Video: Analog vs. Digital Delay

When it comes to choosing a delay pedal, there are more options than ever. Tried-and-true stompboxes like the MXR Carbon Copy, tape echo emulators like the Catalinbread Belle Epoch, or large-format do-it-all delays like the Strymon Timeline—all of these and countless other delays are available.

But one of the most important questions you'll want to ask yourself before buying your first or your next delay is: analog or digital?

The analog realm includes everything from electro-mechanical tape effects boxes like the Maestro Echoplex to bucket-brigade chip pedals like the Electro-Harmonix Memory Man and pretty much every other small-format analog delay pedal that followed.

The digital realm includes effects that emulate these previous delays and expand the capabilities far past analog possibilities: longer delay times, live-looping, and other next-level features.

In our video above, Andy Martin takes effects from across the analog and digital spectrums, giving a taste of true analog, analog-style digital, and digital-only sounds side by side.

Buying Guide: Delay Pedals
Learn more about delays and find recommendations.
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