We have commented before on the differences between Digital Delay and Echo. They have the same root but are not the same in that Digital Delay can be controlled and altered in ways that echo cannot.
Depends on what you want to do, but it does give you a lot of options. Analog delays rely on what is known as a Bucket Brigade Device (BBD) chip. You will hear them mentioned often in these reviews. While the digital delay uses Digital Signal Processing (DSP). Different procedures, doing similar things but with vastly different results.
Now that that’s been covered, let’s move on and look at the best Digital Delay Pedals currently available…
- Top 10 Best Digital Delay Pedals To Buy 2021 Reviews
- 1 Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal
- 2 Donner Multi Digital Delay Pedal
- 3 TC Electronic Flashback Mini
- 4 JOYO D-SEED BUNDLE
- 5 Electro Harmonix Canyon Delay and Looper
- 6 TC Electronic Guitar Delay Pedal
- 7 Boss DD-20 Giga Delay Digital Delay Pedal
- 8 TC Electronic ND-1 Nova Delay Guitar Pedal
- 9 Mooer Reecho, Digital Delay Pedal
- 10 Tom’sline Engineering Digital Delay and Echo Delay Pedal APE3S
- Best Digital Delay Pedals Buyers Guide
- So What Are The Best Digital Delay Pedals?
Top 10 Best Digital Delay Pedals To Buy 2021 Reviews
1 Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal
No need to make any introductions regarding Boss and their pedals. Usually simple to use, cost-effective and well-built they have been a permanent entry on many guitarists pedalboards for years.
The DD7 forms part of the DD range of Delay pedals from Boss. The design arrived with us in the 80s with the DD2, but it was the DD3 that really caught everyone’s attention. It is still highly thought of and even today is still used. The DD7 is an extension and improvement on the DD3. It isn’t a new pedal, and the DD7 has been around a while, but it is still considered a class act.
Possibly the most noticeable change is the inclusion of tap tempo control, but this pedal also now offers two delay modes. Analog, which recreates the warm sounds of previous pedals, and Modulation delay which gives a delayed sound similar to a chorus pedal and which is an interesting effect.
A change from 8 seconds to 6.4 seconds and this pedal now gives you eight modes of operation instead of the four on the DD3.
There are two inputs and two outputs, so you can run it as stereo in and out if you like, and another input is provided for tap tempo. There are still four control knobs on the instantly recognizable Boss stomp pedal.
All things considered…
The DD7 does have a little bit extra to offer, and the inclusion of the extra modes do give more operational facility. The downside is that it is not the usual plug and play Boss pedal, and with the extra features, there will be a little learning curve to go through.
A quality pedal from a quality manufacturer at a reasonable price. When you are discussing which is the best Digital Delay pedals, Boss is sure to be in there somewhere.
- Excellent Boss design and sturdy build.
- New features making numerous improvements.
- Will require some time to find your way around it.
2 Donner Multi Digital Delay Pedal
Donner has been around a little while now and has established a position in the market for budget pedals. But they have in some circles got an unfair reputation of being a bit cheap. There are a number of reasons for this, but they are a maker of cost-effective pedals that do the job and actually do it very well.
However, if they want to move to a higher level, then this Multi Digital delay Pedal might be the product that does it for them, it is most certainly going to raise their reputation.
They have maintained their philosophy of keeping it simple with its operation and have opted for three basic control knobs. The mix will set the balance of the wet and dry signal used, Time dictates the period and Feedback, well, have a guess.
The step-up for Donner is the inclusion of a central selector that gives seven different options.
Selecting Digital simply takes the clean signal and repeats it. The Tape and Analog position gives you that Analog Bucket brigade sound – warm and gentle. Sweep is an interesting feature and provides an almost simulated wah sound, and Modulation puts a subtle layer of chorus, which sounds really good. LoFi is an example of how digital pedals can achieve sounds that analog pedals never could, and Reverse just reverses the delay, which is another good effect.
Donner has made a serious attempt at producing a pedal that is up the ladder in onboard options to what they normally produce and it works. The sounds are clear, and there are some great options. And it has true bypass.
Frighteningly low. A very good pedal and at this price point must be considered as the best digital delay pedal for anyone on a budget or those who just want to try out their first digital delay.
- Some great effects built-in.
- Amazing price point.
- Some are going to see this as just an entry-level option when it is so much more than that.
