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Boss DD-7 Digital Delay Pedal Review

Best Delay Pedal Boss DD-7

The Boss DD-7 is the latest addition to the successful range of Boss delay pedals. Among others, the line includes the popular DD-3, DD-5 and DD-6.

The Boss DD-7 Digital Delay is designed in a way that incorporates all of the best features of the delays that come before it and packs them into their signature stomp box enclosure. The engineers at Boss have really outdone themselves with this one, and here is why:

The Boss DD-7 Compared To The Delays Before It

Best Delay Pedal Boss DD-7

The best way to find out what the latest model stands out is to compare it with the previous models. Boss took the reviews and suggestions of their audience into consideration, resulting in the specifications of the DD-7 being a combination of the DD-2’s classic warmth, the DD-3’s pedal look and the DD-5’s evolved functionality. Boss really did their homework this time and worked hard to replicate the DM-2’s sound via the Analog mode of the DD-7.

The DD-5 was the first Digital Delay by Boss that had a tap-tempo feature included, which was used by plugging in an external switch like the FS-5U. The DD-6 decided to go ahead with stereo inputs and exclude the external footswitch, much to the dismay of many loyal users. Boss was quick to take customer feedback into account. Once again the external footswitch jack is equipped on the DD-7, all the same keeping the stereo inputs maintained. So a lot of thought was put into creating the DD-7.

Features:

  • Approximately 6.4 seconds delay time
  • For sounds emulating chorus, a Modulation Delay mode is present
  • The ever popular Boss DM-2 is emulated through the Analog Delay mode
  • Tap Tempo feature through external footswitch
  • Feedback, Delay Time and Effect level is controlled via external Expression Pedal
  • Approximately 40 seconds of sounds is offered on sound recording through the Hold mode
  • Stereo Inputs and Outputs, with Wet/Dry routing and panning

Sound & Performance:

Features aside, it is important to look at the sound quality the DD-7 delivers and how well it executes it. The controls are intuitive and simple, offering the standard Feedback, Effect level and Delay Time functions. Itis very fast and easy to dial in the required amount of both delay and feedback delay.

The sound itself is very clear and crisp, giving a fantastic reproduction with an added hi-fi warmth. The sound is very modern, and feels more alive and soulful. This is definitely one of the best delays that Boss has produced.

The Hold mode is great if you like messing around with basic loops, but there is no feature to save loops. If that is what you want, then you may want to look into getting a dedicated looper, like the RC-300. The DD-7 is still a good choice to give you some experience with looping.

The Modulate mode gives a chorus-like sound to the output. Its control is limited, so it isn’t possible to adjust the depth and rate of the effect. But again, the DD-7 is a good entry level item to help you determine whether or not you want a pedal dedicated to chorus effects or have a small area on the pedalboard to do so.

The Analog mode is the most remarkable feature of this pedal, give a warm and smooth sound output that will put your mind off buying a dedicated analog delay pedal. Certain sound purists argue that the feature is not a perfect emulation of the one provided on the Boss DM-2, but for now it is as good as it can get and is a breath of fresh air in the otherwise sharp digital delay sounds.

The Reverse mode changes any sound played through it by giving it a psychedelic twist to it and basically reversing the signal. This is great for amping up some parts of a song or adding an unexpected flavor to a guitar solo, anyone say Hendrix??

The Tap tempo can be used without an external footswitch by simply pressing the footswitch for 2 seconds, followed by tapping the tempo. But this is sort of wonky for live use so we recommend getting the FS-5U footswitch.

I think it is safe to say that the Boss DD-7 Digital Delay is the king of the delays in the Boss line up for now. It offers something for everyone; analog as well as modern delay sounds, unique and interesting effects, and a tap-tempo that is optional. All these functions will make a great addition to any pedalboard.

Solid State Vs Tube Amplifiers (What’s The Difference?)

Difference between Tube Amps and Solid State Amplifiers

All major guitar amp manufacturers assemble amps using either vacuum tube technology, solid-state technology, or a mixture of both. Some amps incorporate digital technology as well, which is often used to imitate the sound of other amps, either tube or solid state.

However, not all amps are created equal and there’s usually one you'd prefer over the other. At least from my experience. You can find some of my favourite amps in this guide. 

Whether you’re a guitar noob or you consider yourself a professional, even someone in between, it’s highly important that you get to know which amp works best for your needs as it’s so easy to get lost with the various amps available on the market.

