the studio nothing compares to the real thing if you are into tape delays etc.

  141. I’ve had the pleasure to play with many of these delay pedals (not all) at various times while jamming with friends. This is a very well put together list, I especially enjoy how you describe the differences between analogue/digital for the beginners, and all of these pedals are worthy of being on anyone’s pedalboard (it would be nice if they could be on mine, as I’m currently building a board), but my luck in giveaways is not great. I hope whoever wins these truly enjoys them for what they can do to expand your sonic soundscape!

  142. Siempre me gustaron los delays , por la cantidad de efectos sonoros que se pueden obtener especialmente con los digitales. Saludos desde Ecuador.

  143. Source Audio Nemesis, all the way. It’s the best “do it all delay” that exists, but also is compact and easy to use.

  144. I love love love delays. I love the Tonal Recall and the Boss Dd500. I think the versatility of a delay pedal is what sells me. If it does one thing really good that’s awesome but if it can be manipulated into doing more than that one thing well I’m all in. Delay for days!!!!

  145. I use two delays simultaneously on my board. I’m constantly twerking them… short into long, long into short, short into shorter, etc. So fun.

  146. I believe all the delay pedals have a place on someone’s board. To say any one is the ” best ” is way too subjective to justify.

  147. I seem to save up for ever to get the dream delay pedal I have set my mind on and by the time I get the money there are another ten to choose from !!!!
    Perhaps I’ll win one and can spend the money on something else . . . . lol

  148. I have used El Capistan and the Earthquaker Devices and they are nice pedals.

    Moon Canyon though has incredible design

  149. Shane Theriot uses a Flight Time from Free the Tone. I am in love with this pedal since I saw the video. Hope I win one in this giveaway !

  150. The TR blue and red knobs are incredible! The blue knob almost never turns off. I need that Polymoon in my life though!!

  151. Great site and a sincere thanks for the thorough reviews. I’ve enjoyed many of the pedals you have featured and the list provides a wonderful guide of future things to try. Currently have the Nemesis, Loved the El Cap. The Digg was solid (whish I spend more time with it), and the H9 was uber powerful.

  152. I currently use a Mod duo which gives me a huge choice of delay setups.
    There,are two pedals that I will be purchasing because of the unique sounds you can get.
    These would be the Meris Pollymoon and Red Panda’s Particle

  153. I would very much like to try the Polymoon. I’ve had the Rainger Echo-X on my board for a while, it is a really fun little machine !

  154. My current favorite delay is the Earthquaker Devices Dispatch Master, simple to use and great sounding repeats, though there are so many more I need to try out.

  155. I have the TC Triple Delay, which is great for performing with three preset delays stacked up on top of each other. Not the best for tweaking and real time parameter changes though.

  156. Love this! My all-time favorite is the Strymon El Cap. It just does things I haven’t been able to get any other tape delay to do. So good!

  157. Wow. This list is staggering. Thank you. I’d suffer any schizoid embolism for a Tonal Recall; retire any skin job for Polymoon.

  158. My favorite delay will always be the Cornish TES… I wish I still had it. I can’t decide whether or not it’s my favorite because I no longer have it though. I just remember the thump it had… it was phenomenal. I can’t decide if I want to get the polymoon, or the echostation? I need a good digital delay been awhile since I’ve had one.
    awesome article. Love these giveaways.

  159. The design of the Dr. No Effects Moon Canyon is gorgeous! The delay/reverb/overdrive combo sounds like it would be super fun to play around with. I’m also a big fan of EQD’s Avalanche Run, they really know how to combine a reverb and delay beautifully.

    Also I wanted to say, thanks BGE, for continuing to put out such quality content that is so comprehensive and thorough. You’re doing great work to make this scene more accessible to every type of person, no matter their background or the setbacks they may face. Cheers!

  160. No love for the Caroline Kilobyte? That’s ok, there are so many great delay pedals out there and you highlighted a bunch of them. I personally dig the Free The Tone, but I would kill to have any of them listed.

