Best Delay Pedals for Under $200

From iconic ‘50s slapback to the trailing decay of spacey experimental bands, delay has become a staple on most musicians’ pedalboards. Even if you’re not after endless repeats or cavernous echoes, basic delay can give an otherwise dry note a little something extra. And like reverb, delay is fantastic for adding some depth and dimension to your sound.

Your typical delay pedal will give you control over a few basic settings like repeats, delay time, and feedback, the latter of which will help send your pedal reeling into the realm of self-oscillation. Many pedals also have onboard tap tempo, which you can use to actually plan out the exact timing of repeats.

So if you’re on a quest to find the best delay around, this guide will help you investigate some of the best delay pedals to be had for under $200, venturing from the meat-and-potatoes effects into stranger territory and back.

Model Best For Price
Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler All-in-one option. $120-$250
Boss DD-7 Digital Delay All of the basics with a few extras. $100-$150
MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay Analog vibes. $95-$150
OBNE Black Fountain Boutique lovers. $160-$250
Moog MF Delay Capable of more than you'd expect. $150-$220
TC Electronic Flashback Versatility. $95-$170

Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler

The Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler is just one of those pedals that everyone should have in their rig at one point or another. With 16 delay modes, 14 seconds of loop time, and mysterious knobs labeled “Tweak” and “Tweez,” the DL4 has become a mainstay for many musicians regardless of the instrument they play.

A veritable Swiss Army Knife, it would be nearly impossible to cover everything the DL4 can do given its impressive index of modes, including tube echo, multi-head, sweep echo, ping pong, reverse, and lo res, plus knobs that control different parameters depending upon which emulation you choose. You could play with this thing for years and still not discover every sound it has to offer.

While the DL4 normally sells for $249 new, its continued popularity means there's always a robust used market to tap into which comfortable brings the available price down below the $200 mark.

Great for: those who want an all-in-one digital delay that can produce a wealth of sounds who don’t mind pedals that take up a little bit of space.

Boss DD-7 Digital Delay

The Boss digital delay series is often where players begin to delve into the effect, and there’s no better example than the DD-7. The Boss DD-7 Digital Delay is the latest iteration of the brand’s digital delay compact stompbox, and it compounds all of the best parts of each of its predecessors into one signature, sturdy pedal.

The great thing about the DD-7 is that it has basic level, feedback, and delay time knobs (with up to 6.4 seconds of delay, by the way), but it also has a few extra goodies that will satisfy your more exploratory side, like stereo output, up to 40 seconds of hold time, reverse and modulation modes, and, if you want to get really involved, tap tempo via an external footswitch.

Great for: Boss fans who want something that can push boundaries without getting too weird.

MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay

The MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay is another modern classic, and one which can be found new for around $150 and south of $100 if you’re buying used. For analog-obsessives and general lovers of dark, warm tone akin to that of an old-school tape echo, the Carbon Copy is a perfect workhorse.

The controls are super simple: knobs for mix, delay, and regenerations (or repeats), and an additional modulation button that will color your tone with just an extra splash of vintage warble. It’s even got some internal trimpots for you tinkerers if the basic factory settings on the modulation are too subtle.

Great for: players looking for a simple pedal that will give them analog vintage vibes for a great price.

OBNE Black Fountain

Old Blood Noise Endeavors may be the new kid on the block, but they’ve made a huge splash thanks to their unique pedals like the Dark Star and Procession. The OBNE Black Fountainn is no different: designed to imitate the sound of an analog “oil can” delay of old, the Black Fountain squeezes the sounds of tons of rare vintage units into one box.

Each of its three modes - modern, organ, and vintage - emulates effects like the Morley EDL, Tel-Ray Model 10, and Fender Echo-Reverb. The modern and vintage modes offer up a whopping 800 milliseconds of delay time, while organ mode takes after shorter-delay units, giving you about 211 milliseconds of delay.

Great for: seekers of the elusive “oil can” delay sound who prefer their pedals of the boutique variety.

Moog MF Delay

A member of the popular Minifooger series, the Moog MF Delay might be a little costly when buying new, but if you’re willing to either pay the price or go used, it’s definitely worth it. An entirely analog signal path and up to 700 milliseconds of delay aren’t even the best parts of this sleekly designed pedal.

If you’re looking for an overdrive to pair with your delay, the Moog MF Delay already does it for you. Of course, it has the traditional time, feedback, and mix knobs for all of your delay needs, but it also throws a drive control into the equation. Adding up to 22dB of gain to both the dry input and the delayed signal, the MF Delay’s drive function is the perfect complement to the delay it already provides.

Great for: players who want a delay/overdrive twofer in a super slick and flexible package.

TC Electronic Flashback

What list would be complete without an entry from TC Electronic? Sporting TonePrint technology which gives you the power to upload virtually any kind of sound to your pedal and an ultra compact layout, the TC Electronic Flashback (and all iterations thereof) is another fantastic digital delay that clocks in at under $100 used.

Delay modes ranging from your standard slapback to an emulation of TC’s famous 2290 delay are the backbone of this pedal, totaling 11 in all. Stereo in/out gives the ping pong mode some extra flare, a 40 second looper, and a subdivision mini toggle allows you to choose between quarter notes and dotted eighths or combine them.

Great for: players who like extreme versatility and value in their pedals.

Learn more about effects pedals on our Effects Pedals: What Do They Do? | The Basics homepage.

comments powered by Disqus