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The Boss DD-3 Digital Delay has been often referred to as a pearl, and not only because of its color. It is pure magic, and quickly became an essential component on my pedalboard. It is an amazingly guitarist-friendly delay box: easy to use, very sturdy, with a well designed footswitch typical of all Boss pedals. Apart from the favorable physical features, this classic pedal provides the awesome sounding digital delay. If you want a clear and crisp sound with precise repeats, the DD-3 is the right choice. Because of the short battery life, however, you should use an AC adapter for a longer performance.
Clad in a stylish, tattooed case, the Tone Tattoo from Electro-Harmonix is something of a Frankenstein multi-effects pedal. It’s a cut-and-pasted amalgamation of three of their best-selling pedals, the Metal Muff distortion, Neo Clone chorus and Memory Toy delay units. It’s all analogue, so you’re getting the real things and not some digital reproduction. The only danger with this formula is that you might only get a lacklustre, stripped-down version of three existing pedals set into one easy-to-sell package.
The Boss DD-7’s predecessor, the DD-5, has been a staple on my pedal board for years. In fact, I wouldn’t play a show without it. The multiple settings allow for a wide variety of sounds from slap-back delays to reverse delay to an analogue delay that, with a little tweaking of the other three knobs–delay time, feedback, and effect level–can sound like anything from infinite sustain to a healthy reverb. This pedal is almost its own little effects board.
If maturity is the pursuit of simplicity, this pedal is only for the most mature of guitarists. This is a real plug-and-play unit with only three knobs: a regen (regeneration), mix, and delay–and a mod button. Don’t let that fool you though. There is a wide variety of delay sounds that you can get out of this pedal. Really, it’s just pure, warm, unfettered analog delay. With different settings, you can get a nice slap-back Johnny Cash/Elvis sound or you can go to the other side of the delay spectrum and sound like U2’s The Edge.