    Thanks!

  161. Catalinbread Belle Epoch Deluxe is the one that I can’t put down… Amazing. Gorgeous tape delay, and a very faithful recreation of the Echoplex, in my opinion. Many folks are miffed about the lack of a tap tempo feature, but I don’t see that as a deal breaker; especially when you get an expression pedal connected to this box.

  162. My favorite is the Strymon Dig. Simple to use, sounds wonderful and clear. Not as many bells and whistles, but easy to use multi delay!

  163. We’re in the golden age of pedals, especially delay pedals. I still love playing through my El Capistan but I’d like to try the Rubberneck, Tonal Recall, or Thermae. They all seem like great analog delays. I’d also like to try out the Polymoon, Meris are doing some really cool things.

  164. I have had the same delay pedal for 30 years now believe it or not. I am always amazed and overwhelmed by what Chase Bliss puts out. I also have a soft spot for my neighbors to the south at EQD!

  165. The delay I use the most frequently is either one of my Akai Headrush pedals or my Eventide Pitchfactor, which is a truly bizarre amalgam of things. There are a few on this list that I need though. That Chase Bliss pedal! That Red Panda Particle! Dang!

  166. I got to demo a bunch of these, and I gotta say that the Polymoon was my favorite. The built in flanger and phaser, the variety of control options, it all makes for something really special in the delay pedal market. Nothing else exists that is quite like it.

  167. As someone who plays in a band, I find that I play better with my group when I have a simpler board. Delay is one those effects that I have to have though. Without delay or reverb, I just can’t feel the music that I play. It’s uninspiring without those effects.

  168. I really like the TC Electronic Flashback Delay because of its simplicity and flexibility. i don’t like to fool with a million knobs to get my sound. Grab and go is more my style. I think Joe Walsh is also like that. Ordinary Average Guy.

  169. Good article, the features on the recently released delays are crazy!
    Any of the 3 delays of the giveaway would send me for a hell of a knob-twitching ride

  170. I’m not a menus and presets guy, so I really like the Avalanche Run because it has a lot of cool sounds in a small package, and it’s pretty intuitive. The only other pedal I’ve tried on this list is the Nemesis, which is great too, but I’d really love to experiment with some of the more “out there” options. Great list!

  171. El Cap is the best delay I’ve owned. The only problem is that I need a couple more settings, so I’ve gone with the Timeline. Not quite the same, but still awesome.

    Also have a lot of love for the MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe.

  172. Thermae! Just a wonderfully beautiful pedal. The filter and glide parameters really take it to synthy territory, but you can dial in a classic analog delay as well (and a gorgeous one at that). Truly baffling how that much is crammed into such a small box!

  173. I have the canyon delay,it’s very good,nice sounds and very easy to use also in real time with acoustic and electric guitar,very nice shimmer delay,also the octave delay and the tape and memory man,I will keep it for long time,I can make a live show only with this pedal.

  174. Any of the three would be completely amazing. Meris Polymoon has some really beautiful and unique sounds; the Flight Time has such a vintage NASA, industrial, functional interface. Nothing has more options than the Tonal Recall. What a contest!

  175. These delays are great. As a Flashback and Tineline user I can vouch for the quality of these pedals, but the Polymoon is intriguing is worth further investigation.

  176. Favorite delay right now – Chase Bliss Thermae! I’m not sure any pedal can beat the sonic possibilities that the Thermae gives.

  177. Great For Entering Me in This Delay Giveaway ,,, I have been using a friends VOX Delaylab while recording multi-tracks .. would the chance to WIN my own delay to complete my original songs that im recording using the Tascam DP-24 ,,,, THANK YOU BEST GUITAR EFFECTS !!! You Really Do Go into Detail On ALL Your Reviews !!! VERY HELPFUL !!! Sincerely from David F. in the USA

  178. Gotta love delays. I actually have the RKM, and it really is just the best analog sound I’ve ever heard (though I’d love to try a Thermae.)

