Price paid: $ 250
Ease of Use: 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. // 8
Sound: 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. // 10
Reliability & Durability: 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. // 8
Overall Impression: 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. // 10