Many years ago I was into using delays and I really enjoyed them. Around 1999ish I sorta went on the flip side and ditched all my effects and was really interested in going straight to the amp (with an occasional OD). A couple of years (basically when I started this blog), I’ve started to work my way back to effects… and now have a pedal board again. On my ‘want’ list from the very beginning for delays was the T-Rex Replica delay. It’s widely regarded as one of the best delays you can get.
When I decided to get back into delays, I picked up the Line 6 DL4 delay modeler. Great sounding pedal with a ton of options. For some reason, I’m a “sucker” for options. I’m starting to get wise though.. options sometimes equals a pain in the ass. This is a personality fault of mine. I like tweaking, but I hate remembering procedures. You see, the Line 6 is great sounding, but I get irritated when it comes to tweaking the knobs, re-setting presets.. or hosing presets by accident. Sometime the ‘good’ thing is a ‘bad’ thing.
I really want a simple delay with minimal knobs, no presets and optionally a tap tempo. A couple of months ago I found a great deal on a Boss DD-3 delay, so I jumped on that to give it a try. There is no question that you see the Boss delays (DD-3, DD-6 and DD-7) on a lot of pedal boards.. including a good many pros, so I wanted to give it a shot. This is definitely getting closer to what I’m talking about… 4 knobs and easy to tweak, no memory required on how to work the pedal. The only downside.. was the tone. I felt that it was a little too digital for what I wanted to get out of it. I like the long repeats, but it was too clean.. if that makes any sense. It also had a slight processed tone especially with some gain on the amp.
Here is where the T-Rex Replica Delay comes into the picture. I had super high expectations for this pedal, which can usually lead to a bad thing, but immediately, I was blown away. The first feature I was liking was the ‘Brown’ switch. Here is where you would darken the repeats to give it more of a traditional analog sound. Another feature that I liked was the input level pot (it’s the black nub on the right side of the pedal). This pot knob is recessed after set, and controls the input level signal coming to the pedal. For my board, it’s last in the line up, so I have some ODs in front (including a fuzz) that jack the signal. This signal boost overdrives the pedal (which can be cool in some cases), but I wanted to dial that in. So I set the Level control (top right) all the way, and then dial back input level control till it’s unity without any break up. There is a subdivisions switch where you can get that U2 vibe, but I’ve been having trouble figuring this out. I understand it’s directly related to the Tap Tempo switch (on top of that… I suck at the U2 stuff). The rest of the controls are pretty self-explanatory – Echo is the ‘blend or mix’ control. Repeat is how long the repeats.. repeat. Tempo is dial tempo.. or you can go with the Tap Tempo footswitch.
The toggle switches seem backwards to me. As you look at the photo above the toggle is pushed forward on the Brown switch. But actually, that is turning off the Brown setting. Likewise, the subdivisions looks like it’s ‘off’, but actually it’s on. I’ve seen other versions of the pedals with push switches for this (not sure why mine has toggles). Regarding the tempo knob, you will not be able to adjust the tempo to get that freaked out delay rate sound. The pedal adjusts by stopping then reassigning tempo value. So if you’re into adjusting the tempo as part of your effect, this pedal is not for you. As for me, I’ll just adjust the tempo pre-song and I ride with it all the way.. so no worries for me.
To me, this is the best delay I have ever played.. hands down. The sound of the delay is extremely warm and open.. and big. It’s also versatile to be able to sound like a digital delay or an older analog unit. I’ve heard some people refer to this as a analog delay.. which is not correct. The circuitry is analog but there are 24bit converters (2 Burr Brown 24-bit converters – 1 A/D and 1 D/A) in there, making it digital. I can’t say enough how stellar this delay is. If you’re looking to upgrade or pick up a new delay, I would HIGHLY recommend this delay. We have a few demos in the queue, but maybe we can get Jimmy to give it a proper demo in the near future.