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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I need you help to figure out the best delay for my use. Keep in mind, I am not a delay junky or heavy user at all but I like some flexibility.

I have a Boss DD-500 since 2-3 weeks now. This thing is awesome but I am only using analog and tape settings. Plus, I get lost and confuse with all the editing process. Linked to a computer, it's pretty easy but on the go, not so much. Kind of a waste since this thing can do everything.

My needs are pretty simple:
- I don't care if it's analog or digital.
- I don't really need tap tempo.
- 600 ms is good enough for me.
- I want control over certain parameters:
The basics: Delay time, mix, rengen or feedback.
Add to that what I would like to control:
-Tone; to get some flexibility over the repeat. From prestine to murky. Clear to dark.
-Modulation; I can get some slapback, reverb like or go full trippy.
-Expression control; I like self oscilation and sweel.
Am I better to keep the DD-500 even if I don't use it's full potential since it can do all the above or there's something else that can suits my needs without all the screens, numerous sub menus and parameters?

In the past I tried the following:

Malekko - Ekko 600D and Ekko 616 Dark. - Sounded good, nice modulation but no expression possibility and no tone control.
Maxon AD-9 Pro+ and AD-999 Pro - Sounded good too but no control over modulation or tone.
Boss DM-2W - One of my fave but like the Maxon, lacks the tone and mod contols.
EHX DMM - Sounded good, modulation is perfect but the preamp overload was a PITA with my Les Paul.
Diamond Memory Lane 2 - Sounded really good, modulation was perfect, checked all the boxes for me but this thing was too expensive to keep on the board and I was in need of money at the time.

Thanks for the help! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pardon my ignorance Ti-Ron.
Preamp overload? Doesn't the Gain take care of O/P on the DMM? Or do you mean DMM's input overload?
I am not sure what is the right term, but I hated the fact that when playing with stronger signal, the DMM distorted. When playing clean with single coil, that was okay, even pleasant, but with distortion or fuzz and humbucker, totally unusable to me.
 

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I've been on a similar delay quest for a while, except that I wanted tap tempo and a bit longer delay times. Here are some of my thoughts.

Belle Epoch Deluxe
There is no "tone" control, but the mode you pick takes care of that with brighter tape, darker analog, and a DMM simulation in the middle. There are separate "record level" and "echo volume" controls that can adjust how gritty your repeats are, and perhaps that could take care of your issue with DMM distorting. The expression pedal in most modes emulates the "playback level" from the Echoplex. The "Echo Osc" button is actually just an alternate feedback setting you can adjust internally. From the factory it puts the pedal into oscillation, or you could adjust it to just ride the edge to infinite sustain, or dial it all the way back for just one repeat. There are some other modes that could be kind of fun to play around with too. And there's the EP Pre inside with an internal trimpot to adjust. The biggest drawbacks are the price and possibly the build quality since Howard left Catalinbread. It could be a good pedal for you, but ultimately it wasn't for me because it lacked a tap-tempo and the unit I bought had a defect with the expression pedal function.

MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe & DOD Rubberneck
I haven't played these, but heard some very good accounts. Either might be a good fit for your needs, but just be careful about the external pedal connections. The DOD has an input for a proprietary footswitch only, not an expression pedal. And with the MXR, the expression pedal cannot control the feedback or mix, only the delay time. The ability to control feedback/mix with expression on an all-analog pedal seems to be very hard to find.

Strymon Brigadier/El Capistan
Either you love them or hate them, but I fall into the "love them" camp. Compared with the big Timeline (or your Boss pedal), these are so much easier to use. An expression pedal can be used to control any combination of knobs you want in any direction. There are secondary functions on both to change the tone of the repeats. The external Fav switch @Budda mentioned is nice too, but you can't have that AND connect an expression pedal. The Brigadier seems to be less popular (even though it can reproduce a DMM very well) so you can sometimes find them for a pretty good price.

Diamond Memory Lane Jr. / Counter Point / Memory Lane Dlx
I'll agree, the Diamond stuff sounds great! I picked up a Counter Point pedal on sale and it was a great find. Lots of functionality, great sound, and very simple controls. The Memory Lane Jr. and Counter Point use the same kind of sampling/filtering technique where the raw sample is digital, but all the manipulation and filtering is analog. The various modes on the Counter Point suit my needs for a "darker" or "brighter" sound, and this is actually the pedal I'm sticking with because it sounds so good (along with a Boss DM-2w for slap & short delays). It looks like Diamond is also currently working on a new Deluxe version of the original Memory Lane, so perhaps that might also be worth waiting for.
 

