Alright, so I'm looking to buy a delay pedal, and I'm between either an MXR Carbon Copy or an Ibanez AD9. Figured I'd post here and see what some of you guys have to say on the matter.

I guess I'm just looking for some information on both of these pedals, as well as suggestions of other pedals if you think it would be better to purchase something else. Also, I'm still wondering about the whole analog versus digital delays, so any information as to which would be better for what situations would really help. I understand that the two I'm currently between are both analog. I'm just wondering what the difference is between, say, a Boss or Digitech digital delay or something similar.

As always, thanks in advance guys.
i end up preferring the digital delays(alot of them have analog settings and more) because usually they have a Tap Tempo feature. instead of changing the knob for the delay speed i can tap it with my foot. i use slight echo/delay most of the time so its important for me to tap the delay into whatever tempo i am playing in with the rest of the band etc.

for that i use the BOSS Gigadelay(has echo, analog, standard, smooth, reverse, dual head delay, and modulated delay).
So is that all I'd be missing out on with the analog delays? The tap tempo, I mean. And the gigadelay may be pushing my budget on this just a little, unless I could find one used for about the same price as one of the two I mentioned earlier.

Any other suggestions, guys?
I like the Carbon Copy, lots of people think it's murky sounding but in short delay times... I think it sounds nice.

If you can find a Boss DD-20 or line 6 DL-4 then get it.

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I'd check out the EHX Deluxe Memory Boy and the Malekko Ekko 616, they're in the same price range. The DMB has alot of options for an analog delay too.

A digital delay sounds more 'crisp' and 'defined' than an analog delay, which is typically more described as 'warm' and 'lush'. A digital delay is also capable of much longer delay times than an analog, which top out at about one second at their longest. Maximum delay time varies alot between analog delays, though. Digital delays also often have more options than analog.

Whichever you go for depends on you, really. If you want more options and versatility, then a digital delay will suit you better. If sound quality is your absolute only concern, then you could go for either. Analog delays don't necessarily sound better than digital delays.
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*This is information, not a recommendation persay*

The percieved "warmth" of analog delays is a result of the signal being degraded as it is repeated, losing the higher frequencies. It's the same reason that people hear vinyl records as warmer than digital recordings, and some studio's still use tape to record, despite it being totally archaic compared to modern methods and tools. Analog settings on digital pedals do a good job of emulating this, as all it takes is eq'ing and optionally adding light modulation.

Tap tempo is an awesome feature, especially if you want to use delay rhythmically like bands such as U2 and Angels and Airwaves, among others. (I get a little hard when I hear dotted 8th delay.)

The looper on some delay pedals is also incredibly fun to play around with; personally, looping and jamming with myself is what took my guitar playing to a whole new level.

I love my Dl4- I bought it used for 150, but I've run into big time reliability issues; I've had to take it into the shop multiple times, when chips and the whole motherboard fried for no apparent reason. Still, its by far my favorite toy and tool.

That said, if all you want are thicker tones on lead lines, one of the Analog Delays you mentioned might be your biggest bang for the buck.

edit: The Boss dd-7 may be a good option: you can add an external tap tempo, and it has an analog setting among others.
Last edited by mattocaster99 at Jul 8, 2010,
Hi. From what I've head the AD9 doesn't sound the best out of all those mid level analog delays. The CC is $150 retail, but I think you should check out the Malekko Ekko 616. It's hand made in the USA and is the same cost as the MXR and arguably better. Here's a llink. http://www.malekkoheavyindustry.com/index.php/ekko

Now as for digital delays vs. analog delays.

Digital delays are able to replicate the signal perfectly upon each repeat, so each and every echo sounds pretty much the same as the original (think U2, the Edge). Now analog delays use a BBD chip which repeats the signal but it does not perfectly replicate it each and every time. very repeat is a little warmer and changed from the original signal. That quality of analog delays is generally what people call "warmth" about their sound. Lovers of analogs call the perfect reproduction of digital delays sterile or cold etc... but really it is up to your ear which way you prefer. Both sound very good when used right!

