Choosing a Delay Pedal

Over the last week or so I’ve been looking into delay pedals.

I’ve tried to way up the options by watching countless youtube videos and read tons of reviews.

Problem is all the pedals I’ve looked at have their own neat little tricks.

I’m also working within a budget so finding the right one that gives me good bang for buck is important but not the be all and end all.

Note some of the players within the following youtube clips have some funny old characteristics, not gonna name any names I’ll let you figure out what I mean.

Prices of these pedals range from £50 upwards.

Some are analog some are digital – in the end the important thing for me is the sound and seeing as I can’t afford to by all them and A/B them(which I really wish I could do) I’ll just show you what I looked at and then at the end of this article state which one I’ve chosen and why.

This article is also a bookmark of sorts for myself as I’ve seen quite a few pedals that I will also be adding to my collection in the future purely down to the added features. I’ll also point these out and why.

So let’s get on with it.

BEHRINGER VM1 Vintage Time Machine

True analogue delay, up to 450ms of organic echo to rival any tape delay, vibrant chorus and mind-bending vibrato, dedicated delay, chorus/vibrato, feedback, mix and level controls for awesome sound shaping, blue status LED for effect on/off and battery check, true hardwired bypass for ultimate signal integrity, includes 9V power supply.

£56 @ Gear 4 Music

£46.46 @ Thomann

EHX – Memory Boy

Brand new Analog Echo/Chorus/Vibrato from Electro-Harmonix, which is set to rival in popularity the classic Deluxe Memory Man, offering new features that the Memory Man doesn’t, besides being more affordable! make sure to click on the video tab to watch the first memory Boy demo!

The Electro-Harmonix Memory Boy is more than a downsized version of Memory Man, as it has an expression pedal input, for much more versatility.

The Memory Boy also has a 2-way switch for modulation wave form (sine / square) and a 3-way switch (chorus / vibrato / exp. pedal)

The other controls are what you’d expect from your usual delay pedal: delay, depth and feedback, besides blend (for the modulation)

With delay effects getting increasing popular amongst musicians of all styles, the Electro-Harmonix Memory Boy is a product that we can safely claim to be unique and to offer outstanding value for money…and did we mention that it’s ANALOG?

Can’t get much better than this…


  • All analog delay with feedback
  • Up to 550ms delay time
  • Selectable chorus or Vibrato modulation rates
  • Choose between triangle or square modulation waveforms
  • Expression pedal control of delay time or modulation rate (expression pedal extends the range of modulation rate)
  • True bypass
  • Power supply included

£66 @ Dolphin Music

MXR Carbon Copy

The MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay features a completely analog audio path for the ultimate in rich, warm delay, made possible only by old-school bucket brigade technology. This design boasts an amazing 600ms of delay time with optional modulation via a top-mounted switch and a simple, three-knob layout that controls Delay time, Mix (dry/wet blend), and Regen (delay repeats), all in a pedal no bigger than a Phase 90. In addition, two internal trim pots offer user-adjustable width and rate control of the modulation for even more tonal options. The Carbon Copy will take you from crisp ‘bathroom’ slap echoes to epic, Gilmour-esque delays with a twist of a knob. True hardwire bypass, single 9-volt operation, and stage-ready blue LEDs round out the package. Available only from Dunlop Manufacturing, the world’s leader in analog pedal technology.

MXR, Carbon Copy Anolog Delay Pedal £109 @ Amazon

EHX – Memory Man Harazai

Unbelievable features!  reverse echo, looping, tap tempo delay, and tape echo filter…

It’s a multi-tap delay, its an echo, it’s a reverse echo, it’s a performance looper with tap tempo, and it’s programmable… it’s got all the Hazarai! Designed for the performing musician, the new Stereo Memory Man is destined to be one of the most creative instruments on your pedalboard.


  • 30 second stereo looper with continuous overdubbing, reverse, speed adjust and tempo only adjust
  • Up to 3 seconds of stereo echo with adjustable reverberant washes
  • Up to 3 seconds of stereo multi-tap delay with adjustable number of taps and taps amplitude envelope
  • Up to 300 mS stereo echo with modulation
  • Up to 3 seconds of intelligent reverse echo
  • Adjustable lowpass or highpass filter available in every mode
  • Ping pong delay when used as mono in to stereo out
  • True stereo outputs
  • Tap tempo footswitch for setting the delay time in every mode
  • 8 user presets to save and recall
  • Tough and compact die-cast chassis
  • power supply included

£131 @ Dolphin Music

Akai E2 Headrush Delay/Loop Pedal

Akai E2 Headrush – delay, tape echo simulations and a looping recorder in one convenient pedal.

