ND-1 Nova Delay review by TC Electronic

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (16 votes)
TC Electronic: ND-1  Nova Delay
4

Price paid: $ 250

Sound — 10
The sound clips will speak for themselves with this wonderful delay unit. The color knob was my favorite feature that really sets this pedal on the top of the heap. Set the color knob to digital and hear crystal clear delay repeats with all of the top end sparkle you could ever want. Back the color knob off to analog, tape, or anywhere in between to your preference. Using this feature along with the built in modulation keeps the delay out of the way from cluttering up intricate passages while providing studio quality texture. The Nova Delay does not feature true bypass switching as many boutique pedals boast. However, this does not necessarily reduce the quality of this pedal. There is no noticeable sound degradation or volume reduction in bypass mode. Running this unit in front of a clean or slightly dirty tube amp yields fantastic results ranging from Vintage tape to crystal clear modern Digital Delay. Routing through an effects loop is also a favorable option for many players.

Overall Impression — 10
I would highly recommend this pedal to any player who is interested in enhancing their tone with rich delay textures. The Nova Delay is capable of achieving a range of famous delay sounds from the Stray Cats to Radiohead to U2. It also only takes up a modest amount of real estate on your pedal board! With its durable construction, ease of use, and outstanding studio quality sound, it makes a great addition to any player's arsenal.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This is a relatively new product therefore it has not had the chance to prove its reliability over years of use. The ND-1's construction is solid as a rock and the switches have a very smooth and quiet feel when stomped on. If mounted on a pedal board and maintained properly, one should have confidence that this pedal should run smoothly for years and years. Large digital displays always raise reliability concerns. If this pedal were to be abused, there is a possibility of breaking the display. However, mine has seen a lot of gigs in a short amount of time and has not once faltered.

Ease of Use — 8
The Nova Delay is a relatively intuitive device for gear savvy players. I was able to achieve nearly every classic delay type within a few seconds of tweaking. The only aspect of this pedal that through me for a loop was that the delay time knob works differently than most units of this type. Turning the delay knob slightly to the left (counterclockwise) will result in the delay time lowering in milliseconds slowly at first, and the farther you turn the knob the faster the time decreases. One example of how this can be useful is for dialing in the right amount of slapback delay. By setting the knob slightly off center you can adjust the delay time while you play and listen for the desired delay time. The ND-1 manual is concise and well written. I was able to master the pedal's hidden abilities within an hour. You can easily adjust the spillover from one preset to another and program global or pre-programmed tap tempo options. All of the different types of delay are easily switched with a push of a button and the display is intuitively designed to let you know exactly how the pedal is dialed in. A major bonus for this pedal is that all delay types are tap tempo ready. This is a great feature for quick time adjustments in a live setting. The ND-1 loses points in this area when it comes to switching delay types during a live performance. To toggle presets the user must press the tap tempo button once then immediately press the on/off button until the desired preset is reached. It is quite easy to do with preparation and planning, but there have been a few times during live shows where I found myself in a mess navigating through presets.

24 comments sorted by best / new / date

    joshjohnson1983
    Hey everyone, I'm part of the UG Staff and this is my review. This really is a fantastic pedal that has enabled me to replicate almost any delay sound. The absence of an expression pedal input is a bummer. Some midi functions also would have been nice. Once you put this pedal on your board and get comfortable with it, you will find that the tone and flexibility is unmatched.
    antareus : I'm interested in knowing how this compares to the DL-4 in terms of sound quality and whatnot.
    The Line 6 DL-4 is a decent delay pedal. There are volume drop issues and some reliability issues as well. The Nova Delay is far superior in cleanliness, versatility, usability, and bypass mode. Also, a big point is that the ND-1 takes up about half the space on your board as the DL-4!
    CodeMonk
    I picked up one of these from Craigslist a few weeks ago for $150. I must say, it kicks ass. It does take some time to get to know how all the controls work. Its more complicated than my Boss DD-7, but If I could only have one delay, the Boss would go bye-bye. Plus having 9 programmable presets makes it like having multiple delay pedals. Can't see myself ever getting rid of this pedal.
    Section 5
    Hmmmm...I've been wanting the EHX Stereo Memory Man w/ Hazarai for a while, but after seeing some demos and reading reviews of this, I think I'll go for this.
    demitriv
    Been looking at delay pedals, is this better than, boss dd7, hardwire dl8, stereo memory man with hazarai?
    wesselbindt
    It features several effects usable only if you have multiple amps. If you have only one amp, is it a waste of money to buy the Nova Delay?
    hertogjan
    tom_martin_123 wrote: this or the eventide time factor?
    That is the question, I just wrote a passage but I dont think it made it. I really want to put the two side by side,the eventide is 30% more expensive than the ND-1 (which I have ) here in the Netherlands. I love the sounds but cant be doing with all the dancing to change patches, and when I missed I looked a real dickhead.
    hertogjan
    I have purchased this pedal as well..its great , but I`m curious about the Eventide delay, in fact so curious I`m going to buy one as well. It cost about 350 gbp but does give a lot more connectability. I just de-snobbed by selling some boutique stuff.
    colster6000
    my mate just bought this and it took me about 10 seconds of fiddling with it to get an awesome metal lead delay sound, im going to get one too when I can afford it!
    guitarinchris
    guitarinchris- after spending $250 on one pedal why would you ever dream of getting anothing delay?
    touche!
    Demonikk
    I want one of these but they're really pricey for a pedal Might just save more and get the G Major rackmount
    antareus
    I'm interested in knowing how this compares to the DL-4 in terms of sound quality and whatnot.
    Mr.LeadGuitar
    $250!?!?!?!?! Well, in listening to the sound samples, i can see why. It's a badass pedal, it can replicate many different tones used by different artists. The one that most intrigued me was the first sound clip, based on "Another Brick In The Wall pt. 1"
    led,rainsong
    sounds lie a cool pedal i always wondered what the difference between the different types of delay were i think i kinda like digital delay then
    jay358
    guitarinchris- after spending $250 on one pedal why would you ever dream of getting anothing delay?
    guitarinchris
    The ND-1 loses points in this area when it comes to switching delay types during a live performance. To toggle presets the user must press the tap tempo button once then immediately press the on/off button until the desired preset is reached. It is quite easy to do with preparation and planning, but there have been a few times during live shows where I found myself in a mess navigating through presets
    this is my only issue with the pedal. It's really annoying if you don't hit them at the right moment because you could wind up just turning off your delay pedal by mistake.
    hey does it tell u what bpm your working at?
    Yeah, you can hold in one of the the "subdivide" or "modulation" buttons and it changes from ms to bpm
    guitarinchris
    I have this pedal. It's fantastic. There's a bit of a learning curve with it, and I wish it had expression pedal inputs, but overall it's great. I don't plan on buying another delay pedal.
    rgehring
    There is a guy on Ebay offering a MOD for the Nova Delay ND1, which provides external tap (VIA TRS OUT) and also has a button for scrolling through the presets. I got one from him and LOVE IT - if you have a NOVA, you need this MOD! His screen name is: guitartek86 (on eBay). Check it out!