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DigiTech Obscura Delay review

Digital delay on a degradation trip

  • £139
  • €176
  • $229
Hold the footswitch for three seconds to engage the tap tempo

MusicRadar 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.

Pros

  • +

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

Cons

  • -

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

As well as being a robust and good-looking compact delay 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.

Michael Brown
Michael Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of GuitarWorld.com (opens in new tab), in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism, and has spent the past decade writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as a decade-and-a-half performing in bands of variable genre (and quality). In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe (opens in new tab).