Review: Donner Wave delay

Wave DelayThe Donner Wave is a digital delay pedal with a delay time from 20 up to 620ms.
It comes in a very compact green aluminium die-cast housing.
Despite its size, the delay provides a nice weight, thus it remains stable on the pedalboard.
The rubber coating on the bottom additionally strengthens this quality.

Outer appearance

On the left and on the right side of the pedal, you can find a 6.3mm mono jack for input and the output. They are built-in offset what allows to place the pedals close together on the pedalboard.
The jack for the 9V power supply is mounted on the front of the pedal. According to most pedals of this size, a battery operation is not possible and regarding the eco-friendliness definitive not necessary at all.
Although the pedal needs only 33mA, the manual recommends a 500mA power supply. I think, a 100mA standard power supply ought to work fine as well.

Switch, pots and functions

The pedal can be controlled via a robust true bypass switch with a solid pressure point. Thus, trails are not possible at all.
The bright LED above the footswitch displays the respective status of the pedal.

A two-way toggle switch allows to choose between the two delaysounds: digital and warm.
The length of the toggle switch is perfect to control the small pedal.

Next to the toggle switch you can find two small pots for level and feedback.
Maxed, the level pot mixes the signal about 50:50. Thus it is possible to create sounds from a subtle delay up to interacting repeats with numerous gradations.
The feedback pot can be adjusted from a repeat up to oscillation. Because of the sonic differences between the digital setting and the warm setting, you will have to re-adjust the feedback pot after changing the delay setting. This means, if the adjustment of the feedback pot stays the same, the slightly more powerful sound of the warm delay reaches more repeats than the digital setting. A positive side effect of this fact is, that you can create delays close to oscillation by choosing the digital setting and by switching abruptly to the warm setting, get the famous build up of the delay.

The big knob in the middle of the pedal controls the delay time in a range from 20ms up to 620ms. I guess, this pot is the most-used one of a delay pedal an because of its size, it can be reached easily.
If necessary, it can also be controlled by feet.

All three pots can be turned beautifully soft and provide a really nice range.
The time pot has its main control range between 19:00 and 14:00. Thus, the wanted delay time can be adjusted quite fast. From 14:00 to 17:00 the adjustment is more decent. You can use it to create some modulation with long delay times.
Bug or feature: I like it and it makes sense and fun.

Sound

The digital delay produces a very nice percussive and clear delay.
Via the level pot, it can be adjusted a little more decent. Or you can – according to the style of U2 – interact with the pedal and play against the delays.
With longer delay times, there will be a little white noise in the signal. It reminds me of the 1980s 16-Bit-delays and gives the Donner Wave (intended or not) a certain vintage character.
By switching to the warm delay, you will get darker delays which are still expressive and forego with any dullness.
The bass is a bit more dominant and the setting is definitively suitable for soundscapes. Still percussive, the delays provide more body.
Sonically, this preset is allocated somewhere between an analog delay and a dark digtal delay.
By turning the feedback into clockwise direction, the repeats of the warm setting build up beautifully.

Conclusion

Because of the simple equipment of the pedal (without modulation or tap tempo), I did not expect a lot before unpacking this pedal. But with the first notes, I was actually captivated by the Wave.

The sound fits perfect and with its two delay settings it becomes astonishing flexible.
From dark slap back, to analog sounding long delays with runaway repeats to percussive digital sounds, the Donner Wave provides more than one could at first have imagined.
I guess, you will notice that because of my slight too long demo video.

The pedal is simply fun and sonically, I wonder where is the border between boutique effects and large-scale production.
I really like the compact Wave a lot and I am convinced, that there will be a place for it on my pedalboard.

With a regular price of 32,99€ the Donner Wave is already a bargain and with a respective discount code, you can get it for 29,04€.

Any questions? Many cables are more expensive (which does not mean that their price can definitively be justified).

All those who like the sound of the pedal, but are looking for presets, can simply get 2,3 or even four Wave delays. Side by side, they won’t need much space on the pedalboard.

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