This article is exclusively focused on the best analog delay pedals. For coverage about all kinds of delays see our Best Delay Pedals article – see also our Best Tape Delay Pedals Article, featuring similar effects.
Lists updated on February 3rd, 2022
Delay has become one of the most common effects on guitarists’ pedalboards, even if it is available in an uncommonly diverse number of flavors. Not only are there dozens of pedals to choose from, but the range of features on offer can be overwhelming: everything can be found from simple analog echo boxes to advanced devices that deliver multiple types of vintage and modern delay.
Many guitarists are looking for a delay to help them beef up their tone or create simple “echo-y” effects and there are plenty of analog effects that do a great job at delivering these things.
Bucket Brigade Devices: Analog Sweetness
The word “analog” and the unmissable adjective it comes with, “warm,” still resonate among many players when applied to the delay realm. All analog pedals are based on the famed Bucket Brigade Device chip (aka BBD), an analog device that, due to its noise on the high frequencies, forces pedal manufacturers to employ an eq roll-off to hide those artifacts, hence its “warm” sound – as opposed to the cristal clear one digital delay can deliver.
In an analog delay, the more BBD chips in the circuit, the longer the repeats can last, which is why the pedals in the following lists that can deliver higher delay times are more expensive (and also the reason why stereo analog delay stompboxes are rare).
Modulation as Tape Emulation
The main delay technology before BBD was tape. Since humans tend to grow affectionate towards the character of old technology, to emulate the fluctuation created by old tape echos many of the pedals in this article feature a modulation circuit applied after the delay’s repeats. However, we have a separate article about pedal intentionally designed to simulate a tape echo.
What’s Better, Analog or Digital Delay?
The answer to this question is all about taste. Analog delays have a warmth and a character that purely digital delays lack. The latter thought offer a pristine sound that no analog delay can offer. This being said, modern DSP based delay nowadays can successfully simulate the “analog imperfections” so many musicians grew fond of.
After hours of online research, to facilitate the process of finding the best analog delay pedal for your needs, we decided to organize this article in three categories:
The lists in this article are based on the ratings of each pedal from various online music stores
Some guitarists don’t need tap tempo, time subdivision, or other frills—just a basic analog, mono delay pedal that can deliver a wide array of delays for styles ranging from rockabilly to reggae to hard rock. If this is you, this next interactive list will give you several quality options for what you are looking for.
MXR Carbon Copy
A very popular, rich-sounding, three-knob analog delay based on the classic bucket brigade technology. It features up to 600ms of delay time with optional modulation controlled by two internal trim pots for width and rate.
Boss DM 2W Waza Craft
Based on the vintage Boss DM-2, the 2W introduces switchable sound modes and greater versatility, with Custom mode offering a cleaner analog tone with over twice the available delay time (800ms). It features an expression pedal input to control the rate and a direct out.
Way Huge Aqua-Puss MkIII
With its original, bigger brother selling used for around one grand (!), this mini version could be considered a bargain, although the delay time is only 300ms. It definitely does the job of adding depth and dimension to your tone.
Electro-Harmonix Memory Toy
An affordable, streamlined version of the legendary Memory Man, this is a delay with lush sound and basic controls that also includes a modulation mode that adds a touch of chorus. Up to 550ms of delay, among the shortest in this list.
Ibanez Analog Delay Mini
Features two smaller knobs for Repeat and Blend, and a significantly larger Delay Time knob in the middle. The range of delay time is 20ms to 600ms. True bypass switching provides the shortest, most direct signal path, as well as the cleanest tone. 100% Analog Circuitry allows for the warmth of tone that players desire from analog delays. – see other Mini Delay pedals here.
TC Electronic Echobrain
One of the most affordable bucket brigade delays on the market, this stompbox gets the job done with three knobs (Time, Repeats and Mix) and up to 300ms of delay, but gets mixed online reviews.
Jam Pedal Delay Lama
A truly boutique, hand-made pedal, this effect features a straightforward design and delivers up to 600ms of delay. It’s particularly loved by musicians for its slapback effect.
Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail
This is the only delay in this list to feature a modulation that can be controlled through the two smaller knobs (rate and depth). It also has an effect loop in/out that can be used to connect other pedals or to send the signal to two different amps. Its Bucket Brigade chip gives you the usual rich, vintage-y tone with up to 600ms of delay.
NUX Analog Delay
Even just the color of this Analog Delay betrays the influence of classic Ibanez / Maxon three-knob Bucket Brigade Device delays from the ’80s. That’s exactly what you get with this pedal: the warm repeats of the 3205 and 3102 BBD chips, for just under $60!
Based on legendary high-voltage MN3005 BBD chips that were out of production since the mid-’80s. The high voltage allows this mini, limited edition analog delay to have higher headroom than other analog delay pedals, without compromising the signature warmth of the BBD chip. The repeats can go as high as 600ms, controlled by 3 straightforward knobs for Time, Mix, and Repeats.
