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Boss DD-7 Digital Delay
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Stormleader Stormleader

« Great sub $200 Digital Delay  »

Published on 07/24/11 at 17:41
Ah, the Boss DD-7. This, and it's brother, the DD-3. are probably the most common digital delays out there. You'll see it on the pedal board of just about every level of player, from garage rockers to arena-players, and for good reason. It provides solid digital delay tones in a sturdy package right out of the box with pretty minimal tweaking, and is very easy to use. It has "E. Level", "F.Back", "D.Time" and "Mode" controls on the pedal itself, and it has a jack for an external tap-tempo switch or an expression pedal. It's full stereo, and runs about $180 new.

Overall? Not a bad feature set for a $180 delay.

UTILIZATION

Tweaking to get a delay sound you like really couldn't be easier. The "E. Level" (Effected Level) knob controls how loud the delayed signal is. The "F. Back" (Feedback) knob controls how many repeats there are, the "D. Time" (Delay Time) knob controls how long the delay is, and finally the "Mode" knob does exactly what it says, controls what mode you are in. The modes are as follows: 3200ms, 800ms, 200ms, 50ms, HOLD, MODULATE, ANALOG, REVERSE. The number modes are just a standard digi-delay with a set time, but I assume moving the Delay time knob would override the setting on those.

The "HOLD" function is very nice, it allows you to loop around 40 seconds of playing, and it allows you to overdub as well. Great practice tool there!

The ANALOG and MODULATE modes are simulations of analog and modulated delays, which can be controlled by the delay time or Tap-tempo (More on that in a second). They both sound great, and I personally find myself using the Analog mode the most.

REVERSE is just... strange, heh. Can't say I've found a use for it yet, it is just more to screw around with.

Now, Tap-Tempo. BOSS did a great job on the implantation of this. You hold down the switch for two seconds, and then tap in the tempo. Works great as is, but if you want, you can add a dedicated tap-tempo switch that plugs in the jack on the side. Or if you prefer you can use an expression pedal that plugs into the same jack that can control the delay time, your choice.


SOUND QUALITY

The DD-7 sounds great. I can't say that it really stands out among the other similar priced digi-delays, but it does sound good for what it is. The Analog mode is decently convincing, and is what I use the most. Does it sound as good as the newer TC Electronics delays? Probably not, but it has some great features that make it what it is. I do love how crisp it is, which may put some off, but sometimes you just need a perfect repeat which analog delays cannot provide.

I run it through the effects loop of my Peavey Ultra that pushes my 5150 straight cab with V30's and G12T-75's, using a Warbeast NJ Deluxe with EMG's. I play mainly Thrash metal, with some drop-tuned stuff thrown in. I love that it can add another dimension to my solos, and some fullness to non-distorted clean parts. Definitely sounds great all-around.

OVERALL OPINION

What do I like the most about it? Probably the versatility and the sound. The Hold function is very useful for practice, and the Modulate and Analog modes sound great. What don't I like? The Analog mode could indeed sound a little more, well, analog, heh. I also wish BOSS could have added a couple of different modulated modes, but that may be asking for a little much.

Do I think it's worth the cost? Well, I got it in a trade, but I do think I would pay the $180 retail for it if I didn't have a choice. That being said, I think I would go for the TC Electronics Nova Delay or Repeater if I had to buy another digi-delay. I don't normally give an item such high marks in all categories, but this really is one of BOSS's great pedals.
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