DigiTech Obscura Delay review

  • £139
  • €176
  • $229

Digital delay on a degradation trip

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Our Verdict

There's no denying that this is one of the best-sounding and most exciting digital delays we've used in some time, and we can't help but recommend it.

For

  • Superb digital emulations of analogue sounds. Perfect for atmospherics. Degrade knob is a great feature.

Against

  • Tap tempo control is laborious. Reverse mode is wet-signal-only.
Buying options

As well as being a robust and good-looking compact pedal, the Obscura is inventive, too.

The concept is thus: four delay types - analogue, tape, lo-fi and reverse - are manipulated via tone and degrade controls (the latter changes depending on delay type).

"The analogue sounds are up there with the best digital emulations we've heard"

The repeat hold function is a great addition: set the repeats control below three o'clock, get the delay going, then twist it to max.

The delay signal now repeats infinitely, and your guitar signal is unaffected, leaving you to play over it, or alter the repeats for pitch-bending insanity - perfect for atmospheric intros and outros.

The tones themselves are brilliant, too: the analogue sounds are up there with the best digital emulations we've heard, and there are warm digital repeats to be had from the lo-fi setting, which apes early digital delays.

The Obscura isn't perfect: the 'hold footswitch for three seconds' tap tempo is somewhat laborious, the reverse mode is wet-signal-only, and there's more versatility available elsewhere at this price.

However, fussy echo fans will love the ability to tweak the tone, while the degrade knob dials in just enough rough, as it saturates, grits, wows and flutters the repeats.

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Tech Specs

Available Outputs2x1/4-inch jacks
Battery/Adaptor TypeNine-volt mains adaptor
Available Inputs2x1/4-inch jacks
Features True or buffered bypass