DD-20 Giga Delay Review

manufacturer: Boss date: 12/16/2011 category: Guitar Effects
Boss: DD-20 Giga Delay
The DD-20 Giga Delay is not just another simple stompbox delay; it is a much more complex and versatile unit that is a part of Boss line of "next-generation" double pedals.
 Sound: 9.3
 Overall Impression: 9.9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.1
 Ease of Use: 9
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 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (7) pictures (2) 21 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.5
DD-20 Giga Delay Reviewed by: ewakio, on february 24, 2006
5 of 7 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 230

Purchased from: Musiciansfriend.com

Ease of Use: Since the pedal has so many features on it, it can be pretty difficult to get around without reading the manual. That said, the manual is very comprehensive and easy to understand; a few minutes with it should be enough to learn how to extract whatever sound you want from it. You should make sure to buy an adapter for it if you're serious about using it because it eats up the batteries pretty quick. // 8

Sound: Right now I use it with a Gibson SG Special, a Boss ME-50 multi-effects board, and a Fender 212R amplifier. You can get some pretty awesome sounds with it either alone or in conjunction with another delay pedal or other effects. You can get pretty much any sound you'd want from a delay pedal, including a 23 second sound-on-sound option. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I haven't had it for very long, but it looks sturdy and I haven't had any serious problems with it yet. // 9

Overall Impression: I play experimental, post-rock music and with its massive 23 second memory, it can be a lot of fun to mess around with to see what kind of loops or sounds you can get with it. If it were stolen or lost, I'd buy it again if I had the money for it. // 9

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overall: 8.8
DD-20 Giga Delay Reviewed by: plectrumwielder, on june 20, 2007
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 170

Purchased from: Da Great great House of guitars!

Ease of Use: This one hell of a pedal. I have yet to hear another pedal that is capable of what this pedal can do. You can get all kinds of great noises out of it and save five presets on it. The drawback is it is pretty complicated. But I guarantee that if you read the manual, you'll be fine. My one major complaint about it is that the tap tempo Switch is the same as the memory Switch. But apparently you can buy an external one, so it aint no problem. // 8

Sound: I am using a Ibanez guitar through a Vox wah, Smallstone, the -20, and through a B-52 100 watt head. It isn't noisy at all, unless you want it to be. The effects are great and with a looping pedal and 9 types of delay, it's like a million different pedals at once. You can do really cool brian may like delay solos. You can also create frippian soundscapes. The only effect I don't like is the warp. I think it sounds stupid. But that's just my opinion. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It is very dependable as far as I can tell. I've stomped pretty hard on it a few times by accident and she hasn't failed me yet. I wouldn't throw it out a window or anything, but it's sturdy. I have used it in plenty of gigs so far and it hasn't broken yet. Also I don't think I could afford to have a backup anyway. // 8

Overall Impression: I play proggressive, jazz-fusion and I love to expirement with effects. When I was looking at this pedal for the first time, I pissed myself a little bit. It is the best delay pedal as far as I'm concerned. If I lost it I would probably go into a depression until I had enough money to buy a new one. Then I'd be happy as a clam. My favorite feature is the loop function. Could'nt ask anymore from a delay pedal. // 10

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overall: 9.3
DD-20 Giga Delay Reviewed by: toyboxmonster, on april 30, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 200

Purchased from: Kijiji.ca

Ease of Use: The DD-20 Giga Delay is not just another simple stompbox delay along the lines of the DD-6 and the DD-7; it is a much more complex and versatile unit that is a part of Boss line of "next-generation" double pedals. Accordingly, it is not the simplest effects box to use. The DD-20 features five control knobs: E.Level (controls the amount of wet/dry signal), F.Back (controls the number of repeats), Tone (adjusts the balance between bass & treble), Mode (selection of 11 different settings), and Delay Time (adjusts the length of delay). It includes dual inputs, the choice for mono or stereo output, a headphone jack, and an expression pedal jack. The screen displays the amount of delay time being used. The left footswitch is an on/off Switch; the right footswitch is used both for changing presets and for setting the tempo. Four different presets can be stored on the DD-20. Needless to say, with all of these features, a manual is absolutely essential. I bought mine used without the manual and immediately proceeded to download it from Boss's website. This isn't the easiest stompbox to use, but this is as easy as it gets with this much versatility. // 10

