DD-20 Giga Delay review by Boss

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  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (44 votes)
Boss: DD-20 Giga Delay

Price paid: $ 240

Purchased from: Chicago Music Exchange through Amazon

Ease of Use — 8
Overall, modifying modes and presets is pretty easy. The memory LED will begin to blink when a setting is changed, and that's pretty handy. As I said earlier, some of the modes are a little hard to grasp. The instruction manual also leaves something to be desired. For starters, it doesn't really explain the tape, smooth or reverse modes. Second, I really would have liked there to be a on/off switch, as opposed to being one of those pedals which just turns on when you plug it into the power strip (yes, I said power strip. I'm not exactly down with one of those pedal power packs yet). Otherwise, a good pedal from the start.

Sound — 9
The sound is incredible. Before I got this pedal, I used the delays on my DigiTech RP70 multi-effects pedal and Fender Mustang 1 amp, which weren't terrible, but were little hard to work with. On the Boss, I an LED flashes for the delay time, and displays the delay time on the LCD display, with is a bit of a combination of each. The modes are pretty cool. The "SOS" (sound-on-sound) mode, which acts as a looper, is a little hard to work with. When in use, you can't use any of the other delay modes. Otherwise, the modes (twist, warp, tape, analog, digital, dual, pan, smooth, modulate, and reverse) work pretty well and are easy to modify. One downside to the dual mode is that you're quite limited on the short delay (it only goes to 100ms). Likewise, on tape mode, you aren't able to change the time of the second tape head. And sadly, reverse is a little hard to modify.

I play a fair share of U2, especially their "Joshua Tree" and "R&H" era music, which uses plenty of delay. With a little research, I was able to modify the dual, modulate, and analog modes to play some of those songs (specifically, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and "With or Without You") with rather great results. I was pleasantly surprised at how versatile it is. I certainly would say that the pedal suits my musical style. 

One thing about twist is that it can be a little touchy. When I use the distortion on my RP70, the twist mode sounds pretty good. However, later on, I put my Vox AMPlug into the output jack of the DD-20 pressed down to start the twist, and it sounded horrendous. So just a tip, always shape your tone before the delay in the signal chain.

My signal chain is pretty short. From my guitar, I run to a Dunlop Volume-X volume pedal, into my DigiTech, next the DD-20, through a Vox looping pedal (sound looping, not an effects looper), and into my Fender Mustang Amp. The DD-20 fits pretty well for me, with everything except for my volume pedal being a twin stompbox.

Reliability & Durability — 10
Everything seems pretty solid and long-lasting. I have seen many rig rundowns on YouTube with these pedals, and even normal demos, and they look pretty beat up, but still working perfectly. As opposed to my DigiTech, which is all plastic, the metal-and-rubber DD-20 seems pretty durable, a true "stomp"-box. I hope to be using this for many years to come. I'll probably be able to depend on it any time. The other durability i probably won't test is the battery life. I ditched the batteries included in the box as soon as I opened it up because I had received the power supply that Roland produces. I read in the manual to only use alkaline batteries if not a power supply, due to the high power usage. I'm not willing to test that.

Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing for 6 years, and play classic rock and punk rock. I will certainly use it on the older music, like U2, as I said earlier. I don't think I'll really use it for the punk, but I will certainly add it into solos just as a little flavoring. I really like how the right footswitch can double as a tap tempo and preset selector, it will really help in the long run when I can't exactly figure out the delay time. My favorite thing about it would have to be the dual mode. I can get some pretty cool sounds when I adjust my times for the long and short delays. 

The only thing I hate is the lack of explanation in the manual. I think it could be a little easier to use if it was more in-depth. I did compare this with a couple other pedals, namely a Vox, Strymon, and MXR. I chose the Boss because of its good reputation, versatility, durability, and ease of use. I did all the research on YouTube and other review sites (Musician's Friend, Reverb.com, etc). If it were stolen, I would probably replace it.

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