EXACTLY what I've been looking for for YEARS
Seymour Duncan got this pedal right. REALLY RIGHT!
Let me start by saying that I am a massive tone snob who has been through countless analog delays in search of the perfect combination of tone and features. I've tried (and used for many years) the biggest names in analog delay. I had the EHX flagship Deluxe Memory Man on my board for quite some time. I have also played through the diminutive (and widely panned, but really not that bad at all) Memory Toy. I've gone through the seriously overrated (but still quite good) MXR Carbon Copy, Malekko Ekko 616, Maxon/Ibanez AD9, Way Huge Supa Puss, Way Huge Echo Puss, and I even dabbled in digital delay with a Flashback X4 (which is a good multi-purpose delay, but the analog mode does NOT sound like a true analog delay). To make a long story short - I had some kind of issue with ALL of the above that caused me to keep searching for the RIGHT delay for ME. The DMM sounded great, but when use in an effects loop, it's always a battle between the "gain" knob and the "blend" knob to get the level right. The Supa Puss also sounded good, but it had a horrible volume drop when used in an effects loop. The Carbon Copy's repeats sounded good, but it changed my dry sound too much when engaged. The Malekko was pretty close to what I wanted, but the repeats were a bit too gritty when played over a clean tone (sounded great for leads, though).
The SD Vapor Trail has NONE of those issues. Zero volume drop. Zero impact on dry signal. Sounds awesome on both clean and overdriven tones. Repeats don't get overly Lo-Fi at the maximum delay setting (like they do on a DMM) - they just get a bit darker. The tone of the repeats is very warm and clean. It's definitely darker than my Deluxe Memory Man - but much cleaner than my Deluxe Memory Boy. No fuzziness on the repeats (but you can make them that way if you use the built-in effects loop feature). The "mix" knob functions EXACTLY like it should. You can easily dial in just a subtle amount of delay, all the way up to repeats that are louder than the dry signal. I cannot overstate just how important the mix knob is to the usability of a pedal...and SO MANY manufacturers get it terribly wrong. On this pedal (as it should on ALL pedals, IMHO) the mix knob controls the volume of the repeats ONLY with ZERO impact on the volume or tone of your dry signal (unlike EHX delays). Thank you, Seymour Duncan! FINALLY somebody got that right! Having the modulation controls on top of the unit is also great, and the modulation in this unit sounds quite good, indeed. The "delay" knob houses a blinking LED that pulses to the tempo of the delay. This is handy in a live situation so you can see the tempo before engaging the effect.
All of that adds up to one hell of an analog delay pedal. It's quite obvious that Seymour Duncan really did their homework when they designed this thing. The Vapor Trail is hands-down the best compact (and for my purposes, the best overall) analog delay on the market today. It's absolutely fantastic.