3 TC Electronic Flashback Mini
TC Electronic’s Flashback delay pedal is revisited in this great Mini version. Similar in so many ways to its full-size relative, this compact version offers the same great sounds and versatility. Instead of the four controls, it now has three, but it is still possible to create those great sounds. You will have a few hours of fun manually setting them up.
Anyone familiar with TC products will know that one facility that sets them apart from most of the competition is the Toneprint software. The Flashback Mini is fully compatible and therefore you can use this software. Using it, you can finetune your own sounds. Or you can go to a library that contains thousands of options where you can select your favorite delay sound and then edit and fine-tune to get your perfect sound.
This gives you absolutely endless possibilities for sound creation. You will also find some bucket brigade analog delays to work with.
You can set the delay timing through playing the rhythm on your guitar and holding down the tap button or just use the tap button normally and the seven seconds of delay time will give you a great range of different delays. It will operate perfectly with guitar and fx loops and when the pedal is off your signal is clean due to the True bypass.
As with all TC products, they are designed to be user-friendly, so it won’t take long to get to know this pedal and join a growing list of people amazed at its capabilities.
Denmark might be a small country, but it produces some big effects products for guitars, and this is one of them. Being a mini size shouldn’t put you off; in fact, it will give you great sounds and more room on any of the best guitar pedal boards.
- Great sounds on offer through the pedal.
- Toneprint capability.
- Some don’t like smaller pedals.
4 JOYO D-SEED BUNDLE
Joyo is one of several companies doing their very best to supply quality effects pedals at realistic prices. They are based in China where their products are produced by their own staff.
Some companies, when making effects pedals, try and cut some corners in an attempt at keeping costs down. Those corners sometimes include the build quality but not with this pedal. It is very tough with its sturdy metal casing and well made.
Mix, which determines the balance you want between the wet and dry signal. Time sets the delay time you choose, and feedback is self-explanatory. The mode switch allows a choice of four options copy, modulation, analog, and reverse. You, therefore, have a range of built-in options to create a good sound.
There are two footswitches. One is used for channel selection and the other for bypass. It operates as a dual-channel delay.
The reverse delay is always a nice feature to see on a pedal. It creates a very 60s Pink Floyd-like ambiance to the sound. And also delivers other analog tones that are very much like the early bucket brigade sounds. It allows a six-second delay time.
It is very simple to use and has nothing to complicated. But it doesn’t offer much more than what it says it is going to, but then that is an advantage for some people. If you want a plain and simple digital delay that is well-built and delivers a good sound, this might be an option. At the price, it is certainly worth considering.
- Strong build, and well made.
- Very attractive price.
- Some are going to want more tech than this can offer.
5 Electro Harmonix Canyon Delay and Looper
Electro Harmonix is a US company based in New York that is well-known for its high-end effects pedals. They really made their mark on the effects world with their Deluxe Memory Man pedal. They never fail to deliver a quality product, and this digital delay is another from the production line.
It offers many sounds that other pedals do not and doesn’t always stick to the tried and trusted route. Yes, it offers great modern sounding digitally created delays that you can adjust and make to your own requirements. But it also can produce warm sounds that are similar to the tape delay effects of the past.
Another great in-built feature is the modulated octaves, that provide a shimmering affect to the notes. It also has a delay reverse, which is as just mentioned, is always a great feature.
It has a tap-tempo feature so you can create the correct amount of delay manually. This can be handled externally if you choose. Dynamic layering creating 3-dimensional sound patterns can be created using the Looper facility that has sixty seconds of loop length. This also makes it one of the best looper pedals available.
The four controls are the basis of the sound creation process and are FX Level, Delay, and Feedback, as well as an effect selector. This control opens up the options available with the nine different delay settings included onboard. And it has true bypass.
This is a versatile pedal that gives you a lot of options for sound creation. It cannot be called cheap, but if you are looking for the kind of sound it produces and the capability it has, it is worth taking a close look.
- 3-dimensional sound layering.
- Versatile with many sound options.
- Might be a little expensive.
6 TC Electronic Guitar Delay Pedal
The TC Electronic Flashback has become somewhat of an industry-standard in delay pedals. This Danish company always ensure that their products are well made and tough enough to do the job, and with effects pedals, that means they have to be pretty tough. But they also make sure the pedals they manufacture are at the front end of a technology that is always moving forward.
