BeginnerGuitarHQ is reviewing the top 10 best budget delay pedals for electric guitars.
This is a 2019 buyer’s guide for beginners’ guitar players. We’re going to share everything you need to know before buying your first delay pedal for electric guitar.
Our buyer’s guide shares budget delay pedals for guitar with built-in footswitches, built-in looper, delay modes, and app-based functionality, among other things.
The journey begins by understanding the budget. Up next, we’re reviewing the basic stuff you need to understand before you buy your first delay effect; and finally, we’ll begin our countdown.
You’ll find the top 10 list features an additional title explaining how and why each particular item is the best.
By reading my guide, I assure you will learn everything you will need to know about delay pedals. It means you won’t pick one only for the budget: you will go for the one that suits your desired sound the most.
More so, as I go along, I’ll be sharing the top guitar delay pedal models.
In the meantime, here’s a video explaining how delay works:
- 1 Guitar delay pedals budget
- 2 Where do guitar delay pedals come from?
- 3 Why should you buy a delay pedal?
- 4 How does a guitar delay pedal work?
- 5 What to look for on guitar delay pedals?
- 6 In summary: important things to consider when you buy a delay pedal for guitar
- 7 Best budget delay pedals (2019 reviews)
- 8 Donner Yellow Fall analog delay pedal
- 9 Behringer VD400 analog delay pedal
- 10 Ibanez ADMINI analog delay
- 11 Tom’sline Engineering digital delay
- 12 Kogo analog delay
- 13 Mooer Recho digital delay
- 14 Digitech Obscura Altered delay pedal
- 15 Dunlop MXR M169 Carbon Copy analog delay
- 16 Zoom MS-70CDR Multistomp
- 17 Boss DD-7 digital delay pedal
- 18 Final considerations
Guitar delay pedals budget
Fortunately, guitar effect pedals are affordable. More so, my list is featuring mostly entry-level prices, which are under the double-zero limit. The final items on the list are going a bit above that mark, and these are definitely worth every penny.
Guitar pedals are mostly economic, which is good news if you need only one pedal. However, that’s probably not going to be the case, so keep in mind the top pedals sell for mid-price points, which is halfway towards triple-zero ciphers.
As you grow as a guitar player, you’re going to search for new sounds, feelings, and the possibilities guitar pedals can give you. Building your pedalboard can be expensive, complex and tiresome. So having affordable guitar pedal choices is good for you and your pedalboard.
Overall, it’s probably best to have three good pedals for the price of one expensive guitar effect. If you want my personal recommendation, my first three pedals would be:
- A drive pedal for the distortion;
- A chorus pedal for the clean;
- A delay pedal to improve your overall sound.
Guitar pedals can be very affordable if you know what to look for.
Where do guitar delay pedals come from?
In rock’s early days, musicians used tape delay machines. Legendary musicians like Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly used these machines on their recordings.
By the 80s, Boss introduced analog delay pedals with the famous Boss DM-1 Delay Pedal, which launched in 1978; the Boss DM-2 launched in 1981.
Today’s digital technologies made guitar effects common in every corner of the music industry. Boss continues to be the leading company, with the Boss DD-3 and the Boss DD-7 as their top delay pedals.
Since its early days, a delay effect is almost a must-have for a guitarist. If you’re unsure about making this investment, let’s review why you should have a delay pedal for your electric guitar.
Why should you buy a delay pedal?
The guitar alone is great for learning and practicing. However, the guitar alone will not be enough for you. As you evolve as a guitar player, you may want to evolve the sound, and guitar pedals are probably the best way to do so.
Guitar pedals add shape, personality, versatility, and power to your style. They can instantly turn you into a better guitar player. Be sure to not overdo it, though: as you learn how to use a guitar pedal, less is more.
The delay pedal is a world-wide best-seller when it comes to electric guitar supporting devices. You can consider it as a magical piece that beautifies the sound of an electric guitar. Delay pedals will make your sound more brilliant and turn simple lines into complex pieces of music.