As used on stage by KT Tunstall in her amazing solo performances! Click on the link below to watch a video of Katy using the Akai Headrush pedal.

A versatile delay pedal for live use, in particular for guitar and bass players, or vocalists.

The looping recorder function with unlimited overdubs allows elaborate solo performances.

User selectable delay options allow for maximum control of output signal. Real time feedback and gain adjustment as well as echo rate .

HEADRUSH also simulates a 4-head analog tape echo machine with control over decay and spacing between virtual tape heads to create complex multiple delays and repeats. The signal from each virtual head appears on an individual output for multiple returns when used with an external mixing console.

The LOOPING RECORDER mode allows you to record and overdub layer after layer of sound in real-time making the HEADRUSH an unbelievable live performance tool.

Depending upon which mode is selected, the left footswitch controls the on/off and play/stop functions while the right footswitch sets the tap delay time or recording and overdub options. The LED display indicates which effect in use and blinks in time showing the delay time selected

Key Features

  • 16-bit Digital Delay – Delay time from 0.5ms to an astonishing 23.8 seconds maximum
  • Real-time delay control – sets delay time by tapping footswitch twice
  • Tape Echo mode with four individual outputs for each head
  • Looping Recorder with overdub mode – Powerful tool for solo performances
  • Selectable Fixed or Adjustable Loop Level.


  • Resolution: 16bit
  • Sample rate – Normal : 44.1kHz, Extend: 29.4kHz
  • Maximum time Delay: 23.8 seconds
  • Tape Echo: 5.9 seconds
  • Looping: Normal : 23.8 seconds, 11.9 seconds overdub
  • Extend: 35.6 seconds, 17.8 seconds overdub
  • Switches: MODE SELECT, LOOP LEVEL, LOOP TIME, Footswitch x 2
  • LEDs: MODE x 3, EFFECT ON/OFF x1, TEMPO x1

£129 @ Gear 4 Music

TC Electronic Nova Repeater

‘no-frills-with-a-sound-that-kills’ delay pedal. It is the pedal for you if you are a demanding guitarist who wants instant, high quality and unique results, without any of the fuss! It features the same great sound quality that made our Nova Delay the first choice delay pedal for Paul Gilbert, Doug Aldrich, Nils Lofgren and Allen Hinds. However after listening to our guitar-playing community we have trimmed out any excess baggage while also including additional features over the Nova Delay, and designed it all behind a streamlined and very easy to use interface. In short Nova Repeater is the essential lean, mean, delay-machine!

Simple yet effective
Nova Repeater is all about simplicity. There are no hidden features or complicated functions – you just get the world’s best delays in a cheap and easy-to-use package. Yet it is also feature rich being the only pedal in its price range that has a dedicated tap tempo switch and our amazing audio tapping technology that lets you set the tempo with your playing. And with six types of TC-quality delays and an unsurpassed feature-set Nova Repeater is quite simply a bargain.

<—-Final Conclusion—->

I’ve decided to opt for the Nova Repeater, reason being it’s less gimicky and seems much more about delay than tricks.

That said the Memory Boy Harazai and especially the Akai Headrush both seem like an awful lot of fun.

The Headrush is definitley on my radar as the next toy/present for me.

When I get the Nova repeater I’ll probably post an audio review with my couple of amps  to show what it can do in the studio as that will be it’s primary use.

The loop based pedals are in my mind much more about performance so that’s why I’ve chosen the  Repeater.

Special Note: I saw this compeletely by random and was blown away – so ok the players are a bit flashy for my style but impressive all the same.

Boss SL-20 Slicer Pedal

Boss SL-20 Slicer Twin Pedal £139 amazon

Instant Audio Adrenaline


Inject a shot of high-octane fuel into your music with the SL-20 Slicer. Instantly transform a guitar, bass, keyboard, or vocal into a pulsating groove instrument. Choose from 50 onboard Slice patterns or experiment with the SL-20’s innovative Harmonic Slicer feature, which generates percussive melodies, Loop Record, and unique 3D Panning.

  • Instant groove and percussive-melody generator
  • 50 Slice patterns onboard, with adjustable attack and duration, including Harmonic Slice
  • Tap Tempo via onboard pedal switch; internal and MIDI sync
  • Sound characteristics such as attack, duration, effect level, and direct level are controllable via external Expression pedal (sold separately)
  • Variety of output modes, including the unique 3D Panning for spacious sliced FX

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