Thursday, December 4, 2014

BOSS DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal Review


I have been on a pretty steady roll with BOSS pedal reviews, and this month is no exception as we take a look at the DD-7 Digital Delay pedal.

Roland’s BOSS division makes effect pedals for the everyday working musician. These are folks that cannot afford the boutique pedals, or more realistically, they realize that good is good enough (sort of a Voltaire attitude). You have seen that you pay whatever you want can pay anything you want for guitar effect pedals, with the choices include crummy junk for twenty bucks all the way up to hundreds of dollars for stuff that was put together by people in first-world countries. BOSS pedals fall in the middle, as they are reasonably priced and good quality, making them a good value.

The BOSS DD-7 Digital Delay pedal provides up to 6.4 seconds of delay, and can also function as a looper with up to 40 seconds of recording time. It is a neat piece of work and is fairly easy to use (for a delay pedal, anyway).

The DD-7 is a standard single-space sized pedal, measuring 2.9 inches wide by 2.4 inches tall by 5.1 inches long, and it weigh in at a touch under one pound. See? The metric system will never catch on as long as I am on watch! This pedal runs on a single 9-volt battery or it takes the optional BOSS PSA adapter (which is a good idea as it burns through batteries like crazy). It draws 55 mA at 9 volts, in case you are thinking of hooking it up to a pedal board power system. By the way, if you run the unit on battery, make sure you unplug the input(s) when you are not using it, as either input jack acts as the power switch.

It has the same general style as other BOSS pedals, but this one comes in a striking shade of white. The outside of the sturdy metal case has a two 1/4 inputs and outputs (in case you are going stereo), an input jack for hooking up an external footswitch or expression pedal, and a jack for the aforementioned AC adapter. The expected BOSS high quality is to be found here, with a smooth finish, clean wiring, and knobs that have a nice feel. These knobs include Effect Level, Feedback, Delay, and MODE. Here is what they do:

- Effect Level: adjusts mixture of delay effect and input. It you crank t all the way up you will only get the delay effect sound with no input sound mixed in.

- Feedback: adjusts the number of times the delay sound is repeated. The Feedback knob does not work HOLD mode.

- Delay: adjusts the delay time based on the position of the MODE knob. This knob also does not work in HOLD mode.

- MODE: provides 4 different ranges of delay times, HOLD (looping function), MODULATE (a chorus effect), ANALOG (a more natural sounding delay, similar to the BOSS DM-2), and REVERSE (a whacky space-age reverse tape sound).

The stereo output are pretty cool, as they allow panning to create spatial audio sweep effects or separate dry and wet signal paths, which is handy for the studio and the stage.

A little more info about the external switch input is probably in order here. This jack allows the user to control some of the DD-7 functions in a hands-free mode. Delay time, feedback, and effect level can be changed with an expression pedal expression, which sounds like a great idea – but, I did not have one to try out the feature. Tap tempo can be controlled from an external footswitch, which I do have, and it worked very well. You can do tap tempo without the footswitch, but it is way easier with one, so spend a couple of extra bucks to pick one up if you do not already have one.

The DD-7 works really well when you put it to work. It is easy to use with only a little bit of a learning curve, and the delay is clear but not too sterile. And I love the ANALOG mode, which provides a very warm tone that is pretty darned close to that of a non-digital pedal. The MODULATE function gets kind of close to a chorus sound, and if you do not have a chorus pedal this one will work in a pinch, but it is not your best solution. And the REVERSE function is pretty much not worth using.

The HOLD mode is a pretty good looper, and if you have not used one, this BOSS pedal would be a good opportunity for you to see if you would really want to buy one. Keep in mind that there is no save function, though.

If you are searching for a good quality digital delay that is affordable digital delay, the BOSS DD-7 is the right pedal for you. It will get the job done and is certainly reasonably priced with a list price of $264.50 and a street price of $149.99. They hold their value well on the used market, so you are better off buying new and getting the BOSS 5-year warranty.


No comments:

Post a Comment