Review: Strymon DIG Dual Digital Delay

Adaptive Delta Modulation (ADM) was a process employed by DeltaLab Research in its ’80s-era DL and Effectron series rack processors, and Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) was employed by Lexicon in its PCM and Prime Time series digital delay units from the same period.
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Adaptive Delta Modulation (ADM) was a process employed by DeltaLab Research in its ’80s-era DL and Effectron series rack processors, and Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) was employed by Lexicon in its PCM and Prime Time series digital delay units from the same period. Strymon painstakingly researched these primitive technologies and sought to emulate their primary characteristics in the far-from-primitive (32-bit floating point) SHARC DSP-equipped DIG pedal ($299 street). In addition to those old-school emulations, there’s also a modern 24-bit/96kHz delay type, should you wish to dwell in the present.

The DIG’s dual delays may be configured to run in series (one after the other), parallel (the delays don’t interact with each other), and in Ping Pong mode. By default, the two stereo delays are synchronized, with Delay 1 acting as the master and Delay 2 as the “companion.” Delay 1 provides between 20ms and 1.6 seconds of delay time, and you select the ratio between the two delays using the Time 2 control to dial in one of five rhythmic subdivisions: triplet, eighth-note, dotted eighth-note, dotted quarter-note, or the golden ratio.

In the default configuration, the Time and Repeats controls are common to both delays, as is the Tap footswitch, which also doubles as a momentary “infinite repeat” button when pressed and held (a very nice touch). The Modulation section offers a choice of tasty Light and Deep presets and is also common to both delays. The Mix and Mix 2 controls provide independent wet/dry levels for each.

Pressing both footswitches simultaneously accesses the five knobs’ Secondary Functions. These include setting rhythmic subdivisions for Delay 1, switching to Free Mode (putting Delay 2 in free-run mode and making Time 2 its delay time control), inserting a HP/LP Filter, configuring the signal routing, and setting the repeats for Delay 2 independently.

Additional features include an all-analog dry signal path, a TRS Input jack providing stereo input using a splitter cable, a choice of True Bypass relay switching or Analog Buffered Bypass with Trails Mode, a Kill Dry Mode, and an Expression Pedal input (assignable to any knob control) that may also be used with a remote Tap switch or an optional Strymon Favorite switch ($49 street).

Surprisingly, I found the differences in sound between the ADM and 12-Bit delay types to be relatively subtle, and not even hugely different from the 24/96 setting. The salient point, however, is that this pedal sounds fantastic! The DIG’s robust, harmonically rich, and billowy character enhances anything you play into it, and its lively responsiveness to playing dynamics makes it a pleasure to use. Besides handling standard delay duties, it is capable of an astonishing number of rhythmic variations—including some reminiscent of old multi-head echo machines—and the clever ways in which its many controls interact can facilitate entirely unique effects. Given its choice of three delay types, numerous configuration and control options (e.g., extensive expression pedal assignments), and stellar sonics, the DIG delivers a lot to dig for three Franklins.

Kudos Fabulous sounds. Super versatile. Excellent value.
Concerns May be too flexible for those seeking simplicity.
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