Sound: I play effects-laden ambient music, and I must say that I was impressed by how clear and defined this delay remained, even when preceded by an entire pedalboard of effects. It isn't a noisy pedal by any means; I've never taken notice of any hiss or buzz when placed alone between a guitar with humbuckers and an amplifier. I've had several questions about the bypassed tone of the DD-20. There is an audible compression taking place, but this would only bother an extremely picky guitarist. The buffered bypass of most Boss pedals is generally very subtle and poses little inconvenience. The Sound-On-Sound looping of this unit is enough to make it useful to any guitarist. With the ability to loop several clean tracks on top of each other, the DD-20 can practically replace a looper. Pressing down the right footswitch in Sound-On-Sound mode will enable the use of delay again, adding to the versatility of the unit. The Twist and Warp settings are both interesting effects which can be very useful in the context of noise/ambient music. The Analog and Tape simulations are nothing amazing, but are at least on par with other digital simulations. The Standard mode is the one that is most likely to be used often and is the mode by which I tend to judge "The" sound of the DD-20. Unlike the rest of the DD series of Boss stompboxes, the Giga Delay offers a lush sounding Digital Delay rather tha na thin, lifeless one. The Standard mode is one that can be useful in a variety of genres. The Dual mode, by contrast, is probably most useful to in an avant-garde/ambient sort of setting, allowing for two delays (one short, one long) to be run simultaneously. The Pan and Smooth settings are widely uninteresting and provide little change from the Standard setting. The modulate mode is extremely useful and provides a wide range of different sound to be added to that of the delay. The only mode that is really dissapointing is the Reverse, which is murky and isn't nearly as useful as the Reverse function of the Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man with Hazari. As far as digital delays go, this is about as good as it gets for the price. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've always liked the compact, solid build of Boss stompboxes, but I can't say that I care much for the build of their double pedals. They feel frail in comparison to compact unit's and lack the balance that makes regular box stompboxes so sturdy. The constant toying with footswitches that is required to set the tempo, to Switch between modes, and to toggle between settings of different modes makes me uneasy and I'm constantly afraid that one of the switches will give up on me. I've always thought that, for tap-tempo and such, click-switches are the better alternative, and the DD-20 does nothing to change my mind. // 7

Overall Impression: I play ambient space-rock along the lines of Slowdive and A Place To Bury Strangers, and the DD-20 is the perfect delay for my rig. It is priced fairly and houses an innumerable number of options; I've owned this unit for well over a month now and toy with it on a daily basis, yet I'm sure I don't know a tenth of the sounds it can achieve on it's own (not to mention in combination with my other effects). During my search for a delay box, I found myself struggling to choose between three units: the Boss DD-20, the DigiTech Time Bender, and the Electro-Harmonic Memory Man with Hazari. I found that the SMMH sounded too low-fi for my tastes and that it's looping system was unreliable. I found the Time Bender to be able to produce a tremendous amount of sounds, but the DD-20 could achieve most of them, and for a much better price. The DD-20 is as good as a Digital Delay can be in this price range, offering quality and versatiliy and suiting a number of genres. I definitely feel that it is now an invaluable part of my pedalboard. // 10

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overall: 9.8
DD-20 Giga Delay Reviewed by: ductape1349, on november 13, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 180

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: First off, this is an amazing pedal, definitely worth the money if you're considering purchasing it. Getting a good sound is as easy as choosing the style of delay you want and possibly adjusting the tone knob for a mellower or brighter delay. The manual explains explicity how each kind of delay works, and gives a few example settings. // 10

Sound: The most important change this pedal makes to your sound is if you alter the tone knob, and I've tried it on a few different setups with great results. The modulate mode also changes delayed sound as it repeats more and more, which creates a nice swaying feeling that blends with the music pretty nicely. All the styles except for twist sound great and replicate your guitar's sound perfectly, but twist is pretty much useless. I'd say one of my top favorite modes is smooth. It balances the tone of a note and makes, well, a "smoothed out" sound that I use as a background layer while playing post-rock stuff over it. The DD-20 is almost silent, no noticeable noise unless you have your ear up to the amp with the volume cranked. // 9

