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Sound Quality

This is quite possibly the noisiest digital pedal I've heard. The effects produced are literally immersed in a sea of hiss that would make an analogue delay blush. This isn't too obnoxious when the blend is set at 50% or less, but over this mark you'd want some sort of noise gate if you were recording. As a delay its pretty versatile. 30ms-2000ms of delay time, which was pretty long back in 1988 when there was only the DD-3 with 800ms as competition. I've just come off an Ibanez AD100 analogue delay, and quite frankly the quality doesn't compare. This doesn't sound remotely analogue. It sounds like 70% DD-3 repeats and 30% hiss. There's nothing special about the tone, and it's quite disappointing unless you're intentially going for a low quality sound. If you don't have your delay level more than 50-70% of the volume of your dry, it's probably ok. Any more than that and you'd probably want to look at something cleaner. Yes, it's one of the few Boss delays that will self oscillate, so you can do infinite repeats. It also has a blend knob rather than an effects level, so you can set the delay louder than the dry signal, a feature ruined by the hhiiiissssss. The pitch shifter is very primitive, but we are talking about something from the embryonic years of digital effects here. This is more a special effects box than anything else. Anyone looking for a serious octave or harmonist box should look elsewhere. The only redeeming part of this box is setting it to manual mode, cranking the feedback and seeing what kind of weird noises you can create with your guitar and the frequency knob. There's all sort of B-grade 50s sci-fi sounds to be found, as well as steel drum and bell like chimes. In the eyes of a bluesman it's probably a toy, but experamentalists could no doubt find an application for it. I'd like to give 6.5.


General Comments

The hiss certainly makes a somewhat good pedal into a mediocre one. If the delay were as clean as a DD-3 it would be fantastic, but I suppose the technology constraints at the time meant 2000ms came at the cost of sound quality, and frankly I'd prefer 800ms of clean delay over 2000ms of hissy, slightly warbly delay. I'm all for crazy delay and loved both the Ibanez DML10II and Boss RDD-10 modulated delays I had, but they could also do an acceptable standard delay sound as well. There are some interesting sounds in the pitch shift modes, but all come across as a bit toyish and certainly not quality enough to include in traditional music styles today. For a noise band in might be satsifactory. C+

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