With its compact size, four control knobs and humble price, the Electro-Harmonix Canyon appears on the surface to be a basic version of what the name on the box suggests: a delay/reverb pedal with a looper function.
However, closer examination reveals that this is no basic delay/reverb effect but rather a versatile multi-function processor that delivers sophisticated, professional-quality effects that previously were the exclusive domain of expensive pedals and rack units. Canyon really is the perfect name for this pedal as it is impressively deep and incredibly fun and rewarding to explore.
The window to Canyon’s versatility is an 11-position rotary mode switch, which provides access to a looper function (62 seconds maximum) and 10 distinctly different delay modes: echo, modulated delay, multi-tap delay, reverse, Deluxe Memory Man, tape, reverb plus delay, octave delay, shimmer and sample/hold.
There also are standard control knobs for FX level (mix/balance), delay time (five milliseconds to three seconds) and feedback (single to infinite repeats), although the latter two also can provide secondary functions that are engaged by holding down the tap/divide switch (which normally is used for selecting quarter, eighth or dotted-eighth tap tempo divisions). A secondary knob mode is available for every effect mode except echo and looper, and three modes (multi-tap, reverse and sample/hold) provide a secondary function for the delay knob only.
Tap tempo can be set with the footswitch or an optional footswitch connected to the ¼-inch Tap In jack. The pedal also provides an internal Tails switch to either cut off or maintain delay tails when the effect is bypassed.
The sound quality and variety of effects that come out of this little box are simply staggering. Most delay pedals in a comparable price range offer the capabilities of only one or two of Canyon’s modes, and the 11 modes are so versatile and sophisticated that each is like a standalone stomp box effect unto itself.
The Deluxe Memory Man and Tape modes ooze lush analog warmth, while the Shimmer mode models four separate effects (compressor, pitch shifter and two delays) to deliver dazzling atmospheric digital textures that once were the exclusive realm of expensive studio processors. Recordings and overdubs made using the Looper mode are incredibly detailed and noise-free, and best of all the pedal permanently saves the last loop you recorded, even after the 9-volt power supply is disconnected.
Similarly, the pedal also can save secondary mode knob settings so you don’t need to reprogram your favorite effects.
LIST PRICE: $185.40
MANUFACTURER: Electro-Harmonix, ehx.com
● The mode switch provides instant access to 10 different delay modes and a Looper that records up to 62 seconds of audio plus overdubs.
● A secondary mode allows the Delay and Feedback knobs to control up to two additional parameters depending on which mode is selected.
THE BOTTOM LINE
With 10 outstanding delay/reverb effects, a 62-second looper, sophisticated professional sound quality, compact size and affordable price, the Electro-Harmonix Canyon offers incredible value for delay junkies and looping lunatics.