Reliability & Durability: You've heard it before, Boss pedals are built like bricks, and this weighs about as much as one too. I can depend on it as much as anything, no worries about it breaking. I'd use it at any gig without a backup, this thing isnt goin' anywhere. Both pedals and all the knobs are secure, I don't think I could break them if I tried. // 10

Overall Impression: I play just about every kind of rock, but this pedal really makes post-rock amazing. If you have a DD-20, try playing some simple tapping arpeggios like e:|17-8-10 X5 then e:|15-7-8 X5 with the delay on analog or smooth at around 400ms, the tone knob turned all the way to the left, and full effect level and feedback. Then turn off the delay (while the background arpeggios keep going) and play just about anything with a nice melody. There ya go, you made a keyboard's atmosphere with a guitar's sound in about 15 seconds. Not to mention you can add delay to the pedal's looping function. Back to the review: If my DD-20 were stolen, I'd buy another of course. Most of the songs I'm writing include using it for ambience or looping, so it's pretty much become a necessity in my setup. My biggest complaint is probably the fact that if you want to go from your preset #1 to your preset #4, you have to scroll through #2 and 3 first, although that's just being nitpicky. I compared this to pretty much every other delay pedal out there before buying it, and the bonus 23 seconds of looping was what sold me at first, though now I'm glad it has everything else. For all it does, the price is fantastic. // 10

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overall: 9.5
DD-20 Giga Delay Reviewed by: NathanRobbins, on december 07, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 180

Purchased from: ebay

Ease of Use: Right out of the box you'll notice this thing has some pretty sweet features. E.LEVEL acts as your Dry/Wet (how much the delay is actually heard in the mix) F.BACK controls how long it repeats and trust me... They extended the time on this pedal to insane levels you would probably never need but it's there if you do. TONE knob is very useful (although I'm sure not many people change it) I like nudging it to the left to take some of the sharpness out of the delayed tone. When you get to the MODE selector you'll want to jizz your pants. That big SOS down there is your realtime looping friend :) twist and warp are somewhat useless unless you're into that spacey sound. Only time I'd use it might be to just throw in some mood setting parts in the background of a song after the main bulk of recording was done. Other than that I never touch them. Tape analog and standard are all pretty great. Dual is a very fun feature that has a ton of applications if you ever feel like experimenting. Pan delay is my main setting and I hardly Switch off from it. Anyone who says its not that different from STANDARD mode obviously doesn't have this baby hooked up stereo! Duh! It's a PAN DELAY. IT PANS! Imagine that. Reverse is the only one i've had any difficult using. I couldn't for the life of me get a good reverse effect out of this. I've heard demos with it and they sound great. I looked in the manual and none of it helped. So i steer clear of Reverse. The minute you hook this up you will have great difficulty getting a bad sound out of this pedal. Extremely easy to use for most applications but give the manual a quick read to familiarize yourself with it anyway. // 8

Sound: I run my setup in a busy manner :P Ibanez RG to Boss OD20 to Boss DS1 to Ernie Ball VP Jr to Phaser and then to the DD20. Stereo out to a Marshall MG100DFX and whatever other amp I have laying around at the moment. I have to admit all of these pedals without a noise gate of some sort get a little noisy but I've ran the DD20 alone just to see if it's contributing. It's not. Completely silent with a little bit of signal compression (I expected that I don't think it's "true" bypass) Either way it's not that noticeable. Since I'm a huge Petrucci fan stereo delay is a MUST. Even though he runs his through two different delay settings I can still get that feel with the PAN setting if you work it right. If you turn the F.BACK setting and DELAY TIME you can get a nice slapback delay. Also if you hold the pedal it puts you in the tap tempo mode and you can just stomp out your beat and your delay isn't all out of sync with everything else you're doing. The delay from this pedal, no matter what setting you're using, sounds amazing. // 10

Reliability & Durability: You've heard it all before. It's a BOSS. It's built like a tank just like every other Boss I've laid my hands on. However most Boss pedals you might own do not have the press down rotating style knob that this has for delay time. I could see if you really got to stomping where this could be a problem. But if you take your $230 pedal and stomp the sh** out of it you deserve to vigorously have the sh** stomped out of you. I gig this thing without a backup every time. On that note you MUST.... ABSOLUTELY MUST use a power supply for this baby. She will suck the money out of your pockets through all of those dirty little AA batteries. // 10