Maxon AD-999 Delay
A great sounding delay, but not the most affordable option out there, maybe because it features eight custom Bucket Brigade IC’s for 900ms of warm, organic analog tone. Its repeats feature a slightly overdriven tonality that sits perfectly behind dirty tones and adds depth and dimension to clean sounds. See also the more affordable Maxon AD-10 (600ms delay).
A high-end analog delay made in the UK that delivers repeats ranging from 50ms to 620ms, with a feedback knob that goes from zero to infinite. The tone control allows tailoring the EQ of the repeats to taste, while the Volume knob is a nice extra not found in most other pedals in this list.
Deadbeat Sound DELAY LAY LAY
California-based Deadbeat offers well-built yet super affordable non-hand-made pedals. This basic delay is smaller than your average stompbox and offers between 140ms and 360ms of delay, with controls for Mix, Time and Rate.
If a basic echo pedal is too spartan for your needs, check out these analog stompboxes, which, within a smallish format, boast additional features for creative sonic manipulation, such as multi-tap delay, modulation, tap tempo and low-frequency oscillators that can emulate the pitch fluctuations of vintage tape-based delays. In this category, you’ll find some of the best boutique delay pedals on the market in compact format.
Electro-Harmonix Nano Deluxe Memory Man
A delay with modulation offering delay times from 30mS up to 550mS. It streamlines the classic Memory Man Deluxe circuit through a simple layout with six knobs. The modulation section is controllable via a Depth and Rate knob, while an internal switch turns Tails on and off.
TC Electronic Bucket Brigade
A rather standard but very affordable mini analog delay with a modulation switch and four knobs for depth, volume, delay and feedback (the modulation’s speed can be controlled through a trim pot on the bottom of the case). The delay’s repetitions can go up to 600ms, while the modulation can deliver chorus or flanger effects.
Maestro Discoverer Delay
An intuitive analog 20ms to 600ms delay reissue of the Maestro pedal from the early ’60s, with controls for Delay, Sustain and Mix. The modulation section, activated via a toggle switch, features internal trim pots for Rate (speed) and Width (sweep range) and can produce from tape-like wow and flutter to more pronounced pitch-shifting effects.
Chase Bliss Tonal Recall
Features a 100% analog signal path controlled by a digital brain, packing the unimaginable in a compact case: tap tempo, MIDI connectivity, presets (2 via footswitches and 100+ through MIDI), modulation controls (shape, rate, depth, and shape), wet/dry knob, a hold function to add self-oscillation and 16 DIP switches on the back panel for extra tweaks.
Electro-Harmonix Memory Boy (see also Memory Boy Deluxe)
A mid-size, “lighter” version of the classic (and huge) Memory Man, with up to 550ms of delay time and selectable Chorus or Vibrato modulation with triangle or square waveforms. The Memory Boy Deluxe adds Tap Tempo footswitch, subdivisions, additional Rate control for modulation, a Gain knob and allows control via Expression pedal of four parameters.
JHS Panther Cub V2
Discontinued in May 2021, it uses eight Bucket Brigade chips for a maximum 1 full second of delay with modulation and separate tap tempo. The latest version includes Wet Mix, smoother oscillation and run-away and an active EQ.
Jam Pedals Delay Llama Mk3
Mk3 of this highly regarded 3-knob analog effect delivering up to 600ms of delay got Tap Tempo and 3 subdivision switch added to it. You can also set the bypass mode to trails (buffered) or true bypass. These improvements don’t affect the circuit’s tone, loved by many guitarists and based on a faithful reproduction of the Panasonic MN3205 chip.
Supro 1313 Delay
A four knob, one footswitch BBD 30-600ms, vintage-sounding delay with a 3-mode expression pedal input (assignable to Level, Time or Repeats through the three-way toggle switch). The high-voltage MN3005 IC provides increased headroom. A Filter knob provides both low-pass and band-pass functions on a single knob, delivering both the dark and murky echoes associated with BBD delays as well as more modern bright tones.
A rugged (and great looking!) analog delay with modulation that can deliver anything from subtle to extreme tones.
Bondi Art Van
A tap tempo enabled analog delay + modulation pedal inspired by the delays of the late ’70s and early ’80s. It also features a subdivision function and self-oscillation by holding the Tap Tempo switch. holding the Bypass footswitch gives access to two presets. It’s also Midi Compatible and features an Expression Output.
Inspired by the somewhat dark, warm sound of vintage Japanese echo pedals, the Mythos Oracle is a simple 3-knob delay with Tap Tempo, built around two reissue MN3205 chips. The repeats can go up to 600ms (which can stretch even further if you use the Tap Tempo to dial in the time setting – causing the typical degradation produced by BBD at longer settings).
CKK Electronic Fluid Time MK II
A more affordable take on the BBD delay with digital controls. DUAL TIME mode lets you set up 2 fixed delay times, and toggle between them.
TAKE OFF mode gives you a special increased feedback momentary swell.
