[review] Empress Effects Super Delay (by LordRiffenstein)

LordRiffenstein, all-around tone freak and purveyor of great tone.

Empress Effects

This Ottawa, Ontario based company has been around for some time now. They are building a nice range of pedals that started off with delay and modulation but got recently expanded with drive and compressor pedals. They have a knack for building pedals with a twist and then some and pack a lot of options and tweakability in them. I’m reviewing 3 of their pedals, here's the SuperDelay. Check out my reviews for the Tap Tremolo and ParaEQ as well.

SuperDelay

The SuperDelay comes in a bigger box but that's to be expected if you see the amount of controls it has. I really like the graphics, they look great. There's a lot going on with this pedal. Check the manual for an in depth look but here are some of the features. You have a Mode-switch with 8 modes and a 3-way switch for 3 versions of each mode. You can add a filter (lp/hp) to the delay or add modulation. There's a dedicated mix control, you can add an expression pedal etc etc. The icing on the cake are the 8 user defined presets. The feature list is breathtaking!

The pedal in use

Is this pedal only for delay-freaks? Yes and no... It is possibly overkill if you only need a slapback delay or a simple tap delay. It pulls these off with ease but there is so much more, it might get you to discover what delays can do for your tone and playing. If you ARE a delay-freak, you are in for a treat!

Before looking at what you can get from this pedal, let me make it absolutely clear that you cannot get a bad sounding delay from this pedal. Not only does it sound great, it also felt really nice to play and no matter where I put it, in front of an amp or in the loop, I was able to get great results.

The amount of fun you can have with this pedal is huge, in fact, I played it extensively for a couple of weeks while jamming/practicing at home and then I realized I hadn't even tried the looper. Also, the more wacky modes on there, e.g. the reverse octave thing, might not be extremely useful but they are extreme good fun to mess about with.

I filled up the 8 presets nicely with a couple of normal tap delays, a few tape delays, 1 reverse and a dynamic delay and I could tackle pretty much anything I need delay-wise. If you need more, you have to look at pretty advanced rack delays and that says a lot about this pedal. Kudos to Empress Effects for keeping it intuitive. I was able to dial in great settings without the manual. The print of the modes on the front of the pedal is an excellent idea. I only needed to refer to the manual to figure out the presets and the looper. With an expression pedal plugged in, you can create some great soundscapes and get the oscillation going!

I actually only have 2 small niggles about this pedal: the switches are a little too close together so I sometimes hit 2 at the same time and they should have made a stereo version! Seriously, it is not cheap but you get a lot of pedal for your money. It's out there with the best of the best and as far as delay pedals go, it will be very hard to top it.

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