Electro-Harmonix revises a pedalboard classic as the Deluxe Memory Man gets the Nano treatment

EHX Memory Man Deluxe Nano
(Image credit: Electro-Harmonix)

Electro-Harmonix has refreshed one of the most iconic pedals in its lineup, the Deluxe Memory Man, rehousing the ground-breaking analogue delay pedal with modulation in a Nano-sized enclosure to save space on crowded pedalboards.

Furthermore, EHX has added Rate and Depth controls to give you more control over its chorus and vibrato modes, and extended its maximum delay time to 550ms.

If it might take a little getting used to this new look, Deluxe Memory Man Nano’s tones should be instantly familiar; the effect can be heard on scores of classic records. It has been used by the likes of Robert Smith, Chris Cornell and the Edge, who famously used it on U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday, and you will most certainly find it one on Ed O’Brien's pedalboard.

While the original units were a little cumbersome, that can't be said of the Nano version. Electro-Harmonix do not waste an inch of this compact little enclosure. It’s a single-footswitch design with a complement of six control knobs adjusting Blend, Feedback, Delay, Level, and the aforementioned Rate and Depth.

Level controls the input gain. Blend adjusts the wet/dry mix. When set at 100 per cent wet, the pedal produces a vibrato effect; at 50/50 it is chorus. 

Feedback controls the number of repeats, and at extreme positions will put the unit into self-oscillation mode for ambient, ever-sustaining squeals – a sound guaranteed to cause the family dog to howl in protest/approval (it’s hard to say which). You can also dial in some pseudo-reverb effects by setting feedback high and keeping delay times short.

The Delay control adjusts the delay time, with your range now extending from 30ms for super-short slapback to 550ms, which is quite a considerable upgrade on previous versions which had a maximum delay time of 300ms. 

Rate and Depth replace the original Chorus/Vibrato control., while under the hood you’ll find a Tails Switch that can activate a tails mode – ie allowing the delay to continue and its repeats fade of its own accord after switching the effect off – or true bypass operation.

Introduced in 1980, the Deluxe Memory Man became an instant hit with guitar players. Its bucket-brigade-driven repeats were warm and musical, while the modulation extended its appeal, making it a hugely versatile option for vanilla or off-the-wall tones. You could operate the Nano Deluxe Memory Man as a simple chorus pedal, or take the modulation out of its signal. 

The original units had a switch that selected between chorus and vibrato and while the Blend control sorts out the type of effect you will hear, to mimic the original sounds of the first-wave DMMs, set the Rate control at 9 o’clock for chorus, and at 2 o’clock for vibrato.

Finally, there is red LED to let you know when the delayed signal starts to clip, and another to let you know when the effect is on or off.

The Nano Deluxe Memory Man is out now priced $203. See Electro-Harmonix for more details.

Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.