Laney Black Country The Difference Engine Delay

The Laney Black Country The Difference Engine is a 3-mode delay pedal by a British builder that had made a name for itself through quality amps and stompboxes since 1967. It’s the company’s first pedal to feature more than one mode, to have presets, stereo in/out and an LCD screen, and it’s obvious that they put a lot of thought into it.

At its heart, the Different Engine is a DSP-powered delay emulating three classic eras of delay:

  1. The warm tone of vintage tape echo, including adjustable wow and flutter and a multi-head option generating the classic overlaid delay effect (up to 1250 ms).
  2. The crisp and precise digital delay, with longer repeats (up to 2500 ms), multi-tap, optional modulation on repeats, Tap Tempo and Freeze effect.
  3. A clone of the TC Electronic 2290 rack delay from the ’80s, named here dynamic delay, with modulation and ducking features, up to 2500 ms repeats, multi-tap and optional phase reversal on repeats.

Each mode can be edited in depth using the controls on the right half of the pedal, through an original but intuitive set of controls visualized in the LCD screen, which actually visualizes pretty much anything you do, including changes to the main settings on the left side of the pedals (Colour, Mix, Tone and Repeats).

The Edit button is particularly important because it acts as a time knob but also doubles as a push button to navigate the LCD’s menu, which unlocks a series of functions like multi-head, modulation, compression, dynamics, but also a very cool routing mode that allows you to configure the multiple delays in various ways.

The Difference Engine looks like a very well-designed delay pedal with unique features and a sound that rivals the top DSP-based echos currently on the market. Because of this, we added it to our article about the best multi-mode delay pedals.

Laney Black Country The Difference Engine Delay, Builder’s Notes

The Difference Engine superbly emulates three classic eras of delay.

Its powerful processor then allows you to manipulate time by combining features from each era to form new and stunning unique delays

The tape echo era – modelled around the RE space echo family of delays featuring all the warmth and analogue nuances of tape.

  • Warm sounding analogue tone.
  • Delay times up to 1250ms.
  • Straight delay from a single head.
  • Multi-head delays – classic overlaid delay effect.
  • Tape artifacts – WOW & FLUTTER

The digital era – based on the crisp sounding digital delays of the 80’s with tap tempo and freeze functions.

  • Straight digital delay – 2500 MS of delay.
  • Multi Tap Delay
  • Modulation on repeats.
  • Tap tempo.

And thirdly the Dynamic Digital era – based of the power delays of the 90’s with modulation and ducking features

  • Based on the legendary 2290.
  • Straight DUCKED digital delay, up to 2500 MS of delay.
  • Modulation on repeats.
  • Phase reversal on delay repeats – wrap around delays.
  • Multi Tap delay

Combine features from each era to create unique delays


The Difference Engine is preloaded with 50 artist patches created by the players themselves. This handcrafted and gorgeous delay engine comes ready to use with stunning presets pre-loaded. Artists such as Tony Iommi, Lari Basilio, Tom Quayle, Martin Miller, Billy Duffy, Alex Hutchings, Vernon Reid and many more have crafted bespoke delay patches in addition to some remarkable presets in the style of players such as EVH, Slash, Andy Summers, to name but a few.