STEP OVER delivers a strange effect with pitch-shifting modulation perfect for your sci-fi moments. Other functions include Six Tempo Subdivisions and Dry Kill, and extensive connectivity including CV In.
VS Audio Project Diana
A stereo BBD full analog audio delay, featuring six different individual modes, tape-like modulation, tap-tempo functionality and up to 550ms delay time. Each knob is controlled by a small microprocessor while your guitar signal stays 100% analog. This allows you to control, save and recall multiple delay tones instantly.
A bigger case allows (in most cases) for extra features. These are more sizeable guitar pedals that also push the envelope of what an analog delay can do.
Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man
A modern reissue of this iconic and musical analog delay with up to 550ms of delay and a modulation section offering Chorus and Vibrato tones – and a Depth control to set the intensity. The 24v power supply contributes to its incredible headroom. A useful Overload LED blinks when the input circuit is distorting.
MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe
An expanded version of the classic Carbon copy with more delay time (1200ms), presets, tap tempo and subdivisions. It also sports and bright switch and exposed control for the modulation section (they were internal trim pots in the original).
Fairfield Circuitry Meet Maude
A simple, warm-sounding yet creative analog delay featuring a subtle random modulation that adds a vintagey tape feel to its repeats. Full CV and Expression connectivity allows control of Time and Feedback values from external sources.
Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man 1100-TT
There are several, popular large footprint variations of the Memory Man. The 110-TT with adds Tap Tempo, 1100mS of maximum delay time, Expression Control and an Effects Loop. Five Tap Divide subdivisions deliver rhythmic variation. The Expression Pedal Input provides real-time control over Blend, Rate, Depth, Feedback and Delay. For more affordable versions of this same series (with shorted delay times or fewer features) look at non-deluxe and 550-TT versions.
Over a second of analog repeats with tap-tempo, subdivisions, and tails. Double concentric knobs give you independent control of the Mod, Rate, Depth, Gain, and Tone of the delay. Double footswitches allow for extended features like user customizable momentary control of oscillation and momentary control of the dizzying pitch sweep.
Way Huge Supa-Puss
Fully featured modulated analog delay with Tap Tempo, subdivisions, and several fine-tuning options, including Tone and Mix knobs and EXP In. The “out there” Chase mode gets your repeats to cycle through each of the subdivision values. Holding the Tap Tempo button enables trail mode.
Jam Pedals Delay Llama Xtreme
A beefed-up version of the popular original delay with unusual functionality. 800ms of delay can be manipulated through a 4-Mode section that offers either Vibrato or “tape Age” character or Random repeats od Pitch*shifting. Tap tempo with subdivision, hold function, kill dry, trails, and expression/CV input round up the list of features.
Not cheap at $549, but one of the best sounding delays on the market and certainly the most fully featured, it runs on four BBD chips. Five knobs control the delay, with Regen, Lo Cut and High Cut allowing for extensive sonic exploration. The modulation section gives you the choice of three waveform (triangle, sine and square) and offers controls for Depth and Speed. It has also Tap Tempo, 5 subdivisions, up to 127 Presets, Exp In assignable to any parameter and full Midi compatibility.
Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail Deluxe
A deluxe version of a popular delay + modulation pedal with 3 presets and digital controls and a fully analog signal path. 4 Modes: Micro Delay (fast repeats and rotary modulation); Pitch Sequence (upper and lower octaves in 8 customizable, rhythmic sequences); Pitch Bender (adds a glissando momentary effect); Runaway (optimized for self-oscillation). Wet Insert loop lets you to add other effects to just the repeated signal.
J. Rockett Clockwork
An analog stereo echo + modulation with Tap Tempo designed by the original creator of the Deluxe Memory Man. The modulation section has its own footswitch and can deliver chorus, rotating speaker and even flange sounds with very short delay settings. Expression pedal inputs can control Time and Repeats.
Analog Man ARDX20 Dual Analog Delay
A truly boutique, hand made, dual analog delay by a pioneer in the guitar pedal world, the ARDX20 features controls for delay time, feedback, and delay level, and features effects loop and expression pedal jack for delay time. An expansion called AMAZEO gives it external tap tempo, modulation, and presets. It delivers up to 600ms of delay.
A large footprint analog delay with 1000ms of delay with Tap Tempo, switchable modulation, tone control. FX loop, and an interesting take on the time repeats. An expression pedal can control the time or the number of repeats (feedback).
Ibanez Echo Shifter V3
Version 3 of the Echo Shifter adds a digital mode next to the original analog one for crisper repeats, and as Oscillation mode if the tap tempo footswitch is held. The effect’s modulation can now be controlled more in-depth thanks to the new Speed knob. Delay goes up to 600ms in Analog mode.
Diamond Memory Lane 2
Out of production – The first Memory Lane was the first analog delay with Tap Tempo. It had two delay times switchable through the central footswitch, modulation with Speed and Depth controls, Mix and EQ knobs and many other features that set the standard for following similar devices.
Relevant Videos about Analog Delays
Here are some useful videos about analog delays:
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