- by Kevin Deal
You may be a bit nervous about your performance onstage with a guitar, but do you know that there are supporting tools willing to help you out? And even if you are a professional, it does not hurt to put in some extra assistance.
So what do we have in store for you today?
Tada, welcome to a tape delay pedal. It is an echo processor that promises to rock the stage by adding multiple effects to your sounding. Not only is it cheap, but it is also excellent for solo performances.
But are you aware of the magic behind a tape delay pedal? Why is it among the most favorite musical tools, and how can you make the best out of it? Let’s check out our article below to solve these mysteries!
In hurry? Here are our choices:
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5 Best Tape Delay Pedal Reviews
The first item on our list of the best tape delay pedals belongs to a product of Catalinbread.
Let’s explore the merits of Catalinbread tape delay pedal, and determine whether or not it is a match for you!
- Reasonable price range. For a high-end tape delay pedal, the price range at roughly around $200 is totally acceptable. While it can be beyond the reach for the average guitar players, it shall be a sustainable investment for professional guitarists.
- Flexibility. This tape delay pedal can monitor not just one or two, but four features! It can control the Echo Sustain, which is all about the number of delay signals. The second feature is Mod, which refers to the tape delay pedal’s ability to add flutter effects randomly. Another feature is the Rec Lev, as it affects the level of noise created with the first echo. Finally, let’s welcome the Echo Delay, which monitors the length of time between two sounds.
- Unique Belle Epoch feature. To make sure a tape delay pedal has the appealing components of the EP-3, Catalinbread has developed the Belle Epoch, which makes its product more than just a delay decorated with some audio filters.
- Big size. For those with a limited pedalboard, a Catalinbread tape delay pedal is not exactly the best bet. It can be quite bulky and cumbersome.
- The knob is difficult to use. Guitar players prefer a switch to a knob, as it is easier to tell whether they have turned on a specific feature or not. The knob of a Catalinbread tape delay pedal might be off-putting for some customers.
Still, if we put aside the minor disadvantages, Catalinbread tape delay pedal is still worth your purchase. It might be a bit costly in the first place, but the lifespan of this product will compensate for its cost!
Next up, please give a round of applause for Strymon tape delay pedal.
This is among the most desirable pedals for professional guitarists, and we are more than eager to study about its pros and cons. Let’s see!
- Convenient design. To prevent the confusion with a knob’s circular shape, Strymon opts for a tone-shaping design. With seven edges indicating seven different levels of adjustments, players will have no problem controlling the pedal.
- Ultra low noise. Guitarists will no longer have to worry about the pedal being too noisy. The design of Strymon tape delay pedal makes sure the unwanted loudness is minimized.
- Compact yet sufficient. The size of the delay pedal makes it highly portable and space-saving. At the same time, it still manages to hold up outstanding features to support your guitar!
- High price range. A tape delay pedal that goes up to nearly $400 is definitely not within the budget of the majority of guitar players. This product from Strymon can be considered as a luxury than a necessity.
If you intend on taking guitar serious, you may want to invest your money into this product. Not only is it high-end and popular among professional guitar players, but it is also a delicate touch to your pedalboard.
Tada, now we will move on to another tape delay pedal that may suit the need of the guitarists.
That’s right, we are talking about the CNZ Audio Tape Echo Pedal!
- The price range of this product is roughly around $60, which makes it a bargain for guitar beginners.
- Space-saving. Being a mini pedal, CNZ Audio’s “babe” will not take up much space on your pedalboard. Besides, it is easy to move around without causing too much of a fuss.
- Small but powerful. For a mini delay pedal, CNZ Audio has determined to surprise the audience. This product includes the most basic features, namely Level, Regen and Time. When combined together, they can add more ambiance to your song.
- Limited features for professional users. Although this product is an excellent touch for amateur players, the advanced guitarists may not be pleased with its limited applications.
