A delay pedal is something that every guitarist should own. They can be great for adding just the tiniest little slapback to your playing, or you can use them to create lusher, fatter sounds that work great in combination with other pedals due to how subtle they can be.
Actually finding the right delay pedal for you is a different story, so we’ve put together a collection of our five favourites.
At a Glance: Our Choice Of The 5 Best Delay Pedals On The Market
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Ok let's look at each product in more detail.
If you need to keep your budget tight, you’ve got two great options in the Behringer VD400 and the Joyo JF-08. The addition of separate wet/dry outputs gives the Behringer a slight edge here too, but the sturdier Joyo might be safer to rely on for long term gig use.
Of course, if you’re happy to spend a little more to get a little more, you’ve got three very different options. The TC Electronic Flashback 2 has the intriguing expression pedal built in, although it’s worth trying this out before you buy to see if you’re able to focus on it properly when you’re in the middle of everything else going on. The additional customisation you get thanks to the TonePrint technology and the option of using not just one but three presets you can assign to anything you want makes it a very flexible delay pedal.
The Boss DD-7 is easily our favourite pick for the best delay pedal thanks to how cooperative the design is with live performance, although it’s not as varied as using the Flashback 2 with it’s TonePrint settings, you get more than enough on board to play with for a long time.
If getting that vintage tape delay is what you’re looking for, the best bet for you is the MXR M169. It’s a sturdy workhorse, doing exactly what you want it to do, but not a whole lot else besides that. What makes it so great is that it doesn’t have any negative impact on your tone and is quite specialised, so it does what it does well.
Ged is Founder and Editor-in-chief at Zing Instruments. He’s a guitarist for London based gypsy jazz band ‘Django Mango’ and a lover of all things music. When he’s not ripping up and down the fretboard, he’s tinkering with his ’79 Campervan.