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Boss SDE-3000D

Boss SDE-3000D

This pedal brings Roland’s classic ’80s rackmount delay into the 21st Century, with dual delay engines and modern control options.

Whereas many of the early digital delays sounded somewhat sterile, Roland’s rackmount SDE‑3000, released in 1983, soon gained a reputation for sounding warm and musical and became a staple in the armoury of many pro musicians. In part, that was down to the analogue circuitry that sat around the digital delay section, and in part to technical imperfections, including a slightly imprecise master clock that added a subtle modulation to the sound. A unique tonal character was imparted by the converters available at the time, which I believe were just 12‑bit, and the SDE‑3000 also included an LFO‑controlled modulation section, had the ability to store presets, and boasted switchable delay polarity and (for then) a long maximum delay time. Even now, used models are highly revered. But what once took up a lot of space and cost a lot of money has now been packed into the relatively compact confines of a new Boss pedal, called the SDE‑3000D. In fact, it offers rather more than the original mono rack unit, as we shall see...

Thanks For The Memory

The SDE‑3000D houses two delays, each with independent parameters and separate panning options, and has a mono/stereo input and output. The modulation and tone‑shaping aspects of the original have been extended too, and there are 100 preset memories. The front panel gives direct access to two banks of four presets, though the footswitches can be reconfigured to access all 100 presets.

The stereo inputs and outputs offer all the signal routing permutations of mono and stereo, and comprehensive MIDI support makes the pedal compatible with modern needs. The two delays themselves can be configured either serially or in parallel by selecting the appropriate Delay Structure, which includes the option to set up as two mono delays or as separate delay and dry outputs. For those wishing to emulate Eddie Van Halen’s three‑amp ‘wet/dry/wet’ setup, there’s an alternative version of the pedal called the SDE‑3000EVH, and in this one each delay and the dry signal are treated to separate output jacks — the idea is that the dry sound feeds its own amp in the centre, with the two delays being...

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