Overall, a delay pedal gives you a professional, deep, and three dimensional sound.
In summary, here’re the top 4 reasons why you need a delay pedal:
- Delay pedals will help you fill out the sound and make it feel more alive;
- It helps your chorus, reverb, and distortions feel cleaner;
- It can make your solos feel huge and much more powerful;
- It adds depth to your rhythm guitar, a depth that wouldn’t be there otherwise;
A Delay pedal enhances the quality of your sound: it makes it more deep, fat, and classy.
How does a guitar delay pedal work?
Before you buy your budget electric guitar delay pedal, be sure to understand how it works.
A delay pedal is a supporting device for electric guitar and bass guitars, although you can’t interchange them. If you want to check some bass pedals instead, here’s a great countdown by SustainPunch.
All of the features you can find in a guitar delay pedal share a common thread: they repeat the notes of your guitar, and you can set the interval at which it repeats itself.
It’s not the same as a reverb pedal because the delay time is much longer. A reverb repeats the signal with a delay below 100ms (milliseconds), something the ear can’t really differentiate.
In essence, a delay pedal takes the input signal and repeats it based on a number of different settings you can configure on the pedal’s interface.
Delay pedals create an echo. For instance, when you play high notes on your guitar, the delay pedal will give you a similar sound once some seconds have passed. In other words, the delay will continue playing the sounds you played some seconds ago.
The most important setting is the delay time, which means how much time it will pass until it repeats a signal. Modern delay pedals go up to 7 seconds of delay time.
Guitar delay pedal settings
A delay pedal commonly lets you tweak three elements: time, level, and feedback. Let’s break it down:
- Time: it’s the time it passes since you press the delay pedal until the echo appears. You can adjust the time from less than one second upwards to 7 seconds.
- Level: the level manages the volume of the echo. The highest level produces tones as loud as the original sound, while the lowest setting fattens the sound in a more subtle manner.
- Feedback: lastly, feedback means how many times the pedal repeats a note. Usually, a delay pedal gives you one single repeat by default. You can also turn the feedback knob up if you want to hear plenty of echoes.
Here’s a tutorial video on delay effects from Guitar Center.
Guitar delay pedal types
We also need to understand guitar delay pedal types, and there are two: analog delay and digital delay pedals. Each one featuring its own advantages and disadvantages.
- Analog delay pedals: analog pedals use magnetic tapes to create a delay effect. The magnetic tapes save the sound on one end of the tape and then read it at the other end.
The time it takes to read the sound is the delay. By increasing the reading speed or changing the position of the receiver and the reader we can adjust the delay.
Analog delay pedals offer smooth and natural sounds on short delay times. However, the magnetic tapes have little precision on long delay times.
More so, analog delay pedals are more expensive than their digital counterparts.
The most famous analog delay pedal is probably the Electro Harmonix Memory Man:
- Digital delay pedals: these are compact, low-cost guitar pedals with similar operating principles.
The input enters the device as an analog signal and turns into a digital signal. The device saves the sound on its memory, where a computer chip adds feedback, delay time, and level. Finally, it sends the converted signal to the output.
Digital delays offer a more accurate signal, longer delay times, and a friendly interface. Looper and sample pedals are also digital delay pedals with extended times.
One of the most popular digital delay pedals for electric guitar is the Boss DD-7:
What to look for on guitar delay pedals?
You can’t make an informed decision, much less buy a good budget delay pedal for guitar if you don’t know what you’re looking for.
What to look for in delay pedals 2019?
Here are the top features you should be looking for on guitar delay pedals 2019:
Budget is the top priority of my list, and it might be the top priority for you as well. Even so, every article I’m picking excels in quality.
The presence or absence of the features bellow changes the price of the delay pedals.
Delay type: analog vs. digital
The first thing you need to consider is whether you should buy an analog or a digital pedal. Take a look at the pedal’s buttons and how easy it would be for you to customize it.
More so, consider your sound needs: do you prefer a smooth, natural sound that only deepens your sound; or do you need more advanced features like longer delay times to play with?
