Delay has been a staple of the guitar effects world for decades, dating back to the early antique tape echo machines and spring reverb units to today's multitude of pedals. But with so many choices, it can be tough to sift through all of the pedals out there and find one that's right for you, not to mention one that fits your budget. A few weeks ago, we compiled a list of Great Overdrive Pedals Under $100 and today, we give the delay pedal the same treatment. Why $200 and not $100? Because we feel like the pedals below are well worth the extra bit of cash.
MXR has a long history of releasing high-quality effects at a great price. From our own MXR Carbon Copy Review, we found that this pedal continues the trend. Featuring a fully analog experience made possible by classic Bucket Brigade Chip technology, the Carbon Copy is a great choice for old-school purists. The Carbon Copy features an impressive 600ms worth of delay time along with optional modulation through a top-mounted switch, topped off by simple yet effective three knob controls – Delay Time, Mix (dry/wet blend), and Regen (repeats). For further control, the Carbon Copy also features two internal trim pots that allow you to adjust the rate and width of the modulation. From crisp, classic slap echoes to Pink Floyd inspired echo, the Carbon Copy delivers.
Featuring a true bypass, all analog circuitry with classic Bucket Brigade chips and no microcompressors or digital signal processors whatsoever, the Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail is the new kid on the block that has already won over plenty of die-hard analog delay fans. The Vapor Trail combines the smooth, warm feel of vintage analog pedals with the crystal clear response of today’s modern gear to create a delay that doesn’t compromise on what matters most – tone. Add in the highly responsive modulation controls, tough as nails construction and outstanding price tag and it’s easy to see why so many players have added this great pedal to their boards.
The Digitech Obscura Altered Delay takes delay to a whole different level, allowing you to push your echoes inside out, upside down and more. Featuring four unique delay types (Analog, Tape, Lo-Fi and Reverse) that can be distorted, darkened and degraded at will thanks to the stacked Tone and Degrade controls, the Obscura is perfect for players who love to lose themselves in their effects. Aside from the Tone and Degrade controls, the Obscura also features a unique Repeat/Hold control that let you further manipulate the character and sound of your delay. Throw in the useful Tap Tempo feature, stereo output and true bypass circuitry, all for less than $200, and you have a delay that's easy to recommend.
With the Bicycle Pedal, you’re in complete control of the character of your delay as the sound depends almost entirely on the set and setting. Whether you want a straight, mild delay or a completely reversed, upside down psychedelic spiral, it’s up to you. Get your creative juices flowing a step at a time or just let loose and give into the pedal’s amorphous spirit. But aside from its wild character, the Bicycle pedal also features awesome tone, able to smooth out edge notes and give your entire sound a bit more prominence and shine. With five control knobs and plenty of room for experimentation, the Catalinbread Bicycle pedal is the perfect delay for players who love to think outside of the box!
While it might not have an astronomical amount of delay time like other similar pedals, what it does have it has in spades -- high-quality analog tone. If warm, smooth and organic tones sound like your thing, the Way Huge Aqua-Puss is highly recommended. Place this pedal as part of your clean sound and you'll be pleasantly surprised just how much it adds to your sound. From rockabilly-style slapback reverb to a full out, out of this world sound with tons of echo, the Aqua-Puss delivers and remains crisp and consistent throughout. You can dig a little deeper into this pedal by checking out our full Way Huge Aqua-Puss Delay Guitar Effects pedal review.
The DD-3 may not come packed with all of the settings and features of some of the other Boss delays, but it remains a classic stompbox that still packs a good amount of versatility and tone. Featuring easy to use, no-nonsense controls, you can easily dial in a multitude of classic sounds. In our Boss DD-3 Delay Guitar Effects Pedal Review, we were easily able to crank out anything from Guns N Roses' Welcome To The Jungle intro to the familiar echo of U2's The Edge, some Dark Side Of The Moon and more. Add in the DD-3's excellent price tag and you have a pedal that is definitely worth a closer look.
While the six pedals above are a few of our favorites, there's a lot more where that came from. Whether you prefer the smooth, natural tone of analog or the robust feature set of digital, ProAudioLand has the right delay for your setup. Hit the link below to browse our selection of Reverb/Delay. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the purchase of the pedals above or any other piece of gear we carry, don't hesitate to chat with one of our friendly PAL pros by using the live chat feature below or by calling us toll-free at 1 877-671-2200!
What's your favorite sub $200 delay pedal?