Whats your favourite 'clean' delay?

Always wondered this question… I love what serum FX does to my stuff, super clean to my ears but saying that its only really for post as im not wanting to use the computer when It comes to doing live so was wondering more for a stereo pedal that I can use ya know!

Strymon timeline is what im using and just doesn’t do the trick… Sounds muddy and coloured and not in a nice way, no mater how much I dial it in it’s just not working.

Would love to hear what people have too say, pedal or no pedal. I’m interested!

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For clean delays I have always been a fan of Boss Digital Delay pedals. I have used their standards like DD-5 and DD-3. For the mac daddy, check out the DD-500, there are some good reviews on it. And for something a little smaller and cheaper, the new DD-200 looks cool, and has a 60 second looper mode as well. And I believe both of those are stereo and have midi as well.


Fabfilter Timeless

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BOSS DD-500 for hardware
UAD Precision Delay Mod for software

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Eventide TimeFactor has a straightforward clean Digital Delay mode that you can set to have no modulation or filtering. Strymon Dig also has a clean 24bit / 96khz mode that sounds pretty flawless to me, I’ve never used a Timeline though so don’t know how it compares to the clean modes on that.


Cheers :beers: people! Boss DD-500 looks the ticket.

Think im now going to sell my timeline!

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If you want more indepth opinions about the DD-500, here are my thoughts after having used one for over a year now.

  • The algos on this pedal are DOPE. I had a H9 earlier with all the timefactor algos, and while the H9 algos had variety, the pedal always had this particular sound to it regardless of the algo used. On the DD-500, the various alogs sound like totally different pedals altogether, a big plus!

  • The DD-500 has a parametric eq for the fx return path. This means that you can shape the wet fx path nicely to the desired bandwidth without having to patch the fx return to a channelstrip eq. This helps immensely in getting the delays to sit in the mix without muddying things up.

  • The DD-500 has a pseudo envelope follower type of modulation slot which can be assigned to any parameter. This enables all kinds of trippy things, like level-dependent delay time modulation, ducking delay, and on and on…

  • All parameters are controllable via MIDI

  • Setting the delay time is flexible but slightly awkward from a hands-on POV. The delay time control is a stepped encoder, so accuracy is there at the expense of speed. Forget about doing fast delaytime sweeps.

  • The pedal is a bit on the bulky side, takes significant space in a pedalboard

hope that helps


Boss DD-7 for hardware.
Replika XT for software.

pro tip: Vox Delaylab.

change the chicken head knobs, tweak away.

CV Input, Sync Modes, fine tune, 28sec looper, tap tempo, 32 algorithms (Korg development) self resonant, clean and in stereo.

Octatrack! :loopy: It’s fx delay is ok but with resampling and feedback you can make incredible things with pitch, reverse, filtering, comb filters…And it also can be very clean.

I had DD3, limited but fun, Timeline and Timefactor, good but expensive just for delays.


Eventide H9 Max. Tons of delay flavors and a boatload of other fx.

230€ second hand. A very interesting double delay, the real deal!

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TC Electronics Nova Delay

Looks like between $115-$130 these days(used). Stereo inputs and outputs.

The color knob goes between tape, analog, and digital. Digital is super clean FYI.

One of my “keepers” for sure :slight_smile:

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Im interested in either the Boss pedals or the t.c. electronics. From the vids ive seen they seem to fit my needs best.

if anyone wants to buy a timeline ill sell ya one! :money_mouth_face:

the strymon dig is also good and simple with three main algo and dual delay if you want.

Thanks. Ill give the videos a watch. If i’m honest my mind has been put off strymons altogether now but thats a terrible way to think and I need to snap myself out of that process.

I don‘t really know the sound of the Strymon Timeline, but reading suggestions here like the Boss DD3 or something, I doubt these are gonna be the type of clean you‘re looking for.

Maybe also think of a bit of additional EQing, the lows and low mids on very dense delay swells tend to make everything sound muddy.

TC D-Two…?

Thanks for the input. Out of curiosity, what makes you doubt that?

Ive got my delays running through an Aux so i’m able to EQ through the stereo channel. Saying that the EQ on the AUX only covers 3 frequency bands which I feel isn’t enough to take the mud out without taking a huge portion of the delay away. Still, the timeline is extremely coloured and Im not fond of the colouring. Im wanting something that repeats what’s going in (give or take) just like the ping pong algorithm on the serum fx. Maybe i’m asking too much I dunno…

looks cool actually, not sure about rackmount though as I plan to keep it as small as possible for when the days of performing live arrive.