The Top Six Best Delay Pedals for Guitar

The delay pedal is one of the most commonly found effect pedals use in guitar effects. Even just playing around with one effect such as the delay pedal can really help to add extra flair to your sound, without you having to learn a whole bunch of additional skills or scales!

The majority of delay pedals on the market are going to provide you with the ability to control the basic settings such as; delay time, repeat, and feedback. If you are someone who is interested in learning how to add some extra flair to your sound without having to completely learn a new playing style, keep on reading to discover the best delay pedals for guitar.

What is a delay pedal?

delay pedal

A delay pedal is an effect pedal, just in the same way that overdrive pedals and distortion pedals are used for effects. The way that delay pedals work is by playing back the note that you’ve played several times until the volume of that note researches inaudible. The length of time it takes for that note to become inaudible depends on how long you would like the delay to play for.

How do you use a delay pedal?

Across all music genres, you can often find the sound of a delay pedal in clean guitar parts and in guitar solos, if you really listen closely. A lot of musicians often pair reverb and delay together, as the combination of these two effects together makes it sound as if you’re playing in a big, empty room.

There are some musicians who only enjoy using the delay pedal in a subtle form. However, there are other guitarists out there who really enjoy reaping all of the benefits that a delay pedal can give you. As an example of a common technique that a lot of musicians use with their delay pedal, by picking out a note on a clean channel and adding delay into the mix, you will find that your sounds has a great depth to your sustain. This will help to keep your sound much more interesting and complex sounding, especially if you are trying to stick out a bit from any vocals.

For another example of a technique that you will find being used with delay pedals, you can use delay pedals to create fascinating harmony effects. If you use your delay to put a bit more prominence on your tone, you can play a singular note, and while the delay pedal is repeating that note, you can play harmonies over top of that singular note that you played. This can really spice your sound up and make your solo really stand out from everyone else.

What’s the difference between a delay pedal and a reverb pedal?

reverb pedal

The purpose of a reverb pedal is to create an ambient reflection in your sound, whereas a delay pedal just repeats the sound that you’re creating. While both of these effects are similar in the way that they influence the spacing of where your sound, the actual effect is creating completely different influencers on your sound.

Do I need a delay pedal?

A delay pedal is basically just used to add more texture to our sound and is really a matter of personal choice when it comes to what you think about your sound. You can use a delay pedal to help make your sound more noticeable if you’re trying to stand out from the sound of the other instruments in your band or if you are only just looking to add a different layer to your sound. By adding in additional layers to your sound can really help to transform your sound into something much more intricate, without having to learn anything new (or change instruments).

What are the different types of delay?

You can achieve all sorts of different sounds with a delay pedal, but here is a list of the most commonly found types of delay pedals. Besides this list, there are many other types of delay pedals available, but these are the most common delay pedals!

Analog

analog pedal

This type of delay pedal uses Bucket Brigade Device (BBD) chip to create a delay effect. You can pick out an analog delay pedal by its warmer tones or by its dark and colored sound. The biggest complaint that a lot of people have with analog delay pedals is that they are noisier than digital delay pedals.

Reverse

reverse pedal

Reverse pedals take the sound of what you just created and play it backward. You can find an example of a reverse pedal being used in ‘Are You Experienced’ by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Using reverse delay pedals were extremely common in the mid to late 60s, so if you’re looking to play a lot of music from that time period, a reverse pedal will be of great benefit to you! If you are more interested in creating your own unique style, a reverse pedal may also be of great benefit if you’re looking to experiment with different textures in your sound.

Tape

tape pedal

Tape delay was one of the earliest delay effects used in recordings and was originally produced by creating tape looks on reel recording systems. Fast forward a few decades and we do not have tape delays that use DSP to reproduce the well-known tape sounds.

Modulated

The modulation delay pedal is used to separate your effects; you can either reduce the depth on the modulation delay pedal or deactivate modulation if you are more interested in achieving a drier delay.

Digital

A digital delay is the best type of delay pedal to use if you are interested in reproducing of your original audio. Digital delay pedals are brighter sounding, quieter, and produce a cleaner sound than analog delay pedals. Digital delay pedals are best to use if you’re looking to accurately reproduce your original sound, with both clean and bright tones.

What should you look or in a quality delay pedal?

delay pedal

When you’re shopping around for a delay pedal, there are several things that you need to keep an eye out for before committing to a purchase. Remember, it’s always better to purchase your pedal through an established website or with an established business, as this will help to ensure that you’re getting your hands on a delay pedal that’s high-quality and will last you a long time!

Price

If you aren’t someone who has a huge budget to be playing around with, you’re really going to want to make sure that you’re keeping an eye on the price of your delay pedal. You should also keep in mind that if you do end up spending your money on a delay pedal, make sure that you’re investing into an effect pedal that is going to last you a long time. It would be waste to buy a delay pedal that’s cheap but only lasts you a month or two. If you want to have a high-quality delay pedal that is going last you for a good while of time, you may need to save up some extra money (depending upon your budget).

