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TC Electronic Bucket Brigade Delay

TC Electronic Bucket Brigade DelayIt seems that bucket‑brigade delay pedals are making something of a comeback, and it’s almost certainly due to the unique way in which their delays degrade as they repeat — something which helps the delays ‘sit behind’ the dry sound in a pleasing way. Early models were plagued by excessive noise or restricted maximum delay times, but while this type of delay circuit can never be entirely noise‑free, modern devices can perform a lot better. TC’s Bucket Brigade Delay can go from a fast slapback up to a maximum 600ms delay time, without intrusive levels of background hiss — I didn’t notice any significant noise when using it normally.

This pedal is not a part of TC’s TonePrint series, and so has its own distinctive, folded‑steel enclosure. It has a small footprint but is a little deeper than a typical cast‑alloy pedal, measuring 95 x 57 x 56mm. Weighing 300g, it also feels very solid. A 9V power supply, capable of delivering 40mA or more, is required since there’s no battery option. The power jack is located between the in and out jacks at the back end of the case to make the most of pedalboard space. On the top panel are familiar controls for Delay time, delay Volume and Feedback, but there’s also a Depth knob, which controls the amount of LFO‑controlled pitch modulation when the small toggle switch in the middle of the control section is set to Mod. The dry sound always comes through at unity gain.

Interestingly, TC have made it possible for the user to change the speed of the modulation LFO by adjusting a trim pot inside the case. To access this, four small crosshead screws must be removed, along with the in and out jack retaining nuts. That’s a bit of a fiddle, perhaps, but you should only need to do it once, if at all. A red LED indicates whether the pedal is active, while the footswitch leaves the dry signal intact when operated.

The feedback control can go all the way to oscillation, which should please the dub fraternity.

Sonically, this pedal captures everything that’s desirable about the bucket‑brigade delay sound, with just the right amount of warm‑sounding signal degradation to the repeats but not so much top‑end loss that it sounds dull. The feedback control can go all the way to self‑oscillation, which should please the dub fraternity, and the modulation can go from an almost unnoticeable worn‑tape ‘wow’ to a very strong chorus‑like effect. Perhaps the nearest competitor to this pedal is the recently released EHX Nano Memory Man Deluxe, which has a 550ms maximum delay time and also features adjustable modulation. There’s also the Maestro Discoverer Delay and that too includes a modulation section, but it looks like the TC will be the least costly of the bunch so very much worth a test drive.


£65 including VAT.