The choice between analog and digital delays is a matter of personal taste: analog pedals produce a natural sound that’s hard to replicate, while digital pedals produce sounds that distinguish themselves because of their circuitry, instrument, and features.
If you want versatility, digital pedals are your best choice; if you want sound quality, a good old analog pedal is a good option.
Keep in mind both kinds of pedals won’t work together.
I personally recommend analog delays for beginner guitarists or guitar players not needing a whole array of sounds. Analog delays are simply easier to use and customize.
On the other hand, digital delays are more complex because they have plenty of onboard extra effects other than delay. More so, they feature a “colder” tone compared to their analog counterparts.
Overall, it’s a matter of favoring passion and feel -analog- vs. power and versatility -digital.
Here’s a video tutorial reviewing analog and digital delays. Feel free to check it out to help you make a better decision.
Keep in mind many digital pedals also have delay modes, which are digital simulations of vintage tape and analog delay effects.
Ease of use is probably your number one priority. It’s the top reason why people opt for analog pedals over digital ones.
Digital pedals have plenty of knobs, functions, and features. It can be hard to understand how to achieve the effects you desire.
Some digital pedals make it easier for you with descriptive titles on an LCD screen plus presets. However, the versatility of these devices is not very wide. More so, while presets can simplify things, once you start customizing your delay effects, you’ll begin walking in thin ice that requires some strong gaps and plenty of experience of what you’re doing.
So, the simplicity of analog pedals and the fact that they have few controls gives guitar players immediate feedback.
As your musical gear grows bigger, you’ll find it better to have simpler and more compact pedals.
Now we need to consider the presets we mentioned above. It’s a convenient feature that lets you recall presets at the moment. While the pedal may pack some presets already, you may create your own presets on your practicing sessions as well.
A preset is a distinct configuration of the pedal’s settings to produce an effect. For instance, famous rock songs use long delays to layer the rythm guitar. Other famous guitar players use delay pedals to enhance and deepen the sound of their solos.
It’s very hard to recall settings configurations, so having a preset option is a way to make settings and configurations on a digital pedal a bit simpler.
Presets are a big feature for guitar players looking to play live. In essence, presets offer blank spaces where you can customize and save a delay setting and then recall as you play with the footswitch.
Tap tempo is an additional feature of delay pedals. Tap tempo it’s commonly a button or footswitch you can tap repeatedly to set the delay time you want.
Some pedals give you the option to select the delay time on a knob or a footswitch, while others only have it on the knob.
The tap tempo is a very useful feature because it allows you to match the delay time to the tempo of the song or a specific tempo. It adds an additional layer of sound to rhythmic effects and helps you create coherent delay effects.
It’s not an essential feature, however, if you’re interested, try going for a footswitch tap tempo. It’s definitely easier to set the timer with your foot as you can do it as you play without having to crouch.
A footswitch tap tempo is probably the most convenient feature to have on a pedal. While other features are more about preferences and taste, the tap tempo is something every guitar player will appreciate.
It’s worth noting most delay pedals rely on a knob or button a the time tempo, and you need to press that with your fingers. While it’s an easy setting to use, it makes it difficult to switch up between tempos during live performances, which is the real stage for delay pedals. For that reason, a knob tap tempo is only for practicing, unless you have preset.
If you’re new to pedals, the only way to understand how they work is by practicing.
If you want your delay effect to sound nice and harmonize with your song, you need to have some precision. Some delay pedals also allow you to set the exact delay time down to milliseconds.
It’s useful if you want to use your delay to create rythm effects, licks, hooks, and riffs. While you can get a close with the tap tempo, it often creates out-of-sync effects.
Some pedals have an inbuilt screen. The screen allows you to set the exact delay time you want. Other pedals offer you an additional app for the mobile devices you can use to configure the delay time.
Keep in mind working out the exact delay time you need for any tempo is a bit complex, but you can always refer to this handy Delay Time Calculator.
There are some pedals with an extra feature called “true bypass.” A pedal with that feature can turn the bypass on so it routes the guitar’s signal directly to the guitar amplifier without any interference, buffering effects, hums, or noises.
