The dark sound is a very famous aspect of analog delays. Because of their design, analog delays cut the treble to minimize besides noise. As a result, they sound very warm and rich and, on top, they go well together with overdrive effects.
This was true at least for the first delay pedals. Recently, there are many analog delays equipped with several BBDs and are therefore able to provide delay times that are nearly as long as those of digital delays. This, in turn, leads to the availability of a brighter sound at shorter delay times.
Some analog delays offer a tone pot to adjust the timbre. Examples for such delays are the DOD Rubberneck, the Way Huge Supa Puss and the Chase Bliss Tonal Recall. On the one hand, the tone pot enables you to create the dark, for analog delays typical, sound. On the other hand, you can also produce a bright, percussive sound. Best of both worlds!
Thereby, the pedals become pretty versatile and can be adjusted quite sophisticated.
Although it is very nice that there are such possibilities today, but of course, the classic, dark delays are still interesting, too.
The Moog Minifooger MF Delay is very dark. It fits perfectly into the mix and is ideal for a washed-out background. Nevertheless, the MF Delay offers a nice clean sound, without any distortion, too.
The Maxon AD-900 which also offers a very dark sound, is of similar interest.
The tone of the Boss DM-2 is a bit dirtier and, especially at short delay times, will sound pretty percussive. At longer delay times (unfortunately, the DM-2 only provides a maximum delay time of 300ms), the desired dirt is added to the signal.
Old pedals like the MXR 118 Analog Delay and the DOD 680 Analog Delay are the really dark ones. Those who look for a washed out and dark sound and can accept a short maximum delay time, ought to try out one of these classics.
Of course, there are recent boutique pedals that are specialized in dark repeats and, besides, are built up very clearly.
The Malekko Ekko 616 dark is one of these pedals. In addition, it provides modulation and creates up to 600mS maximum delay time.
The MXR Carbon Copy is another classic in the segment of dark delays and can be found on countless pedalboards.
As you can see, there are numerous dark analog delays – weather you like it cleaner or dirtier, everyone ought to find something appropriate.
And, of course, there are digital emulations.
But a real delay enthusiast will definitively prefer the analog original.