  179. So many of these pedals are great! I’ve owned quite a few of them but the TimeLine is the one that’s stayed on my board since it released. Would love to get a Poly Moon and/or an Echosystem. Particle was swapped out for a Tensor, but very curious to see what V2 is like…?

  180. I use effects with didgeridoo, not guitar, so yes I’m a different kind of animal here
    Currently using the Strymon Timeline..nice results from the digital variations there, experimentally combining them with various reverbs, phasers, and flangers. It’s all good but for my purposes the accurate delayed signal rendition of digital delays is best… kinda wanting to try out the Strymon Dig to see what it might offer that’s different than the Timeline!

  181. Great overview! Always had trouble picking faves… I’ll give the nod to Fulltone TTE just to throw a vote to old school magic…

  182. Currently using a Mooer Re-Echo and a Boss DD6, but guitarist in my band has got a timeline, nemesis and an altered delay so could really do with one of the above pedals to compete… compete….compete..

  183. Lots of great delay pedals on this list, my top 4:
    – Eventide H9 (best long-term investment, so much more than just a delay),
    – Strymon Timeline (probably my favorite in terms of sound; deep but user friendly),
    – Source Audio Nemesis (rivals the Timeline for sound quality and features, but in a more compact and affordable package),
    – EHX Canyon (best bang-for-buck… how did they fit such great sound and functionality in such a small, inexpensive pedal!?!?)

  184. Echosystem is the best! After that 80tape in limbo compact iii, pladask electrisk taken, and if you count granular then FORM2.

  185. Been using the Boss DD-500 and I love it for the MIDI integration, but it’s a pain to dial in precision tones. I’ve been using a couple of other Chase Bliss Audio pedals for a while (Gravitas tremolo and Warped Vinyl HiFi chorus/vibrato) and they’re absolutely top of their class, I have both the Tonal Recall and Thermae on my wish list…

  186. well i’ve had the privilege to play with the Ibanez echo/delay and an Electro Harmonics memory man. Definitely preferred the latter, the whole analog sound gets me everytime. Both the Tonal Recall and Polymoon pedals look and sound absolutely awesome though and would make space for both on my pedal board to be honest. Trip to Venus and back anyone?

  187. I’m a delay pedal freak. One can never have too many. I blame Jimmy Page and that dang elusive echoplex! I’d count myself lucky to win any thing! Bring it on home !!!!

  188. Many cool pedals. Do like Wamplers Faux Tape Echo, Visual Sound’s Dual Tap Delay, Blackstar’s HT Delay and HEY whatever happened to the absolutely wonderful Moogerfooger 104M? Should be on any top-whatever list IMHO.

  189. The TC electronic flashback x 4, Eventide Timefactor, Earthquakerdevices Dtransport , Reds : Panda , Witch although all are really cool!
    Would plug any of these into the guitar and have Some FUN

  190. I personally use the ARP-87 Delay from Walrus Audio and love it, but have been absolutely obsessed with Chase Bliss and the Tonal Recall pedal since I first heard of it. Hope to win the giveaway, thank you very much!!!

  191. Boss DD-500 all day. There are some tasty treats listed here and honestly, I would love one of each-especially the Avalance Run, but my DD-500 paired with a Wampler Ethereal gets the job done quite nicely, I must say.

  192. I Use the Boss DD-500 Delay and it is amazing! Delay is my favourite effect to use when playing the guitar. I love how The Edge from U2 utilizes delay to produce some of the most memorable lines in music history!

  193. Haven’t tried any 2018 pedals! Favorite delay pedal is my unpainted Mr. Black ‘Ambience’ prototype mostly because I can glitch it out into bitcrushed oscillation territory! As a regular delay it works well and the verb is lush as well.

