Wednesday, February 4, 2009

DeltaLab DD1 Delay Pedal

I’ve gone back and forth on delay pedals, having decided to go without any effects at all for the last year or so. But now that I’ve hooked up with a gigging band again and I’ve been playing a lot more harp, I’ve started wanting a little delay on some songs. I needed a new delay pedal.

I’ve owned and used lots of different delay pedals, and let me be real honest: A good-sounding digital delay sounds just as good to me as a good-sounding analog delay. It may well be the fault of my ears, but I can’t hear the difference, and neither can anyone in my audience. So for me the decision comes down to price and features.

I was in Guitar Center picking up a mixer I had ordered and was looking at delay pedals. They had just that day gotten in the new DeltaLab DD1 digital delay pedal. The price is $59.99. That right… Sixty bucks for a delay pedal with true bypass and rugged metal construction. I bought one immediately since GC has a 30-day return policy.

The pedal feels solid, and the knobs have a nice smooth, firm feel. I threw away the el cheapo 9-volt battery than came with the pedal (it looked like it was leaking) and installed a new one. I plugged it into my Champ and let ‘er rip with an A harp through a bullet mic.
This pedal sounds very good. I was able to find a really nice short slapback sound right away. (You can see the black dots I marked on the pedal for reference.) The delay tails are not icy or brittle, but have an organic decay that sounds warm. The pedal sounds full and quite lush.

This is a very good delay pedal for not much money. If you believe the hype that only expensive analog pedals are good for blues harp then you better pass on it. But if you trust your own ears, give it a shot.