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Best Delay and Reverb Pedal for Rockabilly?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by guitardedzen, Mar 20, 2010.

  1. guitardedzen

    guitardedzen Tele-Holic

    Jan 18, 2007
    Chico, CA
    I'm new to effects pedals and frankly am coming back to electric guitar after a five year stint with bluegrass flatpicking. I'll have my kit blackguard esquire finished by sometime next week and am playing through a 1979 silverface fender champ (tube still). Most of my rockabilly playing will be coming from P-90's in my three pickup Epiphone Zephyr Blues Deluxe (think '49 Gibson ES-5 or see profile pic). I believe my dad has either a Boss or Ibanez pedal he uses as well as a Dano pedal that he uses for his gigs. The sounds I'm going for are mainly like Cliff Gallups from mid 50's Gene Vincent's Blue Caps and of course Scotty Moores sound. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2010

  2. wangdangdoodle

    wangdangdoodle Tele-Holic

    Mar 17, 2008
    West Yorkshire, UK
    Are you sure you're not thining of a 'delay' pedal?

  3. cactusrob

    cactusrob Friend of Leo's

    Aug 26, 2009
    That's what I was wondering, too WDD...a tight dose of delay and some reverb is what I would think you'd need but I'm no rockabilly expert.... There's a lot of very friendly, knowledgeable folks on here that I'm sure will have an informed answer for you.

  4. imsilly

    imsilly Friend of Leo's

    Feb 15, 2009
    It's definately delay and reverb you want. Though I guess some people used Chorus, I know for a fact that a lot of Tape Echo Machines incorporate Chorus as an additional affect. Think later Roland Space Echo machines.

    There are two routes really an authentic analog tape delay and spring reverb one and a modern pedal one. Frankly both a good, just different and it's a personal preference which you choose. They both have pluses and minuses.

    The biggest differences are in cost and reliability. If you are on a budget pedals might be your only course, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing because they are a lot more reliable. Though there are aspects of old analog effects they can't recreate.

    I don't have much experience with the pedals side, the few pedals with these functions I had as backups to old analog effects so they didn't get much use. The EHX Holy Grail (Reverb) and Memory Man (Delay) pedals are classics and very popular. I don't particularly like their sounds as they come accross a little bright and tinny to me, but they sell by the bucket load so I guess they are pretty decent. The Malekko Spring Chicken (Reverb) and MXR Carbon Copy (Delay) are newer pedals and again both very popular. They are also pretty reasonably priced. I think they sound better then the EHX pedals. If I had to go for a pedal that was a little more expensive then those I'd probably choose a Vanamps Solemate (Reverb) and Maxon AD999 (Delay) because they sound probably the closest to the original spring and tape effects in a pedal.

    If you want to head into vintage and boutique spring and tape territory you have to do your research and get lucky with what is available. I love my Roland Space Echo it is a combined Spring reverb and Tape echo unit, like much of the rockabilly revival artists used, including Setzer. They come in many variations and can be had for under $500 which is pretty close to the cost of a very good set of pedals. They also act as a preamp, adding compression, EQing ability, boosts and even a little of their own distortion. So you get a lot for the extra money. A lot of old reverb and echo machines colour your tone. They need annual servicing and replacement parts though. There are always Watkins (WEM) Copicats a cheaper alternative and very much like the tape echos inbuilt into those early rockabilly amps like the Echosonic. There are also godly and expensive options like the Binson Echo machines. There are oddball Echorec Echos like Beck liked to use. Echoplex's like Jimmy Page used for recordings. Fender's own outboard reverb is one of the best effects ever produced.

    Anyway it's all down to buget, patience and tone.

  5. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

    Jan 2, 2007
    Virginia, USA
    I love my MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay. It does the slapback thing like magic. That and my Gretsch sound like Scotty Moore through my Deluxe Reverb amp.

    I had a Danelectro Analog (it was the lavender one I think) Delay that sounded nice too, but went wonky on me...

    Reverb? Dunno, I got it in both my amps already... the Fender Spring Reverb unit is an extremely nice unit that I've heard fantastic things about. But it's kinda pricey.

    I think imsilly has hot most of the reverb pedals I've heard of.... and then some! LOL

  6. twangjeff

    twangjeff Tele-Holic

    Feb 2, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Aqua Puss. Period. Nails all of those slap back tones with ease!

  7. gypsyseven

    gypsyseven Friend of Leo's

    Mar 7, 2009
    Mxr Carbon Copy & EHX Holy Grail.

  8. waters

    waters TDPRI Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    Hackensack, MN
    Mxr Carbon copy, Aqua Puss reissue, or a Cmatmods Deeelay along with a Hermida Reverb for some subtle spring like reverb. Look around and buy used and you could get the job done for 200 bucks or less. Yep, it"s as simple as that... :)

  9. tele salivas

    tele salivas Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 5, 2008
    Aqua Puss has the rockabilly slapback and then some other great classic sounds,,,I like the Electro Harmonix Holy Grail for reverb...mines lasted real well the last 5 years, just be sure to use the power supply it comes with if you decide on it, all others will mess it up. Also, if your amp doesn't have tremolo, for about $20-30 you can get a Dano Tuna Melt for some of that classic trem sound,,,that goes well with the rockabilly too...

