Diamond Memory Lane

The Memory Lane ($429 retail/street N/A) is a true-bypass analog pedal that dishes up 40ms to 550ms of delay using two NOS Panasonic MN3005 bucket-brigade ICs.

The pedal has controls for feedback (EQ—which filters highs or lows out of each repeat—and Level) and modulation (Depth and Speed), as well as global Mix and Delay knobs. You also get dual outputs (wet/dry), and an expression pedal jack (for controlling feedback) that doubles as an insert for patching effects into the feedback loop. Dual footswitches and a mini-toggle for the Tap (delay) and Mod (modulation) modes complete the external controls, and an internal jumper can be set to pad the input for hot guitar pickups. Power is supplied via an included 24-volt proprietary DC adapter.

In Tap mode, the delay time is set by “tapping” the Tap/Mod footswitch, In Mod mode, the same footswitch kicks in the modulation. In Mod mode, the LED glows red to alert you when modulation is engaged, and flashes to indicate tempo. In Tap mode, the LED flashes green to clock tempo, but provides no indication that Modulation was turned on via the On/Off/Depth knob. If you’re confused—it is confusing. A “Quirks” section in the manual owns up to the wackiness, but this pedal is hardly intuitive.

The Memory Lane’s delays are full-bodied and pleasant sounding, though they get relatively noisy past 250ms. The Feedback control triggers self-oscillation when turned two-thirds of the way up—and even sooner at shorter delay times—so you really have to be careful. The Modulation section yields some nice chorus sounds, and by manipulating the EQ and Feedback Level controls, you can get effects ranging from tight comb-filtering to bizarre, filtered long-delay waves. Using an expression pedal to control feedback worked fine, but inserting a fuzz into the feedback path caused uncontrollable self-oscillation (other effects worked better.

The Memory Lane may not be the best option for general workaday purposes, but it is capable of a wide range of special effects, making it an excellent choice for creative studio types or adventurous gigging players.