A delay pedal is a versatile device that can help seasoned guitar players add some spice to their music. From delay and loop effects to adding refreshment to your sound or enriching it naturally, the delay pedal delivers a myriad of interesting possibilities.
From simpler pedals to more advanced ones that offer time variations, modification options, and more overall control, we’ve got you covered. All recommended delay pedals below bring true value for money, so check them out and pick the one that best suits you…
Our Top 10 List – Guitar Delay Pedals In 2021
- Our Top 10 List – Guitar Delay Pedals In 2021
- 1. TC Electronic ND-1 Nova Delay Pedal
- 2. MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay Pedal
- 3. Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal
- 4. NUX Atlantic Multi Delay And Reverb Pedal
- 5. Zoom MS-70CDR MultiStomp Pedal
- 6. TC Electronic Flashback 2 Delay And Looper Pedal
- 7. Walrus Audio ARP-87 Multi-Function Delay Pedal
- 8. Chase Bliss Mood Granular Micro-Looper & Delay Pedal
- 9. Behringer VD400 Analog Vintage Delay Pedal
- 10. Joyo D-SEED Delay Pedal
1. TC Electronic ND-1 Nova Delay Pedal
The ND-1 Nova Delay from TC Electronic offers six different delay types, including delay line, dynamic, reverse, ping-pong, pan, and slap-back. As you can see, there are plenty of options to create vintage or modern sounds. Using the six delay types, you can save up to nine user presets and enjoy excellent customization options and style parameters like digital delay or vintage tape.
The ND-1 is based somewhat on the industry-famous TC 2290 Dynamic Digital Delay but is a more modern, floor-based version. The connection to 2290 is one of the main reasons we chose the ND-1 as our best delay pedal.
Delay times range from 1 to 2290ms and can be set using the tap tempo switch or delay time knob. Single or dual lines can be applied to any of the delay types; this feature generates some crazy rhythms. You can also apply different modulation types to each delay, a feature that was kept from the TC 2290.
The ND-1 has a couple of new features that we love. First of which is the audio tap feature. By holding the tap tempo button and playing a rhythm on your guitar, you can now set the tempo with your playing. The other new feature we love is the display that can switch between a millisecond or a bpm readout. The ND-1 is a modern pedal, based on an iconic classic. No doubt, it’s beautiful!
2. MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay Pedal
Our second choice is a more simple three-knob pedal; the M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay from MXR. As you’d expect, given the name, this pedal has a fully analog audio path, which we know many of you swear by.
The M169 provides up to 600ms of delay time with optional modulation via the mod switch. Having such a simple layout means there aren’t selectable reverb types as such, but you can achieve a wide range of styles using the three knobs.
The simple layout gives surprising control over your delay, with the mix knob controlling the dry/wet signal blend and the regeneration knob delaying repeats. For the analog lovers who will choose this pedal for its pure tone, you can enhance the tone even further by adjusting the width and rate of the modulation.
Visual feedback comes from stage-ready blue LED lights making it ideal for gigging. Ultimately, this pedal will give you anything from a crisp slap to an epic, swirling delay, and everything in between, all in a no-frills package.
3. Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal
The DD-7 Digital Delay pedal is one of the most popular pedals that BOSS makes, and that’s saying something. It’s regarded as one of the best delay pedals for acoustic guitar.
It provides more delay time than previous BOSS pedals of the same style, 1 to 6400ms, which is pretty impressive. The thing that makes it even more impressive is the loop-style function. Hold mode allows 40 seconds of input to be recorded; what this does is to create sound on sound delay and loop-like performance.
The DD-7 has two distinct and innovative delay modes, modulation delay and analog delay. Modulation delay delivers a chorus-heavy sound, which is fantastic for driving a track. Analog delay simulates the iconic BOSS DD-7, providing an extremely warm and rich tone.
Tap tempo is available via an external footswitch (not included), or you could add an expression pedal to manipulate the delay parameters more intuitively.
