The perfect delay pedal – Part 2

Ask the DudeIn the first part of “The perfect delay pedal” I declared myself to be an analog delay fan and expressed myself for tap tempo and midi input.

This second part will be about more features, a perfect delay should – in my opinion – provide.

Tone control

To me, a tone control is another valuable feature.
Many digital delays provide the possibility to adjust the repeats in a very extensive way.
But analog delays mostly offer – if at all – a low-pass filter.
Especially for analog delays, a high pass filter could be very important because they are prone to overemphasize the bass while they create several repeats and therefore sometimes sound pretty boomy.
As the sonic information and the assertiveness mostly depends on the mids, some kind of mid control might be an interesting additional feature.
In that respect, you can also use the effect loop of the delay pedal.
Some delays have an in-built effect loop for modulation that is also suitable to add an EQ by which the sounds of the repeats can be formed.

Gain and volume control

The Deluxe Memory Man has shown how to do it: The in-built preamp allows a boosting of the signal as soon as the pedal is activated.
To me, it is very important to increase the volume fractionally when I activate the delay as the volume of many delay pedals seem decrease when the blend control is set to over 50%.
If you get the possibility to boost the master volume, you will be able to adjust the mix between delay and dry signal more sophisticated.
Although a gain control is not compulsory for a delay pedal but it is pretty suitable to add some dirt to the sound.
I love this sound since I first played a tape delay whose preamp has been driven slightly into saturation.
As many analog delays create a more dirty sound anyway, a gain control can be a reasonable feature.

Oh, and other nice to haves would be modulation, a compact enclosure, analog dry thru, stereo out…

As you can see, it is almost impossible to give a short and clear answer to the question which delay pedal I think is the best one.
But maybe this list of features that – in my very own opinion – are important regarding a good delay pedal, will help you to find your perfect delay.