Hey everyone, today we’re talking about delays. To be more specific analog delays and analog modeling delays. Analog isn’t just for purists, it’s a different sound with it’s own unique characteristics and tone. Once you put one of these delays side by side with a digital delay you will definitely hear the difference if you listen closely. Analog delays are known for adding character as the delay trails get further away. Some will sound more faded as the echo decays, while some will sound more bright, dissolved, or fluttered. These are all good options but we’ve ranked them in order of our favorites. So here it is our list of the best analog delays around.
The Carbon Copy is the go-to analog delay pedal for many guitar players. You’ll see this on many pro pedal boards because it is simple, affordable, and high quality. One of the downsides to this is the lack of a tap tempo. However, for many players that won’t be an issue. I found this delay to be a little brighter than the Ibanez ES2 Echo Shifter. The small pedal board real estate is a huge draw for this pedal and it’s no suprise this made our list of best analog delay pedals.
The Memory Boy like the Carbon Copy is one of those pedals that has stuck around for a long time and really made a name for itself. It’s a really unique delay because of the vibrato, chorus, and modulation options. If you really want to craft your delay sound and explore strange soundscapes this is a great pedal for you. You can really even use this in ways where it doesn’t even sound like a delay. Really fun pedal!
This delay is surprisingly affordable for the quality of sound and features in the box. This is a fully analog delay with digital controlled tap tempo. It has a feedback loop as well as modulation with depth control. I would say this is one of the darker sounding delays on the list. The fader for the delay time is one of the best features of this pedal. So easy to dial in a delay time. Plus if you’re playing live it’s great to be able to nudge the delay time up or down with your foot!
The Strymon El Capistan isn’t a fully analog delay pedal. However, it does have analog components to the sound and can replicate a lot more of the intricacies of tape machines than say the carbon copy or other straight forward analog delays. I would challenge many purists to tell the difference between this and an analog delay. The sound is so natural and it really just sounds great. There is a reason so many Strymon pedals make our best of lists. The build quality and usability of the El Capistan secured it’s spot as the #1 among the best analog delay pedals available. The filtering on the delay trails just sounds so much more detailed than other delays. This pedal is great for a whole range of delay sounds I really recommend having a listen to the Wow & Flutter control in particular. A must have pedal for tape lovers!