Best Guitar Delay Pedals – 2019 Buyer’s Guide

While the overdrive/distortion pedal is probably the most popular out of all the guitar effects devices, investing in a proper guitar delay pedal will contribute toward your overall performance in numerous ways. But what is a delay pedal in the first place? It is a device that enriches the depth and texture of the guitar sound. 

It is safe to say the main reason why guitar solos sound so good is the lead players use this pedal in the process. It all comes down to proper timing and following the beat of a song.

In order to help you make the perfect decision, we have prepared a list of the great models, highlighting the features that you should consider!

Comparison Chart of the Best Delay Pedals

PRODUCT DETAILS
gm2-table__image

Boss DD-7

  • Best guitar delay pedal overall
  • Highlighted by the excellent control offered by the external switch
  • Features an on-the-fly looper, which will contribute to the duration of delay effect and overall performance
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Electro Harmonix

  • Provides a 62-second loop delay system
  • Features secondary controls, in case you want to adjust the details of the delay
  • Highlighted by 12 different delay effects that will allow you to experiment during a live performance
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

JOYO D-SEED

  • Best guitar delay pedal for the Money
  • Has a maximum loop duration of just below 6 seconds
  • Features a reliable battery life that can offer countless hours of continuous performance, along with 75V power output
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

MXR M169

  • Best Analog Delay Pedal
  • Features a maximum delay time of 6 seconds and a number of different effects
  • Has an all-analog delay system, which makes this product easy to use and a reliable choice for beginners;
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

TC Electronic

  • Best Digital Delay Pedal
  • Comes with a built-in True Bypass to ensure sound clarity and audio quality
  • Also highlighted by Tone Tweaks that allow a user-friendly interface and easy access to all the knobs
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Donner Yellow Fall Vintage

  • Best Cheap Delay Pedal
  • Features a 620ms delay and a reliable ECHO mode
  • Comes with a True Bypass that should contribute to the overall sound clarity
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

BOSS RV-6

  • Best Reverb Delay Pedal
  • Innovative algorithm that contributes to the clarity of the reverb sound
  • Featuring easy-access knobs that will allow you full control over the effects
View Latest Price
gm2-table__image

Mooer Reecho

  • Best Delay Pedal Under $100
  • Features a True Bypass for sound clarity
  • Offers a delay time of anywhere between 5 and 720 ms
View Latest Price

What is a Delay Pedal?

As we have suggested above, the delay pedal is an analog or a digital device that enhances the sound by creating a layered output, which leads to a repetitive recording. A delay pedal is something that can be of great help both to the guitarist, as well as the whole band, by improving the texture, depth, and detail of the sound.

How Does a Delay Pedal work?

The most important feature of a delay pedal is the method it uses to produce the desired result. While the delay comes in the form of a repetitive effect, the reverb creates an ambient-like atmosphere. So, what is the best choice? That would be delay pedals that offer the best of both worlds - most high-end models are highlighted by the combination of delay and reverb, thus, offering the perfect effect for an experienced lead guitarist.

How to Choose a Delay Pedal

When it comes to buying any product, the most important thing is to focus on the main features. While the brand that stands behind a product is usually one of the best quality guarantees, it is not the only thing you should focus on. Apart from that comes the price, as well as a few points related to the type, design, and the effect that the delay pedal produces:

Choosing the Type

The most important thing is deciding on the type of the delay pedal you want. The digital one is probably the most common. It uses an analog-digital converter to produce the repetitive sound effect and direct it to an analog output. Not only is it easy to find on the market, but it also comes at an affordable price and, in most cases, is quite suitable for beginners. 

On the other hand, the analog delay pedal is highlighted by a clock-cycle and bucket-brigade capacitors that cover the repetitive sound. The last one we would recommend is the so-called tape pedal, which basically recreates all the perks of traditional DSP, highlighted by a warm and rich sound.

Deciding on Delay

The other important point to consider is the delay that your pedal will be producing. If what you are looking for is a warm and rich sound, then we recommend you go for analog pedals. If what you want is a crystal-clear effect, then the ideal choice would be a traditional digital delay pedal. Still, as long as you are willing to invest some effort in the research process, you might very well find models that offer both!

