Analog vs Digital Delay Pedals

One of the most common questions for a guitarist is what is the difference between an analog delay versus a digital delay. Sometimes the explanation is too technical that they explain about resistors, capacitors and IC’s. This is probably because digital and analog are normally jargons for electronics.

There are Analog Circuitry and Digital Circuitry

So what those have got to do with Delay Pedals?

Both are actually used to make an Analog Sounding Delay and a Digital Sounding Delay.

So you might be thinking.


Analog Circuitry = Analog Sounding

Digital Circuitry = Digital Sounding”

Let’s get back to that while I explain more

Normally for delay pedals, Analog and Digital are classified as sounds. Not as circuits. If you notice some delay pedals have an "Analog” feature because it emulates the analog sounding delay. If that is the case, So what type of circuitry is this? Analog or Digital?

Let’s make a list of differences first and get back to that question


Example pedals are MXR Carbon Copy and Electro-Harmonix Memory Man.

Normally more expensive for what it can do

Sound - Less treble and more bass. Hence the term "warm sounding”

Circuitry - Shorter delay time

                  Cannot save presets. Unless they put a separate circuit inside the pedal to save presets


Example pedals are Boss DD series and TC Electronic Flashback Series

Normally cheaper for what it can do

Sound – Can be tweaked

                Can sound trebly.

                Can also have warm sound via Analog setting.

Circuitry - Lots of presets

Can save your own preset

Longer delay time

So in this case, is this true?

Analog Circuitry = Analog Sounding

Digital Circuitry = Digital Sounding

Based on the example, the relationship can be vice versa.

So in conclusion, if you are looking for delay pedals, I would suggest to consider the sound first over the circuitry because sound is more important for a musician.

If you are looking for warm sounding delay, try looking at the digital cicruit delays first that can emulate an analog sound. Because it can help you save presets and have longer delay time. If you are minimalist that only wants a simple warm delay, then an analog circuit delay is enough for you. But do take note that they are sometimes more expensive and can only do so little.

PS. The IC pt2399 chip is a digital component used on some delays that claim to be analog. Just an FYI, if the delay pedal has pt2399, then it is a Digital circuitry that is Analog sounding.