Pros: Up to 6.4 seconds of delay time, plenty of features, easy to use and with great sound quality.
Cons: Some of the features could use more flexibility – you can’t save phrases for the looper-like mode and there’s no parameter adjustment for the modulation.
Overall: A stand-out delay pedal with everything most players need in a compact, dependable package.
Boss has a long history of putting out great delay effects – the DD-5 and DD-6 both being favorites among delay-seeking guitarists – and the DD-7 sees them pillaging their own legacy, extracting the most-loved features from their previous delay pedals and cramming them all into a stompbox for us all to play with. The DD-7 boasts 6.4 seconds of delay time, modulation, reverse and analogue delay modes and the potential for up to 40 seconds of looper-like functionality. So, is it really as good as it seems?
The DD-7 is laid out like its recent predecessors, with four dials along the top – giving you control over the delay mode, effect level, feedback and delay time – and a large footswitch for activating and deactivating, tapping out a tempo and controlling the looper-esque “Hold” function. There are stereo ins and outs, along with a jack for an expression pedal (to adjust chosen parameter hands-free) or external footswitch (to tap out a tempo more easily).
Generally, the sound quality and tone are awesome. The analogue setting provides a warm, thick and reasonably authentic vintage tone, and the modulation mode offers a more chorus-like effect, which is good despite the lack of control over the parameters. Reverse mode is great if you want things to get a little trippy, for some 60s/70s garage band style psychedelia. Most of the other mode settings handle different delay lengths, ranging from 50 ms to 3,200 ms (if you plug into A and use the B output, you get twice the length for up to 6.4 seconds).
The “Hold” setting is like a looper in that you can record a phrase (up to 40 seconds in mono mode) and then overdub on top of it to your heart’s content. Again, this is a delay pedal, so the functionality is limited if you compare it with other loopers, but as an extra it makes a great practicing tool.
Overall, the DD-7 does an excellent job as a delay pedal, with the quality of construction and sound we’ve come to expect from Boss, intuitive operation and a good range of features. Live players might need to pick up a spare pedal to get the most out of it (the tap tempo is awkward to control without one), but for most it offers more than enough, and delivers admirably.