First things first, the nomenclature: a tube amplifier is also called a tube valve, while a solid-state amplifier is what some people call a transistor. Knowing these various terms can help you understand this article better as we go along. Let’s now go into the difference between tube and solid state amps.

The Perks of Using Tube Amplifiers

Tube amps are loud, and most have a propensity to be louder for their indicated wattage compared to solid state amps sporting the same specifications. When it comes to loudness and wattage, it rises over solid state amps. This earned the amp the gold standard in guitar sounds. Legendary rock guitarists like Jimi Hendrix used this type of amp, as well.

These amps also produce a warmer sound and add a natural feel. That said, some good solid-state amps can give tube amps a run for their money.

Tube amps are subtle, and the variances in the signals coming from your guitar are more precisely embodied. How hard a player picks can influence tone more so than in a solid state amp.

The tube overdrive is also much smoother and more responsive compared to solid state amplifiers. To give you more control over the sound, you can simply add high-gain pedals to the signal chain between the guitar and amplifier. This can give the signal a harmonic boost that you can play with.

The Pros of Using Solid State Amplifiers

The sounds produced by tube amps are undoubtedly great, but they can break inopportune times. Solid-state amps are generally a more reliable choice when it comes to this aspect. These amplifiers don’t require any maintenance like tubes amps need. It can live on for years or even decades without you ever having to worry about repairs, maintenance, and what not. Solid-state amps are normally less expensive than tube amps – both purchase and up keep; tube amplifiers will require time and money to keep it in the proper working order.

Solid –state amplifiers are pretty much the go-to amp for most guitar players when starting out. It’s an attractive option for most as it provides you with great audio quality, dependable, and most importantly it’s easier to use compared to tube amps minus the cost.

So What Do You choose?

You didn’t read this article just for general information, right? You wouldn’t even be here if you’re not planning to buy your own amplifier. Take our advice and consider your needs realistically when deciding which one to choose. Buying a guitar amp is a serious purchase and you can’t afford to make a mistake by getting caught up mainly in what you “think” you should be playing, or go for what your favorite guitarist is using, or even basing your decision based on the answers you find on forums.

Deciding which amp to purchase is also based on what you can afford. Tube amps are more expensive that sold-state amps so unless you have the funds to purchase one, you’re better off using a solid-state amp without sacrificing the quality of audio and getting the best bang for your buck. This holds true for younger players that go with the hype and buy impulsively just because it’s the current trend, myself included.

If you still can’t decide which one is the best fit for your audio needs and budget, consider the advantages and disadvantages of each amp so you can make a more informed decision. Remember that a tube amp is the ultimate amp for rock, blues and other forms of music. But only look into it if your pocket can handle the hefty price it comes in at and you reasonably think you need it for your playing situation. If you can deal with the cost of maintaining it, then go for it.

Solid state amps are generally great for beginners or the basement and bedroom hobby players, and gigging musicians that don’t want an amp that’s worth more than their bedroom furniture tallied altogether.

Make an intelligent decision and always remember that the tone will ultimately come from you and no one else.

Boss RC-300 Looper Pedal Review

Introduction To The RC-300

Are you looking for an honest review on the Boss RC-300 Loop Station? We thought so and we’re more than willing to share our two cents on Boss’ frontrunner looper. If you have read our previous article on the best looper pedal on the market, then you may already be familiar with this bad boy. However, we wanted to dive a bit deeper since it is such a beast of a loop station. 

This looper is under stiff competition with other loopers in the market – think, Jam Man Delay from Digitech. Not to mention its predecessor, the RC-50 Loop Station is still not out of the picture.

So, what makes the RC-300 Loop Station special? Is it worth your precious time and money? We’ll find out as this review goes deeper into its features.

Details

Let’s now delve in to the main part of the subject in focus and see what makes the RC 300 such a great loop station.

Size:

The Boss RC-300 Loop Station comes in a noticeably enormous size compared to the models that came before it. It’s a little bit over 21 inches wide and nine inches from back to front. It comes in a jagged metal construction with a total of eight foot pedals and a built-in expression pedal to allow you to shape your sound.