Overall, true bypass cleans the sound and avoids the common glitches of in-between pedals.
Delay effect types
There several delay effect types that are more complex and not especially suited for beginners. These are 2290, 2290 with modulation, tape, tube, space, analog, analog with modulation, slap, low fi, reverse, dynamic, ping, and pong.
Some digital delay pedals offer a built-in looper. A looper allows you to record samples and play them on the go. It’s a great practicing tool and it’s also good for songwriting and performing.
I have to add a looper is a more advanced tool. Using a looper requires you to play the guitar, record the guitar o the delay, and then play the sample you recorded on-sync. More so, a looper allows you to play more than one sample at the same time: could you handle all of that?
Keep in mind you will only find a looper on delay types offering different delay effects.
Let me show you an artist I really like playing only by herself with the user of loops:
Essential delay pedal controls include delay level, delay time, and delay feedback. Those allow you to control the most basic features of the pedal.
Besides that, there’re other parameters you can consider. For example, other controls include depth, filter, and speed, which can give you more control over the tone.
A delay pedal with only the basic controls is easier to use and often times everything you need. Otherwise, going for additional controls means you’re a more advanced guitarist looking for a complex sound. As you can imagine, it requires you to know what you’re doing.
App or editor
Some pedals give you an extra app to control the settings of the device and create and save presets. Furthermore, some pedals also have additional software, so you can connect it to a computer and use an editor to adjust settings and save presets.
If control and presets are important for you, then it’s worth looking for a pedal with this feature.
Lastly, you can take a look at the build quality. If you’re planning to travel with your delay and make it a part of your tour gig, you want your delay pedal to have quality construction materials.
As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid plastic bodies and overall cheap pedals from unknown manufacturers. If you’re going to play live with your pedals, you’ll prefer metal cases rather than plastic cases.
Pedals with full metal bodies are the sturdiest ones but are also generally more expensive. On the other side of the spectrum, you find almost disposable plastic cases.
More so, consider the pedal’s weight and dimensions since it can become part of your luggage. A heavier delay pedal can absorb falls and hits a lot better, though. Furthermore, switches are the first thing to brack when the pedal falls, so knobs are always a better choice.
In summary: important things to consider when you buy a delay pedal for guitar
There’re plenty of countless delay pedals in the market right now, so it can be a bit tough to pick one.
Some pedals have one footswitch, while others have up to four footswitches, have plenty of control features, and allow you to create countless presets with a wide array of combinations.
So, consider what’s important for you in a delay pedal: do you want complex sound and plenty of control giving you versatility and professional sound? Or do you want a smooth, simplified experience with plenty of depth?
Everyone will have different answers, so the “best delay pedal” is a matter of personal taste. That said, here’s the summary of the important things you need to consider when buying your first delay pedal for guitar:
- Money: how much do you want to invest and how many pedals do you plan to buy? You can accommodate two or three quality pedals, or maybe a tuner, a compressor, and similar devices, for the price of one expensive pedal. Or up to 6 budget pedals for the price of a very expensive pedal.
- Ease of use: if you want an easy experience, go for an analog pedal with few controls and a footswitch tap tempo. Otherwise, go for a device with bells and whistles.
- Flexibility: the more controls and footswitches you have, the more versatility you gain. You would lose the simplicity but gain different delay types fitting different styles and musical genres/needs.
- Precision: if you want to set your delay time to an exact BPM, go for the most precision you can afford.
- Size & weight: if the size of the pedal is no concern to you, then you can go for the complex devices with more than one footswitch and plenty of knobs. However, most people prefer a small, compact and sturdy pedal, and I also recommend this for you. Keeping things simple is probably best.
- Quality: lastly, you can find good quality pedals without breaking the bank.
Are you ready to pick your budget delay pedal for electric guitar?
Best budget delay pedals (2019 reviews)
Here is my list and reviews of the top 10 best budget delay pedals 2019. As I said at the beginning, you’ll find a subtitle explaining how each item is the best.