Wrapping up, the DD-7 also has stereo outputs that are useful for a few different things. For example, you can create lovely spatial sweeps with true stereo panning. They are also helpful in sending separate dry/wet signal paths when recording or performing. A beautiful delay pedal from a top brand.
4. NUX Atlantic Multi Delay And Reverb Pedal
This fantastic little pedal from NUX is widely considered to have one of the best delay and reverb algorithms in a stompbox.
There are three primary delay effects, which are 70’s Analog, 60’s Tape, and 80’s Digital. Straight out of the box, you have a diverse range of sounds readily available without any tweaking. There are also three reverb types, spring, plate, and hall.
It has five control knobs, which is more than many similar pedals, but they are pretty straightforward. There is a master output level; then, the delay controls include a dedicated delay level, decay, repeat, and time. You get a very comprehensive level of control with a clear and concise layout.
The tap tempo switch is a little smarter than the average pedal; it has a tap subdivision function for more complex and precise settings. Another fantastic addition is the shimmer switch that will give you an exaggerated, shimmering reverb when held. The ability to add shimmer just on specific notes or sections rather than having to set the master reverb that way is simply brilliant!
NUX has gone for stereo outputs for extra routing options, and firmware updates are available via USB.
5. Zoom MS-70CDR MultiStomp Pedal
Zoom is one of the most prolific manufacturers in all things audio and video. The MS-70CDR is a fantastic example of what they do best, which is lots of functionality in a robust but compact design.
This pedal is a multi-effects processor, so it offers reverbs, tremolo, flangers, and more as well as the delay effects. In total, there are 86. effects, of which six can be active at any one time. With such a diverse range of effects, you can create anything from a subtle delay to a massive psychedelic arena-filling sound.
The effects include 30 preset patches and 50 user patches for custom presets. Managing your effects chain is made easy between the large LCD and the classic style cursor buttons.
One of the great things about this pedal is that it’s not just suitable for guitar, it’s fantastic for keyboard, bass, and many other instruments. Even if your first instrument is guitar, it doesn’t hurt to have that kind of versatility.
One of the reasons it’s excellent for keyboards is that it has stereo inputs/outputs. Of course, the stereo outputs also add more routing options. As a bonus, it comes with a built-in chromatic tuner, and it’s incredibly accurate.
6. TC Electronic Flashback 2 Delay And Looper Pedal
TC Electronic produces an abundance of effects pedals, most of which are held in reasonably high regard. The Flashback Delay and Looper pedal is one of our favorites, and our pick as the best delay pedal for jazz.
The main reason we love it so much is that it’s one of the most versatile little pedals you will ever find. It comes with eight delay types, including the iconic TC Electronic 2290 style. Delays can be set with quarter, eighth, and dotted eighth note subdivisions. Delay time can be tapped, but it requires an addition footswitch (not supplied).
Before you get too disappointed about the tap tempo issue, let’s talk about the good points of the onboard footswitch. It utilizes MASH technology, which makes it an expressive footswitch rather than the basic on/off functionality. The pressure-sensitive switch can be used to edit parameters on the fly with no rigid restrictions.
Along with the delay types, there are three empty slots. These are known as the TonePrint slots, and they are used to store custom presets from the TonnePrint app. The app can be used to create your own presets or download ones created by renowned artists.
We haven’t even got to the looper yet! The Flashback has a 40-second looper for infinite sound on sound recording. There’s too much to mention, stereo inputs/outputs, analog dry-through circuitry, and the list can go on. In a nutshell, the Flashback 2 is so much fun!
7. Walrus Audio ARP-87 Multi-Function Delay Pedal
The biggest compliment that we can give any Walrus Audio pedal is that complete tone freaks build them! They are obsessed with finding the perfect tone, and that’s good news for the rest of us.
The ARP-87 has four master algorithms, which are Digital, Analog, Lo-Fi, and Slap. Let’s break them down and see what each one does.
The digital algorithm delivers insanely clear repeats that are perfect for any kind of rhythmic playing. Analog offers a much warmer tone for simple lines and chords, adding dimension without getting muddy.
