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Dirty-South Blues Harp forum: wail on! > Reverb AND Delay
Reverb AND Delay
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230 posts
Jun 26, 2020
6:51 PM
I guess I was late to the game to figure this out but ...

Reverb and Delay are not interchangeable, and sound great when used together.

I'm not much of a pedal and effects guy. Mostly I like to just plug into the amp and play. If an amp had reverb, I used it. Otherwise I might use my Boss RV-5 reverb pedal, or nothing. But recently I discovered that the spring reverb in my Fender Deluxe and a Lone Wolf Delay, when used together and tweaked right, sound HUGE. How did I miss this all these years?

What do you like to use for reverb and delay combinations and how do you like to set them up?
448 posts
Jun 27, 2020
1:25 AM
Hi Jim McBride,
I heartily agree that reverb and delay can and do co-exist. Like you, I came to that revelation late in my harmonica playing life.

Here's a repost of the 15th message I posted on this forum ten years ago, back when I was (almost) a virgin poster. I was talking about how I discovered delay pedals:

"Most of my harp playing life, I used reverb only.

I used the inboard unit that came with my first amp, a '68 Super reverb. I used an outboard unit since 1976, when I bought my still working, still used '62 Fender Concert. As tube freaks know, it has no reverb. The outboard unit I got in the '70s was a "Univox Pro-Verb". I still use it. My guitar-playing friends describe its sound as cheezy, but I like it. It was cheap to buy, but it's not cheezy.

Here's a picture:


I set it at about 3 out of 10, not too much reverb, except when I do a slow, atmospheric blues like Junior Walker's "Cleo's Mood", or "Cleo's Back"-- I set it at 5 or 6.

Adam Gussow started his YouTube lessons three and a half years ago. Like half the computer-literate harmonica players in the English speaking world, I watched them avidly. Great explanations and demonstrations; I'll save that for another thread.

Quite apart from that, I liked how Adam sounded. In one of those early lessons, he said he used delay as part of his sound. I think it was his very first lesson. That changed my long standing resolve to avoid delay pedals. I bought one when I was next in the big city, Vancouver B.C. I found one in the Tom Lee Music store. I was in the mood to buy, so I bought what was in the display case that day-- a MXR Carbon Copy. Total impulse purchase, no homework before I bought.

I got lucky. I love it, and have used it ever since, in moderation, along with a touch of reverb. They can and do co-exist.

The MXR Carbon delay darkens your tone a very tiny bit. For me, like others, it's a harp friendly change. It's hardly noticeable. It adds a slight amount of gain/volume to the harp when it's running. The harp is louder with it on than off. If I click the "off" button, it sounds like my microphone is plugged directly into the amp, however there's a slight volume drop.

I can see how the volume drop could be a problem for some. For me, as for some of the people who posted here, it's not a problem because the delay unit is always on. I'd have preferred no volume change, but, given my style of play, I can live with it. It's a good analog delay pedal."

Jim McBride, you asked "How do you like to set them up?" If you're asking about the order in the chain: delay first, reverb second. The reverse gets too "spacey".

If you're asking about the degree of reverb and delay, see above for reverb, see below for delay, with reference to the MXR Carbon Copy, since I know nothing about the Lone Wolf delay.

The MXR Carbon Copy delay has three settings:

1. Delay-- the time it takes for the first repeat of the original sound. (bathroom or auditorium?)
2. Mix-- the relative volume balance of dry (undelayed) and wet (delayed) sound
3. Regen-- how many times the delayed sound repeats (each repeat diminishing in volume)

7 o'clock is the "off" position for all settings on my MXR CC delay. 5 0'clock is the maximum for all settings. My preferred position for all three settings is 8 to 8:30. in other words, use in moderation, especially when mixing with reverb!


wolf kristiansen

Four years ago, I asked Adam about his settings on his MXR Carbon Copy delay. I had heard him on YouTube using it. I liked his sound. I don't think he mixes reverb and delay, so his settings might not work for you. Anyways, here are his answers-- delay 11:30 to noon, mix 8:30, regen 8:30. It could be different now, knowing how harp players always tweak their sound.
6713 posts
Jun 27, 2020
4:06 AM
I thought Adam was a Boss DD3 user
231 posts
Jun 27, 2020
7:19 PM
Thanks for the great answer! Much appreciated.

As far as order in the chain goes, I'm using the spring reverb in my amp. So the delay has to go first, just as you suggested.

I'm using a Lone Wolf Harp Delay. Its the V2 version - not sure if that makes a big difference. There is no drop in volume with it, and it doesn't appear to darken the tone at all. For now, I'm leaving it on all the time. I really like this pedal, and I'm not a pedal guy at all.

My settings are not too far off from what you said. But I'm still working on them.

Jim McBride
Bottle 'O Blues microphones
232 posts
Jun 27, 2020
7:22 PM
One thing about the Harp Delay V2 that I'm not crazy about ...

Today the battery was low and in the middle of a song at rehearsal it went into oscillation. A loud oscillation, loud enough for the band to stop and for someone to think the fire alarm was going off!

