In finding the best delay pedal, you might be into much confusion because the market is saturated with choices, each claiming to be the finest of all.
Let’s help you out by highlighting some things to know about delay pedals, how to pick one and today’s top-rated models.
If you’re ready, keep reading in the following section.
7 Best Delay Pedals in 2021 (reviews)
- Eventide TimeFactor Twin Delay Pedal
- Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal
- MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay
- Electro Harmonix Canyon Delay and Looper
- Boss DM-2W Delay Waza Craft Guitar Effects Pedal
- TC Electronic Flashback 2 Delay Effects Pedal
- TC Electronic ND-1 Nova Delay Guitar Pedal
If you’re looking for quality effects, you might want to check out the Eventide TimeFactor Twin Delay Pedal. It’s our top delay pedal this year for many reasons.
For one, it is unbeatable for its flexibility and quality. It is why recording studios use its effects in more than 30 years. The plug-and-play model offers different parameter choices, including wet/dry mix or any combination.
Via the MIDI, this delay pedal also allows us to control a program’s changes along with parameters. I also liked that the Eventide TimeFactor can support line level or instrument output or input.
- Plug-and-play expression pedal control of parameters
- Comes with two independent 3-second delays
- Number of features can be tricky to use at first
- Some settings are not very accessible
Boss DD-7 offer consistent performance, and I think is the culmination of the last Boss delay models. I liked that the DD 7 offers a wide range of delay modes, such as vintage and analog.
I’d also like to recommend that this pedal somehow work like a clock that can give the quality that we’re looking for every time. In addition, this model is offered at an affordable price.
The mid-range model offers a wide range of applications, featuring versatility and more functionality to users. When it comes to delay time, it offers up to 6.4 seconds, which is an increase from older Boss models.
I’d also like to note that we can use the hold mode that lets us for up to 40 seconds input for recording sound on sound performances.
- Features new delay modes
- Such as the modulation delay for chorus sounds
- Options for hand-free control available
- Needs purchase of expression pedal and external footswitch for hands free control
The MXR M169 stands out from the rest. First, it has an attractive yet minimal design, not mentioning its nice control interface. This model has three knobs that control the Regeneration, Mix and Delay Time.
I’d also like to note that the M169 is compatible with an analog form of delay to produce a powerful, rich and deep sound, something exclusive to MXR.
In addition, the delay pedal is lightweight at only one pound, making it ultra portable. Regarding performance, it offers an excellent sound quality, which is integral for any guitar player.
I also love that it delivers a really invigorating vibrating sound that will help you learn the tricks of your favorite guitar players.
In addition, the delay pedal also offers two different trimmers for size and customizable time control of the delay’s modulation.
- Smooth delay for its great responsiveness
- Quality and affordability combined
- Can be challenging to use at first
- Not the best looking delay pedal
The Electro Harmonix Canyon is more than what meets the eye. It offers up to 10 time-based effects, including an analog delay and reverb with more control options to match your preferences.
This model also features a 62-second looper, which adds to its functionality. This and more can be controlled using the onboard tap tempo.
I’d also like to recommend this delay pedal and looper for the 4 different control knobs, namely the Feedback, Delay, FX Level and effect selector. More so, the delay and looper offers a lot of tones and modifications under the hood.
For its small package, the EHX Canyon is impressive as a delay pedal. I love that it lets us choose from eight different delay voicings, such as tape-like delay and modulated delay.
- Comes with 62-second looper onboard
- Ideal for live performance
- Songwriting and practice
- Not the lightest weight delay pedal around
- A bit pricey
The Boss DM-2W can deliver you with the real Boss experience, offering a true reproduction of the classic DM 2 sound. If you’re looking for warm and clear sound, you can use the custom mode.
Another thing that makes the Boss DM-2W a good pick is the standard mode when you want to produce a genuine DM 2 tone along with 20 to 300 MS delay time.
This model also includes two output jacks, allowing separate delay output and direct sounds. In addition, the delay pedal is also perfect for musicians looking for peace of mind with its 5-year warranty.
The Boss DM-2W is also impressive for its expression pedal input, allowing for foot control of the delay time.
- Delivers Boss Tone experience
- Includes a custom mode for clear and warm sound
- Might not be that durable
- No onboard modulation
TC Electronic delay pedal is a groundbreaking model that has the Mash technology for an expression pedal to the stompbox. It is also easy to control. I find that it responds to the touch easily while saving pedalboard space.
It is also one of the best delay pedals 2019 around for more options, including two more TonePrint slots and the Crystal delay algorithm.
If you’re looking for tonal perfection, you should also consider the TC electronics because it’s able to bring you an array of dimensionality to music playing.
With the TC Electronic delay pedal, you can beam your signature tones into the pedal using the TonePrint app dedicated slots to store those.
- Affordable and compact stompbox
- Quickly responds to the touch and saves pedalboard space
- Might take a little more time to get used to using it
- Not the best looking delay pedal
Another delay pedal that we shouldn’t forget on this list is the ND 1 from TC Electronic. It is one versatile choice that offers six different delay types, including ping-pong, delay line, pan, dynamic and slap back.
I’d also like to recommend the ND 1 for the adjustable settings, including preset and manual, giving us more options based on our preferences and style.
I also liked that this unit serves the needs of modern players who want to make unique and creative sounds. In addition, the model also includes some of the best studio quality digital effects to choose from and use.
More so, I’d like to note that it has a compact floor-based design, which makes it extra convenient to use and take anywhere.
- Includes 9 programmable presets
- Offers up to 2290 ms delay time
- Lacks delay types offered
What to Know about Delay Pedals
The delay pedal delays the playback of a guitar signal at the very least, according to GuitarPlayer.com. The sound is called the wet signal, while the tone coming from your guitar is the dry signal.
So it goes like, you’re playing a note, which is the dry signal, while the delay is playing back the note’s echo, the wet signal.
Rate or time control
Now, if you’re investing on a new or replacement delay pedal, check on the options in time control that sets the exact time between the dry signal sound and the wet signal sound.
Digital or analog
GuitarGearFinder.com says that the choice between the two is personal.
But you have to remember that digital models can offer more flexibility in presets and delay types. A digital delay pedal is for you if you’re looking for more delay options.
On the other hand, the analog type may be enough if you’re into focusing on a certain delay type or just a few number of delay types. More so, an analog can be for you if trying to focus on a good tone.
Tap tempo control option
Would you be glad to use a button when setting the tempo? Or would you like a footswitch for it? You might need a footswitch if playing live. After all, no one wants to bend down just to set the delay time, right?
Need some more help? Here’s a video on how to choose the delay pedal for you.
What is the best delay pedal?
For today’s review of the best delay pedals, the clear winner is the Eventide TimeFactor Twin Delay Pedal. It is used even by professional musicians and studios worldwide for decades.
I’d also like to note that it’s particularly ideal for those looking for a well-built and portable delay pedal with an easy to read and bright display. I really do believe that this one is the best bang for the money you’d be dishing out because of the high-end effects selection with which it comes.