• Pros: Relatively simple and affordable, this pedal offers guitarists the most basic digital delay in a Boss package.
• Cons: There’s not much beyond the most basic digital delay effects. Don’t expect too much from this pedal.
• Overall: You’re getting a Boss product, which generally means high quality, durability, and value but for more options, it might be worth it to drop an extra $20-$40 for the DD-5, DD-6, or DD-7.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that my longstanding loyalty to the Boss DD-5 Digital Delay pedal has spoiled me. Going down a notch to the DD-3 just feels like a letdown. However, I will attempt to view it as a pedal that stands on its own.
Still, the DD-5 doesn’t have the “Hold” option which is kind of cool. It allows you to sample short amounts of time with your instrument and continuously loop it for an extra texture to your live sound. There might be many guitarists that find this incredibly useful–but I’m not one of them. At such a short amount of looping time (maybe 40 sec) and the inability to layer loops, it seems kind of like a feature that would quickly lose its novelty and rarely be used. Plus, and I’m not sure about this, but it seems like you have to constantly have your foot pressing the pedal down for it to play your loop.
Beyond that, the DD-5 has three delay time options–short, medium, and long (which is 800ms). The short is great for a slap-back effect, the long for psychedelic textures, and the medium is somewhere in between.
Like all Boss DD-series pedals, the modes and delay time options are accessed from the selector knob on the right while the other three effect options–effect level, feedback, and delay time–are along the top from left to right. This is where Boss’ DD-series pedals get fun. The combinations of settings with these four diverse and wide-ranging effect knobs are quite impressive. Pretty much all digital delay pedals have these options (or variations of them) so it’s nothing that special. Later incarnations of this pedal–the DD-5, 6, and 7–offer many more options for delay effects such as modulation, reverse delay, analog, and slap-back.
One of the greatest and most consistent things you find with Boss digital delays is that they don’t change the tone of your guitar or amp and they don’t create any noise. Even though it’s just a standard digital delay, with the exception of the Hold feature, it’s a Boss and that makes it worth it and valuable for the price and, perhaps more importantly, for the years and years this and any Boss pedal will last you.