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Boss DD-7 Review
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Review

Boss DD-7 Review

by 2016/04/09
Overview
Price

$149

Product Name

Boss DD-7 Digital Delay

Positives

• Great delay sounds
• Basic functions are easy to navigate
• Plenty of features on offer
• Road-ready build quality
• Optional footswitch and expression pedal

Negatives

• Some features are a little dated
• Optional extras require extra financial outlay

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Sound Quality
92%
83%
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92%
89%
Ease of Use
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Features
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90%
Bottom Line

The Boss DD-7 is a feature-packed and competitively priced digital delay. It has the typical solid Boss build quality and produces some great delay sounds.

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The Boss DD-7 is a digital delay that was originally released in 2008. It can found on countless boards, both pro and amateur. Like its older brother the Boss DD-3, it’s still in production and despite some dated features, it remains a popular choice. It has 6.4 seconds of delay, tap tempo, four delay modes, stereo output and a 40-second looper. It also has an optional footswitch and expression pedal. It’s about as packed with features as a single-footswitch delay can get without becoming ridiculous. Players value its clear, pristine delay sounds, ease of use for basic functions and Boss build quality.

The pedal sits in the middle-ground of Boss delay pedals. The DD-3 was released in 1986, and Boss later announced several more delays built off the same basic design. They were the DD-5, DD-6 and of course the DD-7. The DD-5 and DD-6 have since been discontinued. The DD-3 is much simpler and lighter in features than the DD-7. The triple-footswitch Boss DD-500 is their current flagship delay and offers the broadest array of sounds and customisation available from any Boss delay. The slightly older DD-20 is a dual-footswitch design that also offers a wide range of sounds and functions. While the DD-7 does have a few tricks up its sleeve, it’s safe to say that part of the pedal’s charm is that it is compact and simple to operate.

The Boss DD-7.

The Boss DD-7 will look familiar to anyone who has used other Boss digital delays.

Familiar delay control scheme

The DD-7 control knobs are: Effect Level, Feedback, Delay Time and Mode. These are complemented by the familiar broad-base Boss footswitch. ‘Effect Level’ controls the wet-dry ratio of the pedal’s signal. ‘Feedback’ controls the number of repeats. ‘Delay Time’ adjusts the length of the delay time, and works interactively with the Mode knob. It can control the following delay ranges depending on the position of Mode: 1-50 ms, 50-200 ms, 200-800 ms and 800-3200 ms. The delay time can be doubled via use of Output B, as discussed below. 6.4 seconds of delay is a reasonable figure although many modern delays offer a bigger range. For example, the Boss DD-500 offers 10 seconds, and the DD-20 offers 23 seconds.

Related: Boss DD-500 Delay Pedal Review

The Boss DD-7 has a deceptively large feature-set for a single-footswitch pedal.

The Boss DD-7 has a deceptively large feature-set for a single-footswitch pedal.

Boss DD-7 offers great delay sounds

The delay types offered by the pedal include the standard clean digital delay, Modulate, Analog and Reverse. ‘Modulate’ adds a chorus effect to the delay, the depth of which can be controlled by Effect Level.  ‘Analog’ is modelled on the vintage Boss DM-2 delay pedal, and produces a darker delay that decays in quality as the number of repeats increases. ‘Reverse’ can be used to play back the original signal and a reversed delay. If you set ‘Effect Level’ to the maximum while on this setting your original notes are cut out and only the reversed delay signal remains, producing quite a strange effect. The delay types are clearly distinct from one another and all them sound great in their own way. Some of the other Boss digital delays include superfluous modes but the DD-7 doesn’t really have any filler sounds.

The Boss DD-7 has two outputs, as displayed above.

The Boss DD-7 has two outputs, as displayed above.

Range of input and output options

The Boss DD-7 has a generous three inputs and two outputs. Input A is the standard mono input. By using Inputs A and B together, they can be used to create a stereo delay. This splits the wet and dry signals into Output A (wet) and Output B (dry). This can be used to send the respective signals to different amplifiers. Overall, there are three types of stereo delay offered by the pedal which can be switched to via the Mode knob. Users can access the panning delay by using Input A and Outputs A and B simultaneously. You can double the delay time in mono by using Input A and Output B.