I advise you to find a YouTube demo on the pedals you become interested in.
Keep in mind you need a battery or a 9V plug to power the pedals. Most pedals ship without the 9V power supply.
Donner Yellow Fall analog delay pedal
Best budget analog delay
The Donner Yellow pedal is a pure analog delay with a crystal clear smooth sound. For its entry-level price, you get top-quality sound, simplicity, and a compact and sturdy aluminum-alloy body.
Its clear tone applies to all kinds of music and works with various instruments, which include electric guitars, electric pianos, keyboards, electric violins, and electric violas. More so, the tone competes with the expensive delay contenders.
It has a LED indicator showing you the working state of the pedal, while there’re three 3 knobs you can play with to change the sound. The knobs feature ECHO (the mix), 20 seconds – 620 ms delay tempo, and feedback (repetitions). Nothing more.
More so, it has a true bypass feature that keeps the coloration away.
I want you to check the sound of the pedal on the video below:
The package includes the Donner Yellow Fall delay pedal and the owner manual. The power supply is not included.
Behringer VD400 analog delay pedal
Best budget analog delay tone
The Behringer Vintage Delay VD400 offers superb sound quality for a ridiculously low price. It mimics the classic delay tapes of the early ’60s and it has conquered the enthusiasts and professional music world alike.
It has a true vintage sound with a slap-back echo rivaling true tape devices.
It produces up to 300 ms of delay and features an advanced noise circuit keeping the signal clean.
As for controls, it has an echo knob (level), repeat rate (feedback), and delay tempo. Additionally, it has a status LED to check the battery and the effect on/off.
It’s the perfect choice for intermediate and beginner musicians with a tight budget playing classic rock styles. However, the smooth tone of the VD400 will suit many genres and musical styles.
The downside is its construction quality. The body is made of a cheap plastic case that won’t sustain hits and can scratch easily. It means this is not a durable pedal ready to go inside the tour bus.
Ibanez ADMINI analog delay
Best budget compact analog delay
The Ibanez Analog Delay Mini has an ultra-compact size and packs a true analog delay tone. It fits most pedalboards and mixes with most musical genres, so it’s a good choice for intermediate musicians already playing live.
This pedal is the reissue of the classic Ibanez AD9. Ibanez discontinued it in 2011 because there was a shortage of its core chip, which caused a disproportionate price increase.
The ADMINI has the typical 3-knob layout with delay tempo, feedback, and level controls. The echo goes from 20ms to 600ms.
The signal path is 100 percent analog and features true bypass. There’s a problem with this particular bypass, though: when you disengage the unit (turn the effect off), you’re going to lose lingering repeats.
I recommend this pedal because it’s really simple to use, has a very smooth sound, a comes in a compact, sturdy full-metal gig-ready case.
Tom’sline Engineering digital delay
Best budget delay pedal for rock music
Tom’sline is a company producing affordable guitar pedals. This particular model is both a delay and an echo pedal.
Something very interesting about this device is that it’s Michale Angelo Batio’s signature pedal, and Batio is known as the fastest guitar player of all time. Batio uses this pedal while practicing, in the studio, and in his masterclasses.
Batio is an Italian-American heavy metal guitar player born in 1956 in Chicago, Illinois. He became a professional musician in the 80s with the band Nitro. Later on, he became a solo-player and launched his first album, “No Boundaries,” in 1998 under his own -online- record label.
This pedal, unlike others on the list, includes three different delay effects, which is a good addition if you’re looking for more versatility. The three options are Echo, Mod, and normal.
As it’s a pedal made for heavy metal, the sound comes with plenty of power, punch, and crunch. More so, it gets three vastly different effects out of a single budget pedal.
The delay tempo also offers an incredible time length with up to 838ms. This is the longest time frame by far.
Using the pedal is easy enough, as well. There’s a single switch to change between the delay sounds; plus the level, time, and regen (feedback) knobs to set the delay tone.
