Analog DelayFeatured review by: UG Team, on october 09, 2013 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 30
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Ease of Use: Overall, the Rogue Analog Delay is an unbeatable value. Especially with the mod done to it, this pedal sounds just as good as higher end pedals. And at less than half the price, this is a quality entry level delay. For those who don't know whether a delay is appropriate for their board, this is a cheap and easy experiment that may end up being kept in the long run. // 8
Sound: I aspire to find value from the products I purchase (sometimes to an extreme). So when I went to research an inexpensive analog delay pedal, the Rogue Analog Delay immediately jumped out at me. Normally priced at $50, this delay often goes on sale for $30 and can only be bought from the Guitar Center family of retailers (Guitar Center, Musician's Friend, Music123 etc.).
Before I even played the pedal, the value of the pedal is plain to see. In the under $50 range, the pedal competes with plastic, digital delays offered by Danelectro and Behringer. The lightweight aluminum construction of the pedal, coupled with the solid metal footswitch and sturdy knobs already put it over the top of its competitors. However, the 9v battery compartment can only be reached by unscrewing four small screws and revealing the circuit board, so I guess it loses a point in the ease of use department compared to its competitors.
As to the analog design of the pedal, I believe that it is actually "analog voiced" since it uses a computer chip to get its sound. While this may worry some prospective buyers, the pedal's circuit board is actually far less cluttered than that of a MXR Carbon Copy, which also has computer chips. So, if you were looking for a true analog delay, you may want to look elsewhere. However, if you are confused as to why this matters, or you can accept the level of "analog" that both this pedal and the Carbon Copy offer, then I suggest that you read on.
If I were to describe this pedal in less than a sentence, I would call it a poor man's MXR Carbon Copy because it attempts to emulate it in size (identical), layout (identical), and features. I'll also just say right now that this review will continue to reference the Carbon Copy, which is what I compared the Rogue Analog Delay to when I was considering whether or not to buy it. To make it clear, I seriously considered the Boss DD-3, the Boss DD-7, the MXR Carbon Copy, and the Rogue Analog Delay when I searched for a delay pedal, not anything else.
The Rogue Analog Delay has three simple, intuitive that control the volume of the delays compared to your original signal (Level), the time between the delays (Time), and the number of delays (Repeat). I've found that each of these knobs is relatively easy to adjust with your foot, if necessary.
The Level knob is my least favorite part about this pedal and one of three things that keeps this pedal from being absolutely spectacular. It is a very touchy knob. Over the 8:30 mark, the first delay is as loud as or louder than the original guitar signal. At the 8:30 mark, there is very little wiggle room to lower the volume of the delay; once the knob is turned lower than 7:30, no delay is audible. It took a lot of time to set the Level knob at the right place and it really has no mobility as an option on the pedal. At some points, I am inclined to think that I got a defective product, in this regard, but I didn't want to deal with returning it since I didn't expect to have fiddled with this knob anyway.
The Time knob offers delay times between 130ms and 350ms, approximately. While this suits the majority of my needs, it may not suit everyone else's. The Carbon Copy can get up to 600ms of delay and a Boss DD-7 can get over 3000ms. While the Rogue Analog Delay may not measure up in this department, it can still be used as an excellent slapback delay and suits my purposes just fine.
The Repeat knob is where this pedal gets interesting. Out of the box, this knob would do what you would expect it to do; vary the amount of delays produced. However I modded the pedal by replacing one of the resistors under this knob, resulting in a self-oscillating pedal. If you wish to do this mod, search "rogue analog delay mod" in Google. There are two helpful pages, one a YouTube video and one a Harmony Central article, that taught me how to mod the pedal. I wouldn't consider the mod easy, but I was able to accomplish it without ANY prior experience in electrical mechanics.
Anyway, this mod changed the pedal and made it many times better than it was before, even rivaling the quality of a Carbon Copy. Aside from the fact that the pedal can now self-oscillate, the mod also made each delay softer, making the effect fade out quietly. This also enabled me to use the delay as a reverb effect much easier than I could before.
Even before I did this mod, I thought that the sound quality of the pedal was better than that of the Boss digital delays and worse than that of the Carbon Copy. After the mod, I'd have to say I still slightly prefer the Carbon Copy, but not enough to pay five times more for it.
Moreover, that's what the decision to buy this pedal really comes down to; value. For $30, this pedal is a great deal just because of the metal body and because it is serviceable. Add to the fact that it actually sounds great, better than the Boss digital delays, and this pedal would be hard to pass up. Especially after doing the mod, it really wasn't a hard decision to keep this delay instead of returning it and getting a Carbon Copy. Again, this pedal is not quite as good as the Carbon Copy, but it is certainly more valuable at 20% of the cost and it fit my needs just fine to begin with. // 7
Reliability & Durability: I believe that I pretty much addressed the sound of this pedal in the previous section. To sum it up, this pedal has a warm, imperfect delay tone that is to be expected (and cherished) from an analog delay. I noticed only tiny discrepancies in sound between this and the Carbon Copy, so if you need a bellwether to judge the pedal's sound by, I would use the Carbon Copy. // 9
Overall Impression: This pedal is made of aluminum with solid metal inputs and hard plastic knobs. This makes the pedal far lighter than its iron/steel competitors while retaining the durability that comes with being made of metal. Of course, I wouldn't throw it off a balcony or use it to bludgeon drunk, oppressive fans like I might with my Crybaby wah, but it is still durable, far more so than its under $50, plastic competitors. // 7