What better way to enter into the New Year than with a top-notch delay unit, lord knows if there's one effect we cannot afford to skimp on it's delay. Whenever I think of the cream of the crop effects pedal companies DLS Effects is always one of the few that comes to mind. Think amazing quality, splendid sound, and endless features and you have DLS Effects. DLS's specialty is bridging the old with the new, what you get in the end is a pedal with a vintage vibe and modern features. These are stompboxes you can use in all applications, whether it be studio, live, practice, or experimental. Where I've been able to get the most use out of these pedals though is in live situations, this is where these pedals absolutely shine, when working them on the fly. If you're looking for a collection of effects pedals you can keep around forever, that will deliver what you want when you want them to, DLS is the way to go.
* Echo 1 Delay Time: 16 Positions/50ms-3 seconds
* Echo 1 Volume: Controls Echo 1 volume
* Tap Tempo: Tap in from 30ms-3 seconds
* Tap Volume: Controls Tao Echo volume
* Echo Repeats: Sets number of repeats
* Echo Tone: Adjusts echo tone only
* Echo 1/Tap Tempo Footswitch: Switches between Echo 1 and Tap Echo
* On/Off Footswitch: Switches between On and Bypass
* Technology: Hi Quality Analog and 16 Bit electronics
* Sample Rate: 44.1 kHz, 256x oversample
* Power: +9vdc Input for 9-13.8vdc/works with any polarity
* Truebypass Switching
* Stereo In & Outs for number of options
* Analog instrument signal is maintained
* Steel Enclosure/Steel Pots/Steel Jacks
* Powder Coated Enclosure
* Designed and Built in the USA by engineer/musicans
* Every unit is tested
* Internal adjustment pots for Input and Output level
The first of the DLS Effects collection we will be looking at is the world famous EchoTap. When it comes to ultimate features, user friendliness, and a fantastic sound... the EchoTap takes on the job perfectly. The overall vibe of this pedal is quality, quality, quality. The EchoTap will take you everywhere from vintage analog unit warm tones, to sparkling clear digital repeats. As a delay pedal alone the EchoTap is a remarkable unit, the quality of the delays and the fact that this pedal leaves your root tone untainted has made this one of the top choices for many pros and everyday players. Where I've found this pedal to work best for me though is through my amp's Effects Loop. I don't know how many great sounding delay pedals I've ran through my Effects Loop only to find out they sound awful, too noisy, or down right muddy. For years I have been on the hunt for a delay unit I could use through my amp's Effects Loop, something that both works and sounds great. I'm happy to say that the EchoTap has beautifully taken over that job for my setup, and has been providing me with impeccable delay tones ever since. Before we get into some of the sounds I've been able to get out of this pedal let's first take a closer look at it's features. On the back of the unit you will find a Duel In & Outs and a +9VDC power input. The Ins and Outs can be used in a number of combinations which include stereo in/stereo out, mono in/stereo out, and of course mono in/mono out. This makes for a wide range of interesting delay sounds. The EchoTap's power jack will work with any polarity which makes it a dream for those of you who use 9V powered pedalboards or 9V power daisy chain supplies. The control panel consists of universal Echo Repeats and Echo Tone controls, Echo-1 Volume, Tap Echo Volume, Echo-1 Delay Time knob, Echo-1/Tap Echo switch, and On/Off switch. On the inside of the pedal you will find adjustment pots for Input and Output levels. All together this make for a seriously wide variety of sounds and options. The pedal let's you flip between a dialed-in preset delay and tap-tempo option. This means you can set your universal delay with the Echo-1 option and flip into the Tap Tempo mode when wanting to take the delay sound elsewhere. The Echo-1 option works as a preset delay that is controlled by the universal Repeats and Tone knobs, it's own Volume knob, and a 16-position Delay Time knob. The Tap Echo delay is also controlled with the universal Repeats and Tone knobs and has it's own volume, only the delay time is set with Echo Tap switch. Echo-1 offers 50ms-3 seconds of delay, and Tap Echo offers 30ms-3 seconds. With these two delay options you can dial in two entirely different sounds and toggle back & fourth without loosing your preset Echo-1 setting. The Tone knob is also really quite special and one of my favorite features on this pedal. With the EchoTap's Tone knob you can dial-in both perfect crystal clear or warm tape echo like delay sounds. Another great feature of the Tone knob is it only affects the delay repeats leaving the tone you've worked so hard to get intact. With the Tone knob all the way counter-clockwise (in it's crystal clear setting) you can get just about infinite repeats, this makes for some wild-out space echo madness. The Tone all the way clockwise will produce a more vintage feel delay sound, less sharp and defined. For a pedal with so many options you'll find it's really quite easy to use. Now that we tapped into some of it's controls let's go on to some delay tone goodness.
