True bypass delay pedal quest

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by LowCaster, Dec 5, 2019.

  1. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Holic

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    I am looking for a delay pedal with the following requirements:

    True bypass = no buffer. Not to be discussed.

    Tap tempo (built-in or optional).

    Long delay time (like 1s), not just slapback.

    The simpler the better.

    And a nice sound, maybe as a real tape, not « dark » or muddy or weird as the so called « analog » delays.


    For more information: I play at home Where I can hear subtle things that wouldn’t be a concern fo me or the audience if I was playing live. ;)

    I had the Electro Harmonix Memory Boy, true bypass. Perfect when it is off. But sucks the tone of the guitar as soon as it is turned on! I didn’t like the sound of the effect or the useless options to make the sound even worse, the delay was couloured by a strange chorus effect, and the long delay was too low-fi, too weird.

    Then I had the Boss RE-20 (Roland re-201 Space Echo simulation), and it is a cool piece of gear. I liked the sound of the effect, clear, clean and just a little bit warm, I think they made a decent job of emulating a good tape echo. The long repeats were cool. What I didn’t like was the preamp section, always on and not good for me... that’s worst than a buffer.

    I still have a Boss DD-7 , a good tool, which is OK as the sound is clear, but a bit cold (digital?) and not really fun, and of course it is buffered.

    What do you think?
     
  2. lefty73

    lefty73 Tele-Afflicted

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    TC Electronic Flashback delay pedals (Flashback or Flashback 2) are true bypass (when the appropriate DIP switch inside is switched to the proper setting), have a ton of different tape models on tap, and are fairly priced. Also, other TC models such as the Alter Ego V2 provide a few more flavors outside the "norm".

    Couldn't get more simple to use - four dials, all necessary. Mode, Level, Feedback, Time.
     
  3. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Meister

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    Dmm 1100tt?
    Or Strymon capistan maybe.

    Sounds like you might not want analog. Although, the boy isn't the man (ehx)
     
  4. Fretting out

    Fretting out Tele-Afflicted

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    If price is no object you could look into the t-Rex replicator it’s a real tape delay
     
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  5. OzShadow

    OzShadow Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Supa Puss
     
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  6. Average_Joe

    Average_Joe Tele-Meister

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    Strymon El Capistan
     
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  7. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Holic

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    +1 more on the Strymon El Capistan, it does everything you want and can be as pristine or vintage tape sounding as you like.
     
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  8. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I use a Joyo d-Seed for all my delay needs. If I was shopping and money wasn't an object, I would go for the Strymon El Capistan
     
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  9. MrGibbly

    MrGibbly Tele-Afflicted

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    I think the Free the Tone Flight Time ticks a lot of the boxes. It’s easy to use, very tweakable, can be crystal clear or you can apply hi/lo filters to get some cool sounds, has some innovative features, handles both instrument and line level (I like this for my setup), and analog dry through (matters to me...). I actually don’t know if it’s buffered...sorry.
     
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  10. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Holic

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    The first three are on my list, it's already a tough choice.

    TC Flashback 2 offers a lot for the price.

    El Capistan gets a lot of positive comments, everywhere, it would be a favorite but it's on the expensive side.

    The "real deal" Replicator Junior is now cheaper than the El capistan!...That's where my heart goes, but I fear that the little quirks of a real tape will make me regret this purchase. You know I am from that generation who used tape a lot (Walkmans!!!) and had fun with it but was really relieved to replace it by CDs and digital media. There is the tape noise in the signal, and mechanical problems to come. I feel a love-hate relationship coming... :cry:

    I don't think that the Deluxe Memory Man and Supa Puss are for me, because the modulation effect they include is not my thing.

    Now the Flight Time is something! And it sounds good in the demo. When I was 10 years old I would have loved to play with all those bright led displays, but now, not so much. I watched a long video about it and I couldn't start to figure out how to use it. I need analog controls that's for sure. No programs, no memory banks, no enter buttons, please...

    Any experience with the Dunlop Echoplex pedal?

    Thank you for the answers, keep them coming!
     
  11. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I had the Memory Boy for a year or so and have had a DMM-1100TT for 9 months or so now. You might still really like the Memory Man.

    A lot of your complaints about the Memory Boy are different on the Memory Man.

    First off the Modulation is not the same. EHX did this on purpose... Memory Boy is Triangle or Square Wave modulation. I actually think the Triangle is pretty darn good and wish the Memory Man had it as an option. The Square Wave is pretty ridiculous though and very hard to see using musically. The Memory Man is a Sine Wave modulation that is much smoother. The only thing, if you're not using it as a delay and are turning the delay to min and then using the device as a chorus I think it's arguable that the Memory Boy is better.

    In terms of sound the DMM-1100 models are crazy brighter on the repeats and might get you what they want. The addition of the Gain knob (which the DMB also has) gives you a lot more control of what it's doing to your sound.

