NEW VIDEOS EVERY WEEK! subscribe to our youtube channel.

063 | BOSS DD-500: A Closer Look at this Digital Delay Guitar Pedal | Transcript

Transcript

Back to Episode Homepage

Scott Schwertly:
Hello, and welcome to episode 63 of the Sonic Renegades podcast. We're exploring renegade pedals that have changed the music landscape. Up for today's discussion, we have another pedal from one of our favorite companies, and this is BOSS, specifically the BOSS DD-500. This one's a fun one, and we can't wait to unpack it on the other side.

Hey, everybody. Scott Schwertly and Eric Wilson of Siren Pedals with you today. Hope you are having a great one. Well, we are excited with the pedal that we have today. I know personally, I've had this pedal now for the last couple months, really enjoyed it throughout the summer months. And I've actually since then put it away, and I'm trying some other stuff. But for the time I had it on my board, I absolutely loved it. And this is the BOSS DD-500.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. This is one of the few like big box delays that I've actually never owned, but I have a bunch of friends who have like sworn by this thing, and they love it. And it really does nail all of the BOSS delay tones that people would normally be looking for, like in the smaller pedals.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, I absolutely love it. I mean, it does nail all those BOSS tones really impeccably well, very pleased with it. In fact, I know we've talked about this on the podcast for quite some time. Actually got the Strymon TimeLine first and just really was kind of on the struggle bus, and couldn't quite nail the tones I was looking for in my head, just because I came from the world of BOSS, specifically with a BOSS DD-3.

I ended up getting a BOSS DD-500 shortly after and ended up loving it. That ended up trumping the TimeLine on my board, and it stayed there for a long time. My tastes have now changed since then, I'm really kind of specifically referring to the summer months, and it's now off my board. And I've got the, actually, shockingly have the TimeLine back on there. But for the time I had it, and I don't plan to get rid of it because it does do the BOSS thing really, really well. Specifically, if that's something you're really looking for.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, well, especially if you're looking for a certain like mode that was maybe on an older pedal that they don't make anymore. So I know they have that Slow Attack algorithm on there, which I believe is based on the old Slow Gear. And I know that's a favorite for a lot of people. And I've enjoyed having it as well because, on my GFI Synesthesia, they also have like a Slow Gear type thing that you can't normally find on pedals anymore.

So I know that's really great for me, but even like up to their standard delay sounds, the analog and tape emulation, it's all just really great, really usable. It is very different than I would say my experience with the TimeLine. Whereas these are a little more bright, articulate, even in the vintage modes and stuff that's normally a lot darker. But yeah, overall, it sounds really good and super usable. The pedal, just in general, is super easy to use, which I really appreciate.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, no, I'm glad you brought that up because I know the interface for me was definitely a standout item when I initially got it. Again, especially comparing it to the Strymon TimeLine. It did come across as very easy to use, not to say that the TimeLine's not. It can if you just spend a few minutes with it. But just out of the box, I felt like it was way easier just to get through everything, find everything that you want. And the really great thing about it, too, is just the amount of customization that comes with it. Meaning if you really dive into it and peel back the layers, there's so much you can do. And you can really find that precise tone that you want, with the caveat, you've got to be willing to spend the time to go in and do that.

One thing I do love about the TimeLine is a lot of their presets are pretty nice as is. You don't really have to go in and change a ton. Unless again, you've got a specific tone that you're chasing in your head. But I don't think the presets on the BOSS are quite as nice. But again, if you're willing to invest that time to customize them, you should be a happy camper at the end of the day.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I think, for me, when I had the TimeLine, I enjoyed it because it's like face value. What you see is what you get. Unless there's something specific that you want to do and then you can go digging through the menus and trying to find whatever it is that you're looking for. But with the BOSS, I felt like it's easier to get into those menus, but I also felt like you needed to get into them quicker. Like in order to change things on specific algorithms, you needed to get into the menus to change, for example, the tape setting, like tape age and things like that, and just like those little things. So it is a lot easier to get around, but you also need to get around it more. If that makes sense?

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, absolutely. I think that's a great summary point there for sure. Well, if you guys aren't familiar with some of the history behind this pedal, not really going to go into a whole ton of detail. This pedal's actually been around now for several years. Initially came out on July 18th of 2015. So yeah, the thing's been out now for about five years, which seems like it's been less than that, but yeah, it's actually been out there for quite some time. And you know, this thing is enjoyed and played by many famous artists, names from like Steve Vai to Marty Friedman. Thinking about Marty Friedman, who's like on the heavy side to even people like Phil Wickham, who's in the worship scene. So definitely, a number of different players from different genres are all big fans of this pedal, and for good reason. It's a solid choice and a good one to have.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I would hazard to guess a lot of people who used to use the DD-20 and were really big fans of that have probably picked up on this. Because in all reality, it's BOSS's updated version of the DD-20. Like after Strymon came out with a big box, Eventide came out with a big box. It's kind of BOSS's revisitation of their big box delay.

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly. And speaking of big boxes, I know we were kind of talking about this briefly before starting this episode. I know we were just kind of joking about this, but there are so many options, and all of them are solid in their own right. Again, we were talking about TimeLine. We were talking about, in this case, the BOSS DD-500. A couple of weeks ago, we were talking about the Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler. You got the stuff from Empress. There's so many choices out there, and really at the end of the day, Eric, you kind of said this yourself that you really should just get the one that is right for you. You can compare these things all day long, but ultimately buy the one that's going to encourage you to pick up the guitar more.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Well, and the thing is, is like you don't have to get it right the first time. I have a friend who kind of helped me change my mind about how I view when I buy and sell pedals and things like that. And he said he's like, "Pretty much everything you're doing is research to figure out what inspires you to play guitar more." He's like, "Even if you lose like 20 bucks on a deal, or whatever, that's not ideal, but at the end of the day, you've learned something. So you've learned that you don't like something, or you've learned that you do really like something, and that's really useful going forward and figuring out what's going to inspire you to play guitar."

