I have to admit that when I searched YouTube for “great delay pedals for worship” I was shocked to find that no one had endeavored to gather a notable collection of the pedals that arguably define the sound of worship. So, it is with great enthusiasm with which I embark upon this mission.
While there were other echo units around during its heyday, none remains as hallowed
as the tape-driven Echoplex (pictured below) – nor have they had the downstream influence on worship guitar. Words like wow and flutter are used to describe the magical sound of an old tape that has been imperfectly stretched, driven by a motor that is turning with similar imperfections. While there is nothing like a vintage Echoplex, there is also nothing like trying to get one to behave perfectly in the studio. If you’re thinking about punching in, good luck!
The Boss DM-2, Ibanez AD80, and the Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man all drew
inspiration from the Echoplex, the latter of which remains in the Edge’s rig to this day. In many ways, we have both The Edge and the Deluxe Memory Man with Modulation to thank for the glorious sound of electric worship guitar. Noting the downstream impact they have
had, all pedals I gathered for this feature were either inspired by the Echoplex and the Deluxe Memory Man, or a combination of thereof.
WHAT ACTUALLY MAKES A DELAY PEDAL GREAT FOR WORSHIP?
Generally speaking, if it only does delay/echo, has tap tempo functionality, and allows you to modulate the delays, it is in the zone. The ability to run in stereo is a plus, but not a must. If need be, one can always run a mono delay into a stereo reverb to create a stereo spread between amps. Alas this criteria left the MXR Carbon Copy out of the running since it does not do tap tempo natively, as well as the Eventide H9 which does more the just delay/echo.
If you are reading the print version of this article I encourage you to download the Layar
app so you can watch the companion video embedded on this page. This video is designed
to demonstrate the heart and soul of these pedals, and in no way function as a shootout. The goal is to let you hear these pedals demo’d with a common collection of gear so you can decide what tickles your ears. On to the pedals!
- Boss DD-500 $299.00
- Diamond Memory Lane Jr. $279.00
- Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man 550-TT $250.00
- Empress Superdelay $449.00
- Eventide TimeFactor $399.00
- JHS Panther Cub $349.00
- Line 6 DL4 $199.99
- Pigtronix Echolution 2 Ultra Pro $499.00
- Source Audio Nemesis Delay $249.00
- Strymon TimeLine $449.00
- TC Electronic Triple Delay $299.99
- Tech 21 Boost D.L.A. Version 2 $199.00
- T REX Replica Delay with Tap Tempo $369.00
- Wampler Faux Tape Echo V2 $239.97
- Way Huge Supa-P@ss $249.99