Guide To Finding The Best Delay Pedal (2016)

What is the best one there is among the delay pedals? How do you even find the best delay pedal or more so, how do you even locate it and by which process? Well, to get an answer to that question, you can take refuge to several on and off net sources.

​However, before going to other options, you need to identify your requirements from the delay pedal you are willing to buy. If you do not know that and go for the ‘hot-shots’ in the delay market, you might end up with a high-rated wrong one for you. If that should happen, it would indeed be disastrous.

​To avoid that mishap, outline your needs first and then search for the one that is best suited to your requirements. Here is a list of 6 trending delay pedals which hopefully will make it easier for you to find the best delay pedal in the market right now.

List of 6 trending delay pedals on market

1. Donner Yellow Fall Vintage Pure Analog Delay Guitar Effect Pedal True Bypass

2. TC Electronic FlashBack Delay and Looper Guitar Delay Effect Pedal

3. TC Electronic Flashback X4 Guitar Delay Effects Pedal

4. TC Electronic Flashback Mini

5. MXR M169 Carbon Copy® Analog Delay

6. JOYO D-SEED Dual Channel Digital Delay Guitar Effect Pedal with Four Modes


Brief Reviews of 6 Best Delay Pedals

1. Donner Yellow Fall Vintage Pure Analog Delay Guitar Effect Pedal True Bypass

When it comes to guitar pedals, Donner is a household name. Same goes for the Yellow Fall Vintage Pure Analog Delay Pedal, which grabbed our attention with its specifications and performances. It is designed beautifully to provide a comprehensive experience of authentic analog delay with a great range covering from 20ms to 620ms. The Donner Yellow Fall is also fashioned with aluminum-alloy, which provides an elegant finish as well as makes it sturdy. It also comes with a true bypass technology that is hard to imagine especially when you consider that it is kind of the best cheap delay pedal you will find out there in the market. The Donner Yellow Fall also comes with two outputs – one for dry signal and the other for effected signal which provide the opportunity to do some experimentation as well.

What we like best about this pedal

  • It is cheap, yet with very good quality
  • Has good range of options available
  • Runs in standard 9V DC adapter
  • Impressive aluminum-alloy design
  • Provides transparent tone using true bypass technology


2. TC Electronic FlashBack Delay and Looper Guitar Delay Effect Pedal

FlashBack Delay from TC Electronic is our mid-range maestro, as it provides ample opportunity for any level guitarists to experiment with their electric guitars. The best thing about the FlashBack is that it comes with impressive range of options, including the groundbreaking feature of delay effect of 6 seconds duration – making it one of the best delay pedals in the present market. It also comes with TonePrint, enabling the users to transfer their favourite settings easily. It also has looper with 11 different delay types providing a wide range of options for the guitarist. Also, there is another feature called audio tapping, which enables users to setup delay times as simply as by strumming their guitars. There are some other useful tools such as toggle switch, feedback and repeat controls, small footprint, stereo in-out feature, analog dry-through and lots more.

What we like best about this pedal

  • Wide range of options makes it easier for innovative and experimental music
  • 6 seconds delay time which is simply fascinating
  • True bypass technology
  • Top quality components making it strong and durable
  • Small footprint saving unnecessary use of space
  • Price is competitive


3. TC Electronic Flashback X4 Guitar Delay Effects Pedal

Once again here we are, talking about another Flashback delay pedal from the great TC Electronic. This one here is the Flashback X4, which comes with even more delay options than the FlashBack Delay and Looper. With 16 delay types, TonePrint technology along with some other features such as Tap Tempo and 3 presets, the Flashback X4 is a delay pedal with the ability to satisfy the needs of the professional guitarists. It has been in the market for quite a long time, and the performance and durability of this device is amazing. It also comes with forty seconds of loop feature, which makes it one of the hottest delay pedals in the market today. The quality is excellent, as well as the price.

What we like best about this pedal

  • 16 delay options
  • Professional tonal output
  • Impressive Tap Tempo feature
  • Considering the price and quality, it may as well be the best guitar delay pedal available now.

4. TC Electronic Flashback Mini

Yes, another Flashback. But this one is the smaller version, but yet almost just as effective. The Flashback Mini from TC Electronic is one of the best cheap delay pedal in the market. It has impressive TonePrint functionality, with a very good true bypass technology and according to our tests, both of these functions work well. There’s just no qualms about that.

What we like best about this pedal

  • True Bypass technology is a blast
  • TonePrint functionality is great
  • Cheap price

5. MXR M169 Carbon Copy® Analog Delay

The Carbon Copy® Analog Delay from MXR is most likely one the best delay pedals that you will ever come across in the current market. It comes with analog audio-path feature using the bucket brigade tech which provides ultimate rich delay experience. It also has this capability to go up to 600ms of delay time. This is simply the best analog delay pedal in this category, both pricewise and qualitywise.

What we like best about this pedal

  • Rich, analog delay providing industry-leading performance
  • 600ms of delay time
  • Quality and durability are guaranteed
  • Best analog delay pedal in this price range.



6. JOYO D-SEED Dual Channel Digital Delay Guitar Effect Pedal with Four Modes

The D-Seed Digital Delay pedal is a fine specimen of dual channel pedals in the market and probably the best delay pedal from Joyo. It has an impressive array of features including 17 to 1000 ms of delay time accompanied by dual channel functionality and tap tempo feature. The best feature of this pedal is that the parameters of each of these channels can be set individually. Definitely a good buy for the price.

What we like best about this pedal

  • Dual Channel functionality
  • 17ms to 1000ms of delay time
  • 04 individual delay modes
  • External trigger input
  • Very good buy for the price
  • Gorgeously built


· What to look for when choosing delay pedals

Like it has been told before, the most basic move to pick the perfect delay pedal is to knowing your mind first. However, there are some more steps that you need to go through to make a flawless purchase. Here are the things you need to look for when choosing a delay pedal.

