DJ-17 PB&J Delay review by Danelectro

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  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Sound: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 7 (1 vote)
Danelectro: DJ-17 PB&J Delay

Purchased from: Gift

Ease of Use — 7
Don't try to change the settings in the middle of a song, or possibly even a set. Getting it back where you want it can take some playing, as the knobs don't really have clear marking points. If it's even slightly wrong you'll notice quickly, because the repeats are so clear. On the rare occasion that I've played the pedal with other musicians, we let the pedal itself set the tempo.

Basically, unless you can set it and forget it this really isn't a gigging pedal. I may one day purchase more and set them all before a show. If you want to use the short mode, and you want to turn it on and off during a song, buy the BLT instead.

Sound — 8
While it is low on features, I feel spoiled by this pedal. While it is not True Bypass, it never introduces any hiss, whether powered by a battery or wall adapter. It is also sonically "reliable." It didn't take me long to learn how it was going to react to me. Of course that's a drawback as well: The pedal itself never surprises me. Don't expect the PB&J to do any of the creative work for you.

That really sums up the sound of the pedal. What Danelectro has done is make a tool. Repeats sound identical to the original, and at full mix the first repeat will be the same volume as the original. What this means is that the pedal can create the sound of multiple instruments playing simultaneously better than many more expensive delays that I've played. This makes it less useful if you are looking to add subtle texture, but if what you want is repeats (and lots of them, as I'll explain below) then this thing is a close as good as you can expect without just buying a loop station. As far as the available options, they are few in number so I'll go through them one at a time.

Short/Long: you can switch between short and long repeat modes using the left foot button. The short mode can make some interesting effects, especially when combined with other pedals (Wah in particular), but for everyday playing I avoid it. It tends to devolve into very harsh reverb. When you turn on the pedal it always defaults to long (P. S. The pedal indicates which mode it's in with an LED that switches between red and green. No fun for the colourblind like me!)

(P.P.S. If you just want the short delay, the BLT pedal seems identical to my ears.)

Delay period: This is the pedal's party piece. I don't know exactly what the maximum delay is, but it sits somewhere above a full second. This is particularly awesome when mixed with...

Number of repeats: This is not a self-oscilating pedal, but holy crap ... Batman! It makes a lot of repeats. It's very easy to make a wall of sound when you crank the repeat number up.

Reliability & Durability — 6
This is a major drawback. The buttons are hard to press with shoes on, the knobs can fall out (though they can be replaced with a screwdriver, and if mine cease to fit by their own friction I will glue them in) and the casing is plastic. I've never had a problem, and electronically it's been perfect for many years (I have used it live), but if I was going to use it for frequent live playing I wouldn't expect the casing to last long. It is very sturdy for typical home use. I don't think it will every actually fall apart.

Overall Impression — 10
I have been using this pedal extensively for many years. I have occasionally referred to myself as a "delay pedal player." I've used other delays, and recently purchased a Carbon Copy, but by and large this is the only delay pedal I've relied upon. I'm a tad biased, since I've been using this pedal for most of my guitar playing career. It has influenced me as much as I've learned to use it. However, if it broke I would get another in a heartbeat. I'm constantly finding new uses for its unique blend of looping and decay. In general, I use this pedal for more than 50% of my playing and I'm still developing new techniques to take advantage of it. It's brilliant for the price... provided that you can live without the absent features.

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