DDS-20M Digital Delay Sampler review by Yamaha

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  • Ease of Use: 7
  • Sound: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 7 (1 vote)
Yamaha: DDS-20M Digital Delay Sampler

Purchased from: Woowich Dealer

Ease of Use — 7
Easy to use but when recording a sample as it only has 3 seconds its easy to hold the pedal down too long and lose part of the the sample you are recording. A real danger with pedal is not knowing how aggressive the feedback is. If feedback is turned to 10 along with gain their is an exponential increase which starts quietly then suddenly erupts in a white noise of such volume that it will damage your amps if its not immediately turned down. The knobs are not strongly fitted to the box which means they turn to easily, I often spend a couple of seconds readjusting the levels because I have gone to far due to lack of resistance from the knobs.

Sound — 7
It has a 3 second sampler. Bit on the short side but ok for a recurring phrase whilst playing another rhythm line or soloing with a riff running from the sampler. Sound reproduction is not authentic there is an electronic sound overlayed with the guitar sound as it passes through the pedal. I've used it on a variety of music: classical, folk, metal, death metal, experimental, film sound tracking, jazz and rock. Using fairly cheap amps most of the time it performs reasonably well. There is a small high pitched hiss on the pedal but when you play it is not noticeable. The pedal sound is neither rich nor bright. It is generic and not memorable. 1980s electronics not up to the job of what a guitarist needs. But on a live setting its acceptable.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Bought this in the 1980s and I'm still using it today. It is solidly made and a pebbled foot plate area which makes grip easier and for more reliable operation. It has a stylish look black with green writing. The knobs are a little close together and are too easily adjusted if the box is knocked. Again the knobs are a little too loose so it takes careful adjustment to obtain the intended levels. The finish on the box has not deteriorated at all as it approaches 30 years old. So the most impressive thing on the box is its construction and its livery which is more impressive than its sound.

Overall Impression — 8
Good pedal but with only 3 seconds of sampling I would replace it with an effect with a much longer sample time. 3 seconds may have been quite an achievement in the mid 1980s. Yamaha seem to have made a pedal for guitarists but not aiming at any particular sector. It probably best suits elctropop of the mid 1980s when it was manufactured. They probably liked it but electropop of the mid 1908s isn't my scene. I bought this as it was a digital delay that was available at the time of purchase. I have had fun using it and appreciate its sturdy construction. But I'm not impressed by the sound of the unit in use and if I lost it I would not buy the same model. Even back in the 1980s I would have looked at what Roland had to offer and noways I would buy a contemporary pedal preferably with valves.

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