Loaded with their Toneprint technology, you already have access to one of the largest collections of sound effects that exists, and they are all at your fingertips. Create your own using the in-built options on the pedal, or take the basic sounds and settings from some of the great guitar players and edit them as you wish. Three slots are reserved for your own creations.
Our Danish friends have gone a stage further though with their MASH technology. This makes the footswitch sensitive to pressures, and it becomes an expression control and the harder your foot applies pressure, then the more intense the action.
Further developments have been made to the analog algorithms governing tape delay to make them act with the crazy behavior that they sometimes used to make them even more authentic.
The Flashback 2 offers eight preset delays, all of which are adjustable and a looper giving you 40 seconds. The pedal is true bypass.
Quality is extended to the build with its tough metal shell and workmanlike control button making it able to withstand a bit of ‘stomping.’ The controls are simple to use and self-explanatory with Delay, Feedback, Level, and the selector for the presets.
If there is a downside it is that this pedal requires mains power to operate, but we are not sure that’s a negative, and to be honest, with a pedal this good it’s hard to find any negatives at all. Even the price is set realistically considering the options for sound creation that it has.
A great pedal that is certainly in the frame for the best digital delay pedals.
- Tough, rugged design, and easy to use.
- Toneprint and MASH technology at a great price.
- Mains power only.
7 Boss DD-20 Giga Delay Digital Delay Pedal
Boss has gone against the grain with their usual designs and aims and produced an absolute monster of a pedal. Monster in a good way that is. If Boss has been known for one thing other than producing great tough little pedals, it is the simplicity of how their pedals operate. You can pick up one of their effects and be using it in ten minutes.
This is a pedal that has not been designed for the first time, but rather the connoisseur of delays.
The DD-20 is another member of the DD family of delay pedals, and this one is a twin delay unit. It is littered with outstanding high-end functions and offers a plethora of options for those guitar players that want a bit more.
It is a complex machine with the instruction manual being a near work of art in itself, but it clearly outlines how to use it and how to configure it. But, it is going to take a bit of reading and playing with it to get it right.
There certainly isn’t enough space here to give a detailed explanation of all of its features, but a look at a few of them will be a good indicator.
It is a dual stompbox design with a big screen for displaying operating information. The usual controls are there, of course, Level, Feedback and Tone are managed by rotating knobs, and there is a dial for the Delay Time. Tap tempo and LED for on/off give you a certain level of operational comfort and the two powerful and tough stomp pedals add to the secure feeling.
But let’s go back to looking at some new features. There is a memory pad allowing four options you can save to pull up later and then Mode options. There are some common options but also ‘Warp’ is included, a weird type of tape delay, and SOS and Twist. We are tempted to say, don’t ask. It is almost like someone at Boss has said ‘so you think we are predictable and boring. We’ll see about that.’
This is a monster of a pedal and not for the faint-hearted and neither by the way, is the price.
- Too many sound options to mention.
- Outstanding pedal with great build quality.
- Only that it is expensive.
8 TC Electronic ND-1 Nova Delay Guitar Pedal
TC Electronics do like to pack as much technology into their pedals as possible and to use the best components they can. This is highlighted in this pedal, which includes the very desirable and revered 2290 processor.
The options for sound creation using this pedal seem endless, and TC has made available the opportunity to combine these sounds. The days of the vintage machines are replicated beautifully and all the sounds that can be created up to the present day are right there for you to use.
But what about if you were to blend two of these sounds together?
What about if you were to mix a vintage tape machine sound with a little bit of what digital delay has to offer. Ever wondered what that might sound like? You can find out with this pedal and play with the levels to include as little or as much of each as you wish.
The controls themselves are easy to use with the five dials and five buttons. All quite self-explanatory and built-in are six different delay types. It also has nine programmable and adjustable presets, and there are also two footswitches, one for tap tempo which also acts as a mute button.
This is not really a plug and play or entry-level pedal for those new to pedals and digital delay. It will take some understanding, and unfortunately, the manual isn’t a great deal of help, and you are better off using the internet.
It is a complex machine and might be more at home in a studio than on a stage, but it is a great pedal with endless options. But, it is well-built and sturdy and does come in quite expensive, but it is easily one of the best digital delay pedals available.
- Great sound options and variations.
- Good design and well built
- Complex to use and will take some understanding.
9 Mooer Reecho, Digital Delay Pedal
Mooer is a Chinese based company that specialize in manufacturing effects pedals for guitars. They work at the budget end of the market and produce some good pedals at a very cost-effective price. We have looked at a few of their pedals in the past and whilst they are not glamorous in design and are not bristling with new or great features, they do what they say they are going to and do it rather well.
