By KEnny RARDIn
At first glance, I knew Tech 21’s analog delay
emulator with clean boost was going to be
something different because of the unit’s layout
and controls. The gold case features two footswitches: one for bypass and one for tap tempo.
Above them are two small buttons labeled
“trails” and “triplets.” Two rows of knobs allow
adjustments for Mix, Feedback, Tone, Time,
Level and Flutter. On the sides of the pedal
are the Input and output jacks, as well as the
9V adapter jack. The supplied manual was very
informative and easy to understand, and offers
some great sample settings for the types of
effects provided. The build quality is excellent,
and the battery compartment that clips the battery in place is a nice touch.
100 percent dry to 100 percent wet, which is
important for two reasons. One is, of course,
to get the proper balance of delay to the dry
sound. The other is to allow for finer control
of the delay, which makes this the first delay
I’ve found that is truly useable in line before
the front end of a distorting or clipping amp.
I believe in placing the distortion or overdrive
pedal before the delay (and reverb) so the
trails don’t fight each other in the sensitive
environment of an overdriving amp’s input.
Although this isn’t the way I’d recommend
using a delay, sometimes it has to be done this
way if there’s no effects loop. And with this
unit, it’s possible to get a pretty decent delay
sound this way.
to keep the delay trails repeating and fading out
after the unit is switched off.
The Tone control on this pedal is a thing of
beauty. There is a longstanding debate among
players about which are more desirable, the
pristine clean sounds of a digital delay or the
lo-fi tones of a good analog unit. Many analog
units have differing degrees of this delay tonality, depending on the brand of the delay and the
designer’s ear. This one has literally all of them
covered; from the clearest, brightest digital to
the warmest analog, and all points in between.
The control is very wide ranging, and I was able
to duplicate the tones of any of my delay pedals
quickly and with little effort.
How Does It Work?
As far as adjustments go, this pedal has
all the bases covered. It also addresses all
of the shortcomings I’ve experienced with
other delays. The mix control sweeps from
176 PREMIER GUITAR DECEMBER 2009
The Feedback control can go from just one
repeat to infinite repeats, and can even reach
self oscillation levels like an old Echoplex. All
those cool flying saucer sounds are possible
here. Using the Trails button makes it possible
The time control has a range of 30ms to
1000ms. Often with my older analog delays
I find myself wishing for just a little more
delay time to match the tempo of a song,
but longer delay times—between 450ms and