Scott Schwertly:
Exactly. I think at the end of the day, that's what it's all about. So we're all chasing our 10,000 hours, and we're all trying to become masters at this or at least find our own voice. And yeah, play the thing that's going to encourage you to pick up the guitar. We all know it's hard enough trying to get into a routine or good practice habits, and the last thing you want to get in your way is something like this. So yeah, just find the one that's going to inspire you.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah, definitely. So as far as controls and modes on this, you have four knobs and then your larger encoder that controls all of your menus. You have feedback, delay level tone, and then a mod depth knob. And then you have four buttons that are kind of your up and down to navigate through some menus, and then exit and edit, which is also how you write presets, and then that time and value encoder. But that's also how you get around menus and stuff as well. There's three footswitches, you kind of change your presets, or change your banks, by a combination of the middle and the right switch or the middle and the left switch. And then there's a bunch of modes on this thing. There's Standard, Analog, Tape, Vintage Digital, Dual, Pattern, Reverse, the Special Effects, Shimmer, Filter, Slow Attack, and then Tera Echo.

So the standout ones for me are the Slow Attack, which is more of like a Slow Gear type thing. And then also, their Pattern delay is very interesting. I've played quite a few different pattern algorithms, like on the TimeLine and stuff like that, and this one's really strange. But it creates a lot of really cool textures, honestly. And yeah, just overall, like obviously, I'm not going to take the time to dig into all of the options you have, the menus, because you would be here for a while. But just within there, you're able to run this thing, you can run it kill dry, you can run one output dry and one output affected, you can run full stereo, dual mono, the whole thing.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. I mean, there's just so much at your disposal for sure. And then they've got the Version 2 software available as well, which just adds even five new effects, more flexible routing options, and plenty of other stuff. And there's even a Looper, which we haven't even talked about as well. But yeah, there's so much at your disposal all within one stompbox, so pretty impressive.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. I would say as far as like critiques on this, I said this with the MD-500 too, and I feel like a broken record, but the jacks on the back of this thing are so close together you can't get any cables in there. I have two low-profile plugs, and I had to push them together and then push them both into the jacks at the same time, and it feels like they're about to snap. So it's one of those things where it's like, I wish they left a little more room for that, but I guess it's not the end of the world, but man, it's annoying.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. In kind of that same vein, I think we talked about this as well during the episode where we covered the MD-500, is I don't really like the slanted enclosure. I have a Pedaltrain pedalboard, so I ended up having to get one of the Pedaltrain Boosters to lift them up in the back just to make them more accessible with my foot. Because with them being in the back row and then the slanted front, it was hard to access those footswitches, and that was kind of obnoxious. So that's one of my big complaints about it, as well, if we had to pinpoint flaws here.

Eric Wilson:
I will say having that slant on there is actually really nice if you have like a flat board.

Scott Schwertly:
Gotcha.

Eric Wilson:
I've done some builds for people where they put this on the front row at the front of the board, and it's really nice. Because then you can rest your foot on the floor, and it's all right there. But yeah.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, that makes sense.

Eric Wilson:
So it's kind of like, it can be great or not so great. It just kind of depends on where you need it.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, that makes sense. So yeah, I guess it depends on. It's kind of a 50/50 chance you're going to either love it or hate it in that case. So I guess depending on where you place these type of pedals. Well, perfect. Well, what we're going to do is get this thing set up so you guys can get a sample of what it's all about. Eric, what guitar are you going to go with for this one?

Eric Wilson:
I'm going to use the Tele for this one.

Scott Schwertly:
Perfect. Well, we're going to get this set up, guys, and we will see you on the other side.

Eric Wilson:
Alright. That was the BOSS DD-500. It's a great big box delay. I definitely recommend heading to a local music store, checking it out, taking your friend's for a week, do whatever you got to do.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah, and if you want to pick one up, one of these will set you back about $350, not too bad. You're getting a lot all within one stompbox. So again, if you're going to support your local retailer, if you're going to buy one online, expect to spend about 350 bucks. But really, at the end of the day, if you love the world of delay, this hopefully will fit everything that you're looking for. Again, getting into this space, everything is completely subjective, but if it has that sound you're looking for like we said, things are a little bit more expressive and articulate. This is the delay pedal for you. So yeah, definitely go check it out.

Eric Wilson:
Yeah. Well, and even if you maybe can't afford this one new, you can always check out the used markets, check out Facebook Marketplace near you. I see these pretty often around the $250 mark, somewhere in there, so. You can always pick one up used if you're maybe not ready to buy one new for yourself.

Scott Schwertly:
Yeah. Most definitely. All right. Well, there you have it, guys. That is the BOSS DD-500. Join us next time where we're going to get into the world of overdrives. And we're going to be talking about the Fulltone OCD. I know it's been a while since we've covered a Fulltone product on this podcast. I think last time we did it was, I think, the Octafuzz from way back when. So, excited to talk about another Fulltone product as we dive into the OCD.

Scott Schwertly:
Until then, have a great day, have a great week, and we will catch you in the next one.

Close (esc)

Get Our Free eBook!

Do you love dirt as much as we do? Learn the rich history behind all the overdrive and distortion pedals you know and love. Download our free ebook, The History of Guitar Distortion.

Age verification

By clicking enter you are verifying that you are old enough to consume alcohol.

Search

Shopping Cart

Your cart is currently empty.
Shop now