Boss has been at basically the forefront of digital delay technology since their release of the DD-2 in 1983. The DD-20 Giga Delay is a twin pedal that takes everything available in all of Boss’s delay pedals, adds a couple of new features, and puts it all in an easy to use, easy to adjust and edit twin pedal format. It has 11 delay settings, several knobs to alter your tone, memory/delay recall, 4 methods of tempo setting, and up to 23 seconds in delay time! Really, this pedal is PERFECT for anyone who wants multiple types of delay at a moments notice, be it for solos, adding depth to your tone, or giving a massive finish during a break or at the end of the song.
The DD-20 has, as said above, 11 settings. Of course, it has the basic Digital delay, which is labeled “Standard”. It also has an analog delay, which is modeled after the DM-2 compact delay, and produces a pleasant warm delay, which is GREAT for light solos and guitar melodies. A tape delay is also included, modeled after the RE-201, where you can edit the number of tape heads to get the sound you want. A dual delay, which, as it sounds, is two delays in one, a short delay and a long delay (both are adjustable). Usually short delay is a slab back, with long delay being a longer, more spaced out delay, making this setting GREAT for thickening up solos. The smooth delay is said to “spread the delay out spatially, producing a more natural reverbation effect” (according to the manual). Really, it’s nothing more than a reverb heavy delay, which is great for solos and cleans arpeggios. The pan delay, which needs two outputs to work, alternates the delay from one output to another (or, more commonly from left to right). The modulate delay adds a subtle wavering to the delay signal. Personally, i love the modulate delay for clean guitar best, especially arpeggios, because when you play especially high up arpeggios the delay sounds like a choir in my opinion (though any pickup on my strat).
Four noteworthy effects on here are the reverse delay, twist delay, warp delay, and sound on sound capabilities. The reverse delay creates a swell effect and reverses the guitar signal (the first instances that come to mind when I think reverse delay/guitar is the outro of Master Of Puppets by Metallica, and the intro to Loving The Alien by Velvet Revolver). The reverse delay has two modes: with the dry signal, and without the dry signal, which can be changed by turning the effect level knob all the way to the right or left (besides that, this knob is essentially deactivated in this mode). The twist delay, as well as the warp delay, are unique to this pedal (at least as of when i got the pedal a few months ago). The twist delay is basically the standard delay with a twist (pun intended): when you hold down the left pedal in this mode, it causes the delay to oscillate and raise in pitch, creating an insane swirling effect which is PERFECT for ending a song/part of a song. Warp delay, like twist delay, is activated by holding down the left pedal. Normally, it’s a standard delay, but when the left pedal is depressed it increases the feedback and effect levels greatly, creating an otherworldly delay which is perfect for breakdowns, insane guitar “solos” that, or creating an ambient feel/sound. Both twist and warp delay revert back to their original settings when the left pedal is released.
The last mode on this pedal, and probably the most notable, is the Sound On Sound capability. Sound On Sound is basically a fancy way of saying “Looper”. That’s right: this pedal not only has every delay sound you could ever want, but it has a LOOPER AS WELL! You can record up to 23 seconds worth of phrasing, and layer over and over again.
To enhance your BOSS delay experience, boss has included several handy and nifty features to the DD-20. For starters, you can adjust the tone, feedback level, effect level, and time of the delay. The pedal has 4 ways to change the delay time, including THREE methods of tap tempo: you can dial the delay time/tempo in with the delay knob (you can turn it, or press down and turn to adjust the time much faster), you can tap the tempo by pressing the “TAP” button under the screen, you can tap in the tempo by holding down the right pedal for two seconds, then tapping your foot to the desired tempo, or you can tap the tempo via BOSS F5-FU by plugging it in via the “CTL PEDAL” jack. You can adjust the timing of the delay (quarter note delay, quavers, dotted eighth notes, even whole notes and half notes).
Boss also allows you to save up to four custom delay settings. These can be saved by selecting the number you want to save the delay as, setting the delay to the desired settings, and pressing the “WRITE” button, conveniently located beneath the LEDs that show what memory slot is active. The saved delay can be selected by pressing the right pedal and cycling through the saved delays (when not in tap delay mode, of course. Tap delay can be deactivated the same way it’s activated, by holding down the right pedal for 2 seconds). With the 4 saved delays AND manual mode, you can go on stage with 5 completely different delays (or 4 delays and a looper).
The DD-20 can be powered by either a BOSS PSA power adapter (sold separately. I use a 1 Spot daisy chain for all my pedals, which works fine, but BOSS recommends their adapters) or by 6 AA batteries. The effect can be turned on and off with the left pedal. It has two inputs and outputs for full stereo capabilities, a headphones jack, and a CTL jack for an F5-FU/F5-FL for tap tempo or channel switching. Overall, this pedal is amazing! It’s completely worth every cent, and is probably the best delay available on the market (at least, the best delay I’ve found).
About the author:
My gear: Fender HSS Stratocaster (soon to be HSH within the next week or so), Dunlop Dimebag Darrel Cry Baby From Hell, BOSS MD-2 MegaDistortion, DS-1 Distortion, TR-2 Tremelo, CH-1 SUPERChorus, and DD-20 Giga Delay, with a Raven RG200 amp and a Line 6 Spider III 15 watt when needed.
Check out my band, T.R.B., at
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The Boss DD-20 Giga Delay can be purchased for $219.00 at Musician’s Friend.