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MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe Analog Delay Pedal

Taking carbon copy to a whole new level ...

 

by Chris Loeffler

 

 

A personal aside (feel free to skip the next two paragraphs if you just want the review!)- Ten years ago, new-production analog delay pedals were as rare as hen’s teeth (aside from the EHX Memory Man, a pedal whose sound I love but low headroom doesn’t work for me outside of recording) and I purchased a Mason AD-900 (original two chip configuration) for around $250 direct from the factory in Japan and waited… and waited for it to arrive from a slow boat from the East. It was a fantastic pedal, and upon its arrival I was convinced I may be holding one of the last new production delays as NOS chips were disappearing, increasing costs at the same time a certain green modeling delay had essentially become the new standard for pedalboards.

 

Around this same time, a former co-worker of mine had taken a marketing position at Jim Dunlop, maker of Dunlop, MXR, and Way Huge effects, and I stayed at his house while attending a music festival at Golden Gate Park. Well aware of my financially unhealthy relationship with effects pedals, he had a huge grin on his face when we met up the first evening and showed me what was part of the first run of the yet-to-be announced MXR Carbon Copy. The green sparkle on the enclosure was a slightly different hue than the final production piece, but otherwise there it was, a new production analog delay, with modulation, designed by none-other than Jeorge Tripps fresh from his tenure at Line 6, that had a target street price of $150 street. After a gentleman’s agreement that I wouldn’t let the cat out of the bag, he sent me home with the pedal. That marked, to me, the resurgence of the analog delay as a viable mainstay in the effects world.

 

Fast-forward ten years later and we are in the renaissance of analog delays, with features that seemed impossibly incompatible withe the antiquated circuitry of analog circuitry (tap tempo, MIDI, delay times in excess of 1000MS), which brings us to the recently released big brother of the MXR Carbon Copy, the MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe.

 

What You Need to Know

 

The MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe is an all analog delay pedal with modulation available to apply to the delayed signal for sweet, undulating repeats. The delay line is controlled by Mix (blend), Regen (number of repeats), Delay (delay time) and a Tap-Tempo foot switch. The modulation side, previously set with trim pots inside the pedal, is now controlled on the front of the pedal, with Speed and Width settings to control how fast and deep the LFO bends the chorus effect. A Bright soft-push button was added to select between the darker tone of the original Carbon Copy and the subsequently issued Carbon Copy Bright, and a Tap Division soft-push button selects between dotted 8ths, 8ths triplets, and 16ths in relation to the tempo tapped. An expression pedal output between the input and output jacks allows for a number of functions, and internal controls for Dry Mix and Input Gain tailor the pedal for studio functions and non-guitar uses.

 

The delay time in the MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe is double that of the original Carbon Copy at 1200MS, and in dark mode sits slightly back in the mix with nominal sonic artifacts even when turned all the way up. The delay has a slightly softener attack than the notes it is replicating, and sounds more similar to a vintage AD-9 than it does a DM-2. The Bright mode indeed increases the high-end of the delayed signal and brings it more prominently into the mix, a feature especially helpful for The Edge styled syncopated patterns.

 

The modulation signal can be modified from anything from shallow, slow waves of pitch modulation to pitch-bending Leslie type sounds. I found it to have slightly less character than a Deluxe Memory Man but more stability and signal purity.

 

The Expression Out jack can be paired with the (not included) DVP3 and DVP4 volume pedals from Dunlop or the M119 tap tempo switch from MXR. An expression pedal or external tap tempo can be used to toggle between two entirely different delay settings (all parameters can be adjusted except Mix and Regen), and the external tap tempo can also be used for hands-free activation of the modulation section or tap division.

 

Limitations

 

The MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe can be powered by a 9v battery, but the battery life likely wouldn’t make it through a gig.

 

Conclusion

 

The MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe has pretty much every feature available for an analog delay; luxuriously long repeats, low noise, flexible modulation, and tap tempo. It also sounds great, and the ability to toggle between the dark and bright modes gives the best of both worlds of analog delay smeariness and upfront, hi-fi tones. -HC-

 

Resources

 

MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe Analog Delay Product Page

 

Buy MXR Carbon Copy Deluxe at Sweetwater (MSRP $328.56, Street $229.99)

 

 

 

 

____________________________________________ 

 

Chris Loeffler is a multi-instrumentalist and the Content Strategist of Harmony Central. In addition to his ten years experience as an online guitar merchandiser, marketing strategist, and community director he has worked as an international exporter, website consultant and brand manager. When he’s not working he can be found playing music, geeking out on guitar pedals and amps, and brewing tasty beer. 

 

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