Features:

  • · It’s jam-packed with features that you can find in most loopers out in the market – tempo-shifting functions, reverse playback, different stop modes, auxiliary inputs, undo/redo functionality, and rhythm tracks.
  • · This looper makes the process of switching between tracks easier by giving each one a dedicated “Record/Play/Overdub” and “Stop” pedal so you can record onto track one, then hit the pedal for track two and start recording onto it instantly. This feature is perfect for live musicians!
  • · Just like the RC-50 Loop Station, the RC-300 features a variety of outputs for subs and guitar amps; this simply means you can have your bass thumping out of a bass stack instead of your guitar amp. It also comes with standard 99 internal memory locations, with three tracks stored in each location. Another awesome thing about this looper is its internal memory can store up to three hours of recording, way better than its predecessor.
  • · You can also connect the RC-300 using a USB cable straight to your computer which will allow you to increase the amount of loops you can store.
  • · The RC-300 also has built-in effects where you can add phaser, flanger, chorus, pitch-bend, distortion, tremolo, lo-fi effects, and delay to your recordings.
  • · Furthermore, the unit allows you to alter the pitch of recordings without changing the tempo, this is referred to as its transpose function. There is also a particular effect to turn your guitar into a bass, that’s important for “one man band” musicians. They’ve also included a number of vocal effects to make your alter the way your voice sounds – you can sound more masculine, robotic, feminine, you can even experiment on the different levels of voice sounds available and we think that this is a totally cool feature of the RC-300.
  • · Another awesome thing about the new Boss looper is that effects can be set up for use in combination with any of the three available tracks. Depending on how you split up tracks for your songs, you can add wild pitch bends to a lead part without affecting the rhythm. You can also apply the effects to all tracks, if you like.
  • · The RC-300 Loop Station also has the largest selection of rhythm backing tracks (23 of them). It also has 17 different time signatures, each with close to 10 rhythm backing tracks.
  • · In addition to ensuring that your overdubs stay in time with the original recordings, this looper ensures your 3 tracks fit together properly. If you’re a beginner, turn this function on and if you’re more of an experienced user, you can simply turn this function off. It definitely makes the looping process much easier than doing it unassisted.
  • · Another plus that we noticed is that the actual operation of the pedal can be done entirely hands-free. Imagine being able to create a three track loop with multiple overdubs on each using just the foot pedals! This is clearly a huge advantage for live players, and the ability to bring in and take out different tracks according to your preference make the RC-300 Loop Station fitting for complex, hands-free composition.

However, more complex things still require fingers to operate like selecting a specific rhythm track and setting time signature. Luckily, the options that entails the need for you to stoop over and operate the control panel can all be set prior to a performance or between songs. This will result in some silence, though. The good news is, silence won’t happen mid track.

The Verdict

In general, the Boss RC-300 Loop Station has all the features and more that a looper could ask for. It’s quite versatile and can be used during live performances, for complex compositions, as a dependable practice instrument, or anything that’s weirdly in between.

It’s great for performing artist that either work alone or as part of an actual band and the impressively massive memory allows you to store more than enough data without the need to obsess over whether you have enough space or not. Boss definitely has come a long way from the RC-50 and has done an excellent job with designing the feature packed RC-300. This device is totally a worthy investment!

The Best Acoustic Guitar Strings

Elixir Strings Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings w NANOWEB Coating, Light

Let us guess – you either have a broken string in your hands or have worn out strings that need replacing, right? Choosing a string for your beloved acoustic guitar isn’t an easy task since not all strings are created equal. With the swarm of guitar string manufacturers flooding the market, choosing the best strings for your needs can be a confusing trip to your local music store or online if you are looking for better deals. You can’t just wing it and hope you’re using the best acoustic guitar string for your instrument.

To help you be more informed & make the right decision, we’ve scoured the World Wide Web & our own experience for the best acoustic guitar strings on the market. This is like our article on the best guitar strings, but only for acoustic strings, so we hope you find it useful!

We’ve listed the top 3 guitar strings along with their unique features and benefits that will serve as your ultimate guide in deciding which one will work best according to your playing style, level of experience, and acoustic guitar skills. Let’s do this, kids!

The Top 3 Acoustic Guitar Strings​

#3 Martin SP, Acoustic Guitar Strings, Medium Gauge, Phosphor Bronze

Martin-SP

Third on the list is Martin SP’s acoustic guitar string, medium gauge, phosphor bronze. These Martin Studio Performance level acoustic strings are perfect when used during studio sessions and live performances.

A lot of effort has been put into the improvement of these acoustic strings to ensure that the result is something that guitar players from all ranks and skill set will love.

The Martin acoustic strings provide acoustic guitar players with maximum string life. They come with superior, high quality steel cores that cam effortlessly resist breakage much better than average strings in the market.

Martin’s medium gauge strings are not intended for beginners as their heavier weight will be ultimately difficult to fret and will injure a beginner’s un-callused fingers. If you’ve been playing guitars for awhile and already possess awesome callused fingers (well… kind of awesome?) then these strings will definitely fit your preference.

