A delay pedal ought to be among the first 2 or 3 pedals in your arsenal. The actual functioning of a delay pedal is outright simple. A delay pedal primarily plays back the notes, which you’ve played. However, this pedal opens up to a lot more interesting uses, especially when used to enhance rhythm guitar work.
We’re here to help you decide which the best guitar delay pedal is for you. If you’re thinking, “there’s no such thing as the best pedal…” you’re correct. The spice of any musician’s life is variety. You can’t wrong with the top 10 best delay pedals in 2016 reviews featured below.
10. Boss DD-3 Digital Delay Pedal
Sometimes, less is inarguably more. That’s the case with the Boss DD-3. Boss features an extensive lineup of the DD series, enough options to make your head spin. The Boss DD-3 is amongst the most recommended among them all. The simple, indestructible, and efficient DD-3 offers a remarkable sounding delay of up to 800ms.
You can choose between the Short 50ms, Medium 200ms, or the Long 800ms delay. There’s also a Hold Function, which will prove essential. Go with the DD-3 if you subscribe to the ‘less is more’ philosophy with your gear. It’s a fantastic choice, as it’ll last you a lifetime, thanks to the legendary Boss build quality.
- Max Delay Time: 800ms
- Weight: 1 Pound
- Dimensions: 8-inch x 10-inch x 8-inch
- Batteries: 1.9V Batteries (Included)
- Warranty: 5-Year on Parts
9. Line-6 DL4 Stomp-Box Delay Modeler
This model boasts the distinction of being among the most highly recommended delay pedals. Digital delays offer more versatility than most other types. Virtually no other pedal showcases that fact better than the Line-6 DL4. They call it a ‘delay model’, which implies that it’s able to model 15 vintage delay effects, thanks to the digital circuitry.
The DL4 is an impressive sounding delay unit that does justice to all the delays it replicates. The enclosure is notably large; but for the versatility it has to offer, it’s a minutely small price to pay. Additionally, you’ll have three programmable preset slots to help save your custom settings. Considering how many features it offers, the price is undeniably justified.
- 3 Programmable Presets
- Time: 800ms of Pre-delay
- Weight: 3.1 Pounds
- Dimensions: 10-inch x 6-inch x 2.5-inch
8. JOYO D-SEED Digital Delay Pedal
This model is among the most pleasant surprises we’ve encountered when it comes to delaying pedals. It comes packed in a white casing and is as sturdy as a tank. The D-SEED equips you with a top quality delay effect and avails primary controls at quite an affordable price. For such sonic quality, you’d expect it to cost much more. The JOYO D-SEED is a great place to start if you like simple pedals that offer cutting-edge quality sound.
- Delay Time: 17ms-1, 000ms
- Delay Modes: COPY, MODULATION, ANALOG, and REVERSE
- Weight: 2.2 Pounds
- Dimensions: 4.1-inch x 1.8-inch x 4-inch
7. Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal
Bosses took upon themselves to manufacture a delay pedal, which incorporates some of the most-renowned and finest aspects of their older releases. The DD-7, with its distinctive color tone and beautifully, put together compact design, is a beautiful piece of work that easily finds itself as a top pick.
The pedal’s controls offer a broad range of Loop and Delay modifications. Modulated, Analog, and Reverse are the featured knobs on this box, providing extreme variance regarding sound output and enriching your Loop or Delay to a considerable extent, all down to your preference. It gives you a max delay time of 6 seconds and up to 40 seconds of Loop.
If you’re thinking of adding another model to your gear, the DD-7 might just be what you need. It’s simple to use and provides clean sound quality and production. You get all that at an affordable price, taking into account the many options and quality it offers.
- Delay Time: Up to 6 Seconds
- Weight: 1.2 Pounds
- Dimensions: 20-inch x 25-inch x 20-inch
- Batteries: 1.9V (Included)
6. BEHRINGER Vintage Delay VD400
This model stands out as among the most affordable delay guitar pedals you can find today. The BEHRINGER Vintage VD400 gets the job done by combining an authentic, pure analog sound with proper budget cuts to achieve a price that’s significantly lower than products of similar sonic quality. There’s a pretty good chance that the VD400 is all you need if you barely use delay as the focal point of your audio expression.
- Delay Time: Up to 300ms
- Weight: 11.7 Ounces
- Dimensions: 2.8-inch x 2.1-inch x 4.8-inch
- Batteries: 1.9V
5. EarthQuaker Devices- Disaster Transport SR
The Disaster Transport SR Pedal is among the ultimate digital delay pedals. It features two separate delays, which can be used in series or parallel with optional modulation on Delay-A, and optional reverb on Delay-B. These effects can be combined in many ways to produce some of the wildest digital modulated delays you’ve ever heard.
