The DD-7 is the successor to a long line of classic boss delay pedals which include the DD-3, DD-5, and DD-6 among others. The Boss DD-7 Digital Delay seems to be a hall-of-fame tribute to all of these pedals as it takes the best features from their history of delay effects and packs them into their trademark stompbox enclosure (yes, just like the TU-3, NS-2, and 20 years worth of other pedals). Is the DD-7 the king-of-the-hill of this legendary line of pedals? Our Boss DD-7 review hopes to give you the answer.
Let’s run down some of what the DD-7 draws upon its predecessors.
Many people still rave over the classic warm sound of the early DM-2 and DD-3 pedals. Boss took painstaking measures to emulate the classic DM-2 sound with Analog mode in the DD-7.
The DD-5 was the first Boss digital delay to include a tap-tempo feature accessed by plugging in an external footswitch such as the FS-5U. The DD-6 removed the external footswitch option in favor of stereo inputs to the dismay of many DD-5 users. The DD-7 marks the welcome return of the external footswitch jack while still maintaining the stereo ins and outs of the DD-6. Basically, a lot of thought was put into the DD-7 with intention of making it one of Boss’ flagship guitar pedals.
Here’s an expanded list of features from Boss before we see how the DD-7 performs.
Up to 6.4 seconds of delay
Modulation Delay mode for chorus-like sounds
Analog Delay mode emulates the classic Boss DM-2
Tap Tempo control via external footswitch
Delay Time, Feedback, and Effect Level can be controlled with external Expression Pedal (such as the EV-5)
Hold mode offers up to 40 seconds of sound on sound recording
Stereo Inputs and Outputs, with panning and Wet/Dry routing
Sound & Performance:
Now let’s see how the DD-7 measures up. I started off with the standard modes ranging from 50ms to 3200ms. The controls are simple and intuitive, offering the usual Effect Level, Feedback, and Delay Time controls. It’s very quick and easy to dial in the right amount of delay and feedback decay.
Sound is clear and pristine, giving you an excellent hi-fi reproduction of your playing with a touch of warmth. It’s a very modern sound, yet with a character that adds a surprising liveliness to your sound. This is certainly one of the best-sounding delays Boss has made.
The Hold mode is nice for messing around with loops and basic sound on sound recording although it has no loop saving functionality. Those who need more options might want to consider a dedicated looper. But the DD-7 remains a nice choice to get your feet wet with looping if haven’t already tried a TC Electronic Ditto Looper or Ditto X2.
The Modulate mode offers a decent chorus-style sound. Control is limited, so you can’t adjust the rate and depth of the effect. But it is a nice place to start if you’re not sure whether or not you want a dedicated chorus effect pedal or have little space on your pedalboard.
Analog mode is one of the main draws of this pedal, offering a nice warm sound that might make some think twice about buying competing analog delay pedals such as the MXR Carbon Copy or Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail. While purists may gripe that it’s not a perfect emulation of the classic Boss DM-2, it still offers a warm sound that adds some very welcome change from the usual pristine digital delay sounds on offer.
Reverse sound gives a very satisfying psychedelic flavor to whatever you play through it. This is great to spicing up some sections of a song or adding some unexpected flair to a guitar solo.
I have really grown accustomed to using delays with tap tempo, so I recommend using it with the FS-5U Footswitch. You can use tap tempo without the external footswitch by pressing and holding the pedal footswitch for 2 seconds, then tapping the tempo. But this is a little clunky for live use. Get the FS-5U. You’ll be glad you did.
So what’s the final word?
The Boss DD-7 Digital Delay is like a tribute to the best of Boss delay pedals. It offers excellent analog and modern delay sounds, interesting modulation and reverse effects, and optional tap-tempo and expression pedal functionality. It’s certainly the most feature-packed Boss delay in their iconic single-stomp format. With all the possibilities on offer, it’s one of the best delay pedals Boss has produced to date. It’s a great addition to any pedalboard.
That concludes our Boss DD-7 Review. Thanks for reading.
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