In terms of capabilities of analog and digital, they are kind of the same yet digitals often have more features which may or may not be useful to you.

For example, digital delays often have a much longer delay time (my ND-1 has 2290 ms for example) and analogs you find will often have around 600 or 900 depending on the model. For example the CC and the Ekko both have around 600 ms of delay. So consider that in your choice. Tap tempo is another thing you're unlikely to find on an analog delay in the $150 price range, so if that is a necessity to you, you probably wanna look into a digital delay.

So before I go further we need to know a few things!

Is tap tempo necessary to you?
What do you plan on playing with the delay? What style?
Is $150 your max price?
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Wow. A lot of useful information guys. Really, thanks.

I'm not really sure if I'd want the tap tempo or not. I had originally decided to buy a delay to just kinda improve the sound of my leads, but the way I'm always tinkering around with things, it would probably be better to buy something with more features.

I'm really all over the place with style. I enjoy playing stuff like Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, and As I Lay Dying, who don't really use much delay except to kinda fatten up the leads. But then again, I also enjoy Paul Gilbert and others in that style.
Think like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7t_FmfWnxs
I really like experimenting with different sounds and styles to try and come up with something interesting, so if I could do more with a digital delay, then I guess I would rather have that.

$150 is about as much as I could stretch things, perhaps $200 at most. As for gear, all I'm running is a Tradition S-20 (LP style) to a Korg Pitchblack into a Peavey 5150 2x12 combo.
TC Electronic Nova Delay is excellent if you can stretch that far?
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They're both good. Had a DD-7 a while back, sold it and I miss it now. The looper is cool and the analog mode on it is pretty good. The DD-20 is a bit more advanced, so if you're willing to spend $50 more, do it. but it's bigger too and needs its own power supply.
Owned a DD7 since it came out really (might have been a few days before?) and its a dreat delay pedal and takes up hardly any board space. The dd20 is gfreat, but if you want the board space and less features (still a fair amount mind) definatley grab the DD7 as your digital.
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Well, I think I'll pick up his DD-20. Size really isn't an issue with me, as I don't really have a pedalboard, so if I do make/buy one, I'll get one with the DD-20 in mind. Pay day isn't until tuesday though, so I'll have to wait. I'll be sure to post pics and a review of it then, so keep an eye out.

Again, thanks guys. I came here stuck between two pedals, and in true UG fashion, I'm walking away with something completely different.

But seriously, thanks. Been loads up help.
A Boss DD-7 with the tap tempo switch would work well for you. The delay sounds on it are nice enough quality. You can also take a look at the Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Boy.
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Another option that's fairly new is the Digitech Hardwire Dl-8 Delay/Looper. It's comparable to the DD7, but it's true bypass, and only $115 new... http://www.guitarcenter.com/DigiTech-HardWire-DL-8-Delay-Looper-Guitar-Effects-Pedal-105018634-i1410007.gc

I'd get a Hardwire pedal over a Boss anyday, if I could afford it. They're really freaking nice.
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Quote by Zamorak
Hi. From what I've head the AD9 doesn't sound the best out of all those mid level analog delays.
i havent tried the malekko or some of the other stuff in the range, but i would take an ad-9 over the carbon copy any day of the week. i think it flat out sounds better. not sure where you are getting the idea that it doesnt sound best, but i know quite a few people like them a lot. now of course it isnt my favorite analog delay, but out of the delays in the $150 range i like it best.

of course moot point since the dude got the dd-20, which is of course a very solid choice as well. my old room mate swore by his, and for $150 i know i would be very tempted
good choice with the DD20, Ive got one and love it! Analog modes sound pretty good to my ears, and the ability to have presets in the memory and a tap tempo in incredibly useful live!! I dunno what I would do without my tap tempo!

Also looper is very handy tool, can have a lot of fun with that!