The Ibanez Tone-Lok series has been produced between 1999 and 2002 and the DE-7 was one of them.
This inconspicuous delay with its optical very special but stable metal enclosure does not provide further setting options than the delay time, repeats and delay level.
A switch allows to chose between three different delay “ranges” which can be fine-tuned by the delay time pot.
Echo and delay can be selected by the mode switch.
The DE-7 has no modulation.
The pedal has one mono in- and output and a separate dry output and it is possible to run the DE-7 on 9v battery as well as on power supply.
The digital delays of the delay mode are pretty clear and crisp but still they preserve a certain analog warmth. You can easily produce beautiful rhythmical delays.
The echo mode
The echo mode is the real insider tip.
Actually, the echo mode is supposed to emulate a tape delay but in my honest opinion, the emulations of other delays with modulation are much better.
The special thing about the echo mode of the DE-7 is, that the digital created signal must pass an analog circuit with a JRC 4580, clipping diodes and analog filters.
Every repeat cuts the bass and the mids though the signal gets a marvelous midrange, slightly overdriven by the clipping diodes. A sound that gets pretty close to those of high-quality analog delays.
The analog circuit is similar to the circuit of a Tubescreamer.
Nevertheless, the signal never sounds washy and enables the guitarist to create nice rhythmical delays.
Because of many analog resistors and capacitors, the circuit of the Ibanez DE-7 can be modified easily.
By removing the clipping diodes, that are parallel to the JRC 4580,placing them behind the IC and switching them against ground you will get a hard clipping similar to those of the Fulltone OCD or the Boss DS-1.
Unfortunately, the Ibanez DE-7 is only available in used condition but you can make a bargain.
Although it lacks tap tempo, it is definitively worth it to try this pedal out.