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How To Choose The Right Delay Pedal For You

Published on 24 Jan 2020

Confused about delay? We demonstrate and discuss the main types of echo and delay sounds in electric guitar to help you make the right pedal choice.

Life too short for long YouTube videos? Please see the ‘Interesting bits and go-to sections’ information below.

This is a show for the echoically confused among you. You’re either new to delay or you’ve been using it for a while without really understanding what you’re doing. The latter was me about five years ago (Mick here). Dan’s in-utero scans, meanwhile, show the distinct outline of a Deluxe Memory Man: he was basically born at 300ms and seriously modulated. Ahem.
In this episode we explain and demonstrate the main delay/echo foodgroups down the years and how they may, or may not, suit your intended musical application. Please note that this is NOT Chapter & Verse On All Things Delay, Ever (for example we don’t get into stereo delays, effects loops, pedalboard positioning and a bunch of other stuff). Moreover it is a tonal primer for anybody looking to narrow their search, or at least to provide you with some better questions on the quest for that ever evasive echo. Well not so ever any more: you’ve got a problem, nobody else can help and you’ve found (wait for it) The Delay Team, Team, Team, Team, Team, Te…
Oh lordy, apologies. Right, enjoy the episode!

A note on signal chain: All the delays you hear in this episode are into the front of fairly high headroom amps set clean-ish. Overdrive pedals are placed before the delays as per the ‘standard’ order. If you use a gainy amp, you may well prefer the sound of your delay in the amp effects loop. Especially digital delays.

Pedals & stuff in this episode…

• TheGigRig Three2One

• Echo Fix EF-X2 Tape Echo

• Strymon Timeline
UK & Europe:

• Walrus Audio ARP-87
UK & Europe:

• Boss DD-200
UK & Europe:

• MXR Carbon Copy
UK & Europe:

• Catalinbread Belle Epoch Deluxe
UK & Europe:

• Jam Pedals Delay Llama Xtreme
UK & Europe:

• J Rockett Touch OD
UK & Europe:

• Vemuram Shanks ODS-1
UK & Europe:

• ZVEX Wah Probe

• Peterson StroboStomp HD Tuner
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G2

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro playing: 0:00
- What are we doing today? 2:15
- Three big questions: 3:48
- What is delay? 4:35
- Basic explanations: repeats and delay time: 5:57
- Three things you want a delay for? 7:30
- Short delay in context: 8:15
- Very short delay for solo punch: 10:25
- Medium-length delay and single repeat: 12:00
- Delay volume level? 14:14
- Longer delays as a pad? 16:35
- Using both short and long delays: 19:43
- Delay time and tap tempo: 21:30
- Dotted eighths and subdivisions: 23:44
- What do you want your delay to sound like? 27:55
- A brief and very patchy history of delay: 27:16
- Four principle types of delay: 27:55
- Tape delay: 29:05 (31:30)
- …and the all-important preamp: 30:25
- Belle Epoch Deluxe: 34:25
- Delay level on the expression pedal: 35:47
- Drum delay? Echorec-style: 38:15
- Analog delay: 41:45
- What defines analogue delay? 43:55
- Digitally controlled analogue delay? 47:45
- Pitch shifting with delay time: 50:45
- Oscillation? 53:05
- Basic digital delay: 54:20
- Analog and digital delay comparison: 56:30
- Dotted eights and digital delay… and a recap so far: 59:05
- Want to get more ethereal? 1:01:49
- Features and practicality? 1:04:18
- A great all-rounder? 1:08:20

Guitars in this episode:
• Collings 290 DC S - Mick’s video at
• Fender Custom Shop 1963 Telecaster - Dan’s video at

Amps in this episode
• Victory V140 The Super Duchess and custom Zilla 212 / Celestion Ruby speakers
• Matchless HC-30 with Hughes & Kettner Vintage 212 / Celestion G12M Greenback speakers

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