This model may look a bit complicated at first glance, but it is surprisingly easy to use. You’ll quickly discover that this pedal is an instrument unto itself. The Disaster Transport SR is a haven of tone for users that appreciate beautiful and quirky digital delay textures. It’s on its way to becoming the defining signature delay pedal for guitarists.
- Two Delays, With Modulation and Reverb
- Weight: 7.2 Ounces
- Dimensions: 5.5-inch x 4.5-inch x 2.5-inch
- Batteries: 1 Non-Standard Battery
4. TC Electronic Nova Delay ND-1
As a member of the high-end domain, the TC Electronic Nova offers high-quality design, on top of an incredibly vast array of sounds which range from the old-school analog and tape delay to even modern robotic digital stuff. The audio output is always organic, despite the massive sounds’ database. It has been crafted with the advanced players in mind. If you’re a seasoned musician who’s pursuing a killer delay, you should check the TC Electronic Nova out.
- Delay Time: Up to 2,290ms
- Switchable Settings: Preset and Manual
- Weight: 2.4 Pounds
- Dimensions: 4.9-inch x 2.2-inch x 4.9-inch
3. MXR M169 Analog Delay
The MXR M169 is the undisputed champion when taking the number of recommendations from other users into consideration. It’s worth mentioning that this model is a no-frills, pure analog delay pedal, and an outstanding one at that. This model is the absolute choice for users who appreciate analog tones.
Users of this model describe its sound as organic, full, subtle, and having warm tonal characteristics. You get to enjoy up to 600ms of delay time. From the usability standpoint, you’ll like the large size of the knobs as they render it easy to dial in various settings as you’re playing. Speaking of control, this model offers three different knobs to play with: REGEN (controls amount of delay), MIX (controls delay level), and DELAY (controls the delay rate).
While it’s not in the super-budget range, bear in mind that you’re paying for a pedal that’s widely regarded among the best analog delay pedals. It has found its way onto the pros’ many pedal boards. The many positive endorsements of the MXR M169 make it a no-brainer.
- Delay Time: Up to 600ms
- Weight: 1 Pound
- Dimensions: 5.5-inch x 2.5-inch x 4.5-inch
- Batteries: 1.9V
2. TC Electronic Flashback Delay Pedal
If you’ve liked the DL4 but find it constraining on your budget, you might want to consider this Flashback delay pedal. Versatility is the game’s name here. It delivers in a considerably big way. It comes in 3 different flavors, the regular version (offering 6-second delay time), the Flashback X4 (offering 40-second delay time) and the Flashback Mini (offering 7-second delay time). Think of this model as a more compact DL4. Its knobs let you select between the various delay types.
The Tone Print feature makes the Flashback stand out. TC Electronic did a commendable job with the Tone Print feature. It could have been a hindrance had it not been implemented correctly. You can plug any of the three versions into your computer and load in different delay settings. As far as digital delays are concerned, the sound quality offered by this model is among the best. It’d be among the most appropriate options if you’re seeking a decent, versatile digital delay pedal.
- 11 Delay Types
- Delay time: Up to 6 Seconds
- Technology: Tone Print
- Weight: 1.2 Pounds
- Dimensions: 5-inch x 1.5-inch x 3.5-inch
1. Donner Yellow Fall Vintage (Pure Analog Delay)
If you’re looking into the market for a simple, good-sounding delay pedal which won’t break the market, you’ll come across numerous recommendations for the Donner Yellow Fall Vintage. For as great as this unit sounds you’ll hardly believe the price. It’s difficult to beat the Donner Yellow Fall for a good delay. It features three different knobs: ECHO (controls the wet/dry mix), TIME (selects 20-620ms delays), and FEEDBACK (for the length of repetitions).
This pedal is marketed as ‘True Bypass’, implying that it shouldn’t color your signal when inactive. It comes at an unbelievably affordable price. The Donner Yellow Fall Vintage sports a killer sound in yet a robust enclosure. It makes an excellent choice for the money.
- Delay Time: 60-620ms
- Power: Out-DC, 9V-500mAh, 4.5W
- Weight: 8 Ounces
- Dimensions: 4.7-inch x 3-inch x 2.5-inch
Defining the Delay Effect
Delay, in its most basic form, actually does what you’d think. It slows the release of sound by storing it for a determined amount of time before then releasing it. Stored signals can be played back in to help create an echo-like effect or outputted several times. Before there were releases of the Delay effect, musicians had to simulate the effects using inconvenient specialized rooms. Modern delay pedals make use of digital buffer storage to store your signals for future use.
We’ve covered some newbie-friendly intuitive models above, as well as some versatile and wealthy behemoths. The above pedals will pretty much cover most of your needs for simplicity and customization while allowing for immaculate sound refinement. You’ll get most of these models at considerably affordable prices. Choose a delay pedal that suits your taste and preferences.