- Low level of durability. Be aware that this product is not built to last. While it can support your musical performance on stage, CNZ Audio’s mini tape delay pedal cannot last for a long time.
In short, if you do not want to spend a lot of money on musical supporting tools, CNZ Audio tape delay pedal will be your best choice. It is compact, effective and cheap enough to be purchased without second thoughts!
It will be a mistake not to mention Dunlop while talking about the best tape delay pedal.
So what makes this brand highly popular in the music industry?
What does it tape delay pedal have to offer?
- Vintage design. Imitating the famous EP-3 tape echo, Dunlop makes sure its product contains the features unique to the EP-3. Once the tape delay pedal is turned on, it shall rock the stage with the guitarists.
- Convenient knobs. Circular knobs are difficult to adjust at times, which is why Dunlop aims at a rectangular shape. Not only is this shape better-looking, but it can make manual adjustments on a pedal easier.
- Reasonable price range. For roughly $200, you can get a high-quality tape delay pedal. It may not be the cheapest product on the market, but the performance of this tool surely matches its cost.
- Risk of healths. This item includes tiny details that may pose risks to the human’s health, especially kids’. You need to make sure Dunlop tape delay pedal is out of reach for children to prevent choking hazards.
- Extra care with the “Age” function. Achieving the vintage vibe on a guitar with the “Age” function on this EP-3 is not an easy task. Players should pay attention to how to maximize its effect without experiencing too much warbling.
- Low level of compatibility. The product is not compatible with a 9-volt battery, which can be a problem for non-resourceful guitarists.
All in all, Dunlop is still a must-have item if you are searching for a reliable musical tape delay pedal. Do you want to level up your guitar performances? Let’s go for Dunlop!
Finally, let’s get to the bottom and explore the magic of a Wampler tape delay pedal.
Together, we will study the pros and cons of one of the best musical tools for guitarists!
- Exotic design with multiple colors. There are six colors for guitarists to choose from, anything from light green to deep violet. While the coat does not necessarily affect the quality of the pedal, it definitely makes your pedal board more attractive!
- Wide range of applications. The delay pedal can monitor six different features, namely Rate, Tone, Repeats, Delay Mix, Depth and Delay. Proper adjustments would make this tape delay pedal a gig-friendly item.
- Lush tone. The V2 feature makes sure this tape delay pedal can enjoy the original, warm and authentic sounding that belongs to analog pedals only.
- No power source attached. The product does not come with a separate 9-volt battery, so users have to resort to 9-volt adaptor on their own.
If you need something to light up your pedal board but still delivers high-quality performances, do not hesitate to purchase a Wampler tape delay pedal!
Things You Need To Know About Tape Delay Pedals
What exactly is a tape delay pedal?
A tape delay pedal shares a common feature with all other pedals: it can create an echo. But there lies a unique feature that only belongs to a tape delay pedal.
What is it, then? It is the fact that a tape delay pedal relies on an analog recording tape to maximize the quality of a reverb. In the past, analog delay pedals were made with the help of a tape machine.
This approach resulted in a satisfying sounding that musical tool-makers decided to invent a brand new pedal called a tape delay. This tape is supposed to run on the machine over and over again, so that guitarists do not have to adjust the pedal manually.
A tape delay pedal manages to maintain the raw, authentic sounding that belongs to the vintage guitars, and make sure you can achieve similar effects through its magnetic wiring.
What are the features of a tape delay pedal?
There are specific factors that contribute to the success of a tape delay pedal. Some of them are the repeat rate, the intensity and the echo volume.
- Repeat rate: Also known as the Echo Time or Delay Time, the repeat rate refers to the pedal’s ability to space out the echoes. Once you have played a note, it may take from one to a few seconds for it to be repeated.
The repeat rate of a tape delay pedal will monitor the length between the two sounds, and it makes sure you can achieve your intended purpose.
One popular technique employed by modern guitar players is called the “spaceship” sounding, when guitarists can adjust the repeat rate at different points.