Pick the right kind

Be it a pricey or be it a cheap delay pedal, you have to be absolutely sure about it before opening your wallet for it. There are basically three types of pedals to choose from namely the ‘analog’ ones, the ‘digital’ ones and the ‘tape’ ones.

* The tape ones are the ones whose processors depend on tubes for power. These delays are made of magnetic tape and very well known for their very natural sound quality. The price tags of tape pedals are pretty high as well as their maintenance. However they are worth all the bucks they are paid for. They come in regular and vintage.

* The pedals that kind of ‘replaced’ the tape pedals are called analog pedals. They can supply you with awesome natural sound. However, the one point that holds them back a little is that they are not usually designed to offer delays that are usually longer than about three-four hundred milliseconds. Dunlop MXR Carbon Copy covers up to 600 milliseconds which is quite an exception.

* The digital ones take the prize when it comes down to most commonly used pedals nowadays. Their ability to offer delays for a longer time period and a strong echo effect make them a perfect package for guitar players and composers. They might deepen the crease between the eyebrows of the critics for their not sounding ‘au naturel’ much. But the positives they come up with work as a jawbreaker indeed.

Count the ‘Keys’ N ‘Knobs’

Put your ‘Mathlete’ helmet on and start counting the knobs and keys the pedals in your ‘prospective buy list’ offer. To keep it basic and simple, you might want to look for at least the ‘golden trio’ of delay pedals that includes the ‘feedback’, the ‘level’ and the ‘time’ in the least.
• The feedback: This option helps you to determine how long you want your feedback to last. Nowadays you can buy pedals that come along with the ‘indefinite feedback’ option.
• The Level: This particular key or knob helps you to set and control the volume you want from the delay effect. Some of them even come along with a range that will allow you to set the volume much higher than the original sound.
• The Time: This key or knob has got a catchy alias that is ‘range’. This key is there to help you in determining the timeframe between the delay and the original guitar tone. Almost all the digital ones come along with a time capacity of up to 800 milliseconds. Nowadays you can find some of them that allow you to delay up to five whole seconds.

Add the Additional yet Important Ones to Your List

There are some other keys that you might want to have in the pedal that you choose. In such a case you might like to look for the options such as --- ‘tone’ and ‘pan’ knobs. The first one among them works as the treble controlling device of your delay which is necessary to keep your main tone in the focal point. The ‘pan’ knob works as the ‘echo-directing’ device that helps you to determine whether you want it through the right or the left one while you are using a stereo amplifier.

Compare the Unique Qualities

Looking closely, you might always find some unique and special qualities or features in each delay. For example, some delays come with ‘reverse’ option that allows you to play with each and every delay of your playing in reverse. Similarly, the ‘ping-pong’ option helps you in bouncing the delays between the right and left channels when you want.

Look for the Looper

This is kind of an optional necessity when you are buying a delay pedal. Loopers are either ‘built-in’ or ‘standalone’. If you want to go for a cheap delay pedal then a built-in one should be your pick. This kind of pedals usually offer basic looping options (will give you a 40-seconds long loop at a time in an average with a super impose facility) while the standalone ones have to offer a wide range of basic to high-end looping options.

Have an Eye for the Hold

The Hold option allows you to continue a phase up to infinity. Boss DD3 comes up with this.


· Useful Tips for Using Delay Pedals

Just because you own the best delay pedal now does not make you one of the best users of that automatically. To utilize the pedal you have purchased there are few useful tips for you. Here they go.

* Position the Signal Chain Correctly

If you have an assortment of stompboxes, you should position your signal chain following an order that will let you utilize your pedal the most. For example, if you own a ‘fuzz’, ‘overdrive’ or ‘distortion’ one, make sure you put the dirt first followed by the delay. It works because delaying an already distorted sound sounds fantastic while distorting a delayed comes out all wrong. Feel free to do your own experiment to come up with the best combinations for you.

* Do the Doubling to Get the Modulation

Doubling is kind of a subtle delay that makes the sound thick. Using your feedback for only one or two repeats, setting the level high and timing it in between fifty to one hundred ms can give you a nice doubling. For simulated chorusing, lower down the level to twenty to fifty milliseconds.

* Set off to Slapback

Do you want to add a little more rock or country to your original? Slapback is the thing for you then. Keep the level halfway, feedback it at zero and set the time in between eighty to a hundred and forty ms to get a punching slapback.

* Road to Reverb

To get this effect make sure you keep the level just like the slapback one, set your time in between a hundred to a couple of hundreds ms and add 5 repeats on feedback. This will give you a nice ‘faux reverb’ that you would like to get.

* Match the Delay Source with the Tempo

This is very important that your beat source and tempo are matching with one another. If you are using a fixed source of delay then you are supposed to get a delay range of two hundred ms or above. In such a case, you must set your delay in accordance with the tempo otherwise the repeat or repeats will not match at all.

* Make the Mimic Work

If you are a mimic fan, set your time or range to a thousand ms or more, keep your feedback set for only a single repeat and set the level a little lesser than the typical ‘dry guitar’ level. Playing a 2-3 notes phase and pausing to get the delay work can deliver you a quality mimic.

Concluding Words

Getting the best delay pedal is surely a lot of work but not impossible at all. Just make sure you know what you want and go for that specific kind of pedals. Also stay keen on making the most of the pedal you get. Never be shy of trying new combinations on your pedal because just like the other creative works, there is no end-word in the world of guitar and music. All you need to do is to accept the innumerable possibilities and keep embracing them to get there.


You can read more information about MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay by click here

See Also:

10 Awesome Delay Tricks for Electric Guitars

About the Author Alexander James

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