Review: Tech 21’s Boost D.L.A.

Feedback is a fully analog circuit and controls the number of repeats. It repeats once at its lowest setting and increases through nearly infinite repeats to self-oscillation at its highest setting. The Mix control, also fully analog, controls the dry to wet signal. Whereas many delays set a 50/50 mix at the highest setting, the Boost D.L.A. offers a 100% fully wet signal. Why all delay pedals don’t offer this great feature is beyond me. Tone, fully analog as well (noticing a trend here?), is a shelving filter of 6dB per octave. At its highest setting there is no change in tone. Turning the dial counter-clockwise rolls off the high end, giving a rounder more muted feel to the delays.

Level/Boost (Guess what? Yup, 100% analog circuit.) controls the output level. An additional 9dB of boost is available beyond the standard setting for max at 12 o’clock. While pretty damn clean, I noticed a touch of crunch when maxing this setting. Individual results may vary as the boost is meant to be clean. Flutter modulates the signal. This is a control you have to contain because used improperly, you and your audience may feel the ill effects of motion sickness even with your butts planted firmly in a chair. But used judiciously, this control can impart a subtle chorus-like effect that will gracefully enhance your playing and cause total strangers to start making out and fall in love.

Two small push buttons round out the potpourri of great features. Trails allows the delayed signal to continue even after the pedal is kicked into bypass mode. Repeats will gradually diminish in volume for five seconds before cutting off completely. Holding the bypass footswitch down will increase this time. Finally, the Triplets button, working in conjunction with Tap Tempo, toggles between 1/4-note and triplet repeats for expanded rhythmic possibilities.


This feature-rich pedal is incredibly well thought out and sounds great. It’s got bells and whistles but is vintage in the quality of its warm, analog-sounding output. I love Tech 21’s no holds barred approach to maxing out the effectiveness of the controls: Mix goes fully wet, Feedback can oscillate ’till the end of time, Level “goes to 11…” Add to that the thoughtfulness of Flutter, Tap Tempo, and user controlled fading of delays using Trails. I’ve got two words for whatever delay pedal you’re using right now: e – Bay.

PROS: 100% analog circuitry for Mix, Feedback, Tone, and Level. Can set Tap Tempo while in bypass mode. Tap tempo! Lots of great features without compromising tone.

CONS: Won’t delay my rent. Other than that, I can’t think of any.

MSRP – $260

Dan Coplan is senior staff writer at SMG. Dan is a Los Angeles based cinematographer and self-admitting guitar junkie. Email:

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