Overall Impression: This delay pedal is absolutely great for any application or style. Whatever you need it to do. It will most likely be able to do with great ease. The only thing I would rather have done is bought it sooner! If someone stole this baby I would hunt them down, rip it out of their hands, and beat their face in with it (it would definitely mess someone up too ;)) I would buy another without question. I love everything about this pedal (except REVERSE delay but I'm sure there's something I'm doing wrong) I had looked at some of the lower model Boss digital delays. Do yourself a HUGE favor and save up the extra money for this pedal. It's worth every single cent. // 10

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overall: 9.5
DD-20 Giga Delay Reviewed by: jamesyodoom, on january 05, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 220

Ease of Use: It was surprisingly easy to get a good tone out of this thing. Given all the knobs and settings, I would've thought it would be hell getting a good sound out of it. However, I was able to get it up and running with no trouble. The control scheme is easy to learn and use. It has a knob for changing the delay time, in milliseconds. You simply turn the knob and find the setting you like. Say you want a fast delay. You would set the delay time to, say, 500, which would make it so the note repeats it self every 500 milliseconds, or half a second. This goes up to an incredible 23 seconds, which is way more then you're probably ever going to need. Aside from that there is the effects volume knob, which is easy enough. It simply adjusts the volume of the delay. The only twist is that when you turn the effect volume all the way up, it will turn off the guitar's volume completely, so all you hear is the delay. There is a feedback knob. It controls how long the delay lasts. If you turn it all the way up, the delay will continue, not fading away, until you turn the effect off. If you play a chord, the chord will keep on playing, never going away, at least until the setting is switched. Then you can play another note, and that one will continue as well. You can keep on stacking as many notes as you like, and you can create some really cool effects. This is different from the looper, which I will get into later. Next, we have the tone knob. This one is simple, turn it low, and the highs are cut of the delay, and vice versa. If you keep it in the middle, the note will play back exactly it was. Finally, we have the settings knob, which you use to control the type of delay. On the back of the pedal we have two input jacks (mono or stereo), a headphone jack, a jack for the optional footswitch, mono and stereo output jacks, and an 9V adapter jack. There are two pedals, the left is to control various elements of the delay and the looper, and the right is to Switch between the settings you can write into the pedal. This pedal is also used for tap tempo. Just hold down the pedal for a couple of seconds, then tap out the beats per minute. I will go into more depth later. A cool feature is saving up to four effects into the pedal. Once the effect is in the pedal, you can simply hit the right pedal to Switch through your four settings. A nice thing is that when you Switch effects, the previous delay will continue to play until it runs out depending on what the feedback setting is, which means when you switch, there isn't a sudden stop. The manual is easy to follow, and has many helpful diagrams. I don't recommend buying this pedal without the manual. The settings all look straightforward at first, but many of them can be edited, and the manual will explain all that. It goes into depth about how to use all the settings, the pedals, and the knobs, and gives you some handy examples of sounds you can get. // 9