True Bypass

The last thing that you might want to think about is whether the pedal features a true bypass or not. A pedal with true bypass dismisses the effect as soon as you shut it down, while still allowing a clear sound and more reliable pedal performance (while it is on).

Quick Take: 
Top 3 Picks

Here are the best guitar delay pedals:

  1. Boss DD-7
  2. Electro Harmonix
  3. JOYO D-SEED

Review of Best Guitar Delay Pedals

Now that you know the critical features to look for in an adequate delay pedal, it is time to go ahead and review some of the best models on the market. We did our best to include both budget-friendly and high-end models so there is something for everyone. Let’s get right to it!

Best Overall:
Boss DD-7

Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Sturdy and compact design
  • Customer service is very attentive and helpful
  • Comes with a number of delay modes, including modulation and modeled analog
  • Provides a reliable battery life that makes this delay pedal good for live performances

CONS

  • Doesn’t feature an adapter
  • Can’t use delay/hold together

What Recent Buyers Report

Looking at what buyers have to say, the main highlight seems to be the on-the-fly looper, which allows a short-duration delay that basically acts like a chorus pedal. Not only that, buyers also like the variety of delay modes, as well as the fact that you can externally control the pedal.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main reason we consider this product a worthy investment is due to the sturdy and easy-to-use design, which is accompanied by good battery life, as well as analog, reverse, and modulate features. If you are looking for a product that doesn’t only offer a great user interface and features a sturdy and compact design, but also features a couple of different delay modes and a reliable battery life, then this product is for you.

Who Will Use This Most

Given the quality and the design of this Boss pedal, it is perfect for lead guitarists who perform at a lot of live shows. A good delay pedal goes a long way towards the overall band performance. It is suitable for both beginners and experienced guitarists, as there is nothing confusing about using it.

Bottom Line

From a trusted manufacturer and covered by fine customer service, there is not much to say against it! While it is on the pricier side compared to some of the models we will list down below, this product is worth every penny. Reliable, durable, and sturdy - it is everything a delay pedal should be!

Runner-up:
Electro Harmonix

Electro Harmonix Canyon Delay and Looper,White,

PROS

  • Small and compact
  • Great sound quality
  • Customer service is excellent
  • Easy to use, so is great for beginners
  • Features a number of different delay modes

CONS

  • Could be more durable and robust
  • Not as much control as similar products

What Recent Buyers Report

While some customers suggest that the EHHX Grand Canyon Pedal is a better choice because of the control you get, most are happy with the performance of this one, highlighting Memory Man and Echo as two great modes.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main reason we would recommend this product is because of the reliable looper that provides 62 seconds, which is more than enough, even if you are performing live. Not only that, but the pedal itself is quite easy to figure out.

Who Will Use This Most

As for who would get the most benefit out of this delay pedal? We would say it is people who enjoy the versatile guitar effects and those who focus on more than one genre. It is an innovative delay pedal that will provide you with much more than a classical analog delay.

Bottom Line

This pedal comes with several delay effects and is highlighted by a user-friendly design that makes it a worthy choice for anyone! Overall, there is no doubt that investing in this product can be a wise choice to enhance both the performance of the lead guitarist and the band as a whole. The aforementioned Memory Man and Echo delays not only enrich the sound, but they also help with the rhythm.

Best for the Money:
JOYO D-SEED

JOYO D-SEED BUNDLE Acoustic Guitar Nut

PROS

  • Good tap tempo
  • Reliable battery life
  • Affordable for most musicians
  • Offers a few different delay modes
  • Sturdy and robust - great for gigging

CONS

  • Lacks an adapter
  • Not that easy to program
  • Not as many effects as hoped

What Recent Buyers Report

The main focus of recent buyers was the fact that this delay pedal has a great value and the tap tempo mode is especially reliable. While the duration may not be its high point, the audio quality certainly is.

