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Boost and Overdrive

Steve Demedash Releases Best Version of his T-120 DLX Videotape Echo Tomorrow!

DelayDemedash EffectsDigital DelayLo-Fi DelayTape Delay+-
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I’ve been a fan of Steve Demedash for a few years now, though I’ve not gotten around to acquiring any of his pedals quite yet - the timing seemingly continues to fall out of sync with my concurrent reality! Had I the funds right now I would certainly be considering getting involved in this Friday the 26th’s Melée - where 50 of the clear aluminium enclosure version with colourful stripes and matching aluminium knobs will be going on sale at 10am CST for the princely sum of $340 plus shipping - on the Demedash Reverb Store. Within these challenging times I alas have not the funds to participate on this occasion - and so actually feel a certain degree of relief that I can avoid the anxiety and potential post-purchase dissonance of such an event.


The T-120 DLX is one of the very finest examples of textural tape delay with simulated degradation - here modelled on Sony’s classic Dynamicron T-120 VHS Video Cassette Tape - whose outer box / sleeve is where all the design cues come from. This latest version really takes this concept to the next level - and I doubt very much you’d ever get bored staring at its fine design details and vibrant colourway - surely candy for the ears and eyes.


Besides the obvious additional footswitch there are actually a number of hidden enhancements for the DLX model as detailed in the legends of the above visual - Pseudo Stereo Output via TRS Cable, a Sample-Rate Reduction effect when you crank up the Time interval, Buffered Trails when you go to Standby, and of course the most obvious ’Swell’ effect second footswitch.


Steve also very recently mentioned the addition of alternative / secondary Glide and Randomize controls - and I dare say there are a few more secret weapon settings still to be revealed!


Details for the Controls and Footswitches are as follows :

  • Time - The Time Interval for each repeat, for the DLX version longer times result in Sample-Rate / Signal Quality Reduction too. Maximum delay time is 1500ms, and the pedal creates a Chorusing effect in tandem with Modulation Depth and Speed controls when Time is set CCW
  • Mix - Dry > Wet Mix : CCW fully unaffected, CW fully wet effect
  • Intensity - Number of re-recording / repeats of each echo - essentially the feedback control - all the way up to self-oscillation
  • Depth - The amount of pitch-shifting vibrato induced in the recorded signal, giving the sound of an uncalibrated broken VCR (Modulation Depth). If you hold down the Bypass footswitch you trigger secondary Glide Mode - which shifts the waveform between Square and Triangle varieties as you turn the dial
  • Speed - Rate of the pitch-shifting vibrato in the recorded signal, low setting give you a wavery warble, while higher settings sound like the tape is being chewed up (Modulation Rate). Using the Bypass Alt function here triggers a Randomize mode - which introduces some wavering uncertainty / inconsistency into the output for more textural variation
  • Tape Quality - Lower or Raises the bandwidth / quality of the signal recording - at low levels each repeated echo becomes more degraded than the last
  • Swell - Momentary and Latching footswitch which causes the echo repeats to Swell up in volume - works both while pedal is on or bypassed. In bypass mode you can rhuthmically stomp this switch to create a sort of manually triggered delay pattern
  • Buffered Bypass - When going from On/Engaged to Bypass - the buffer plays out the last repeated phrase before the signal fades - i.e. buffered trails on bypass

From the above demos you should be able to ascertain just how fantastic this pedal can sound - it somehow evokes memories of Vespertine-era Björk for me for some reason. This is obviously a very formidable pedal within its space, which is the perfection of a single style of delay - often called VHS or Video Tape Delay - which can be found on just a handful of pedals these days - in particular some granular delays and granular synthesis styles of pedals. Yet none of those are quite as refined and fully-featured as you have here.


Even though I'm fairly sure the Cooper FX Arcades will cover me for similar territory eventually I am still tempted by this particular form-fact. Everyone should know by now how much I like dual-footswitch compact enclosure pedals. The lack of full stere ins and outs does cause me some consternation and does make it not quite the perfect fit for my pedal-chain. However such is the draw of the overall design qualities of this pedal that I'm still sorely tempted. Of course this is somewhat academic right now as I'm not in a position to acquire one such any time soon.


I'm pretty sure anyone who gets one though will be delighted with their acquisition - it sounds fantastic and it has a certain ease of setup and operation which should suit most. I would still be edging for more connections here and some form of onboard presets. I currently have 3 delay pedals in my chain - the Boss DD-200, Strymon Volante Magnetic Echo and Eventide H9 Max - none of those really covers that particular effect. But the plan is to use the Cooper FX Arcades in part for just such a scenario - and we all know that there is a Generation Loss Card forthcoming soon.


As it is - if you want one of the current leading examples of Video Tape Delay - in a stand-alone unit - then there is nothing out there close to this form factor. Both the Keeley Eccos and Walrus Audio Mako D1 are exceptional full-stereo multi-mode delay units in similar compact enclosures - they both sound fantastic, but don't do the specific VHS flavour - so you need to weigh up the pros and cons with your own likely usage scenario. If you've ever been tempted by the T-120 Delay - now is definitely the right time - and I fully expect all of these to go very quickly. The full-metal edition looks so much better than anything that has come before! Circa 50 each of Standard and DLX versions will appear for a brief moment on the Demedash Reverb Store - you will need to be very punctual if you intend to come away with something!

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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