Ibanez Echo Shifter ES3 review part 1

Ibanez ES3Certainly, the Ibanez ES2 has been a resounding success: the slider inspires experimenting and the beautiful analog delay does not only sound very pleasing, it also provides a brilliant oscillation.
The device was made and still is perfect für dark delays and sonic escapades.

With the ES3 Echo Shifter, Ibanez now remastered the great predecessor and added some sought-after features.

This first part is dedicated to the design of the Ibanez ES3 Echo Shifter, while in the second part you will learn all about the sound of this great delay pedal.


The new ES3 is an improved version of the famous ES2.
Compared to the ES2, the enclosure of the ES3 is a little flatter and the side parts, now with chrome screws, are made of a different kind of wood. The lacquering is a bit yellowish.

The two footswitches activate the delay or rather allow to tap the delay time.
Additionally, you can, by keeping the tap tempo pressed, activate the oscillation via foot.
This is a feature that users of the ES2 often sorely missed and which is a great improvement for all guitarists. The switches have a nice pressure point.


Besides the pots for mix, feedback and depth, and the slider for the delay time and the on/off switch for the modulation which we know from the ES2, the ES3 has an additional pot to control the speed of the modulation.
This allows a sophisticated adjustment of the modulation. The toggle switch for the oscillation has vanished.
By turning the speed pot to 9 o’clock, the speed of the modulation is similar to the ES2. With a reduced speed you will get a nice chorus effect and the further you turn the pot to clockwise direction; you will get sounds from a vibrato up to crazy pitch effects.

The toggle switch for the oscillation is now a toggle switch that allows to choose between the analog delay and a new digital delay.
While the analog delay is a real analog bucket brigade delay with a delay time form 40ms to 600ms; the digital delay provides a delay time from 40ms to 1500 ms.

Two bright red LEDs show the status and the delay tempo.
At the front, you will find the jacks for in- and output and the power supply (9V, 200mA) and a switch to chose between line- and instrument level.

Thereby Ibanez makes clear, that this pedal is suitable for guitarists and for synth players as well.