Stop the Press – Boss DD-500

This review is not of a pedal I own, or actually have any intention of owning. The main reason I wanted to borrow the DD500 is to see how big it was. I’ve seen Boss’s high end pedals in music shops and had a rough idea of how big they were but I wanted to see how much room they would take up on my pedal board. Mainly because I was/am very interested in purchasing an RV-500 Reverb pedal. I will happily report that It fits on the Boss BCB-60 at a push with my other pedals including my recent purchases of a Digitech Obscura and a Boss RC-3. But with a pedal the size of the DD-500 I am at full capacity. The one thing putting me off purchasing an RV-500 is the price. At the moment it is far more than I am comfortable paying. especially as I think I’ll be more than happy with the much smaller but less feature packed Boss RV-6.

Anyway enough of my ramblings. I borrowed the DD-500 from my good friend Marc over at Northern Stompboxes. This is his personal delay pedal and not one that he sells and I was lent it on strict instructions that I was not to change any of the first 4 banks of presets as Marc had spent a good amount of time tweaking his presets to his own tastes. I can’t complain about this as actually the first few presets Marc had saved were very nice and usable. I made my way through the first 20 or so banks and found many presets that I did not need to tweak at all. There are far more options than I will probably ever need. But there is a positive to this, if you hear a delay sound on a song that you want to emulate I’m quite certain that you will be able to emulate it using the DD-500. It is very comprehensive.

It is also very easy to use. I didn’t save over any of the presets but I did tweak some of them to see what all the buttons did. There is every option for connecting the pedal to any of your amps, midi systems or mixing desks, not that I had any need for most of them but for users with lots of different connection requirements a pedal with the extensive options of the DD-500 would be fantastic.

There are also different options for the tap tempo button, rather than it being a tap tempo there are hold, warble, warp twist style functions that sound crazy, I had a lot of fun with the twist function and would highly recommend watching demos on YouTube.

I have a lot of respect for a pedal such as the DD-500 as there are just so many options for tweakability. Yet it is still very easy to find a sound that works for you, either using a preset as a base or starting from scratch. It is also smaller than expected, and built like a tank as all Boss pedals are. There are just a few negatives for me, the first being the price currently around the £300 mark in the U.K. is more than I can happily afford on a single pedal. The rest of my pedal board has probably cost me about that much combined. Also as I don’t play live I don’t really need to have banks of sounds to choose from and do have the time to just tweak knobs until I find a sound I like. I can however see the merits for such a system on stage, being able to switch from a slapback to an ambient wash at the press of a button must be a godsend on stage. I am very happy with the delay pedal I have at the moment, a Digitech Obscura. This has less features than the Boss DD-500, only having 4 modes to the Boss’s 10 or 12 very tweakable options, but for me that is more than enough in fact of the 4 modes on the Obscura I only really use 3.

Don’t let me put you off the DD-500 I really like it as a product. It just doesn’t suit me and my needs at the moment. In the future maybe the larger Boss pedals will be the ones that I lust after. I am also restraining myself as I would also have to upgrade my pedal board and get a good power supply. This is a subject for another day. Borrowing the Boss served its purpose as I know that I can fit a larger pedal on my board without too much moving around and that the reverb version of Boss’s larger pedals is not something that I would need at the moment. If it is anything like the DD-500 it is something that I my want to buy in the future.

In Summary:

Pros –

  • Built like a tank
  •  Lots of storage – 198 total saved patches!
  • Stereo inputs/outputs, midi, plus anything else you can probable need
  • More choice than anyone would want. You’ll be able to find a sound you like pretty much guaranteed

Cons –

  • Price, for me this is a con as it costs more than I would consider spending on one pedal at this time.
  • Is quite large, for me to have on my board, but honestly by this point I’m picking fault to try and keep the review fair
  • Looks may be a con if you prefer your effects to look crazy, it is quite plain

 

 

 

 

 

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