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Worst digital delay pedals. Effects Pedals, Units & Accessories
Old 20th September 2018
Gear Nut

Originally Posted by gladf7 View Post
"The DL4 sounds great, and it's a favorite amongst a

Really 15 delays why??
For 2 different reasons.

I'm a mixing Engineer and I use most of my Delay units for mixing,
What happens is that if I use a lot a specific Delay unit while mixing a record I try not use that unit on the next records I mix.
But if it's a unit I like I have difficulties in selling or getting rid of it even if I'm not using it for the next year.
Also I like to have different options so I bought different units.
After some years you end up with quite a few units.

The other reason is that I like Delay units and also have them as a collector, started with the tape delays, but when the digital pedal emulations started to sound good I also embraced those units, and I'm quite happy with them. El Capistan is excellent as is the Line 6 DL4.

I use the DL4 for guitar also, and I will leave it only for guitar duties now as Line 6 released the AAX version of the Echo Farm plugin, a favorite Delay plugin in the TDM world.

Thanks for your post
Old 22nd September 2018
Originally Posted by Fibreman View Post
No beef with the DL-4 here either. Good sounding unit which I'd still have around if I could rely on it. I wonder how much hate directed towards it is just your common or garden Line6 snobbery. Although these days you'd argue it has been some way usurped by Strymon & TC.

For those whose ears can't tell the difference between drive and modulation, a glossary for tweak & tweez were on a couple of stickers you could stick to your unit (like with some multi-function boss pedals). Again, maybe some were too snobby to take the hint.
I got my DL-4 used, no stickers. And that's a pretty crappy work-around for an inherently bad design. Still doesn't get around the electronic design flaws - the way that changing the "head setting" resets the "motor speed" and the fact that the "head selection" is on an imprecise pot rather than a precise switch, as it should be. That's ignoring the fact that it sounds like a Line 6 product. Using it live I could ignore the lack of tone. I can't ignore the fact that it doesn't work right.
Old 22nd September 2018
Gear Addict
ThorSouthshire's Avatar
I've never used any line6 stuff that didn't make my sound "thinner" in some way. How is it snobbery to want to keep whatever tone you had in the first place? the DL4 while advanced at the time is an old old old digital delay pedal from prosumer heydays and if you made your sound out of it and it still works for you then you're probably a mighty fine guitarist and it doesn't matter what you use anyway as long as you know your way around it. Right now though, there are loads of other better alternatives out there for anyone wanting to pick up their first advanced delay, so why not start with something better?

It's certainly not the worst delay pedal, but it's certainly some sort of comprise for whatever you're aiming at soundwise.
Old 22nd September 2018
Originally Posted by iLCacciLLo View Post
The DL4 sounds great, and it's a favorite amongst a lot of people.
Whose listening is not all that critical, sure. I know a bunch of them.


I have 5 tape delays (Copicat MKIV, Roland Chorus Echo RE-501, Fulltone Tube tape Echo (Echoplex EP-2), Binson Echorec A602TR and Echolette E51), I also have some analog delays, the Boss DM-2, Deluxe Memory Man, Yamaha E1010.
The Binson is not a tape echo, it's a drum.

When was the last time your RE-501 was given a full servicing? About 90% of the Roland Space Echos that are around these days are defective in one or more ways. By "full servicing" I mean a full motor overhaul including bearings, a new pinch roller, head alignment, etc? There are only a couple of places in the world that do this work, although you can order a kit IF you are a competent tape recorder service person, which is a dying art itself.

While we're at it, when was the last time your Copicat and Echolette were serviced?

The reason I ask is that most people have no standard to judge whether a tape echo emulation is good or not. A number of them emulate broken machines.

The Fulltone is nice as Echoplexes go, I've never been too fond of moving head machines as they don't really maintain alignment that well.

On the digital Effects I have Strymon El Capistan, Boss DD-2, Boss DD-5, Catalinbread Echorec, Boss RE20

The only thing I can say is that the DL4 holds pretty well sound-wise to any of the best pedals and tape delays of the bunch, and even though I have a lot of options I think it sound so good I use it regularly.
I'm happy for you.

The user interface has 1 rotary switch to select the models, one knob for delay time, one for repeats/feedback and another knob for Mix, pretty straightforward like any other delay pedal, a child could use it.
The other 2 knobs tweek and tweez are model dependent.
So saying that the user interface is "Dumb" it's pretty ridiculous to say the least, and it's not true.
OK, then please explain in a simple and concise manner what "tweak" and "tweeze" mean?

You can't. they change function with every emulation. Line 6 uses the same nomenclature for controls on other pedals that aren't even echo FX. It's nebulous nonsense.

Asd usual, Line 6 is trying to cram too many "features" into a single unit witgh the result that the job they fo on any one of them is mediocre at best. I would much rather have a box that does ONE THING EXCELLENTLY than a box that attempts everything and does a poor job on all.

Also if you had some "one dimensional tone" whatever that means to you, it was coming for your playing or your rig, because the delays in the DL4 are far from one dimensional.
It's clear you don't comprehend what I'm talking about. I'm speaking of TONE, not the types of echo effect. The one-dimemsional tone of Line 6 is famous. It's the single most common complaint about the majority of their products. I'm told the Helix is significantly better but have not had a chance to either spend time with it myself or have an extensive in person demo by a factory demo guy.


You seem to have a personal problem with the Line 6 brand, and it's really blurring your opinions and vision on a good product of a brand you personally don't like.
As far as the DL-4 product is concerned, I owned one for over two years, which was long enough to known that I hate the damned thing. I also had one of their modeling amps in my studio for a couple of years taking up space until it's owner finally got it out of their. In that entire time it didn't make it on to a single recording. Even the crappy little solid state Fender Bullet practice amp I got for $20 at a thrift store got used for a track or two in that time, but not the Line 6 - it just doesn't sound good.I played with a steel guitarist for 3 years who used a Line 6 Pod in his live rig - it actually cost us bookings, the sound was so bad. He insisted on using it with a little Class D power amp because it was lightweight and he didn't want to haul my Twin Reverb around. There's more, but that's enough.

Do you really think I would dislike the brand that much if I hadn't given their products an extensive tryout?

I don't like them because they don't sound good to me and they're generally confusing to use. I want knobs that do ONE FUNCTION and do them well. I want things that do a job and do it as well as possible, not boxes that try to be all things to all people, which invariably compromises both ease of use and audio quality. I like stuff built to a level of quality, not a price point or maximum number of "features" per buck. And I like stuff that "just works". Line 6 is the antithesis of all these things. When I was much younger and stupid I went in for all those things. I thought they were "bargains" or "more bang for the buck". It cost me a fair bit of money along the way, but I learned.

If Line 6 were to change their philosophy and start making simple, high quality, well built gear that sounds excellent then I'd be more than happy to reconsider. But they're not going to do that, they make far to much money the way it is and going the high end route would cut their profit margins considerably. Possibly Yamaha will make a difference but I have my doubts - Yamaha's public reputation is far better than their build quality except in pianos,. orchestral wind instruments, and motorcycles.

There's a sucker born ever minute.
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