Why it Stands Out to Us

On the other hand, what we like the most is the fact that this product is built like a tank and you shouldn’t have any durability issues. Still, the user-interface is not as good as with the aforementioned pedals. Maybe you are on a tight budget and there is no way you can invest in either of the previous two pedals, if this is the case, the JOYO D-SEED model is the perfect choice for your needs!

Who Will Use This Most

Well, while this delay pedal is a great choice for the given price, beginners will probably not be as comfortable with it. On the other hand, if you are experienced with pedals, and know a thing or two about programming one, it is a fine choice!

Bottom Line

As we have suggested above, you can’t go wrong by investing in this JOYO D-SEED product - it is affordable, durable, and comes with a few main delay effects suitable for studio and live performances.

Best Analog Delay Pedal:
MXR M169

MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay

PROS

  • Good delay time
  • Reliable bucket-brigade
  • Clear sound with the delay
  • Great Echo mode with cool effect
  • Easy to use and ideal for beginners and pros

CONS

  • Takes some getting used to
  • Pricier than similar products

What Recent Buyers Report

Looking at the recent feedback, it is safe to say this analog delay pedal is the best choice if you are focused on Echo tones. Not only that, but due to its user-friendly design, programming and mixing the multiple delay effects will be quite simple.

Why it Stands Out to Us

On the other hand, what we like the most about it is the aforementioned bucket-brigade technology - it ensures reliability when it comes to creating the deep repetitive atmosphere common for analog pedals.

Who Will Use This Most

Anyone who enjoys a warm and rich guitar sound will like this pedal. This is a choice that both beginners and experienced lead guitarists will get great use out of! The importance of choosing an adequate type of pedal is quite clear - if you are looking to get a warm and rich delay effect, then going for an analog pedal, such as the MXR M169, is a wise decision.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, we don’t have much to say against this product. While a bit on the pricier side, it offers a number of delay effects, great Echo tone, and good overall control, which is all you will need!

Best Digital Delay Pedal:
TC Electronic

TC Electronic FlashBack Delay and Looper Guitar Delay Effect Pedal

PROS

  • Incredibly versatile
  • Well-made and robust
  • Simple and easy to program
  • Clear and high-quality sound
  • Up to 6 seconds of effective delay

CONS

  • Could be more durable
  • Slow and unattentive customer care

What Recent Buyers Report

Most recent customers present this pedal as the best one they have ever owned - while it is a fact that it is not as powerful as the BOSS DD-7 pedal, the number of effects, as well as great sound quality, makes it a worthy investment.

Why it Stands Out to Us

On the other hand, we love this product mostly for its incredible user-interface, as mixing the few delay effects and having full control over the looper is quite simple, even for novice owners.

Who Will Use This Most

If you are a fan of digital pedals and crystal-clear sound, then you will want to consider this model. As a versatile model highlighted by the Flashback delay effect and a reliable looper, it is a good choice for anyone who performs live!

Bottom Line

Well, even if you are a fan of an analog delay pedal, you will have to give respect to this model. It offers reliable and smooth performance, which could be beneficial to any lead guitarist that has a lot of studio recording sessions. It is a fact that digital delay pedals are perfect for when you are recording in a studio or a quiet ambient, which is why this product is a good choice for any true professional!

Best Cheap Delay Pedal:
Donner Yellow Fall Vintage

Donner Yellow Fall Vintage Pure Analog Delay Guitar Effect Pedal True Bypass

PROS

  • Sturdy and robust
  • Reliable Echo mode
  • 3 knobs for good control
  • The programming is very simple
  • Extremely affordable for almost everyone

CONS

  • Customer service could be more attentive
  • Not as versatile as a similar product (not surprising for the price)

What Recent Buyers Report

The best part about this pedal, apart from the affordable price, is the Echo delay mode that will allow crystal-clear repetitive recordings. Additionally, the included knobs help with the user-friendly programming.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Although it does feature just a single effect, it still allows more than six seconds of delay, which is quite good for a small footprint analog delay pedal of this price. For the extremely affordable price this product comes at, there is nothing wrong with it. Thus, we recommend it as a good beginner choice, as well as a pedal that will allow reliable performance as long as you need nothing but the Echo mode!

