Price paid: $ 80
Purchased from: Craigslist
Ease of Use — 7
The Ekko LoFi is very easy to use, but it can get ear shattering with the oscillating whirlwind of delay. With the modulation engaged and the regen turned up too high and too high of a mix it isn't pretty. Physical pain believe it or not, you do it once, then not again. It is so simple looking, but it can be a little tricky with the modulation. The speed and depth are practically like a ring mod, but you can get what you like about it easy enough. Setting the time mix and regen are simple. Just don't go too high on the regen. I keep it under 1 o'clock (if ever that high).
Sound — 8
The 616 LoFi is very impressive delay with the nice warm gritty decaded repeats. It has a switch for True Bypass or Buffered Bypass, as well as a switch for the modulation on/off, and two small pots, one for speed and depth. The decay is excellent sounding and it sits nice in the background or way up front. The modulation and the regeneration are pretty crazy, and it can get really shrill really fast if you over do it. This fits blues excellent in front of my Orange or Bassman. The repeats are very nice regarding the decay. It makes it more grit on the back and works excellent for rhythmic passages or nice and smooth overa long lead.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This pedal will last a very long time. Its built like a rock. Good switch, solid pots. It is hard to beat Malekko's construction. I also have the regular 616, and it has served me very well for several years. The Lo-Fi is no different. I don't know how long the batteries last, but it works out great with my ISO block or my 1Spot, I haven't had any problems. I feel no need to worry about it not turning on or failing. It works great. The guts look really clean, the finish on the casing is great as well, its a nice thick powder coat.
Overall Impression — 8
I am using this for blues and blues/rock in front of an Orange or even my '68 Bassman or my MusicMan HD212 130w. It gives responses with character and wakes things up nicely. It is very flexible, it goes up to 650ms, and I usually am around 200-300. The mix knob works great, and the regen are very good. The modulation is great, king of like a ring mod, BUT it can go crazy with sharp piercing noise if you have the regen and mix too high. That is my only complaint. I would love to have a second switch for the modulation only. If it were to fail or go missing, I would definitely pick another one up.