Boutique purists must have winced when Danish pedal maker T-Rex partnered with Guitar Center on four new pedals, but judging by the Tap Tone Delay (TTD), they don’t need to worry. At $169, the TTD is at least a Benjamin short of T-Rex’s regular pricing, but its makers don’t seem to have cut many corners.
I’ve felt sturdier pedals before, but the TTD’s metal case will withstand the rigors of regular use. Controls are well considered: “Delay,” “Feedback” and “Time” govern the usual delay parameters. The curveball control here is “Bite,” which T-Rex says adds vintage color. It actually is better thought of as a tone control for the delay’s repeats, and it makes a big
difference when Delay and Feedback are at higher settings, putting a crisp edge on a nice warm feedback loop.
The TTD also comes with a Tap footswitch. To match tempo with a drummer, just keep time with your toe and you’re all set. The speed stays that way until you alter the Time setting. In any mode, a red light flashes in time with the delay so you know what you’re
getting before you engage it. The TTD is easy to set up, whether you want surf-tinged slap back or you’re looking
for a spacier vibe. I had fun playing with the long delay settings, cutting back the wet mix to create a complex sonic squall behind simple guitar licks. The controls interact so intuitively that whether you’re looking to tastefully color your sound or accomplish
something more adventurous, you’re never far away. Ultimately, the Guitar Center linkup has done nothing to tarnish T-Rex’s brand—on the contrary, it has brought a versatile and intuitive delay pedal to market at a price point the masses can more easily afford.—Howard J. Stock