- Intensity: Another name for this feature on a tape delay pedal is Sustain, which is all about the number of echoes produced at a time. A tape delay pedal makes use of a “feedback loop”, with one echo being amplified.
Once it is done, guitar players will notice the sound echoing back from seemingly very far away. This version of self-oscillation will definitely level up your guitar performance!
- Echo Volume: Another name for this feature on a tape delay pedal is Swell. Its function is to balance the signal of the original sound and the resulting echo.
What makes it stand out is the fact that a guitarist can decide whether or not he or she wants a warm sound. If such a lush effect is not desirable, Swell allows you to create a metal-like outcome.
Read more: What are the best delay pedals?
Tricks to use a tape delay pedal
Owning a digital delay pedal is one thing, but learning how to use it is the tricky part. You have to understand the characteristics of a tape delay pedal, then you can proceed to master the tape echo sounding.
- Filtered Repeats: There is a noticeable difference between a digital delay pedal and a tape delay pedal. While a digital pedal produces identical repeated sounds, a tape delay pedal makes certain adjustments to the echoes.
How can it achieve this effect? The secret lies in a tape pedal’s filters. The original sound will run through these filters, which reduces the unwanted noise and returns the echoes to its authentic quality.
Thanks to the thick and profuse sounding of a tape delay pedal, your song will feel more “real” with a touch of vintage vibes. Get ready to lull the audience, everyone!
- Chorusing Effect: You might not know this, but a tape delay pedal is a complicated and intricate design. With components such as capstans, rollers or spindles, it will be impossible to combine these factors using micro precision only.
But please do not regard this as an undesirable issue. The mismatching operation of the factors above will give out subtle variations of the sounding. As a result, the repeated sounding will enjoy some warbling, also known as the process in which your melody becomes deepened and more delicate.
- Tape Saturation: If you have ever tried recording something on a tape with an extremely high volume, you may notice a side-effect called the “tape saturation”. This happens when the tape’s capabilities are exceeded, producing a distorted sound.
While it can be off-putting for some artists, others find this feature warm and desirable. To achieve this effect, a tape delay pedal usually comes with an option allowing you to reach a high volume on purpose.
This way, guitar players can experience the “tape saturation” onstage, and enjoy the rich sounding during the process.
What is the difference between a reverb, an echo and a delay?
Ever since the beginning of this article, we have been talking about reverbs, echoes and delays. Is there any difference between these three terms? And which category does a tape delay pedal belong to?
Keep reading to find out more!
- Reverb: If you are about to play the guitar in a confined area, you may want to heat the atmosphere up with a touch of ambiance. This is the time when you need the reverb effect.
As the name indicates, a reverb refers to the effects associated with room-ambiance. You can achieve it easily by using a reverb pedal, which is another common musical tool.
- Echo: First emerged in the 1950s, echo is the pioneering term used to describe the repeated sounds. There used to be echo machines dedicated to producing such sounds, but their popularity died away.
Nowadays, echo machines are hard to come by. Music tool-makers has decided to add an “Echo effect” to delay pedals, so that modern artists can still take advantage of this feature.
- Delay: Have you ever tried shouting into a canyon, then sit back and enjoy the echoes going back? If you do, then maybe the delay effect is born to suit you.
A delay effect can monitor the time disparity between the original note and the resulting sound, which is why it is called “delay”. Each repeated sounding is discrete, which makes it crystal clear to hear while coupled with a guitar’s performance.
In summary, we believe you should choose Wampler tape delay pedal if you want a product that truly lasts.
While it may cost a bit more than a Dunlop or a Catalinbread tape delay pedal, Wampler is of good value for money. The investment you put in will pay off when you bring this item onstage.
It may not have excessive features like a Strymon tape delay pedal, but a Wampler’s item enjoys the necessary features of any standard pedal. And the best part of all? Even the sounding can feel like it comes from an analog delay pedal.
We believe Wampler is an irresistible charm, and you will share our thought the moment you start using it!
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