DLY-101 Analog Delay review by Dr Tone

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  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Sound: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 7 (1 vote)
Dr Tone: DLY-101 Analog Delay

Purchased from: Dawsons Music, Warrington

Ease of Use — 9
Very simple to use, and it came supplied with any information that I would need, but the unit has three knobs, for time, repeat and level, so anyone could easily figure out how to dial in a tone of their choosing. A range of sounds can be produced, and while it may not be faultless, it sets a great example to what a useful effect delay can be, in tasteful hands. To give an example, my brother wanted to use it for a recording, and like me, prefers an organic sound to his guitar, but wanted to spice up a solo, and was able to program a really effective snapback sound for a surf style solo, in conjunction with reverb, built into his amp. If two self-confessed, pedal-shy dudes can pull good sounds out of it, then the average gear head guitarist will benefit much more from this versatile, affordable bit of kit.

Sound — 7
Firstly, I am by no means an expert on guitar effects. The ones I use are generally staple and function to the guitars core sound - for example EQ, compression and reverb. Since hearing The Fall Of Troy's "FCPREMIX" a good few years ago, I have wanted a delay pedal, but never really got around to it. Now this affordable pedal is available on the market (to UK guitarists only though, as far as I am aware), there is no excuse not to get one, and experiment with the surprising amount of settings on this little green box. I tend to dabble in a lot of different styles, and branch out from indie to jazz, through blues and folk, with rock and metal thrown in when I feel like it. I can't really say that this pedal can cope with every genre - simply because a lot of the genres that I play don't really use delay very much. You know you're clutching at straws when the only metal example of delay you can think of is "Tears Don't Fall" by Bullet For My Valentine... that said, it copes with indie riffs very well, and adds a very interesting texture to Foals-esque minimalism and more experimental work, such as Minus The Bear and Wot Gorilla. The range of sounds can include long spacey echo, a decent attempt at a short snappy snapback reverb and of course, tempo dependent delay tones, where you can really emphasise a songs beat by listening out for the speed, then dialing it in. The controls are very user friendly, and the analogue technology means that you can adjust as you play, for a crazy, zooming effect as the signal is reprocessed. The best thing about the pedal, is that it has true bypass, and can slot very nicely into any gigging pedalboard, with the very minimum of interference (hey, it's still a cheap, Chinese made pedal, so there is still some noise, but is barely noticeable, when used through a good amp).

Reliability & Durability — 8
The construction is all metal, but seems a little more flimsy, than something like a Marshall pedal (which are the heaviest, most cumbersome that I have ever used), but I'm not complaining. I've gigged with it a few times, giving it a good stamping, and it has no dents yet. Definitely no need for a back up, when used live. I have owned it for just over a year, and have lent it out to others, more heavy footed than I, and has always returned in the same structural condition. The compact nature of the pedal (though not in the extreme - see Mooer micro effects) means that it has its own durability, and uses its size to its advantage, with less surface area to dent. The finish is of a slightly poorer quality, but the resale value would probably not be worth selling it, so even if it dies a horrible death, or gets scratched up to high heaven, I probably won't ever get rid of it.

Overall Impression — 8
I really like this pedal. For a pedal noob like me (I'm looking into getting more, but I do prefer a more natural sound to the guitar, rather than over the top chorus, flange or phaser), it's great, as the controls are super simple to use, with a nice variety of sounds to choose from. My favourite feature is the true bypass, which is fairly rare on pedals this cheap. It doesn't interfere with the sound when disengaged, and while it is slightly noisy when all controls are set to maximum, there is little to disagree with from this pedal. It may not be to everyones taste, for example, a boutique pedal aficionado may find fault with it, but for experimentation with delay and amateur gigging (which I imagine most on here will be doing), it is an excellent choice, and I am glad to have this as my first out-there pedal.

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