Jul 12, 2010

The classic Electro Harmonix Memory Man series pedals are simply some of the best sounding analog delays ever made. The only problem is that they are HUGE, occupying about a third of the space of an average pedal board!

The Memory Boy took a step back by removing level/gain knob, but a step forward by adding an input for an expression pedal. Later the Memory Toy was even smaller and cheaper (but mono).

Recently, the NY based company released the Deluxe Memory Boy. You might guess that this pedal is a scaled down version of the classic Deluxe Memory Man. Incorrect – this is its own animal, not missing any features as the diminutive name might imply. The all important gain knob featured on the older designs has returned, and the expression pedal is still intact. But now you can choose which delay or modulation parameter you are tweaking with the pedal. Set the expression pedal to adjust feedback, use the new tap tempo switch, and you might not need to bend down to adjust your delay for the whole gig!

Tap Tempo on a Memory man – I’m sure a ton of guitarists dreamed about that. That’s what this pedal is all about.. It’s the beloved memory man delay sound, with lots of fun tools for “delaying” in tempo with the song.

There’s an extremely handy subdivision switch to adjust the delay to be half a quarter, or a triplet value of the tempo you tapped. The modulation section is… different. it’s actually modulating the delay time at the rate of the “rate” knob, and by the amount of the “depth” knob. Which direction you move from center on the depth knob chooses from a saw or square waveform shape respectively.

This allows you to get a chorus-like effect that has the ability to get weird and on the square side of things some sort of pitch step modulation… the farther you turn the “depth” the larger the steps, and the rate knob controls the steps’ speed.

This may sound a little confusing, but that’s what makes the EH stuff cool in my opinion. They don’t “play it safe” with the controls. The minimum and maximums are way beyond what other pedals would think are useful.

So don’t be confused by the diminutive name, this boy knows a few tricks that the old Man never even thought of…

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