Danelectro Back Talk Reverse Delay review

Danelectro's vintage pedal reissues continue apace with this cult delay stompbox

Danelectro Back Talk Reverse Delay pedal
(Image: © Future)

Guitar World Verdict

Niche? Absolutely. But if you really like reverse delay then having a dedicated pedal for it makes perfect sense, and this one is warm and musical.

Pros

  • +

    Mix knob is a powerful ambience shaper.

  • +

    Warmer tone than many multi-delays.

  • +

    Fun, old-school setup and tones.

Cons

  • -

    Well, if you can spare the pedalboard real estate, why not?

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Danelectro's vintage range sees the retro-minded brand reissue a number of effects (opens in new tab) pedals that have went out of production over the years. Some, such as the FOXX 3699 Fuzz (opens in new tab), date all the way back to Danelectro owner Steve Ridinger's 70s designs.

Launched in the '90s, the Balk Talk Reverse Delay pedal might be a little more recent but it has nonetheless fallen off the radar, and as with pedals that fall of the radar, the price for a secondhand unit is rising.

Used versions of the strangely owl-shaped Back Talk from the early Noughties can now sell for prices way in excess of £200. Ripe for reissue, then, although this time it’s less aerodynamically shaped. 

(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

Designed for 1960s tape reverse effects, it takes any note you play and repeats a backwards version of it after a set delay time.

A Repeats knob governs the number of repeats from one to infinite, while the Speed knob sets the length of that delay, with results from otherworldly reverb’d tremolo-type effects through to longer backward echoes that can sound mesmerising, especially when you can get your playing right in sync with them.

Key to the effect is the Mix knob, which can go from dialling in just enough haunting ambience to pique your audience’s interest, through to removing the dry sound completely for a fully psychedelic experience.

Many multi-delay pedals will give you reverse delay, but there’s something about this one’s chewy warm sound and smooth playability that sets it apart.

Specs

  • PRICE: $199, £189
  • ORIGIN: China
  • TYPE: Fuzz pedal
  • FEATURES: True bypass
  • CONTROLS: Volume, Tone, Fuzz, Stock/Mid Boost switch, Octave footswitch, Bypass footswitch
  • CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output
  • POWER: 9V battery or 9V DC adaptor (not supplied)
  • DIMENSIONS: 60 (w) x 113 (d) x 58mm (h)
  • CONTACT: Danelectro (opens in new tab)

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Trevor Curwen has played guitar for several decades – he's also mimed it on the UK's Top of the Pops. Much of his working life, though, has been spent behind the mixing desk, during which time he has built up a solid collection of the guitars, amps and pedals needed to cover just about any studio session. He writes pedal reviews for Guitarist and has contributed to Total Guitar, MusicRadar and Future Music among others.