Roland EV-5 Expression pedal

Roland EV-5 Expression pedal

The third input is for the use of the optional footswitch or expression pedal. You can control the tap tempo by holding down the in-built footswitch for two seconds. However, using the second optional footswitch allows the tap tempo to be set more easily. The expression pedal can be used to control delay time, feedback, and effect level. Boss recommends the use of their FS-5U footswitch and the Roland EV-5 expression pedal for these functions. The final optional extra is the PSA Series AC adaptor. Boss only include a 9V battery with the pedal. If you require an adaptor you can expect to cough up another $24 or so.

Black Boss FS-5L Footswitch which is compatible with Boss delay pedals.

Black Boss FS-5L Footswitch which is compatible with Boss delay pedals.

 

Hold mode turns the pedal into a 40-second looper. This is reduced to 20 seconds while in stereo operation. The looper operation is fairly limited compared to pedals dedicated to that function. Depending on your set-up or looping requirements it could still be useful though.

As you can expect from Boss, the DD-7 has top-notch build quality. It has a tough metal chassis and all the controls are recessed from the foot pedal. It’s certainly ready to take out on the road. If that’s not enough, Boss also offer a five-year warranty on the pedal.

The Boss DD-7 has a surprising range of features packed into its single-footswitch design. If you are in the market for a digital delay and space is at a premium, it’s an excellent option. It’s also competitively priced considering the quality soundss and range of features. The optional footswitch and expression pedal allow you to expand the functionality of the pedal, although naturally both require additional expense.

United States: Musicansfriend
United Kingdom:  Gearsformusic
International: Ebay, Aliexpress, Thomann, Guitarcenter, bhphotovideo

I have owned many delay pedals in the past several decades. I like this one the best... especially for the price range.


I generally dislike digital effects, but this pedal provides very clean and versatile sounds.


It's a Boss pedal so obviously it's outstanding quality and durable. This is my personal favorite delay. It's a simple pedal with good tone for guitarists that appreciate clarity in their playing.


This is a great pedal. There is a lot an instrumentalist can do with this pedal. There is quite a bit of functionality packed into this little box.


  • Controls: E.LEVEL, F.BACK, D.TIME, MODE, Pedal switch
  • Indicator: CHECK (Used for indication of TEMPO, HOLD, and to check battery)
  • Connectors: INPUT-A (MONO) jack, INPUT-B jack, OUTPUT-A (MONO) jack, OUTPUT-B jack, TEMPO/EXP jack, AC adaptor jack (DC 9 V)
  • Delay Time: 1 ms to 6400 ms*, Maximum recording time: 40 sec (in Hold mode) *Values may vary according to the mode and connections.
  • Nominal Input Level: -20 dBu
  • Input Impedance: 1 M ohm
  • Nominal Output Level: -20 dBu
  • Output Impedance: 1 k ohm
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 10 ohms or greater
  • Power Supply: DC 9 V: Dry battery, 9 V type (6F22/carbon, 6LR61/alkaline), AC Adaptor (PSA-series: optional), DC 9 V: Dry battery 6F22 (9 V) type (carbon), Dry battery 6LR61 (9 V) type (alkaline), AC Adaptor (PSA-series: optional)
  • Current Draw: 55 mA (DC 9 V) * Expected battery life under continuous use: Carbon: 1.5 hours, Alkaline: 6 hours. These figures will vary depending on the actual conditions of use.
  • Accessories: Owner's Manual, Mode Sticker, Application Sticker, Leaflets ("USING THE UNIT SAFELY," "IMPORTANT NOTES," and "Information"), Dry battery (9 V type, 6LR61) *1
  • Options: AC adaptor (PSA-series), Footswitch: FS-5U, Expression pedal: Roland EV-5

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About The Author
Stephen Charlton
Stephen Charlton is a musician and journalist based in Melbourne, Australia.

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