  194. I always figure it’s less about which specific pedal you have, and more about how you go about utilizing it.

  195. My actual and favourite delay is the Crazy Tube Circuits “Time Gold”.
    An analog delay for all events, perfect in the body of the sound and amanzingly powerful in the repetitions.
    The tap/oscillator is like a pleasure trigger on your foot during a solo and the two (digital and analog) paths combine perfectly together, giving a glorious tone.
    Also extremely useful the switch for the echo that allows you to choose between quarters, dotted eights and triplets.
    Last but not least the solidity in the construction and the beautiful artwork: a case built for glory.

  196. my favorite delay pedal is ‘red panda particle” coz of it s mesmerizing sound! Hearing it feels like i m in another dimension of universe, rotating through space.

  197. Truly this is the golden age of effects pedals. When even a mediocre, at best, player such as myself can utilize tools like these to create interesting and beautiful pieces of music. I can easily see a polymoon in my future. Thanks for these reviews.

  198. The DIG might be my hands down favorite delay ever. Of course, I’d love to compare it to any of the others…for science!

  199. If only I had all the $ for these pedals! Currently looking at getting a Boss DD-7 or a EHX Canyon for a delay pedal.

  200. As usual, an impressive set of pedals (and accompanying reviews). Keep up the content BestGuitarEffects!
    Hoping to win the pedal giveaway!

  201. An awesome list! So much ambient variety. I’m really looking forward to trying the EQD Avalanche Run. There’s just something about those shimmering falls of icy goodness. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm…

  202. Love the articles, number 1 spot for all things pedals, love the looks of the tonal recall and avalanche run! Fingers crossed for the comp!

  203. I am a fan of the Empress Echosystem. So many delays and I like the fact that all the controls are easy to get to. Don’t have the money for it yet, but it will likely be the next multi-delay I get.

  204. Totally love most of the pedals you list above. If I could have one it would be the avalanche run or the tonal recall… The first one has all the “stardust” you’ll ever need for some shoegazing and the later has to be one of the best sounding and easy to use delays ever. The only drawback, their prices seem to be somewhat high (judging from my banking account :P )

  205. Personally I absolutely love mySource audio Nemesis! It does everything I want a super delay to do (except run 2 algos independently at the same time!) if I were to pick up one of these seats I would want to try the Meris. The poly moon looks awesome, sounds great, and can get into some pretty crazy territory. I use delay all the time and ever since I removed my vapor trail from my board, I kinda miss delay stacking! Having a little something else to add into the mix could be great! Until that moment comes and the right pedal pops into view, I’ll stick with my nemesis!

  206. It’s a Toss-up for me. I haven’t heard all of them, but, the online videos of the Source Audio Nemesis are incredible. I get the feeling that the Free The Tone may be the most accurate and flexible.

  207. There’s not a dud on this list. That said I LOVE my Nemesis!
    Bang for the buck algorithm wise-tone wise-presets and expandability eise it’s a value and punches above it’s weight and price. That said, I’d be happy with everything here, especially the Chase Bliss and Empress delays. Another sleeper that’s on my board and will never leave is the Malekko 616 Analog Delay. It sounds amazing and for its size and price is a steal. Even with delay turned down the circuit just adds some DMM type sonic magic and feeding the Nemesis (along with the Dunlop Echoplex Pre) helps to shape tone in intangible, beautiful ways. Highlt recommend it and the Nemesis.

  208. You you, it’s funny because although I’d love to win any of these brilliant delay pedals, my personal tastes have started to turn away from the all-in-one delay boxes like Strymon and Empress to something simpler. I’ve come to the realization that I mostly just use a few patches in those big boxes, and even though there’s many other impressive features, I just don’t use them that much. Or I did use them for a period of time when I first got the units, but now they seem gimicky and aren’t capturing my imagination quite the same way as before.

    I believe that I will be downsizing with my next delay pedal! Or maybe I’ll get two smaller units and stack them….

    That said, I’d still love to have a Meris Polymoon to mess around with and twist my brain in knots.

  209. Other delays might be more versatile, but nothing beats the sound of the Strymon El Capsitan. It’s the one delay I can’t live without. The key parameter is the tape “crinkle”, which isn’t even in the Timeline. Cranking up the crinkle almost half way with the tape age at noon and a splash of wow and flutter is the perfect delay sound, which I haven’t found on any other delay pedal.