Like I said before, the way I've been using this pedal is through my amp's Effects Loop, not that the EchoTap doesn't sound equally as good straight through the front of my amp, but this way I don't have to worry about where to place it on your board or how it's going to affect the other pedals. First up to bat was the Echo-1 mode, I used this to dial in a nice general delay sound I could use with all my playing. The pedal delivered a perfect universal delay sound that cut through the mix just right and trailed off just enough to not get in the way of my playing. I found the 350ms and 400ms delay times worked best for this application. I set the delay's tone slightly towards the warmer side so that it would project as subtle as possible, and set the volume just behind my amp's tone so that it wouldn't overpower it. The end delay result wasn't too strong or too weak, it was just enough to let you know it was there. To get a more aggressive delay tone all you do is simply flip the Repeat knob a bit longer and run the Tone knob counter-clockwise for more defined echo repeats. I also dialed-in a killer slapback echo that had my partner's jaw on the floor, he's a big time chickin' pickin' and rockabilly freak. Anything from 50ms-150ms sounded great for slapback sounds. Again because of the EchoTap's wide range of tonal options you can sit and work out as precise a slapback as you want. Once I had few good general delay settings worked out with the Echo-1 mode I switched into the Tap Echo option. One thing you'll dig about this pedal's tap switch is how spot-on it is, it's easy on the foot, smooth, and latch-free. This makes tapping in on the fly a pleasure and not a drag. Next I unplugged from my amp's Effects Loop and plugged into two amps using the stereo In & Outs. We ran two equally measured CoreX2 solderless cables into a Deville and Twin. I set the EchoTap's overall tone to a sweet balance between warm and bright, ran a high number of repeats to make things fun, and kicked into the higher delay times. We set both amps at equal volume only set one warmer than the other to make the ping-pong effect more dramatic. This produced a springy and spacey delay effect that filled the air with a wave psychedelic trails. Next I rolled the Tone knob all the way counter-clockwise, set the repeats to 100%, and all of the madness you can imagine just broke loose throughout our entire studio. Each echo repeat came and went with perfect ease, fading smoothly without any sharp edges. The fun didn't end there though, no sir. Next we broke out a few of our favorite modulation pedals, overdrive pedals, and noise boxes. Then went to town dialing in a symphony beautifully odd delay sounds. I was able to get a great worn-in tape delay sound by adding a little bit of chorus and running the EchoTap's Tone knob warm. Running a hint of phaser also worked really nice to help with the flutter and warble effect. While in stereo mode we dialed in the most epic delay sound ever, U2's The Edge would've been proud. Before calling it quits I went back to my universal delay setting and added in some overdrive. This got me a beast of rhythm tone that accented my chords perfectly. The echo sound filled the atmosphere without getting out of control or getting in the way of my playing. With fuzz pedals and a long delay setting I was able to get some bugged out, out of this world sound effects. Everything I threw at this pedal sounded killer, oscillators, noise boxes, keyboards, you name it. Really I see no limit to what you can do with this pedal, it all depends on how wide your imagination is. If you're looking for that last delay unit you'll ever have to buy the EchoTap makes for a great candidate. If you're someone who uses more than one delay unit to get all their sounds this pedal will work wonders for you. The EchoTap takes care of it all, makes thigns easy, and frees you up from lots of unnecessary work. I am super stoked to bring you guys more from DLS Effects so please keep your eyes peeled, you'll be glad you did. The Echotap is a delay pedal built for one thing and one thing only... to serve you to the fullest. Go out and check one out!!!