The Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Boy is the answer to a prayer. It gives you CV or expression pedal control over either LFO Rate, LFO Depth and Shape, Feedback, or Delay Time. There's an effects loop that applies only to the regenerations. Also, if you hold down the "Exp Mode" button for three seconds, the "Rate" knob turns into a Cutoff control for a High Pass Filter on the regenerations. The delay is clean and smooth. Very nice tonality. At this pricepoint, this pedal is an unbelieveably good deal!
Really versatile pedal
This thing is just great. So much parameter control in a reasonably sized package. Tap tempo + subdivision selection is super handy - simply tap the tempo and then select the subdivision you want the delay to be. Highly recommend you pick up an expression pedal to plug into this for additional on-the-fly parameter control. I pretty much just stick with the expression controlling the feedback for dynamic swelling, but modulating the other parameters can be fun too. The depth modulation and wet signal effects loop is just icing on the cake as it opens up all kinds of options for interesting sounds. A great buy.
Really great pedal. Anything from adding slight atmosphere to your playing to huge ambient landscapes, this pedal does it all! The depth is the key to getting a fantastic sound out of it, as well as the rate.
Incredible pedal for the price. The tap divide is so brilliant, and for under 200 bucks, definitely the best delay on the market for the money. Any other tap divide/modulation capable pedals with the amount of depth the Deluxe Memory Boy has are astronomically more expensive. So much fun to play with.
Best Analog Delay
This is the best analog delay I have used. It is loaded with features, which is something you don't typically find with analog delays. The tap tempo feature makes life a lot easier when playing live. I haven't found another analog delay that gives you this much control. As far as the sound goes, its clean and natural, not digitized like with digital delays. You can get some funky tones out of the delay if you mess with the depth control. The only change I would like to see is for the tap tempo button to be a momentary switch instead of a catch and release switch. That would enable the user to dial in faster delay times by foot. I will be modding my pedal with a new switch, not too difficult, but it'd be nice if it came that way stock.
Gets the job done
All things considered, I'd have to say this is a pretty great pedal. This isn't the absolute best sounding analog delay I've ever heard, but for any analogophile who is looking for more ease of use and versatility during live shows, I would highly recommend this pedal. The thing that really makes it stand apart is the features and sound quality to price ratio. For all the features this pedal boasts, you'd usually have to go digital, and for decent sound quality on top of that, you'd have to pay significantly more money. I really view this pedal as a workhorse. It hasn't given me sounds that "inspire my playing," but it does exactly what I need it to, and I have close to zero complaints about its operation and sound quality. That said, there are some drawbacks: the gain, blend, and feedback controls are extremely sensitive, and have to be set just so. If the gain in particular gets bumped even a little bit, i get a boost or cut in volume when I engage the pedal. But the tap, subdivision, and expression pedal features save me from the majority of knob-tweaking that you'd have to go through with most other analog delays. Overall, if you (like me) prefer analog to digital, and want a solid, versatile, and relatively inexpensive pedal, I would highly recommend the Deluxe Memory Boy.
Complicated by nice
This is a good pedal, but it is a complicated animal. This might not be good for most people. EH pedals tend to be rather "musical." This one is no different, almost organic. It feels alive. That works for some folks, but a lot of players will struggle with the pedal's quirky nature.
However, if you can get past all that, the sound is good, and it has so many features. The FX loop is insane, and the expression input aids the musicality of the settings. One thing I really like about this product is its gain knob. I use it to give my guitar signal clear boost, something underrated.
In conclusion, this is a good pedal for someone needing a lot. I might eventually sell mine for something a little more simple. I can get a great sound from it, but it is a struggle to realistically use half of the features. I will probably keep it, but it will take me many nights of playing to figure out how to best use the options. I primarily play guitar if that makes a difference. I bet keyboard players could better utilize the features on the pedal.
Bang for your buck
On my never-ending quest for ultimate delay Nirvana, I had found myself transitioning from digital to analog. This is part of a natural progression, or really regression, that many guitarists are following these days. I have been playing guitar for 14 years and my first delay was a Boss DD-5, which I still have and use. But will I much longer?