Lastly, this pedal has a full-metal body and is incredibly small. If you’re short on space on your pedalboard, this is a great option. On the downside, as it’s very small, it moves around a lot. It needs some extra stability, like a piece of velcro.
The package includes the pedal, a signature sticker, a logo sticker, and a pre-sized velcro.
Kogo analog delay
Best budget delay pedal for beginners
The Kogo analog delay is an unknown affordable pedal I dearly recommend. Kogo is a professional guitar pedal effect manufacturer.
This can easily be your first pedal. It’s the most simple, straightforward pedal of the list and can easily take your sound to another level. If you’re a beginner guitar player, you’ll find the Kogo,
This model has a pure analog circuit and features a warm, smooth, and crystal clear vintage delay sound.
The overall sound is organic, and it combines the style of the old tape and echo delays with modern digital delay.
It has the classical 3-knob layout: mix, delay time (from 20 seconds to 620ms), and feedback. Additionally, it has a true bypass button to give you a more transparent tone, and a LED screen to show you the working state of the pedal.
Lastly, it has a solid construction. It’s made of high-quality zinc allow, which is tough and very durable.
Mooer Recho digital delay
Best budget delay pedal for rock music
This particular device is easy-to-use and ships in a compact enclosure. The sound it gives you stands from the crowd: it’s different as the tone is generally more “spacey” and “bluesy” than the other items on this list.
The Mooer Reecho digital delay pedal is an affordable device offering three effect types. With its digital circuit, it emulates the following sounds: analog, real echo, and tape echo.
The analog mode simulates the warm and smooth echo sound classic analog delays delivered. Real echo simulates the natural echo sound. And tape echo simulates the spacey echoes of vintage tape machines.
The controls are simple as it features the typical three-knob layout (level, feedback and delay tempo); plus the switch to select the effect mod. And as some of its best competitors, it also features true bypass.
I personally love the tape echo setting of this device, which is enough to make you buy this one. The echo works great for classic rock, indie rock, alternative rock, and other rock genres. In fact, this is the best budget pedal for rock genres in the market right now, at least in my opinion.
It’s sweat, bright tone, rich on the top end and fat on the lower end belongs to higher quality pedals like the Carbon Copy. However, this unit is cheaper and probably as capable as the last 3 items on the list.
Digitech Obscura Altered delay pedal
Best budget digital delay pedal overall
This is a very particular model and features an option you wouldn’t find anywhere else (hence the name). The Obscura Altered Delay allows users to turn the delay upside down and inside out.
What does this means? It’s best if you look it on a demo video:
Additionally, the Obscura has four delay types, and you can darken, degrade, and distort each one with tone and degrade controls.
You can combine these controls with the repeat/hold knob to set the repeats. It also has time and repeats controls, plus a delay mode and an independent level. With all of those controls, the Obscura offers more options and versatility than most items on the list and all of the pedals on its price range.
If that isn’t enough, the Obscura also offers four delay types: analog, Lo-Fi, Tape, and Reverse. In my opinion, the reversed delay sounds like changing the “dry” sound of the common delay effect for a “wet” or distorted option.
This model is definitely an evolution on pedal design, and while it is definitely complex, it’s the most versatile of the bunch. If you learn how to use it, you’ll end up with a plethora of options to experiment with.
Dunlop MXR M169 Carbon Copy analog delay
MXR has been a pioneer in the effects pedals industry since 1972. The company keeps creating revolutionary devices. Their designs are simple, small, and rich in analog tones.
Dunlop continues its classical features with the MXR M169 pedal. However, this device redefines the brand with new innovations and award-winning features.
The MXR Carbon Copy is one of the most reviewed effect pedals on Amazon, as well as musical online stores like Sweetwater. It gets over 200 reviews while similar items at similar prices get from 10 to 50.
It’s secret, and what I personally love as well, is how it mixes the vintage sound with the modern versatility and power of modern digital delay pedals. Its sound is warm and its echoes are powerful.
It’s not exactly a budget delay pedal, however, it’s still affordable. More so, every penny translates itself in quality.
