DD-20 Giga Delay review by Boss

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.5 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (44 votes)
Boss: DD-20 Giga Delay

Price paid: $ 220

Sound — 9
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.

Overall Impression — 10
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.

Reliability & Durability — 10
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.

Ease of Use — 9
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.

3 comments sorted by best / new / date

    the dd-7 has a reverse delay too man...dd-20 objective is the best delay pedal in the world and also is the most versatile delay pedal
    I started using the SOS feature just to practice with and write solos at first, but now I use it in songs... LIVE! This delay is absolutely incredible. I wish my review could have given it more praise. Honestly though, you can easily whip out that sound on sound feature whenever you want and make some incredible magic happen. Plus you can switch to your first delay setting while the loop is still going, so if you need some delay on a lead that you're playing on top of the loop IT'S RIGHT THERE. ONE PEDAL. AMAZING!