I suppose everyone will have his favorites and, ever since I got my hands on a TC 2290 when I was younger, I've been a TC fan. The 2290 has a beautiful hi-fi sound and a multi-tap function, the first I'd seen on any delay. I like the main Lexicon studio models from about the same era but they're totally unaffordable. That move a few years back for TC and Lexicon to release budget and mid range models made a big difference to me (the same lush reverbs) so I bought an M-one and a D-Two but couldn't give up my old delays because they had a completely different sound.
For that chunky delay sound that works so well on dub effects I do like the BOSS units but don't forget the Digitech delays from the late '80s - these have 12-bit /15 KHz sampling and sound really fat (pretty sure they're 12-bit not 16 but I may have to check on that). Does anyone remember the Frontline delays? They were a bit too low-fi for me. The Midiverbs were game changers in their day too - sure that Mad Professor used these but they were out of my price range when I was a kid. The Yamaha Rev5 and-7 were awesome too.
I think that it's how you use a delay that makes the most difference for dub sounds - I won't give away my secrets on the www but I'm sure you all know some tricks. I'll say this though: I've never been able to replicate a good dub sound with software.
from a dj point of view i would only use effects, while i was in the mix or to heighten a part of a song. How do u guys use them..... do you use effects in setting up your sound systems or just for effects on some tunes.......
I can only speak from what I’ve used in the higher end recording studios around the world and also what’s in my personal FOH FX rack that I take on tours with me.
Without doubt the best delay ever is the Bel BD80. The regen is out of this world and the saturation comes out and cuddles you for a week. I know for a fact that delay has been used on the most dub mixes ever, but they are normally hidden away or people will not talk of them. I would never even attempt to do any dub remix or have an MC chat at a dance without a Bel BD80 with me.
The better delays are all BBD or bucket brigade device. The better, or worse ones usually use a 555 timer chip. There is no way in the world that a digital delay can come close to a BBD. Once you have used a good BBD you can never use a digital delay again. To be honest I laugh when I see digital FX used for vocals at dances. It’s akin to making and fitting a Ferrari body kit for you robin reliant 3 wheeler then driving it to a Ferrari owners club meeting.
Next best thing for saturated long regens, although not quite as good as the Bel is the original Echoplex . This is a very old tape loop unit with valves and good ones are fetching mortgage kind of money these days. The solid state EP-2 is also very good.
The Roland space echo is also in my collection and has its place. Nearly as good as the Echoplex but affordable.
Another well kept secret is the Melos DE 1. There is also an older tape version called the Melos Echo Chamber and that can do some great saturation too.
The Evans EchoPet EP-100 is also a very good analouge BBD and can be had quite cheap these days.
For the digital stuff I a have a AMS DMX 15-80, its quite clean and I would only use it for accuarte what goes in comes out type of delay FX.
I also have 3 Yamaha SPX 900’s. These were the only FX units where you colud sweep a parmetric EQ before a delay and sound great on indiviual snare or HH hits. In the studio I would just use the bel and manually sweep the parametric freq control with the gain up full, but for live use the SPX 900’s can do that and leave your hands free for other stuff. The SPX 990 lost the sweeping filter so is useless really.
I also love the Korg DVR 3000. It’s a dual unit and is so cool you even get a remote control.
PCM 80 for reverbs and that’s about it really. If you on a tight budget then you can get a very nice almost PCM 80 like reverb from a Yamaha REV 500. For me it’s a PCM 80 or the REV 500 or nothing.
Here’s a link to the Bel BD 80 manual, and no I’m not selling mine.