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Electro-Harmonix Canyon Delay and Looper Pedal

Effects as big as the Grand Canyon ...


by Chris Loeffler


Another day, another delay? Electro-Harmonix has one of the strongest delay effect lines in the pedal world, with nine dedicated delay units and four loopers in current production, so people tend to pay attention when E-H identifies the need for a new type of delay pedal. While their current delay line-up is 70/90s analog, Electro-Harmonix has returned to digital technology to cram 11 different delay types into a an affordable, small-format effects pedal called Canyon.


The Electro-Harmonix Canyon creates delays between 5 milliseconds up to three full seconds, and a loop of up the 62 seconds in a convenient and clean interface. On the surface, the Canyon features Mode, FX Level, Delay, and Feedback knobs as well as a Tap/Divide soft push button. The Canyon requires a standard 9V adaptor (included) and can be run in true-bypass or buffered “trails” mode, where the delays decay naturally when the effect is turned off.


What You Need to Know


The Electro-Harmonix Canyon has 11 different delay, reverb, or looper modes:


  • Echo- Digital delay
  • Mod- Modulated delay
  • Multi- Multi-tap delay
  • Revrs- Reverse delay
  • DMM- Deluxe Memory Man
  • Tape- Tape Delay
  • Verb- Reverb plus delay
  • Oct- Octave delay
  • Shim- Shimmer
  • S/H- Sample and hold
  • Loop- Looper mode w/max loop length of 62 seconds


As with any multi-effect (even one dedicated to a single effect type), tackling each effect type is a bit of a challenge in a medium-length overview. So, the simplest way to describe the Canyon's sound quality for anyone familiar with similar pedals on the market (e.g., Boss DD-500, Strymon Timeline, or TC Electronic 4X Alter Ego) is to say that sonically, the Canyon holds its own against the big boys. I didn’t find any of the settings to be thin or to clip, and all have a solid baseline for the effect type they're emulating.


Three effects that are a bit less obvious to delay users are the S/H, Shimmer, and Octave modes. The S/H (sample and hold) mode creates a micro-loop based on the last thing you play, effectively looping the last two repeats continuously until another note is played. Shimmer mode is more than just an octave up; it has filtering, swells, and modulation. The octave mode also varies from the standard octave up delay by also producing an octave down to mirror the octave up.


The Electro-Harmonix Canyon hides a fair amount of control under the hood, so it's well worth reading through the user manual. For instance, the Tap/Divide switch sets the time division of the tap tempo when selected, and the LED color indicates the pedal's division mode:


  • Red = Quarter Notes
  • Orange = Dotted Eighth
  • Green = Eighth Notes

You initiate tap tempo through either an external tap tempo switch (not included) or using the built-in footswitch when the pedal is in tap tempo mode. Using the Canyon’s footswitch keeps the form factor small, but means you’ll be tapping the tempo every time you turn the delay (however, you can deactivate this mode by powering down the pedal, and holding down the footswitch for five seconds as the pedal powers back up). 


The other “hidden” feature is the secondary knob feature that redirects the Delay and Feedback knobs to control different features in all modes except the Echo and Loop modes. Here’s a breakdown of what additional parameters are controlled in secondary mode via the Delay and Feedback knobs:


  • Mod- Delay controls modulation rate, Feedback controls modulation depth
  • Multi- Delay controls the volume decay or swell from the original note, Feedback does nothing
  • Revrs- Delay controls trigger sensitivity of the delay to the pluck strength of attack, Feedback does nothing
  • DMM- Delay controls the modulation rate, Feedback controls modulation depth
  • Tape- Delay controls tape saturation and distortion, Feedback controls modulation depth
  • Verb- Delay controls reverb trail length, Feedback controls low-pass filter on reverb signal to darken tone
  • Oct- Delay controls ascending octave, Feedback controls descending octave
  • Shim- Delay controls low pass filter on the shimmer effect to darken tone, Feedback controls modulation depth
  • S/H- Delay controls volume decay/swell, Feedback does nothing




  • Using the internal tap tempo switch means you'll be tapping in the tempo every time you turn on the delay, so you’ll need to remember to start tapping a beat or two before you want the delay sound to activate.
  • There's no stereo output.



At nearly half the price of similar “multiple delay modes in a box” pedals, the Electro-Harmonix Canyon is hard to beat if you aren’t looking for deep parameter tweaking, saved presests, or stereo output. With great-sounding and diverse delay types (both common and "out there"), nearly every sought-after delay tone can be yours for under $150.




Electro-Harmonix Canyon Delay Product Page


Buy EHX Canyon Delay at Sweetwater (MSRP $185.40, $139.00 Street)





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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