The bronze strings are smooth & with the bronze acoustic finish they allow players to experience the most out of its string life. It also adds to the brightness of the sound produced along with the tonal quality. If you’re into superior sound and tone, these strings are the perfect choice for you.

#2 Elixir Nanoweb Light 80/20 Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings

If you’re all for durability, performance, and sound then the Elixir Acoustic Guitar strings 80/20 Bronze with Nanoweb is the perfect string to dawn on your acoustic guitar. Most professional acoustic guitar players prefer playing with these as the Nanoweb coating provides a brilliant, lively tone coupled with long sting life, which is definitely appealing.

Elixir has been around for a long time and has developed strings that appeal to all guitar players no matter what type of music they’re into. The entire string is protected with a super thin coating that ensures gunk are kept out of the gaps that can be found between the windings.

These strings are less likely to produce finger squeaking sounds that can be noticed in some strings from other manufacturers.

These Elixir strings are guaranteed to last longer so you won’t have to frequently change your acoustic guitar strings. Acoustic guitar players that use Elixir strings swear by the strings’ durability and attest that the tone of these strings are by far the best in the market, whether coated or uncoated.

Elixir strings are plated steel strings that are tested and proven to be rust proof and can resist corrosion so the tone quality of the string is maintained.

#1. D’Addario EJ16-10P Phosphor Bronze Acoustic Guitar Strings, Light

Phosphor Guitar Strings

Sitting in the most coveted number 1 spot is the D’Addario’s EJ16-10P. It provides guitar players with the perfect balance of projection and volume making it the most popular choice for guitar enthusiasts.

Made of Phosphor Bronze, the strings are resistant to corrosion and the bronze is applied onto a hexagon shaped carbon steel core. This feature allows musicians to play brighter tones with superior intonation.

The EJ16-10P strings are wonderfully comfortable to play and are the most preferred strings by acoustic guitarists because of their bright and well balanced acoustic tone. The best thing about D’Addario’s strings is versatility, which makes it a perfect fit in playing music of all genres.

The entire line of D’Addario’s strings are manufactured in the US, utilizing technologically advanced machinery to ensure high quality strings are made every single time.

Superior performance, flexibility and durability make these strings the perfect choice for acoustic guitar noobs and professionals alike, no matter what type of music genre you’re into. However, these strings can suddenly break, so it comes in a set of 10 strings to ensure that you have a replacement standing by whenever this happens.

The Best Guitar Picks (A Guitar Pick Guide)

A guitar pick is a necessity for most guitar players. It’s small, affordable, yet it hugely affects the tone and technique of the guitarist. Which is why it’s important to pick out the best guitar picks you can get for your style of playing. 

While a guitar pick will not dramatically effect your tone like say, plugging in a fuzz pedal, a reverb pedal and a chorus pedal. But it will effect the tone enough for you to be concerned about the type of pick you are using! ​

Not all picks are created equal and each one has its own musical purpose that will make your music come off different each time. If you’re looking for the type of pick to use during your next jam, we’re here to help you decide the best fit. In this article we’ll discuss the types of guitar picks in the market including the materials they are made of, as well as the shape and thickness of picks and how they influence the sound that is created.

Guitar Pick Types and Materials

It is no question that guitar picks span far back in guitar history. Some of the earliest picks were made out of some cool materials to say the least. If you are able to find some of these kinds old school picks, consider yourself lucky!

1. Tortoise Shell

These picks are considered old school and not all guitarists have had the pleasure to get the feel of it. The reproduction of these picks were subjected to a ban in the 1970’s so their very hard to find.

According to those who have had the privilege to experience their natural feel, these produce warm tones and could last for years and years due durability. They can also be reshaped easily through filing or sanding.

2. Stone

These picks have small yet strong following due to their unique resonant qualities. They provide easy grip and produce mid to upper range harmonics with little to no effort. Stone picks help players achieve potentially richer sounds as they don't absorb as many harmonics during the initial string attack but these babies can be quite pricey. They are also pretty rare, so you won’t be finding them at your local guitar shop unless it’s a really unique shop.

3. Tortex

These picks feel similar to original tortoise shell and also produce a slightly similar tone. These picks are characterized by good attack, well-rounded tone, and generally a nice feel. The material fades with time making it harder to grip or hold on to. Dunlop develops these picks and they are very easy to find.

4. Celluloid

These picks produce balanced tones with crisp, bright attacks. Their exceedingly typical in today's market despite the fact that celluloid is being produced less and less as the material is highly flammable and decomposes easily.