To begin my quest I asked myself what features I would actually use. Am I going to ever need a reverse delay live? I might, but I need it more than one of the other features on my DD-5? Absolutely not. For the last few years my DD-5 has been used to tap tempo my delays to fit a variety of songs. No monkeying with dials. No nonsense. Just good old repeats. So of course the first thing that attracted me to this pedal was the built in tap tempo. That saved a bit of real estate on my board, freed up some unsightly cables, and allowed me to utilize some of the funkier things a digital delay like the DD-5 can do.
But does the tap tempo really cut the mustard? The tap button is not great in all honesty and the blinking LED is entirely unhelpful (though it does look cool blinking on my board). The tap button is sensitive enough to tap in your tempo without it even clicking which would be great but you can still click the button in and this sometimes causes what I believe are double counts on the tempo and really messes up the timing. I have gotten better at it but it does not behave like other taps I've used and I was a bit disappointed at first.
This leads me to why I really bought this pedal. Tap tempo is great but the hardest thing about it is tapping in tempos for subdivisions. The subdivisions button on this guy is almost the entire reason I took the plunge. I have seen this on other pedals before but they were always a lot more expensive. I love playing triplet delay lines but some drummers have trouble locking tempo with them and I'm not about to triplet tap in the middle of an intricate line to catch my delay up. This all seemed a little too good to be true. It kind of is. Yes I can tap a 4 count and get my perfect triplet time but at this point I will come full circle and say this is analog delay. A much warmer delay with a lot of loss in clarity as the delay starts to feedback. That's a great sound but when you're trying to pull off a fast triplet line, it can swallow you. I will however, continue to work on perfecting this art since this feature is so valuable to me.
The rest of the features are what you would expect from Electro-Harmonix. There is a lot of added "fluff" that doesn't really bring any more value to the pedal. The ability to hook an expression pedal is great but kind of a gimmick.
So it really does come down to asking yourself, "Why am I buying a delay pedal". What is it that attracts you about this pedal? If you really feel you need a pedal with such versatility that it borders over complication and feel you NEED analog delay, this really is a great bang for your buck at under $200. Maybe you're looking to use this for recording. Sitting down and using the dials to really nail your tempos, repeats, and sounds, this could be a mighty pedal. If you, like I, need the tap tempo and subdivisions, I would certainly recommend this pedal. But if you are like many people who really just want a great delay sound to fill the gaps and add depth to your tone, you're barking up the wrong tree.
Sometimes less really is more. In the delay department, I would not consider this to be anything special, but for its features. I put all my money on the MXR Carbon Copy for everything I don't need to tap in.
Great box but the jury is still out using pedal
I honestly think the Deluxe Memory Boy deserves closer to s 4.5 star rating. The sound is smooth and some very sweet effects come out of her. The problem lies in the expression pedal set up and lack of instruction in the online description. It isn't until you actually start reading how to route the gear you have with it that things complicate.
I do know, from my experience, that Sweetwater will solve any problems with this order and make me happy as a clammy guitar player.
I am especially impressed on this box with the simplicity and variety of tones I was able to get out of it instantly. That says much because I've never used a delay pedal of any sort. I was easily able to find a fantastic chorus out of of the unit. It's going go be re-graded as soon as I get the proper pedal and go hands off! Count on that.
What went wrong
I was convinced this was the pedal for me. Analog, not too big, expression pedal output, two buttons, 9v power supply and generally everything I need.
1) There's some weird modulation on the delay even when the depth button is at 12 o clock. It gets weirder when you turn it to either side, and in every way it sounds super weird and is IMO completely unusable! It sounds kinda like an envelope filter
2) Brilliant feature adding the expression pedal and the switchable options. But for some reason there's no option for controlling the volume of the delay which would be the most important thing!
Too bad... It looked so promising
Worst Delay pedal ever
EHX has done it again! Completely disappointed me once again. I should have listened to the pedal master Juan Adulerete when he said EHX are just cheap low quality pedals. Don't kid yourself with this. First of all, there is a high pitched frequency squeeling over every repeat. Secondly, you can't make this just act like a normal delay pedal very simply. It sounds awful and it's useless features don't make up for the fact that it squeals constantly over every echo. Mm I'm sure my audience will love that high pitched sound in their ears over my solo.