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Line 6 DL4 MkII

Line 6 DL4 MkII

Modelling pioneers Line 6 have breathed new life into their ageing delay unit — but they’ve also retained everything that made the original a classic.

I bought the original Line 6 DL4 delay pedal when it first came out — unbelievably, it was some 23 years ago! I used it for several years, both on stage and in my studio, and it remains a popular device, with DL4s routinely changing hands for surprising amounts of money. But a lot has happened in the land of delays since 1999! Notably, IK Multimedia, Strymon, Boss and various others now offer convincing emulations of bygone devices, and there’s been plenty of movement on the looper front too. So it’s probably no great surprise that Line 6 have finally developed a new version of the DL4, or that they’ve included some substantial updates and additions.

In With The New

Cosmetically, the new DL4 Mk pedal looks like an update of the original but with a slightly more compact shape and lighter weight. The distinctive metallic green finish has been retained but the option to run it from batteries has not. It adds several models based on Line 6’s HX effects technology: there are now 30 different delay types in total, comprising 15 ‘legacy’ ones and 15 new, along with looping of up to four minutes in mono or two minutes in stereo. The DL4 MkII also includes 15 so‑called ‘secret’ reverb algorithms, which can be used together with the delays. Why secret? Well... they’re not shown on the front panel.

A new one‑switch looper option joins the classic mode, and for longer loops the maximum loop time can be extended to longer than a typical gig if you plug in a microSD card. I don’t know about you, but I find it hard enough to keep a steady beat for the duration of a 30‑second loop, but greater capacity than you need is no bad thing! Of more practical interest is that while loops stored to internal memory are lost when the unit is powered down, loops stored to an SD card are retained. They’re stored in a proprietary format, though, and if you want to transfer the loop to your DAW you must play it back in real time and record the audio output from the pedal.

There are generous connectivity options: in addition to being able to plug in your guitar there’s a balanced XLR input with a rear‑panel gain control, for use with mics that don’t require phantom power (the Alt button lights up red if the gain is set so high as to cause clipping). Stereo ins and outs are available on quarter‑inch TS jacks, though any combination of mono and stereo ins and outs can be used. The pedal ‘talks MIDI’ for real‑time parameter control, MIDI Clock sync and preset selection: there are MIDI in and out/thru connectors on traditional 5‑pin DIN sockets and USB C, and the latter...

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