The Lo-Fi setting utilizes repeats that have an adjustable frequency range. Lo-Fi can create anything from the AM radio sound to as dark and sinister as it gets. Lastly, the slap setting creates the classic chicken pickin’ style slapback. So, straight off the bat, it already covers a vast tonal range.
One of the most intuitive features of the ARP-87 is the multi-functional X knob that controls specific parameters that change depending on the active algorithm. Another intuitive function is the no trails mode; switching between trails and no trails changes the way your delay ends when switching the pedal off.
For example, with trails, the delay will ring out naturally, but with no trails, it will end unapologetically.
The ARP-87 also offers something called momentary delay. This allows you to hold the bypass switch to add a momentary delay that ends as soon as you release the bypass switch. The intuitive features create a more human feel to the effects, and that makes it a joy to use.
8. Chase Bliss Mood Granular Micro-Looper & Delay Pedal
As soon as you see this pedal, its striking appearance screams high-end quality. That’s no surprise, as we come to expect nothing less from Chase Bliss; the caveat, as always, is the high price.
The first thing to talk about is that this is a granular delay pedal, so what does granular mean? Without getting too in-depth, granular synthesis is the technology that allows audio to be time-stretched without changing pitch. It does this taking small “grains” of sound that can be individually manipulated then pieced back together to create the final output.
The Mood is divided into two sections: section one is the wet channel and has three real-time algorithms. The algorithms are reverb, delay, and slip, and they create beautiful time-based textures. The second section is the loop channel, which has three different looping modes. The looping modes are envelope, tape machine, and stretch.
What these algorithms do is far too broad to cover in a short review. To sum it up in some small way, the Mood pedal can provide basic delay patterns with realistic or exaggerated reverbs.
Alternatively, it can open a pandora’s box of sound-shaping and creative performance. It also comes with MIDI, expression, and CV connectivity. This pedal is far from cheap, but it does a great deal more than most – it’s just not for the effects hobbyist, this is the real deal.
9. Behringer VD400 Analog Vintage Delay Pedal
The VD400 Vintage Delay is an entry-level pedal, both in price and function. It’s the epitome of a bucket-brigade delay pedal, and as such, it has that unique sound that BB pedals deliver.
In short, a bucket-brigade delay moves the analog signal along a line of capacitors, one step at each clock cycle. The name bucket brigade comes from a line of people passing buckets of water. The warm sound it generates makes it potentially the best delay pedal for bass.
The VD400 offers up to 300ms of delay with advanced noise reduction for an incredibly clean signal. It’s worth noting that the clarity of tone is far greater than you should expect of a pedal at this price. As well as having the vintage bucket-brigade sound, the dedicated controls allow for detailed sound-shaping. It’s a 3-knob setup, with repeat rate, echo, and intensity; simple, but beautifully effective.
Rounding off the noteworthy features are dual outputs that let you run your direct and delayed signals individually. This pedal is so cheap considering the sound it provides, even if you think you don’t need it, you should buy one, there is no downside.
10. Joyo D-SEED Delay Pedal
Joyo is one of those manufacturers that hover around the budget price range for the most part. This can be seen as a good thing, or it can put people off, but we aren’t snobs here; if it sounds good, it makes our list, cheap or not.
The D-SEED Delay pedal is a dual-channel delay with four delay modes. The delay modes are copy, analog, reverse, and modulation. Copy simply restores the original sound with no modifications. Analog mode provides a warmer tone, much like early bucket-brigade delays.
The modulation mode creates a wide spacious sound that is beautiful for clean tones. Finally, reverse mode reverses the delayed phase, creating a trippy but cool effect.
The delay time ranges from 17 to 1000ms and has a simple tap tempo function. An unexpected feature is that each channel can be set and saved independently; in fact, parameters are saved automatically.
As far as budget-friendly delay pedals go, the D-SEED goes above and beyond. It sounds nice, especially in analog and reverse modes, and it’s easy to use. It’s also built like a tank, so don’t feel too bad if you drop it a few times! No doubt, one of the best delay pedals enthusiasts on a budget can find.