Quality

On top of watching the price of your delay pedal, you should also make sure that you’re watching out for the quality of your effect pedal. Look over your pedal to ensure that it is built with strong materials that will withstand against years of abuse. If a pedal is significantly cheaper than other pedals that are similar, it’s most likely because it is comprised of cheaper quality materials. This means that the pedal will be less likely to hold up against you constantly stepping on it!

Versatility

In terms of versatility, digital delay pedals are a lot more versatile than analog delay pedals. If you’re really interested in being able to get a ton of use out of your delay pedal, a digital delay pedal will really get you the versatility that you’re looking for.

When you are looking at delay pedals, make sure that you pay attention to the features that the delay pedal comes with. There are some delay pedals on the market that provide users with additional effects such as looping, tempo, and reverb. Having additional effects on your reverb pedal will help to save you money, as you won’t have to shop additional pedals.

BBE Two Timer Analog Delay

Analog delay peals usually coast a pretty penny, but the BBE Two Timer Analog Delay pedal isn’t like other analog delay pedals. While guitarists who are used to playing around with a lot of extra functions on their pedals would refer to this analog pedal as a simple pedal, it makes the perfect pedal for someone who isn’t looking for any bells and whistles to get in their way.

The overall build of this delay pedal will really hold up against all of your stepping and stomping, while also sporting well put together circuitry. The biggest downfall that some users may find this with this delay effect pedal is that it doesn’t come with a tap tempo. However, it’s not that hard to figure out a way to get over not having a tap tempo on your delay pedal. For being an affordable analog delay pedal, it makes a simple and wonderful addition for any guitarist to have in their arsenal.

Joyo D-Seed Dual Channel Digital Delay

Joyo D-Seed Dual Channel Digital Delay is one of those pedals that deserves way more attention than it actually gets because of how absolutely wonderful it is. Not only is the physical build of this pedal strong enough to withstand all of the stompings, but it also comes jam-packed with controls that really allow you to play around with the sound of your instrument, all for a price that isn’t going to cost you an arm and a leg!

The additional features that come with this digital delay pedal include a tap tempo and several other channels for you to choose from. You can also connect an expression pedal to this delay pedal, which will allow you to have additional control over the delay. For being such an affordable delay tempo, it’s very refreshing that this pedal gives you the ability to have so much control over your sound.

MXR M160 Carbon Copy Analog Pedal

MXR M160 Carbon Copy Analog Pedal

MXR is a company that is well-known for producing simple pedals encased inside of boxes that can withstand some serious abuse.  If you’re looking for a minimalist delay pedal with a unique physical design, the MXR M160 Carbon Copy analog pedal may be something that you want to give a look at. While this analog pedal may be a bit more expensive than other analog pedals we have on this list, the M160 pedal is certain to deliver an authentic analog tone quality.

NUX Time Core Guitar Effect Pedal 7 Delay Models True Bypass

NUX is another guitar pedal manufacturer that isn’t too well-known in the guitar world, their Time Core delay pedal is an affordable delay pedal that’s perfect for musicians that are interested in testing out the world of delay pedals. There are a whopping seven modes of delay that come with this pedal, a stereo and mono I/O, and several controls that you can use to shape your sound.

If you’re an experienced musician and know that sometimes these types of pedals come with a catch of sorts, know that there isn’t anything like that going on with this pedal. You will be getting a sensible performance from this pedal, which may be surprising to you because of the price tag that comes with the pedal (don’t worry, we totally understand!).

Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal

Boss is one of the more popular pedal manufactures in the guitar community, mainly because they’re a brand that you can count on to produce pedals that perform consistently. While this delay pedal isn’t anything that’s too exciting, it is a great delay pedal if you’re looking for simplicity and quality.

If you have ever played with any pedals from Boss before, the Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal is basically a combination of all of the wonderful qualities that were in other Boss pedals before with a few new features mixed in. Not to mention that you also get a selection of other delay modes on the DD-7 pedal, including both vintage and analog!

TC Electronic Nova Delay

The TC Electronic Nova delay pedal is an innovative, but classically built digital delay pedal with a red display and LED indicators. If you’re a beginner to the world of delay pedals, you may find that it’s very easy to get confused with this delay pedal because of how many different options you have to customize your tone. However, if you’re someone who is really looking to regain in control of your sound, this is one of the best delay pedals out there to do that with.

The overall tone of this delay pedal is colorful, natural, and very reliable. While this is more of an expensive pedal, this would probably fit best in the hands of someone who has a good amount of experience playing around with delay pedals and really knows what type of direction they’re looking to take their sound in!

Conclusion

Delay pedals can really add extra texture to your sound and can be universally used on guitar solos. If you’re looking to fill up any extra space that you have in your guitar solos, are interested in created unique harmony effects, or just want to add a bit of emphasis to your tone, a delay pedal is certainly a great place to start. Good luck finding the best delay pedal for your personal needs!

About the Author Alizabeth Swain

Alizabeth Swain is a freelance content writer and a passionate musician with nine years of musical training. Alizabeth is on a mission to share her passion for music with others, as she believes that the power of music has the ability to change lives and the world. When she's not writing, you can find her fashion blogging on her YouTube channel or creating new products for her cruelty-free cosmetic company.

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