  210. From this list, I’m very interested in the Free The Tone Flight Time and the Tonal Recall, seems to be very very very good delay pedals. Delay effect is a “must have” for me, there’s something about that sensation of depth and ambience that really integrates with your playing and inspire you more and more every time you play with Delay pedals. My first delay pedal was the MXR Carbon Copy and still have it in my possession. Very simple and very good sounding delay indeed!

  211. By far the hardest decision among pedals… because of the many many quality offerings out there

    But thinking about it the other way, and how far technology have taken us since the 80’s, you cant go wrong with either, just less right…

    Peace.

    PS: I want the tonal recall ;)

  212. Very torn between a Timeline and Eventide’s Timefactor. The Timefactor got a great review from you but isn’t on this list. What gives?

  213. I am a relative novice in the world of pedals. Play mainly acoustic. However, I hope to learn more from your site and other sources. It’s a bit daunting…so many pedals, and significant learning curve – and potentially wasted money if I buy a bunch of stuff on spec that I don’t do what I envisoined. I have an electric guitar: a 1980s Hamer phantom which I changed the pick-ups to try and achieve a more Stat-like sound (I could not afford to buy a Stat). I also was inspired recently seeing some buskers using delay and looper pedals with both acoustic and electric. I have the following pedals:
    Boss chorus – loved this pedal
    Cry baby – a classic, but can’t say I have skill with this
    Recently purchased:
    Electro Harmonix 720 Looper & Memory Boy analog delay. Both seem ok, but again I need to learn how to use properly and get a good tone in combination with the amp I am using (that’s another story).

  214. It’s pretty amazing how consistently the timeline and the h9 have stayed at the top of these lists for years..

  215. I love the sound of DigiTech pedals, they make some good stuff. My current go to is the Walrus Descent. It’s recently become very noisy, but with a little gate, it’s amazing!

  216. The avalanche run is still one of my new favorites. I really feel like it can cover all of my usual delay needs, from clean crisp digital to super washed out reverby reverse soup. Although in terms of weird stuff, my particle and count to five really take the cake and will never ever leave my board. Shout out to the always underrated echorec too!

  217. Every one of these articles make me jealous and want more pedals. I’d sure love the Nemesis, I love me lots of options on my pedals

  218. For me it’s the Source Audio Nemesis. I love how in depth I can get with it through the app and how simple it is if I just want to use the pedal. Being able to load presets in from my phone is also a huge bonus when things change last minute.

  219. I have several delays, including the Nemesis. My favorite is probably my Carbon Copy; it simply sounds best to my ears and is the most musically organic, again, to my ears. That said, my overall most useful and utterly creative delay is the Korg SDD-3000 (pedal version). Between the preamp and the amazingly warm sounds, I cannot understand why, other than size and inherent quirkiness, this pedal did not grab hold of more folks. So sad, but now I have a delay not many people can get and I like that, too. Another out-of-production pedal I just love is the Line 6 Echo Park. Yes, I said Line 6. Forgive me.

  220. I need one of these pedals to impress a boy i like. Hes a huge pedal nerd and i need one so i can have him teach me about it and then i can also have a reason to watch him play. Also i dont own any pedals and my first one should be a super cool one like these right

  221. I really like the Nemesis and Timeline for a higher budget! The Flashback 2 and the Canyon are great budget pedals. I also really like the Diamond Memory Lane and Memory Lane jr that are not mentioned here. Maybe they are too old now?

  222. I’d say that my favorite delay ( and reverb as well)pedal that I have used personally is the gfi specular tempus and my friends meris polymoon , that I long for desperately.

    The specular does some crazy things like the eventide space does but has a more organic quality to it and the dynamic delay + reverb just is more musical without needless menu diving. Everything I ever wanted and more tbh.

    The polymoon is a beast when through synths and drum machines for some awesome fills . With an expression pedal, this pedal is in a clas of its own at a great price and covers sonic ground that others don’t touch on as often.

