Ever since their inception in the 1960’s, delay effects have been a must have for guitarists due to the warm sound of the echo effect they create. Ask any gigging musician and they’ll tell you that a delay pedal is a must-have on their pedal board. The 1970’s brought with it the invention of “bucket brigade” delays. These analog delay devices were the start of smaller and easier to use all-electronic analog delay pedals.
Choosing a good analog delay pedal can seem daunting as there are so many different options to choose from with more coming out each year. To help you out we’ve compiled a list of our top picks among the analog delay pedals that are on the market now. Regardless of what you’re looking for, be it price, sound or functionality, you’ll be able to find the best analog delay pedals that will fit your needs below.
8. DOD Rubberneck by DigiTech
This double-wide analog delay comes with double the features included. It offers over a second of warm and musical all-analog repeats as well as tap-tempo, subdivisions and tails. Its based on four separate Bucket Brigade chips and includes double concentric knobs that give you full independent control over the Modulation Rate, Depth, Gain and Tone of the delay. The double footswitches also allow for more user customization like control of momentary oscillation and “Rubbernecking” pitch sweeps. Overall, a great and original analog delay.
7. MXR M169 Carbon Copy with Accesories
This best-selling pedal from the well-known Dunlop brand features an easy-to-use layout that allows you to adjust your tones to your preference. With only 3 dials its design is deceptively versatile, allowing for control of Regen effects, delay repeats and dry/wet blend. Its compact, minimalist design fits easily into any pedal board but isn’t lacking in effects or aesthetics. With 600ms of delay and optional modulation, this authentic all-analog delay is truly a fan-favorite.
This particular M169 delay pedal package adds extra value by including a bluecoil power supply AC/DC adapter, a two-pack of bluecoil patch cables for effect pedals and four bluecoil guitar picks. All these included accessories makes this delay pedal a real steal.
6. Dunlop EP103 Echoplex
Another Dunlop creation, the EP103 Echoplex offers more than just an awesome vintage design. Its warm, modulated tape echo effects are perfect for that late ’70s tone. The all-analog dry signal path pristinely maintains your core guitar sound. With 40 to 750ms of delay time and age control that can vary the tone from pristine to dark and dirty, this delay provides a very pleasant, warm modulation that is recommended for any guitarist.
5. DELAY LAY LAY by Deadbeat Sound
Get down with the Delay lay lay with this stylish analog delay pedal by Deadbeat Sound, a burgeoning California based manufacturer. Featuring true bypass analog circuits, this affordable and compact pedal really packs a punch and allows a delay of between 140ms to 360ms. It includes Mix, Time and Rate knobs and is capable of going into infinite repeats and self-oscillation of its echo effects. The Delay lay lay is a great starter pedal and is part of a limited production run, so be sure to not miss out!
4. MXR M169 Carbon Copy Delay Pedal Only
This is the same great Dunlop Carbon Copy as mentioned above, except without all the extra accessories. If you’re not one to go for all the bells and whistles and would like to save some extra cash, then this is the pedal for you. This is a versatile and compact all-analog delay pedal that can produce crisp, clear sound and 600ms delay with its use of original Bucket-Brigade components.
3. BOSS FS-5U
The BOSS FS-5U by Roland is a nonlatching footswitch, and although it’s not technically a full delay pedal, it’s still capable of sustaining spot delays while you press down on it. Don’t let the small size fool you, the BOSS FS-5U has a sturdy design and tough construction, capable of taking all the repeated stepping you’ll be doing to switch between effects, and is a great addition to any guitarist’s arsenal.
2. Behringer VD400 Vintage Delay
The Behringer VD400 provides unique, vintage sounds that can rival any tape delay. Its dark and broody sounds offers both ambiance and original echos at the same time. With up to 300ms delay and its simple controls, the VD400 lets you experience the real slap-back echo of a vintage Bucket-Brigade Device. It even lets you send your delay and direct sound down different paths with its split signal outputs. You really can’t beat the quality and price of the VD400 Vintage Delay.
1. Donner Yellow Fall
This pure analog delay offers some crystal-clear tones and a simple, easy-to-use interface. Its delay ranges from 25ms to 600ms and the feedback controls the repeats and the echo blends the mix. It also includes a true bypass switch that lets your sound pass through a non-electrical bypass line when the effects are turned off, further preserving your unaltered tone. Its small size, great price and arsenal of features makes the Donner Yellow Fall Pure Analog Delay our top pick.