“I’ve never heard it sound this good, ever”: Meet the ultra-precise, digital-meets-analog Delay pedal that has Josh Scott raving

Benson Amps has unveiled its all-new delay pedal, the aptly named Delay. The latest addition to the firm's celebrated stompbox lineup, it looks every bit as impressive as every other Benson offering to date.

That alone is quite the statement, given Benson has been the brains behind some of the best boutique effects pedals over the past few years. That includes the game-changing, self-biasing Germanium Boost pedal, and the temperate-controlled fuzz pedal, the Stonk Box.

Well, if you were impressed by both those offerings, prepare to be blown away once again by Benson, which has created a seriously powerful, scarily accurate delay unit.

At first glance, it looks fairly unassuming. There are two footswitches – one for bypass and another for tap tempo – as well as five control knobs that are responsible for LFO Speed, LFO Depth, Feedback, Tape and Mix parameters.

Benson Delay pedal

(Image credit: Benson)

These all behave exactly as you’d expect, but there are some additional functions to note. 

For example, holding down Bypass then tapping Tap lets players access a menu, where they can toggle between Sine, Square, and Random waveforms, and Quarter, Dotted Eighth, and Eighth note divisions.

Elsewhere, a self-oscillating feedback effect to hold out notes can be channeled by holding down the Tap footswitch.

The magic of the Delay is in its meticulously crafted circuit, which has been built around a digital PT2399 chip. With bucket brigade characteristics, this particular chip was (as per JHS Pedals’ Josh Scott) originally intended to add slapback delays to karaoke machines, but in this instance promises a far more precise, yet expansive, pedalboard application.

“We wanted to avoid the more modern issues of delay design,” Benson explains, “like the digital jaggedness that can come from adjusting the time control on a digitally clocked device, whether analog or a fully digital simulation.”

Indeed, in the brand’s own words, this delay unit – which recruits an analog wrapping – features “the most accurate tap tempo ever applied to the PT2399.” However, to curate such a precise, luscious circuit is no small feat, with Scott waxing lyrical about the pedal’s sonic achievements.

“The 2399 has been used in tons of great delays, but I’ve never seen it used like this,” Scott says in his must-hear demo. “I’ve never heard it sound this good, ever. And I seriously mean that, I have never heard a 2399 delay sound like this.

“It feels like a bucket brigade, but it’s so much more precise, because of the way [Benson] designed the circuit around the digital chip.”

Again, that’s quite the statement, especially when one considers the delays that use the PT2399 chip, such as the EarthQuaker Devices Space Spiral, Caroline Kilobyte, and SolidGoldFX Electroman MkII.

So, how does it sound, exactly? Well, really darn good. With a whopping delay range of 30ms to 1250ms, the Delay can quite easily go fast enough to tap into chorus, vibrato, and modulated sounds, but also slow enough to weave ambient soundscapes.

It's another hit for Benson, but this could just be the start: back in June last year, the company teased a sibling for the PT2399-loaded delay – the classic bucket brigade V3205 Delay – which could be arriving soon.

The Delay is available now for $279. Head over to Benson to find out more.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.