Would be better if ti just died :-)

I need to make 100% sure I replace the battery before each gig!

Jim McBride
Bottle 'O Blues microphones
6718 posts
Jun 27, 2020
9:24 PM
That’s one reason I got an adapter; they drain batteries quite quickly too.
233 posts
Jun 27, 2020
9:33 PM
I used to use an adapter but it can be a pain to plug it in. No problem on a gig, but at a jam you have very little time to setup and you're often lucky to find an outlet for your amp and its usually too far away for the adapter cable.

Has anyone ever wired an AC outlet on the back of your amp for easy reach to plug in pedals?

Jim McBride
Bottle 'O Blues microphones
1116 posts
Jun 28, 2020
6:36 AM
Maybe you can use one of this:

I made myself one whit a step up converter, but this is plug and play, no DIY.

Sorry for any misspell, english is not my first language.
235 posts
Jun 28, 2020
7:53 AM
Interesting idea. USB Power Bank + Step up (boost) converter.

Jim McBride
Bottle 'O Blues microphones
2138 posts
Jun 28, 2020
8:08 AM
I use delay (I have 2) and other pedals so seldom that I either just use one battery per pedal per gig or I plug in an adapter with power chain.

I did seriously consider the Joyo Power Supply 5, but I couldn't justify the outlay for the limited number of times I play through a pedal rig.

Joyo Power Supply 5

Doug S.

Last Edited by dougharps on Jun 28, 2020 8:09 AM
586 posts
Jun 29, 2020
9:27 AM
Delay is a battery eater--Guitar players have none that for years--
I --as well-- have had a loud sound live, when battery died.

One way around ac adapter is:
They sell cords with 9 volt battery snap on, on one side of cord—the other side goes into you’re “AC ADAPTER PLUG ON PEDAL”

Ive used it, works well. So if yr onstage, u don’t have time to find and ac outlet—u can use the battery in yr delay, until u feel the battery is close to dying---then grab yr cord with new battery and plug it into AC spot on outside of pedal-----this disconnects the internal battery and switches to the ac plug in spot.
Its all done externally and quick. Good to have on hand. Good for jams and quick set up.

They also sell “compartments that hold 4” or more batteries, with same cord coming out---meant to power 4 or more pedals, with battery used in “ac adapter in”—ALL EXTERNAL AND QUICK


When I use batteries
I have the above mentioned cords ready to go-----I have extra scrap “ac adapter in” plugs with bright yellow or pink duct tape 3” or so, plugged into back of pedals, I pull them out when band starts and put them back in on breaks---IT EXTENDS THE INTERNAL BATTERY LIFE and extends battery life----BUT U HAVE TO REMEMEBER THERE IN "HENCE COLOREE DUCT TAPE"


6653 posts
Jun 29, 2020
1:31 PM
I used a DD-2 and then a DD-3 for many years. Two or three years ago I switched to the MXR Carbon Copy analog delay. It's got a great sound. It also slightly boosts the signal when the effect is kicked in--which has advantages and disadvantages, since when you stomp on the pedal to go clean, signal strength drops slightly and the tone is slightly less aggressive.

Years ago, I split the signal off my mic. One channel went into a Kendrick tube reverb tank; the other into a DD-2. Then each output went into a different amp.

Whose Blues? Facing Up to Race and the Future of the Music
1117 posts
Jun 29, 2020
3:08 PM

That is the step up converter that I use to boost the 5v of the usb power bank into the 9v.

As you can see, those are cheap.
Sorry for any misspell, english is not my first language.
239 posts
Jun 29, 2020
6:44 PM
All good info, thanks!

@snowman, I love the idea of an external 9V battery cable. I can make that myself.

I don't know what kind of amp you're playing through these days. Does it have reverb? What are your thoughts on just delay or reverb, or both?

Jim McBride
Bottle 'O Blues microphones
59 posts
Jun 30, 2020
5:00 PM
If you have seen Kim Wilson (for me this is recent) he just plugs straight into a pair of Tweed Bassman, no affects. That is 95% of the time what I do, one or two '59 Bassmans. Second one usually if outdoors, or want to have more coverage without pushing one amp to verge of feedback. If anything a slight delay only, right now "two-timer delay", for many years Hughes & Kettner Replex, with changed tube in unit to 12AU7 to lower gain/feedback. Have used '63 Fender Reverb Unit in 70's, Premier Reverb Unit 20 years ago, otherwise delay. What helped me realize to play "dry" mostly: 1. Chromatic & clean playing can get lost in the wash of too much reverb, plus many rooms are pretty "lively" on their own. 2. Have a band mate or someone with good ears, play for them a recording you like the mix on(William Clarke, Paul Delay, etc.) at a gig have them go to back of room and listen. If you are tuning your sound to how your rig sounds next to you on stage, by the time it reaches back of room it may lose definition, awash with Reverb especially. When they return and say you sound like the record, or perfect in the mix out in the room, that helped me gauge my on stage settings to have it sound out in the room how I want.

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