Best Delay Pedals

best delay pedals

Best Delay Pedals

The best delay pedals shouldn’t have to be expensive or hard to find. That’s why we spent countless hours tinkering and testing numerous pedals and  wrote this guide to the best delay pedals. Delay pedals are arguably one of the most important pedals to have in your gear kit. They not only allow for some of the most versatility and depth of any guitar pedal, but they offer hours of endless fun and enjoyment.

Below you can find some of our favorite picks such as the budget-friendly “Best Buy” and our high-quality “Best of the Best” models. Because music is important to you, and because you’ll be spending a large amount of time using and practicing with your pedal of choice it’s critical you get the right advice. So take some time to digest the information below.

For a quick overview, below is our list of the best delay pedals. For more in-depth information, scroll below.

RankPedalProsConsPrice
1Donner Yellow Fall Vintage•Budget Friendly
•Best Buy
•Limited effects$35
2MXR169 Carbon Copy•Quality
•Best of the Best
•Limited effects$150
3Boss DD-7•Fully Loaded
•High Quality
•None$150
4TC Electronic Flashback•Versatility
•Added Looper
•None$130
5Behringer EM600•Fully Loaded at
a low price point
•Quality issues$50

Key Features to Look for in the Best Delay Pedals

Analog vs. Digital
The difference between analog and digital delay pedals is a big one, but  that doesn’t mean one is better than the other. They simply have different properties that result in different sounds. In terms of features, digital pedals tend to have more options and settings, where as analog pedals are more clean with less knobs and buttons.

Digital: If we view analog pedals as mechanical watches, then digital pedals would be representative of digital watches. Accurate, and unchanging. Digital pedals work by taking the original signal, a guitar note for example, and converting it into digital numbers. These numbers are stored, and can be played back as many times and as long as the musician wants. This leads to the benefits of digital pedals: Cleaner delays, longer delays, and a higher level of control. The drawbacks of digital delay can sometimes be a ‘digital sound’.

Analog: On the other hand, analog takes your original signal and does not store it, but takes it through a cycle of capacitors. Not storing your signal gives analog a warmer and thicker sound, but can also fall victim to time issues or become muddy. Despite imperfections in playback, many guitarists swear by analog’s pure and and undigitized sound. 

Cost
Cost is always an important factor when searching for the best delay pedals, or the best of any equipment for that matter. The pedals we’ve laid out below are the best delay pedals for varying cost brackets. If you’re a beginner go with our “Best Buy” pedal, which measures cost vs. quality. If you’re searching for a more advanced pedal, our “Best of the Best” demonstrates the highest quality pedal without budget in mind.

Best Delay Pedals

Donner Yellow Fall Vintage

best delay pedals

See Price on Amazon

Type: Analog Emulation
Pros: Price, Best Buy Award
Cons: Slight bypass issues

Simple, reliable, and all at a low price earn the Donner Yellow Fall Vintage our Best Buy Award.

At fourth the price of a MXR Carbon Copy (and nearly matching its quality) – the Fall Vintage is a must have for any enthusiast. This micro pedal maintains a simple layout with only 3 knobs: Echo (which is your mix), Time (which is your delay time), and Feedback (which is your repetitions). Although an analog ’emulation’, the sound quality is still pretty darn good. 

The Donner Yellow Fall Vintage Delay Pedal is a fun and cost-effective pedal for users of all levels.


MXR M169 Carbon Copy

best-delay-pedals

 

See Price on Amazon

Type: Analog
Pros: Quality, Best of the Best Award
Cons: None

As one of the best analog pedals on the market, the MXR M169 Carbon Copy was a no-brainer for our Best of the Best Award.

Used by the likes of The Edge, Joe Perry, and Jeff Beck (to name a few), the M169 is a warm and rich sounding analog pedal. As is standard on most analog pedals, its no-frill design includes just a 3 knobs: Delay, Mix, and Regen. There is also a Mod button included which emulates echo tones.

If analog is your preference, you can find no better pedal than the M169 Carbon Copy by MXR.


Type: Digital
Pros: One of the best digital delays
Cons: None

Although Boss is always a familiar face when discussing pedals, in our opinion they always seem to fall short of delivering top quality gear. Well that couldn’t be less of the case with the DD-7.

As one of the best digital delay pedals on the market today, we had a difficult time handing over our Best of the Best Award to MXR instead of the DD-7. Super long and pristine repeats make this a perfect pedal for any musician who wants as clean of delay as possible. Besides the basics, Boss takes it a step further by offering tap tempo, reverse, modulation, 40 seconds of recorded sound on sound, and an analog switch!

The DD-7 from Boss is a jam-packed delay pedal all with an incredible sound.


TC Electronic Flashback

flashback-delay-pedal

See Price on Amazon

Type: Digital
Pros: Versatility, Quality
Cons: None

Versatility is truly king with the TC Electronic Flashback Delay pedal.

With 6-seconds delay, true bypass, 4 knobs: Delay, Feedback, FX Level, and 11 of the most popular delay types, the Flashback also includes a looper for endless fun. To top it all off, TC Electronic added a feature called “Tone Print”, which are preset pedal tweaks made by popular musicians. You can upload these tweaks via the usb plug-in on the pedal!

High quality sound and build wrap up the Flashback as one of the best delay pedals to date.


Behringer Echo Machine EM600

best delay pedals

See Price on Amazon

Type: Digital
Pros: Price
Cons: Quality issues

The EM600 from Behringer is a loaded digital delay without having to pay the loaded price.

We were pretty surprised at the functionality and offered features on the EM600. Included is a tape/digi/analog switch; 5 knobs: Mix, Repeat, Time, 12 delay types, and Mod; and a fantastic tap tempo. This all at a comparatively cheap point. Where the EM600 suffers is with occasionally build quality, and tone issues.

However, if you’re looking for a cheap pedal that still has all the bells and whistles of the Flashback or DD-7 – look no further than the Behringer Echo Machine EM600 Delay Pedal.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *