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Total Recall: Five Essential Programmable Delay Pedals

Total Recall: Five Essential Programmable Delay Pedals

Rock guitarists — and manufacturers of effect pedals — have been obsessed with delay in its many forms since Cliff Gallup achieved that ultra-cool delayed-echo effect on the first few Gene Vincent albums in the mid-'50s.

The mechanics behind basic delay are simple: Play a note or chord into an audio-storage medium, then get that device to play that sound back to you — either once or multiple times — after whatever amount of time makes you happy.

Of course, people have improved upon this simple formula, taking delay to new depths and heights, adding multi-taps, reverse, looping and stereo, often including a seemingly infinite assortment of combinations in one pedal.

Which brings us to the story you're reading right now, our guide to five of the most powerful, versatile and useful programmable delay pedals on the market today. By programmable, we're talking about pedals that offer numerous (more than, say, four, for instance) presets that make changing your sound on the fly effortless — and the results limitless.

Like our last gear feature, this list was compiled by a group of Guitar World staffers, including Technical Editor Paul Riario. As always, these five pedals are presented in no particular order.

Strymon TimeLine

For maximum tweakabilitiy and sheer processing power, virtually nothing surpasses the TimeLine from Strymon.

With the ability to save up to 200(!) presets, you can take full advantage of the TimeLine's 12 delay engines, each of which are further customizable by the unit's front panel controls for Time, Repeats, Mix, Filter, Grit, Mod Speed and Mod Depth.

Add in the ultra-powerful SHARC digital signal processor and you might just have more than enough brain power to take Apollo 11 to the moon — or, at the very least, create some killer delay sounds!

MSRP: $449 | Learn more about this pedal here.

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