  223. I love my DL4 but I’m blown away by the more boutique delays. Polymoon is pulling me closer for sure, that thing could make some more space on my board and give so much more at the same time. The Chase Bliss stuff looks phenomenal as always, gonna have to have a go with one of their pedals soon before the gas gets too unbearable

  224. Honestly, each of these pedals has so much to offer that I could justify buying each and every one of these delays…

  225. Thank you guys for this nice overflight in delay pedals. After using a strimeline,
    a carbon copy black and bright, a wampler faux tape echo, I am in love with my
    actual boarddelays which I can recommend for trying in compare to your other
    delays:

    The Eartquaker Devices Dispatch Master, small analog warm sound nearly like
    his expensive brother the avalanche run V1.

    Mad Professor Dual Blue delay, 2 awesome delayparts in one box. This Mad Prof
    knows absolutely what we need, simple but very very useful. I love it!

    Providence Delay DLY-4, the one and only analog warm delay that has written history
    now, a lot of other have copied some of these functions.
    Try and tell us what do you think. Greets Jay

  226. I love delay. So much. I’m currently using an mxr carbon copy although I have recently become interested in overlaying delays to create more ambient swells. I’d love one of these pedals!

  227. Oh man, I would love to try the Flight Time Delay! That ability to obsessively fine tune and then store presets always makes me happy! Great reviews!

  228. I have the Source Audio Nemesis and I love it. It’s really easy to dial in a great sound on the fly and you have the option of getting really in depth by using the Neuro app. Plus it’s not a really large footprint on your board.

  229. I have the Source Audio Nemesis and I love it. It’s an outstanding pedal for the price. Plus it’s really easy to dial in a great sound without having to go through a bunch of submenus and such. But you can get super in depth with it through the Neuro app if you want. Really well designed, in my opinion.

  230. From what I’ve heard so far, both Polymoon and Tonal Recall are incredible delay pedals and I’m sure they can enrich my tone both on stage and in studio. Finger crossed!

  231. The Specular Tempus has my current interest but they’ve been sold out for a while now. Some great pedals in that list overall though.

  232. Rack/studio technology and sound quality in most of these pedals is stunning.The Free the Tone Flight Time looks so cool.

  233. The twin flanger/phaser modulation on the Meris Polymoon sounds amazing on a small footprint pedal with such a simple control array.

  234. I really like the Strymon Timeline as it give an excellent rockabilly tone when used with my Gretsch G5420T.

  235. A well rounded article. I’d have like to see more budget friendly options but aside from that, great job!

  236. Well, I recently sold my Nemesis and BigSky to buy the amazing Ventris. And now, after deciding I need some delay again, well its going to be a Polymoon. It’s a delay with great stereo character, and a whole lot more. I can’t wait!

  237. I always had a soft spot for references in pedal’s names: Tonal Recall, a picture of Mars….my face looks now like Arnold’s when suffering from uncontrolled decompression!

  238. this is an impressive article, thank you for it! I now favour delay + reverb pedals, and there are not enough of them to choose properly…

  239. I like my Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail delay. But I’ve also got an H9 Max. Curious to try the Meris, Chase Bliss, and the Free the Tone. So many possibilities!

  240. Why I need to by digital pedals if I can use laptop or ipad with VST plugins instead??)) I think pedals should be 100% analog signal processing.

  241. I love the blend of complicated, tweak-sound-for-days-in-my-room-pedals with the “set it and forget it” crowd. I have used both types. Right now just rocking with my good ol modded DL4… jonesing for a pink panther though… something about that modulated tone.

  242. Loving what Chase Bliss had been able to do with analog delay by pushing the boundaries of what most people think possible with an analog delay. The Meris Polymoon brings a whole new level of sound possibilities in such a small enclosure, pushing it’s tonal realm into other worlds! This is such a great list of the best delays in the world right now, maybe one day I’ll have the cash to drop on one of these bad boys!