DD-7 Digital Delay review by Boss

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Ease of Use: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.8 (65 votes)
Boss: DD-7 Digital Delay

Price paid: £ 120

Purchased from: Duck, Son & Pinker

Sound — 9
The general sound of the basic delay is very good. It does what it needs to; it takes your signal then repeats it at lessening volumes at the speed and number of times you tell it to. There's not really much else to say in this respect, it's simply a really good delay pedal. The things to talk about are what I call the 'bonus' modes. There are five extra settings this pedal has which make it stand out, and these each provide a very different sound from the typical delay pedal effect. The first is a Modulation tone. This works like the regular delay, but it adds a slight chorus effect. This isn't as good as getting a dedicated chorus pedal and using that with the DD-7 at the same time, but if you want to turn delay and chorus on at the same time or don't have the room for two pedals, this does a more than good enough job. You have to be careful though as this effect is rather strong. The second is an Analog Delay tone. This is a digital copy of the older analog delay pedals Boss used to make. It adds slight tonal variations to each repeat in the delay, increasing/decreasing treble or bass, and every once in a while it will change to a weaker version of the Modulation's chorus effect. It's a very interesting effect and great with calmer, traditional styles of music, though it's a bit too random to 'trust' for precise metal playing or so on. Third effect is the hold effect. This is basically a 40 second loop. The pedal will record up to 40 seconds of playing, and loop it. You can then record over the top of this and have both recordings combined into one loop, then add a third, a forth, a fifth... This is a handy little feature to mess around with but it's basically useless. If you wanted this sort of thing you'd be much better off with an actual loop pedal. So this mode is fun for messing around with for 40 seconds at home, otherwise useless. Fourth, and similar to the last feature, is tap tempo. This lets you 'stamp in' the delay you want; you stamp once to start, stamp a second time, and whatever gap you left between is the time repeats are delayed by. Like the Hold function, this is okay, but I doubt many people will get much use from it. You can't Switch in and out of it like you can with the regular delay and I can't imagine many situations where you would have to ad-lib your delay time. The final mode is Reverse mode. This takes whatever you are playing and instantly reverses it. This can then either be heard as a 'reverse echo' like a regular delay, or you can set it so the reverse signal comes out instantly and your original signal isn't heard; this makes it sound almost like you're playing the guitar backwards. It's pretty nice and works well with no obvious LAG, though it seems to suffer with full open and barre chords. Very handy if you play psychedelic rock. There's no obvious noise or anything when using this pedal. Overall the sound is very good, the best delay I've heard and the extra modes have some nice sounds too if you fancy something a bit different.

Overall Impression — 9
What else is there to say? If you want a good delay effect in a stompbox, this is the best around, simple as that. My only closing thoughts are I wish there was a way to quickly Switch between a couple of settings as remembering exactly where each knob has to be for different effects can be hard (and it really is only the tiniest movement of one knob that can make a huge difference to the sound), but that wouldn't really be possible in stompbox housing so that's fine.

Reliability & Durability — 8
It's a Boss pedal, what else is there to say? Doesn't seem quite so sturdy as a DigiTech pedal which are a little bit bigger and heavier, but I wouldn't really trust this one any less. Be aware though that this thing goes through batteries very quickly even with minimal use. You're going to need a mains plug for this one.

Ease of Use — 6
This is Boss' foremost Digital Delay pedal. This is probably the best delay unit I've ever come across, though that's not to say it's flawless. The main problem this pedal has is it can get a little confusing. It has many modes, which I'll explain later, but the core modes - the basic repeating delay - overlap each other, so you can have a hard time working out which to settle on. For example, you can have it set to 800ms delay, but then turn the delay time knob all the way and now it's delaying at 3200ms, the same as the basic 3200ms setting - so which do you use? The manual does little to help this, really you've got to experiment with your full gear to work out which exact setting gets you the right tone you want. Even when two settings are supposed to act the same they will sound slightly differently. Lord help you if you ever get this in the right position then someone else comes and messes around with it - you'll probably never get your correct settings back again. The tap tempo and hold settings are also misleading, more on that later.

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