The Carbon Copy delay features 600ms of delay time with optional modulation effects. 600s is equivalent to eight notes at a 50bpm tempo r or quarter notes at 100bpm.
As for controls, it has a simple 3-knob layout controlling delay, mix, and regen (feedback).
Additionally, there’re two internal trim pots offering adjustable-rate and width control of the modulation. It gives you extra tonal options.
However, I find the modulation button is not the best: it boosts high frequencies while thins out low-end frequencies. As a result, you get a thin sound.
What I do love about the MXR is its delay time. It’s one of the most precise delay pedals in the market right now, and there will probably be no time where you’ll need more than 600ms.
Zoom MS-70CDR Multistomp
Best budget delay pedal with multiple effects
Zoom is known for creating multi-effect pedals. A multi-effect pedal offers various effects on a single enclosure. Although each effect might not have as much quality as an individual pedal, they can pack many sounds for the price and the space of a single pedal.
The Zoom MS-70CDR is an oddity on this list. It’s not only a delay pedal because it includes 86 different effects like chorus and reverb.
As for the delay, multi-effect pedal attempts to emulate the Carbon Copy delay sound digitally. It also tries to emulate other famous effect pedals.
The result is great and the best thing is how it gives you plenty of diverse sounds and tones on one pedal.
Furthermore, it’s easy to use, even when it can do so many things. It has but three knobs to control the parameters of each effect. And because it’s digital, it features a USB connection: you can use your computer to configure the sounds, save presets, and set the time tempo. It also has an LCD screen to check the effects’ settings.
Contrary to the other pedals on this list, you power the Zoom MS-70CDR with 2 AA batteries. There’s also an optional AC adapter you can daisy chain with the rest of your gear.
There’s one downside, though. As with every multi-pedal effect, it’s very difficult to change the effects as you play live. I recommend this as a studio pedal; if it goes live with you, try to leave it on one preset only.
In summary, the Zoom MS-70CDR gets you plenty of quality effects for a mid-level price.
Boss DD-7 digital delay pedal
Best overall digital delay pedal
Although it’s not exactly “budget”, there’s no way I could finish this list without featuring the top contender.
The Boss DD-7 digital delay pedal is the successor of the music industry’s first delay pedals, the DD-3, the DD-5, and the DD-6.
The Boss DD-7 digital delay pedal has a place on the hall of fame because it takes the best features of its antecessors and packs them into a compact device.
The best thing about the DD-7 is it packs an analog mode that emulates the classic warmth of the early tape delay pedals.
Furthermore, it includes a tap-tempo feature you can access with an external plug-in footswitch. The Boss DD-5 was the first Boss digital delay pedal to include this feature, and the DD-7 continues it with great success.
You can control effect level, feedback, and delay tempo with the external Expression Pedal. The Moog EP-3 is a good budget option.
And while you can plug in an external footswitch with a footswitch jack, it also has stereo inputs and outputs.
The effects are simple and easy to use. The most complex one is a modulation delay mode that sounds like a chorus effect. There’s also an analog delay mode that emulates the classic Boss DM-2.
The bundle below comes with the footswitch jack, an input cable, and a set of guitar picks.
Finally, I close this list with my bonus item, the Boss DM-2, which is a similar alternative to the DD-7 only that it carries onboard footswitch you can use to control the tempo.
The best delay pedal is the one that fits your particular needs, your style, and your budget. You don’t need to go for a super-advanced delay pedal only a sound engineer would know how to use: you can instead master a simple analog pedal with simple controls and obtain amazing sounds and amazing controls.
The biggest choice, then, is between digital and analog pedals. If music is really important for you, go for a pedal you can grow with and not for one you’ll likely ditch as you improve your guitar playing.
Remember, if you want a delay pedal you don’t have to go for the full controls, some of which you will never use. This is why we choose the Boss DD-7 as the #1 budget delay pedal: it brings the simplicity of an analog pedal with the versatility of a digital pedal.
Lastly, if I were you, I would go for the Tom’sline pedal. That’s my definitely favorite budget delay pedal for electric guitar.