Tech 21 Boost D.L.A.

Tech 21’s Andrew Barta is always seeking interesting ways for his pedals to distinguish themselves and serve players’ needs. While the Boost D.L.A. ($195 retail/$149 street) isn’t a radical rethink of a delay pedal, it does offer two groovy perks: a 9dB boost for launching solos out of a bandstand mix, and the ability to “lo-fi” the signal with user-adjustable controls for Tone and Flutter (modulation).
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The box itself is road tough, and includes a noiseless on/off switch with a buffered bypass, and an easy-to-open battery compartment. Equally easy are the pedal’s operations—you simply twist the Mix, Feedback, Tone, Time (30ms-1,000ms), Level/Boost, and Flutter knobs to taste. The only control I missed was a Tap Tempo button for adjusting delay time on the fly while performing. The fundamental delay character is solid, clean, and robust—which makes it quite fun soiling the tone by adding modulation, or darkening the timbre of the repeats with the Tone control. (The manual’s handy sample settings get you started quite nicely.) For those who play at low volumes, a tad more boost would be nice, but at normal-to-loud gig levels, the boost punches out like Chuck Liddell. Overall, this is a fab delay that let’s you play it clean, or as dirty as you please.

Excellent sound. Easily tweakable. Tough as nails.

No tap tempo option.

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