5. Ultex

Ultex picks are the ultimate combination of flexibility and monstrous attack. These picks are lightweight and quite durable. They grant guitar players with the widest dynamic range out of all the picks in the market. Manufactured by Dunlop, they are also easy to find at most guitar shops.

6. Nylon

Think, Gene Simmons and Jimmy Page. These picks are a crowd favorite played by legends. Nylon picks come in textured grip formats and produce very bright sounds. These also boast unparalleled flexibility that literally adds some springs when you play.

7. Metal

Metal picks have extremely crisp attacks. These include Bronze, Brass, Copper, and Stainless Steel picks. Brass are fairly soft with good grip and warm tones, Stainless Steel being the most durable, Copper is the softest while bronze picks are thicker and can sound more on the jazzy side.

Jimmy Hendrix was a big fan of metal picks. Dunlop actually makes a pick that is based off what he played with. I’ve had the chance to play with a metal pick and can honestly say I like it. It takes a bit of getting used to but overall is solid!

8. Wood

Made from natural material, these picks produce very warm tones and have a natural feel. Some people make their own wood picks out of African Blackwood, Rosewood, Cocobolo, Cherry, Maple, Mahogany, Zebrawood, Walnut, and more. If you’re not into DIY picks, you can purchase wood picks at most music stores for a fair price.

9. Felt

This is the most uncommon type of pick and material used by guitarists due to their weak attack. In some cases, these picks tend to add a unique feel that can bring focus to lower-range sounds. Bass and ukulele players are the most common people who use these picks.

Pick Shapes and Sizes

Most picks come in different triangular shapes – the wider portion allows a firmer grip while the narrow point is used for picking and strumming.

Standard picks

These are the most common shape. The point tends to slide off the string when used for picking, giving a mellow tone.

Equilateral picks

These picks are easy to hold as there is no right or wrong rim to grip. These picks tend to last longer as you can use each edge interchangeably so it doesn’t wear out quickly.

Teardrop and Jazz guitar picks

These tend to be firmer than Standard picks of the same thickness. Players love them for their fast response and bright tone, especially for picking. When strumming, or looking for more mellow tone, simply slide your fingers back slightly and relax your grip.

Shark Fin Guitar Picks

These picks can be used two ways – as a standard pick, or rotated to use the multi-point edge to create multiple contacts during each strum. Some like the multi-contact tone produced by the multi-point edge. Dunlop manufactures these mainly and I would say they are a bit of a novelty but can be cool.

Finger and Thumb Picks

These guitar picks are quite useful for picking individual strings. Some guitarists use artificial fingernails in place of picks. These are available in various shapes, sizes, materials, and thickness.

Thickness of Your Guitar Pick Matters

A pick’s thickness is also important when choosing one for yourself and you can take a look at the best fit for your playing style and needs here.

Extra Light (under 0.40 mm)

This tends to be floppy and produces audible clicks with each strum that tends to be undesirable for most guitarists. But it can help most acoustic guitarists subtly achieve “even” sounds when strumming. All in all, it is not the most popular thickness, well for me at least.

Light (0.40 mm - 0.63 mm)

This thickness is perfect for acoustic guitars and strummed parts. A lot of pro guitarists love them as they tend to be non-restrictive and produce fluttery sounds.

Medium (0.63 mm - 0.85 mm)

This thickness is the perfect place that beginners can start exploring. It’s great for acoustic guitar picking and strumming, as it’s a mix of control, warmth, and durability.

Heavy (0.85 mm - 1.22 mm)

Heavy picks provide extracontrol and volume to the sound produced by your guitar. They help improve your dynamic range due to the higher picking force to string vibration ratio (the flex of lighter-gauge picks spread out some of the force of your picking, resulting in less volume).

Not all guitarists find them ideal to use as they can feel blocky as well as these can produce dull sounding music compared to medium picks. But others like them because they provide unparalleled control.

Extra Heavy (1.22 mm and above)

This picks go as thick as 2.0 mm. These are great for bass and jazzy music. Their designed to give the ultimate transfer of picking force to volume and provide great precision and control over each note.

These picks might take some guitarist some time to get used to. Once comfort kicks in, these picks can greatly improve the kind of music that comes off those strings.

So there you have it, a crash course in guitar picks. As mentioned they are not the most interesting part of your gear bag but they are sure an important part of it. All and all they are a necessity for most guitarists and provide some interesting tones depending on the type of pick you use!