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Some years back, I asked members on the diystompbox forum about delays, and it seems that the 600-800msec zone is a kind of breakpoint. People who use delays for one sort of application (giving a sense of space) have little need for anything more than maybe 600-800msec. People who find 800msec insufficient have other applications in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I would stick with the DD-500. I have it and also only use a few patches right now ... but sometimes I do want something funky or out of my norm and its there waiting for me. Dont forget it has a looper function too.
Yeah, I always forget about the looper.
I must give it more time to see how I can use it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Try the strymon el capistan. Favourite switch means its a 2 in 1. You may prefer the tone over the dd500.

I went DL4-flashback X4-dd500-timeline-fx8 haha
I can see the fx8 as a great touring tool but I would totally freak out if I had to change parameters on the fly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Some years back, I asked members on the diystompbox forum about delays, and it seems that the 600-800msec zone is a kind of breakpoint. People who use delays for one sort of application (giving a sense of space) have little need for anything more than maybe 600-800msec. People who find 800msec insufficient have other applications in mind.
I found that 900 ms (When I had the maxon ad-999 pro) that it is not a "delay" anymore, at least, to me. Some cool ambient possibilites but nothing "rythmic" for the lack of words.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I've been on a similar delay quest for a while, except that I wanted tap tempo and a bit longer delay times. Here are some of my thoughts.

Belle Epoch Deluxe
There is no "tone" control, but the mode you pick takes care of that with brighter tape, darker analog, and a DMM simulation in the middle. There are separate "record level" and "echo volume" controls that can adjust how gritty your repeats are, and perhaps that could take care of your issue with DMM distorting. The expression pedal in most modes emulates the "playback level" from the Echoplex. The "Echo Osc" button is actually just an alternate feedback setting you can adjust internally. From the factory it puts the pedal into oscillation, or you could adjust it to just ride the edge to infinite sustain, or dial it all the way back for just one repeat. There are some other modes that could be kind of fun to play around with too. And there's the EP Pre inside with an internal trimpot to adjust. The biggest drawbacks are the price and possibly the build quality since Howard left Catalinbread. It could be a good pedal for you, but ultimately it wasn't for me because it lacked a tap-tempo and the unit I bought had a defect with the expression pedal function.

MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe & DOD Rubberneck
I haven't played these, but heard some very good accounts. Either might be a good fit for your needs, but just be careful about the external pedal connections. The DOD has an input for a proprietary footswitch only, not an expression pedal. And with the MXR, the expression pedal cannot control the feedback or mix, only the delay time. The ability to control feedback/mix with expression on an all-analog pedal seems to be very hard to find.

Strymon Brigadier/El Capistan
Either you love them or hate them, but I fall into the "love them" camp. Compared with the big Timeline (or your Boss pedal), these are so much easier to use. An expression pedal can be used to control any combination of knobs you want in any direction. There are secondary functions on both to change the tone of the repeats. The external Fav switch @Budda mentioned is nice too, but you can't have that AND connect an expression pedal. The Brigadier seems to be less popular (even though it can reproduce a DMM very well) so you can sometimes find them for a pretty good price.

Diamond Memory Lane Jr. / Counter Point / Memory Lane Dlx
I'll agree, the Diamond stuff sounds great! I picked up a Counter Point pedal on sale and it was a great find. Lots of functionality, great sound, and very simple controls. The Memory Lane Jr. and Counter Point use the same kind of sampling/filtering technique where the raw sample is digital, but all the manipulation and filtering is analog. The various modes on the Counter Point suit my needs for a "darker" or "brighter" sound, and this is actually the pedal I'm sticking with because it sounds so good (along with a Boss DM-2w for slap & short delays). It looks like Diamond is also currently working on a new Deluxe version of the original Memory Lane, so perhaps that might also be worth waiting for.
WOW, thanks a lot for the very detailed answer!

I had looked at the Bell epoch in the past, liked it but I was afraid the internal preamp would do the same thing as the one in the DMM I had. Will check the deluxe!
The standard Carbon Copy didn't stick with me. Sounded really generic to me, I prefered the DM2W to it. The rubberneck looks like a strong contender.
Strymon pedals look nice, but when they came out, they were selling like hot cake and never had the chance to buy one. Things have changed since then, maybe I can scoop one on the used market.
Okay, everybody seems to like the counter point, this one is first on my list! ;)
 
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