Tech 21 Boost DLA – The Best Delay So Far



I’ve been looking for a delay pedal for my leads almost forever. I went through multiple different pedals and you can read about them from my previous post. There was always something wrong, either the sound wasn’t right or the knobs turned as I stepped on the pedal or something else. For a second I totally gave up but after a while decided to give a chance to one more pedal.

I bought the Tech 21 Boost DLA delay pedal and it is definitely the best delay pedal I’ve used so far. It has everything I wanted from a delay pedal, which is quite amazing. Next I’ll go through the reasons why this is actually the best delay pedal ever.


1. Tone
I found out that I don’t like the harshness of digital delays like Boss DD3. I wanted something more analog that would fatten the mix up but I don’t like very dark repeats either. Tone control allows me to find the best setting somewhere in between the analog and digital sound.

2. Flutter
I liked the tape setting on TC Electronic Flashback and it was really sad that I couldn’t use it. Boost DLA has the flutter control which adds modulation to the signal and it gives same feeling as Flashbacks tape setting.

3. Level
Even though my leads are not solos or anything, I still like to boost them a bit. Boost DLA can add even +9 dB boost, which is a lot. I don’t know if any other delay pedal can also boost the signal, so this is almost too good to be true.

And in a way it is. Since I drive my amp so loud the level control doesn’t really rise the volume even though I’m using it in the FX loop. However, it fattens the tone which suits me really well.


4. Size
One thing that was really important for me was the size of the pedal. I have a small pedal board, so there just isn’t space for big delay systems like Boss Giga Delay or such. Boost DLA is just a bit larger than your average Boss-sized pedals, so after some adjustments to the other pedals, it fits perfectly to my board.

5. Tap tempo
Boost DLA is also the smallest delay pedal that has tap tempo. TC Electronic Flashback had the innovative audio tap tempo, but since it also mutes the signal the tempo must be set before the next song. Tom said that it sucks so I couldn’t really use it live. With the foot controllable tap tempo I can match the tempo easily during the songs, only problem is to find good spot for some additional stepping.

I also tried pedals without tap tempo. They were fine until we played something like Shining Bright and all my delay taps were just out of time and everything was just a one big mess.

6. Trails
Boost DLA has also a switch for trails so the delay taps keep on playing even after the pedal is turned off. This comes handy as I can sometimes play only half of the parts as the delay repeats do the rest.

For example in the intro of All I Want we have the pick slide just before the first verse’s rhythm part. At the same time I should bypass the delay and change my pickup position from the neck to bridge. With trails I can do only half of the pick slide and during the repeats I can bypass the pedal, change the mic position and get ready for the verse.


Overall this is the best delay pedal and I wouldn’t change this to any other. Except to the Boost DLA version 2. It has cooler graphics on it and it has dotted 8th note option while version 1 has strange triplets setting. Thank god we don’t do any Edge style of delay leads, so it doesn’t really matter. And also tape drift sounds cooler than flutter.

Now we’ll just wait when Tom will buy his own Boost DLA.

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