Sound: I'm using a Les Paul copy from the 70's and a Spider IV. I know it isn't the ideal set-up, but I like wrangling 'ugly' noises from my set-up, so it's pretty good for me. I'm also using a Boss DS-2, and occasionally a Cry-Baby Wah. The pedal does not create excess buzz at all, I have no complaints with it there. For the most part, all the effects are great, at least I think. There are 11 delay settings, which I will go into more detail in, if you don't mind. First, we have SOS, the looper. It can record only a short time, don't use this instead of a dedicated looper. You can overdub, but only within the constraints of the time limit. It is simple to operate. You hit the left pedal, start playing, and hit it again to stop. Easy! To overdub, instead of simply hitting the pedal then playing, you hold the pedal down while playing. Hitting the pedal will stop the loop. You can't record a loop and have a delay on at the same time. Once the loop is done, you can toggle through your presaved effects and play over the loop, put you can't overdub. Next, we've got Twist, a bit of a novelty. When you play, it acts as a normal delay. But when you hold down the left pedal, the note quickly increases in volume and starts 'twisting,' if you can picture that. It's difficult to explain, but this effect probably doesn't get used often. Now, we're on Warp, another pedal activated sound. Play a note, and then hold down the left pedal. The note will continue to play, getting louder and louder. Play another note, and it too will increase in volume, as long as you hold down the pedal. When you let go, the sound will slowly fade away. The next one, Tape, stimulates a tape delay, obviously. If you hold the left pedal down, you have the option of using two 'tape heads.' If you do, the second delay will play at half the time as the original. So if you have it set at 400 ML, the second will play at 200 ML. Analog is a simple one, it alters the sound of the delay a little, upping the mids. Standard, nothing to say here. Just your basic, everyday delay. Next, we have Dual. With this, to delays can play at once, one long, one short. The delay time of the long delay is set by simply adjusting the time as you normally would. The short delay time is set by holding down the left pedal. A separate number will pop up, that's the short time. It can only go up to 100 ML. Next we've got Pan. This one will play the delay first in one speaker, then the other, and so on, back and forth. Obviously this won't work unless you have it hooked up to stereo speakers. Now, we have Smooth. Not much to say here, it just creates a smooth delay. Almost there, next we have Modulate. This one kinda warps your notes, bending them a little. You can change the rate of the modulation, and how often the modulation occurs. Finally, we have Reverse, which is self explanatory. You play a note, and it reverses it, plays it backwards. I recommend you turn effects volume all the way up, so you eliminate the guitar sound completely, so only the reversed note plays. This will screw with your timing, but you can get used to it. I'd also turn the feedback down, so it doesn't play the note back to many times. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I most definitely can depend on it, and would use it in a gig without back up. Boss pedals are built very well, and this is no exception.It is made of metal, and the pedals are made of rubber. The screen is bright, and easy to read. It is easily portable, weighing around two pounds. It could easily fit in a backpack. It takes either a 9V adapter, or 6 double A batteries. // 10

Overall Impression: I play spacey alternative rock, and this is perfect. I've been playing for two years, and like I said have a DS-2 and a Crybaby Wah. I would buy it again if it were lost. All the features are good, and most are great. Highlights are Reverse and Modulation. I only wish the looper had more features, but that's not what the pedal was made for. Overall, this is a great pedal, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a feature packed, reasonably priced delay pedal. // 10

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overall: 10
DD-20 Giga Delay Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 16, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 180

Purchased from: Ebay Boss Dealer

Ease of Use: The DD20 is an amazing pedal that is feature-rich and very easy to use after reading the manual. It has a great sound and is extremely customizable to suit your tastes. I have had my DD20 for about 3 years now with no complaints. If you can read and comprehend, you can use this pedal. Everything that you need to adjust is clearly printed on the outside of the pedal. Once you learn how to program your delays, you are ready to rock. // 10

Sound: I have a variety of effects and quite a few guitars that I use this pedal with. I play a variety of music styles including Rock, Metal, Blues, and church music. I have yet to run into a genre that this pedal cannot tackle. It sounds great on all the settings and you never run out of delay time. The thing that I really like about digital delays is that the signal is preserved, unlike analog pedals, but they have different purposes. This pedal is basically plug-in and play. I have no complaints about the sound what'soever. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have been using this pedal for 2 or 3 years now, and I have played it on gigs, in church, in practice, etc. Not once has it ever failed on me. I made a tap tempo pedal for it (it has one built in, I just chose to make a tap tempo pedal to keep the pedals on the pedal free for other purposes). It is a Boss pedal, and it is nearly unbreakable. The housing must be made out of steel or some other durable metal because it is HEAVY. I think you could drop this thing several times before it even began to break down. It should be powered by something other than batteries though. It takes six AA batteries to power it otherwise. // 10

Overall Impression: Again, I play a multitude of music styles. This thing covers them all. From speedy slapbacks to ambient chorus delays, this thing handles it all with ease. The delay time is crazy, and you really can't beat it. It is definitely worth the $200 that you spend on it. If it ever does break, Boss has a 7-year warranty on it for factory defects. I think that this pedal will last a REALLY long time. I don't see it breaking any time soon. I would definitely recommend this, and I would replace it if some were to steal it or break it. It is a sweet pedal, and I am extremely impressed. // 10

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