Price paid: £ 114
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 8
I am using a Peavey Ultra 112 tube amp along with a Schecter 7-string and a Dean with passive pickups as well as a custom built guitar with active pickups. I'm also using my bass amp as a slave in order to test the stereo features of this pedal. As far as I can hear, the Digital Delay gives you a very good copy of the original sound without decay. You can leave the feedback on high and it will still be playing back whatever sound you put in for hours. It's pretty transparent as well; I can't tell the difference between my guitar with or without the delay plugged in, when it's bypassed. YMMV. The reverse sound is a pretty nice effect, but you have to make sure you get the tempo right so that it records the "grain" in the right place. The modulation effect sounds quite nice, if a little uniform, and can be used to give a stereo chorus effect if you are plugged in stereo. There isn't much flexibility though, so you will have to accept the default setting. I am not massively keen on the Analog(ue) setting myself. It doesn't really give you the natural decay of a proper analogue delay, it just sounds to me as if the wet signal is put through a high-pass filter and that's pretty much it. It's just too much of a perfect copy! Also, this pedal does not do a very good reverb simulation. However, this does not claim to be an analogue delay or a reverb pedal, so to criticise it too harshly on either of those points would be unfair.
Overall Impression — 9
I play rock and metal and really this is a pretty good tool for nice clean guitar playing, as well as a nice short delay for guitar solos. This is the first effect pedal I have had for a while. I very much like the encompassing stereo sound that you can get from this pedal, as well as the large amount of flexibility in terms of delay time, as well as the external foot-switch/pedal connectivity. I would definitely replace this pedal if I required a new one. I would like to be able to mess with a few more settings, such as bounce, stereo modes, modulation etc... But really that is just because I am used to having these features on my virtual rack-mount delays on Guitar Rig when recording. I think it would be unfair to expect a small stompbox such as this to have such a vast array of controls. Plus, where would you put them?
Reliability & Durability — 8
As with most Boss pedals, it feels nice and solid. It's got all-metal construction, as well rubber pads on the foot-switch as well as underneath the unit itself for more grip on the floor. My problem with this pedal, which is the same for all the newer Boss pedals, is the fact that the mechanical switch has been replaced with an FET one. Boss claims that this removes the audio gap between switching sounds, as well as reducing signal decay. That may be so, but I would suggest if you're playing live, you're probably more bothered about having a nice, chunky, reliable switch in there, rather than a slightly better sound. I say this because I can't help but feeling most people will want this for gigging, rather than studio-quality delay, for which more flexible units are available. Also, I hear the battery life is not great, but I use DC power anyway, so not an issue for me.
Ease of Use — 9
As far as I'm concerned, this pedal is very easy to use. You can pretty much plug it in and it will be giving you a nice delay sound straight from the box. You've got 4 controls: effect level, feedback, delay time (redundant if you're using the tap-tempo feature) and a mode switch. All the controls, as well as the mode switch functions, pretty much speak for themselves. It's got a tap tempo feature which makes dialling in the right delay time easy. This can be used either by holding the foot-switch down for 2 seconds (as indicated on the control panel) or using an external foot-switch. The only thing I would say is that there are a couple of features that are not immediately obvious from first use of the pedal. The first is the delay time doubling feature that can be utilised by using output B instead of output A, giving you up to 6.4 seconds of delay time (!) Also, using input B on its own will split the dry and wet signals, output A being the wet signal and B dry. The other feature is the fact that using the 800, 200 or 50 ms settings will allow you to select shorter notes from the tempo you have tapped out, meaning you can have shorter delay times without having to tap your foot really fast. These features are mentioned on stickers that come attached to the manual and can be stuck to the pedal so you don't forget them though.