We’ve all been there. We play guitar in our rooms and we find the tone to be uninspiring and two-dimensional. If only there was this device that we could use to make our guitar sound a little bigger.
Enter the wonderful effect we’ve come to know as a delay. Delay is one of the most used effects in music. I guarantee that every record you listen to will have a delay on it!
Since it became such a desirable effect, guitarists have had delay pedals on their board. So, let’s have a look at some mini delay pedals.
What Are The Best Mini Delay Pedals?
The short answer to this question is there is not a “best pedal” of any kind. However, picking a pedal is like deciding what to order in a restaurant.
Someone might like a burger, whereas someone else might prefer a medium-rare steak. There’s no right or wrong! All products mentioned in this article are great at what they do. So, look at this list as my favorite flavors of delay, and see which one you like the most!
I have selected a quartet of delay pedals, which are:
TC Electronic Flashback 2 Mini
MXR Carbon Copy Mini
Ibanez AD Mini
Right then, let’s go more in-depth!
TC Electronic Flashback 2 Mini Delay (Most Versatile)
The Flashback 2 Mini Delay looks like a very simple pedal. Boasting three knobs controlling delay level, feedback, and delay time it might seem like it’s a one-trick pony, but don’t let its simple look fool you!
TC Electronic have become true pioneers in the effect pedal market with their revolutionary Toneprint technology. You basically hook your pedal up to your computer, and with a very user-friendly program, you can alter every parameter you can think of.
Simply put, it’s a custom delay pedal. From the delay length (up to 7 seconds!) to the amount of simulated analog saturation, you can alter anything.
You can program the MASH feature to achieve self-oscillation just like old-school tape and analog delays, or you can increase the number of repeats to create more ambiance for a specific line you’re playing.
This thing is TINY, you can fit it on any board!
Versatility, you can get this thing to make any noise you want.
Quality construction, after years of heavy stomping mine is still going strong.
The knobs are close to the footswitch, so settings might get knocked around when engaging it in an enthusiastic live setting.
There’s not a lot of flat surfaces to put Velcro on the pedal, which can make the Velcro get off the bottom of the pedal.
The MXR M299 Carbon Copy Mini captures all the mojo and versatility of the original Carbon Copy delay — the BBD-based analog signal path and 600ms of lush modulated repeats — in a space-saving mini format.
Analog delay is known for sounding darker than digital delays, and next to its darker timbre, the Carbon Copy Mini Delay also introduces harmonic saturation in the delay repeats, as well as some modulation to add more depth to the delay, which doesn’t get in the way of the dry tone.
The pedal has three knobs with the mix knob controlling the amount of delayed signal that gets blended in with the dry guitar signal. The delay knob sets the length of the delay time (up to 600 ms), and the regen knob controls how often you get a delayed signal after your dry signal.
Next to the knobs on the pedal’s surface, its got a lot of features underneath the hood, such as a toggle switch on the pedal’s side to make the delay sound brighter.
The Mooer Reecho manages to capture the essence of three archetypal delays. This makes it a great pedal for those wanting to get into delays, without the risk of option paralysis.
And at its very sharp price, it’s great for guitarists looking to build their first pedalboard.
This tiny fellow is quite simple in control layout. There’s a level knob that controls the amount of delayed signal you get, a feedback knob to change the number of repeats, and a delay time that lets you set the time of the delay.
Next to the three knobs, there’s also a three-way toggle switch that lets you choose the type of delay you want. There’s an analog mode, which is the darkest sounding delay.
There’s also tape, which captures the essence of a tape delay, which is described as warm and spacious. The “RealEcho” setting is the most interesting one of the three delay types.
The folks at Mooer attempted to recreate the sound of a natural delay, which is the kind of delay you hear when you clap in a long tunnel. This is quite a unique delay type, which isn’t found in many other delay pedals.
“RealEcho” feature captures a unique delay type begging to be experimented with.
Multiple delay types will allow for uncomplicated tweaking
For the price, it’s an absolute steal
The black Level and Feedback control are difficult to see on a dark stage
If you want to have more flexibility, its bigger brother might be a better option
Next to making guitars, Ibanez has also had their hand in creating some of the most iconic effects pedals known to mankind, such as the ts808 Tubescreamer and the AD9 analog delay!
The AD Mini is Ibanez’s recreation of the AD9 pedal they released a couple of decades ago. It’s the simplest pedal on the list, but don’t let it fool you. The AD Mini is really good at what it does!
As stated above, the AD mini is quite simple, boasting a delay time, feedback, and a blend knob.
The cool thing about this pedal is its use of the V3208 BBD chip. What the chip basically does is degrade the delayed signal based on the number of repeats, meaning the repeats get darker, and more saturated after each repeat.
Another cool feature of the pedal is its increased delay time. The AD mini has a maximum delay time of 600 milliseconds. That’s double the amount of delay time of the pedal the AD mini attempts to replicate. That makes this pedal great for playing ambient pieces that require longer delay times.
Extended delay time makes it more versatile.
Dark repeats that don’t get in the way of lead playing.
Its simple layout makes it easy to use.
Might not be the best option if you’re looking for brighter delay sounds.
The blend and feedback controls are difficult to see in dark stages.
Having a delay on the pedalboard is pretty much a must if you’re a guitarist that’s either gigging, doing studio sessions, or experimenting with sounds.
A good delay can add so much color and dimension to your playing that it can be hard to turn off. This list of top-tier mini delay pedals tries to help you find the delay sound that best suits your needs, whether that would be larger than life Brian May style delay harmonies, a simple slapback, or modulated tape delay.