    You didn't say whether you were running it into the front of the amp or into a loop... for what you want if you have an FX loop I think you'd be happier with the tone that way.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
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  12. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Memory Lane Jr would fit those requirements.
     
  13. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    There's a funny thing about "delay repeats too dark".

    I think that somewhat depends on your guitar & amp. All my stuff is pretty bright. I have the flipside problem that a lot of reverbs sound too bright to me.

    The darker/more subdued sound of an analog delay is way more pleasing to my ear.
     
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  14. MrGibbly

    MrGibbly Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree. ...and, context makes a big difference, too. I love a warmer delay sound when the guitar is on its own. However, I feel like warmer repeats get lost over a band or backing track whereas a bright, crisp repeat still has enough attack to be heard more clearly. Tools for jobs, horses for courses. Experimenting is a lot of the fun for me. :)
     
  15. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Holic

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    I run the pedals in front of the amp.

    That’s a difficult thing to describe. If darker is just a loss in the highs it’s Ok, but if it’s a loss of clarity, if it gets muddy or if there is too much decay, that’s not so good for me.

    Analog is supposed to be darker because, there is a loss in the process of replicating the tone, and it affects the highs and global clarity. But with the Memory Boy (and DD-7 on analog setting), there is just too much decay. When I push it, I get a feedback that is not musical to my ears. Any sound turns into the roar of a wasp’s nest.

    I’d prefer warm over dark. If « warm » is a tone that may have some loss in the highs like compression, but is still rich natural and dynamic.

    I saw a nice video about the T-Rex replicator junior, that shows how the speed of the (real) tape affects the tone: for a long delay, when the tape runs slower, the highs are lost. Those who used tape recorders back in the days remember this: slow speed was used for low-fi recordings, and high speed for hi-fi.

    Here is the Replicator video:

     
  16. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    Yah so the specific thing you're talking about is more Memory Boy specific than analog delay specific.

    In the case of the Memory Boy it it doesn't have the gain knob. If you want the repeats to be more present you can turn the blend knob to increase the volume of the repeats.. but it makes your initial note lose strength which makes everything a little muddier. The DMB and DMM models have the gain knob that counteracts this. But in any case the MB is muddier than the DMB and much much muddier than the DMM at the same delay time & feedback setting. It has to do with the # of chips in each delay unit. The # of chips/stages in each is MT < MB < DMB/DMM < DMM-1100. To get the same delay time the units with fewer chips/stages stretch out the clock more, which leads to more degradation of the repeats and more muddiness. The longer the initial delay and the more feedback the muddier it all gets. This is kind of required to keep the price down as more chips just cost more, more chips apparently also means more time for QC & Calibration, and in the case of EHX it sounds like the boards get built overseas cheap but the delay pedals get final calibration in the US which is expensive.

    A lot of muddy to me has to do with a weird shape to the EQ when treble is lost. The tone knob on my guitar never makes the guitar sound muddy.. The low pass filters in a lot of pedals for example do sound muddy to me, it has to do with the shape the filter takes on and it's center point.

    All that said I really think the dark/muddy sound of the MB has valid musical uses that can be better than brighter repeats on units like that DMM. They both have their place IMO.

    For stuff that is grungier/swampier styles of music (stuff like Skynrd or James Gang, etc..) the MB is more to my taste. If you're trying to do Pink Floyd or U2 type stuff the DMM is seriously better. I got rid of my MB in favor of the DMM mostly cause I just didn't need two. If I really wanted darker I could put something in the loop of the DMM to darken the repeats.
     
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  17. LowCaster

    LowCaster Tele-Holic

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    Thanks, your comment makes a lot of sense regarding what I heard and dislike in th MB.

    ... I tend to « Pink Floyd ».
     
  18. Axegrinder77

    Axegrinder77 Tele-Meister

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    More regarding the dmm (I have the xo)...

    The preamp offers a really nice warm tone. Sometimes I step on it just to warm up my tone actually. I usually keep the blend way down. Just enough delay to make things a bit more spacious.

    It just has such an organic lush sound. I think those Panasonic chips play an integral part. Another selling feature is that they are going obsolete. Those pedals might be worth a lot in the future.
     
  19. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Meister

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    Didn’t read every reply but I would recommend the Digitech Obscura. It checks all the boxes you’ve listed and has a tails switch that I believe is true bypass when set to “off.” It’s digital but certainly not cold, I was an analog delay fan before this one but this was tuned well enough to cover analog tape and lo fi digital sounds, plus there’s a great tone knob to darken or brighten the repeats as needed. It’s a killer piece of kit. I got mine for $65 too. It’s well worth twice that.
     
  20. j5jarod777

    j5jarod777 Tele-Meister

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    TC Alter Ego V2
    Checks all your boxes and sounds great. With the toneprint function you have unlimited possibilities
     
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