  10. castpolymer

    castpolymer Poster Extraordinaire

    May 27, 2008
    Edmond, Oklahoma
    Hopefully going to land a MXR Carbon Copy tomorrow. CL trade. I am looking forward to playing thru it.

  11. ghall

    ghall Tele-Meister

    Feb 16, 2010
    Scotty Moore

    I play a Gretsch 5120 through a Frontman 212 and when I want that Scotty Moore sound I step on (gently) my Danelectro BLT echo. I swear it sounds dead on. I say "gently" because you can buy this pedal for under $20 and it looks like if you step on it to hard it might crumble. That said, I have had mine for over a year with no troubles. Can't go wrong for under twenty.

  12. ironweed

    ironweed Tele-Meister

    Mar 21, 2003
    Look at the Danelectro Reel Echo. Not in the same league as a real tape Echoplex, but mimics the effect and the control layout. Gets a nice single or multi slapback.

  13. LaExpatriot

    LaExpatriot Tele-Meister

    Sep 23, 2009
    Central OH
    I really like the SPace Echo for an all in 1 pedal.
    As for reverb I use either the built in reverb on my DRRI or a Fender63 outboard reverb unit.
    For Delay I have heard great things about the Carl Martin Red Repeat. I use a cheapy Dano Fab Echo for my Delay. Bought it for $9 used at local store. For the $ it is all I need.

  14. nasonm

    nasonm Friend of Leo's

    Mar 25, 2003
    I'll throw a different one into the mix. For the money I like the new EH Memory Toy. It's a $70 analog delay. Simple, does what it needs to do.

  15. dog fart

    dog fart Friend of Leo's

    Dec 16, 2009
    North Carolina
    I'm looking for reverb myself, but for Rock-a-billy delay I suggest the Way Huge Aqua-Puss or the MXR Carbon Copy. They cost about the same on-line. Find a dealer with good return policy.
    D F

  16. Robsocal

    Robsocal Tele-Meister

    May 30, 2006
    Southern California
    The Lovepedal Echo Baby does slapback (and other echo settings) very well, and it doesn't take up much room on you board. I think Lovepedal makes their effects pretty solidly in general.

  17. cactusrob

    cactusrob Friend of Leo's

    Aug 26, 2009
    See what I mean? :D

  18. Brian blaut

    Brian blaut Friend of Leo's

    Feb 13, 2005
    SF North Bay
    any analog Delay will get you there. That is first and foremost. the MXR carbon copy is a great pedal at a great price. There's also the Malekko 616 and Way Huge Aqua Puss and the BBE Two-Timer (all of which I haven't played) which interest me the most. I'm personally no fan of the 'modulation' on these pedals though. If they sounded just like tape warble, then it would be ok, but they don't. So I just find them annoying and distracting and adding muddiness to the tones.

    On the cheap, a DanEcho is just the thing. It doesn't have the headroom though and the repeats can distort in the effects loop, or if the pedal is fed with a boost. But for a digital pedal, it sounds pretty great with a clean or cleanish signal through the front of the amp. It has a tone knob which is great for dialing in a warmer or brighter delay.

    I use a little spring reverb too, but it depends on the room. If you're playing rather quiet in a dead room, the reverb to grease up the tone is perfect. If you're playing loudly in a muddy room, all the reverb does is add to the muddiness. Too much reverb fills in the gaps in the delay, making the delay less noticeable. Sometimes I turn off the delay and just crank up the springs. sometimes I turn off the reverb and let the delay be more pronounced. If I had to choose one though, it would be the delay for sure.

    There's not rules though. Scotty Moore uses a Boss digital delay and a Boss chorus pedal through a Peavey classic 30. -That settup would be laughed at by traditionalist rockabillies who are hell bent at coping Scotty's original sound. It'll be much more important to just play the music well, with the right spirit. -Which is the real trick. Faking Scotty's or Cliff's gear is rather easy. Playing like them is the hard part.

    Spring reverb pedals are tricky. not room or hall reverbs, but truely, Plate reverbs would be the verb heard on any of the old 50's recordings. Still, I like the sound of springs (even faux springs). All will work just fine for a little bit of reverb, but if you want to surround the notes a little thicker, they start to fall apart. I sold the Holy Grail, Chicklet, passed on the Hardwire for various individual reasons -but each of these did great at light settings. I've got a Boss FRV-1 and Mr. Springgy on the way. It's possible I'll rebuy the Grail in the end as it's pro's just might turn out to outway it's cons... You can also get a used Fender Reissue Tanke for under $400 if you're really serious about your reverb.

    But there's a whole mess of delay and reverb options out there. Any of them will fine, but they are all different in the details. It's a long road if you start getting picky.

    have fun

  19. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

    Nov 13, 2006
    That's what I was going to say. That's all you need.

    I don't think reverb is necessary or even desirable for rockabilly. They didn't have it back in in the 50s.

  20. bo

    bo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    I spent nine years playing lead in a RAB trio. First thing, skip the reverb for live playing. It will only wash out your guitar sound. Yeah, yeah, I know it sounds "like a record" when playing at home. There are several good delays out there but after trying several I highly suggest tracking down an old DOD FX90 analog delay. As a rule they're pretty cheap as they aren't especially sought after by the Gilmour-heads. You can often snag one off of Ebay for less than $100.00. They are not necessarily great general purpose delays, but are amazing for fat warm slapback. YMMV. Happy hunting.

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