Who Will Use This Most

Being an analog delay pedal, it is perfect for lead guitarists and bands that focus on playing genres such as blues, jazz, and classic 70s rock. This is due to the warm and rich effect this pedal will allow.

Bottom Line

Chances are, many of you have invested most of your budget in other equipment, including the guitar itself, as well as amps and maybe renting a recording studio. This might leave you a little short on money. Still, this Donner Delay Pedal can make up for that by allowing you reliable and trusty performance, while offering a few delay effects!

Best Reverb Delay Pedal:
BOSS RV-6

BOSS Reverb Guitar Pedal (RV-6)

PROS

  • Easy to control
  • Sturdy and strong
  • Clear, ambient tones
  • Flexible and adaptable
  • A reliable shimmer effect

CONS

  • Pricey for some
  • Not for heavy metal and hard rock

What Recent Buyers Report

The main highlight of this product seems to be the eight different modes this pedal allows. Much like we have said above, this model is a combination of the reverb and delay effect, and, thus, is ideal for producing a crystal-clear, ambient sound.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The main feature of this product is the design, which is not only suitable for beginners but also seems to be indestructible. A reverb delay pedal is something that will help you create an ambient atmosphere suitable for blues, jazz, and classical rock! Frankly, the BOSS RV-6 is the ideal product for this.

Who Will Use This Most

Anyone who plays classic rock from the 70s, as well as blues and jazz, will get many benefits out of this delay pedal. The best thing about it? This reverb delay pedal device stands as a user-friendly model suitable for those who are first-time owners.

Bottom Line

A worthy investment for anyone who enjoys crystal-clear ambient tones for both live and studio performances. Plus, it has an excellent jazzy feel you can use in your blues or rock music to give it an interesting twist.

Best Delay Pedal Under $100:
Mooer Reecho

Mooer Reecho, digital delay pedal

PROS

  • Good delay time
  • Three different modes
  • Very reasonably priced
  • Simple to control and use
  • True bypass gives excellent clarity

CONS

  • Not as sturdy as it could be
  • Lacks memory delay effect
  • Customer service is poor (slow)

What Recent Buyers Report

From what we can see, most customers are satisfied with the compact build this device offers. Not only that, but all three delay effects are quite reliable and allow for warm and clear tones.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The reason we consider it a good investment is because of the flexible delay time that it offers, which makes it suitable for both studio and live performances. This is a good-quality model that is not only compact but also features a few delay effects that you, as a lead guitarist, will find quite enjoyable!

Who Will Use This Most

As long you are not limited by the fact that it features only three delay modes, this pedal is a great choice for any guitarist, no matter what genre you play. Additionally, whether you are a beginner or pro, you can find a great use for it.

Bottom Line

Overall, coming in at an affordable price and offering a compact and reliable design, this product is something you will not regret purchasing for your musical endeavors - whether that is solo performances or gigs with your band.

Types of Delay Pedals

Deciding on the right type is one of the most important choices you have to make when buying a delay pedal:

Digital

As we have suggested above, digital pedals are probably the most popular out of all three that we will list, as these run using a digital-analog converter and offer a crystal-clear sound suitable for both live and studio performance.

Analog

On the other hand, the analog pedal is well-known for the warm and rich delay effect it creates, and it goes perfectly with a reverb effect if the pedal features it. It is best for playing music such as blues, jazz, and classic rock.

Tape

At the end of the day, while not as common, tape delay pedals are still a thing. Basically a mix of the aforementioned two in terms of the clarity and sound depth, these are a good choice for old-school guitar players.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, the decision comes down to your playing style and preference (crystal-clear vs. warm/rich). We sincerely hope this article will help you in finding the right delay pedal and improving your overall performance. Keep in mind, the aforementioned features, such as the delay period and different effects, as well as the overall build of the pedal, all have an impact on whether the product is worth your investment or not!