600ms—tend to get too dark. This is not the
case with the Boost D.L.A. All delay times had
perfect tonality at any setting. If you like it
dark, you can dial that in too. The Triplets button allows you to instantly set up those triplet
sequences in perfect time. I achieved instant
Pink Floyd delays just by activating this control
and tapping the tempo.
Next is the Level control, which brings me to
one of my pet peeves about many delay pedals:
you go to do a solo and the volume drops out.
What makes it worse is that the degree of the
problem usually varies with the type and amount
of distortion or overdrive you use. To help compensate for it, I’ve used small footswitchable
boosts after the delay on some pedalboards.
However, once again the Boost D.L.A. unit
comes through. Unity gain is at approximately
12 o’clock on the dial, and up to 9dB of boost
is available without changing the pedal’s sound.
No matter what type of tone you’re using, you
won’t have dropouts.
Like similar controls on other units, the intent
of the Flutter control is to simulate the tape
warble of old Echoplex-type units, and this
one works well. On the original echo units, this
effect was random depending on quality of
your unit’s motor and drives parts. Using modern technology, you can actually achieve the
desired amount of this effect; it’s not exactly
random but it does sound similar. There is,
however, another benefit to this control on the
Boost D.L.A.: it can create lush chorus sounds
on its own, with or without delay. Just using
the Tone and Flutter controls, I was able to get
some killer chorus tones that were extremely
variable, making this a great feature.
The Final Mojo
I’ll start by saying that this pedal does not have
a hardwire bypass. Some players may be concerned about this, and the way it will interact
with other pedals and devices. Normally, I’m a
fan of true bypass, but I also realize that it can
generate a noisy signal. In this case, because of
the choice to offer a properly designed buffered
system, I don’t see any problems. I hooked it
up to a true bypass strip and found no ill effects
from it not being true bypass. Kudos to Andrew
Barta and Tech 21—no unwanted compression or other artifacts were present. The Boost
D.L.A. met or beat all my expectations of a
delay unit. A lot of thought has gone into the
design of this pedal, and they seemed to have
covered all the bases. In the process, they’ve
also set the bar a little higher for others.
you’re looking for a delay pedal that
goes beyond the average feature set.
you’re not over particular about
delay sounds and you’re happy with
your old unit.
Click here to hear sound
clips of the pedal in action at