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EH Big Muff - '70s model
Boss digital metalliser
Boss Overdrive (OD 2)
Boss blues driver
EH Holy Grail
Boss DD-3 (used for hold function)
The rig was powered by a Pedal Power unit and lots of batteries. No Jamman for these sessions, though one was used on Bett'r days which was recorded at an earlier session and variously called Drop D or New Orleans at the time. Guitars used were a '62 start, a '63 start and a '57ish Esquire. On bett'r days it was a black Robin Trower Signature strat.
I've been using a DL4 as my main delay pedal for a number of years but have been forced to reassess this. When we were in Philly we spent a few hours in 8th St music, an excellent music retailer which we'd certainly recommend. Anyone from the UK is going to love music stores in the US anyway, as everything seems to be half price. Anyhow, on reviewing the fine selection of effects pedals available the young man serving us told me that, in his opinion, the DL4 was not really a proper delay pedal. His main thrust was that it sounded too digital, it was almost not a 'proper' delay. He recommended a variety of boutique delays, his preference being the EH Memory Man, for its warm analogue sound.
Fender Bassman - an early reissue. This has been modded a fair bit, it is ridiculously loud ! And next to that, being mic'd at the time, an altogether more humble Fender Blues Pro Jnr, a small amp with a lot of tone.
Note the Fender Jazz - I can't remember the vintage, i think its seventies, but it sure looks nice.
With this in mind, and with a bit of spare time on my hands over the Xmas break, I pulled out my DL4, the Boss DD-20, Boss DD-3 and my old EH Memory Man. Now, the Memory Man sounds fab. It has a super warm feel that adds a lovely colour to your sound. But it hisses loudly, drops the level of your guitar signal when switched on and the delay time is pretty short. It also takes up a lot of space on the Board. The DD-3 is more flexible and cleaner, but its delay is rather 'digital'. I'd like to try a DD3 with a Keeley upgrade, I believe these are very good. What I love about the DL4 is its ability to save three echo presets. This allows me to have a short echo, a medium echo with single repeat and a medium with lots of repeats. All easily accessible, and with the added touch of a tap tempo so that delay time can be adjusted on the fly. The DD-20 offers similar capabilities but you can only access your presets by scrolling through the menu - in my opinion this is hopeless in a live situation and is a serious defect in Boss's thinking (I love their pedals generally - totally dependable and bullet proof). Anyhow, I sat for a few hours and compared the quality of echo available in the Line 6 compared to the Boss and the MM. Quite honestly the DL4 is at least as good as the others if not better. Overall then, high quality echoes and very user friendly. And I havn't even started on its looping capabilities. It still gets my vote.
Having finished doing my comparisons I picked up an old guitar mag and read a piece on John Frusciante, a brilliant guitar player and a man who must get free pedals thrown at him from all directions by manufacturers anxious for his endorsement. What delay does he have in his rig ? A DL4. I rest my case, young man in Philly.
The DL4 then is my favourite delay - except for the Lexicon Jamman of course. But I'll deal with that another time
The Road To Zabriskie Point