The build is quite solid with its metal body and simply placed controls. The on/off switch is also quite rugged, and it is quite clear this has been designed with pedalboard use in mind.
Like a lot of products these days it is designed and built with a small space-saving size. This does have advantages in many ways, preserving pedalboard space being the most obvious, but seems to attract what we consider unfair negative comments.
Just because it is small doesn’t mean as a pedal, it is no good, or it is weak in some way. These smaller pedals and Mooer are not the only manufacturer of this design and size. They usually though are made by companies working at the budget end, and so maybe that is where the bias comes from.
It has an Echo and Feedback control and Time for the length of the delay. There is a rocker switch for selecting from three delay modes. Analog, Real Echo which will give you an easy, soft reverberation and Tape, which is a very good reproduction of the reel to reel sounds from days past.
It will give you seven seconds of delay to use. It is not a bad pedal, well made and with some very good sounds and for the price an excellent offering. But, it doesn’t have some of the bells and whistles that others do; however, it still does the job. It also features true bypass to keep your tone pure.
- Some very good effects.
- Well built and a cost-effective price.
- Some will not like the small size.
10 Tom’sline Engineering Digital Delay and Echo Delay Pedal APE3S
This pedal is presented as another budget, entry-level delay pedal but on face value, it doesn’t look that cheap compared with some of the others. The design, in many ways, mirrors its budget small size rivals like Mooer and Donner and is designed in a very similar way.
One difference immediately noticeable is the chrome-like bar sitting up over the middle of the pedal. This has been included to stop accidentally moving any control knobs. Quite a good feature, we think.
The design and manufacture are quite sturdy and robust with its strong aluminum case, and it certainly stands up to the opposition with its build quality. It has three operational options Echo, Mod and Normal and offers a good delay time. And it can provide a lot of delay options and produces them to a reasonable degree of quality.
You do get the feeling with this pedal that it has been aimed at the younger entry-level player. And it comes packaged in what resembles a gift box. Can’t really see the pro musicians queuing up to get there’s, but youngsters might appreciate them.
You get the feeling that this pedal has a bit of an identity crisis. It wants to be taken seriously, and to be fair the sound quality it produces would allow that. But then it feels like its aimed at a young audience. However, the crossbar idea is a good one. It is a very basic pedal sound wise, but it is going to suit some people.
- Well made sturdy build and the crossbar idea is good.
- Has some nice sounds and options.
- Will really only be of interest to entry-level delay users.
Best Digital Delay Pedals Buyers Guide
In today’s high-tech world, this is no easy task. There is so much technology involved these days that at times, it all seems like a blur of information that the majority of us cannot understand. There are of course those that do and immerse themselves in it and to be fair they do come up with some amazing sounds from these pedals.
We don’t want to appear critical though because the further technology goes, the better it should be for all of us.
But What Is The Best Pedal For You? Plug And Play Or Some Serious Tech?
That is a question you need to answer. Do you just want a simple to operate delay pedal that has some good sounds and a few basic bells and whistles or do you want the effects pedals answer to the Hadron collider?
Do you want to get it out of the box, and within ten minutes have already begun to understand its basic controls and operation? Or maybe you want to immerse yourself in the tech and see exactly what this little piece of genius can really do?
In either scenario, there are some very good options. It must be said though that the more tech they usually carry, the more expensive they are. So if late-night learning curves are your thing get ready for the price tag.
Where Will You Use It?
On stage, at home or maybe for the studio. If it’s for live work, then maybe you will want something basic and easy to use. If it’s for the home or the studio, you have more time to set up and exploring what sounds you can get.
Whatever the location or the levels of complexity, there will certainly be an option to find one of the best digital delay pedals.
So What Are The Best Digital Delay Pedals?
Normally we would just pick what we think was the best and would suit our own purpose and preferences and with some serious manufacturers like TC Electronics, Electro Harmonix and of course Boss in the frame, you might expect us to go for one of those.
This time though we are going to include the relative price points. We want a pedal that will produce great delay, give us a little bit of vintage to go with it, be easy to use and be cost-effective.
We have therefore chosen as the very best of the best digital delay pedals the…
A great little pedal by a company trying to give us what we need at a reasonable price.
Our choice as the best digital delay pedal.