Analog Vs. Digital Delay

Today’s topic will be on Delay pedals, specifically which is better: Analog or Digital. I’ve played on a variety of analog and digital delays, and have really heard the difference.

I want to say right off the bat that an Analog Delay is much much better than any digital delay could ever be. Why? Well when your put your guitar signal through digital circuitry, it loses the warmth and purity of the tone. Think of it as putting your guitar through a computer and altering the sound that way. If you own nice tube amps and electric guitars, I wouldn’t even think of putting anything digital in between.

Lets look at the pros and cons of Analog and Digital Delays:

Analog Delay

Pros: Warm, Hypnotizing, 3-dimensional
Cons: Notes are not as clear

Digital Delay

Pros: Clarity of notes, longer delays
Cons: 1-Dimensional, Thin Sounding, Fake Sounding, Computerized sound

So as you can see, the Analog Delay is the obvious winner in my books. If you are looking to purchase an analog delay, my recommendation would be an 80s’ made-in-japan Ibanez AD-9 Analog Delay. I wouldn’t bother with the newer Ibanez reissues.

Hope this helps persuade you in your delay endeavors! Also check out this related article: Best Delay Pedals

One thought on “Analog Vs. Digital Delay”

  1. This constitutes an article as there’s no real information – but I agree with you completely.

    I actually love the “notes not as clear” part, for me that’s a big pro as it just sounds even more organic, like an old tape delay. I use the Jam delay llama for that very reason, the modulation and hiss on the repeats is incredible!

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