67 thoughts on “Digitech Jamman Delay Review

  1. haha Worse! I’ve never, ever played a delay that sounded that bad; and I’ve played some ultra-cheap stuff. The looper part is fine; so it’s almost as if they threw in a delay plugin from Garage Band at the last minute so they could advertise that it had delay as well. hehe

    • “The DigiTech JamMan Delay Looper’s delay is a powerful stereo delay with 3 fully programmable preset memories that can be recalled instantly via dedicated footswitches. A palette of 8 delay types offers tremendous flexibility in crafting virtually any delay sound. With 16 seconds of delay time, a tap tempo footswitch, and full morphing of the delay controls via the expression input, the DigiTech JamMan Delay is in a class all its own.”

      This description hypes it up a lot… but look at the last sentence, Karl- haha! It truly is in a class of its own…in a bad way! :)

  2. so if you wanted a looper that could store loops would it the Boss or the Digitech? Or is there another one i havent heard of?

  3. I played with the RC-20 and I really like it. I think the learning curve was a bit strong but that’s probably just because I haven’t played with any other actually looper pedals(except a DD-7, but I’m not sure that counts).

  4. boss looper is great. too bad most loopers are pricey, they are really great tools for learning and fun to play with. I just wish it had some kind of quantize feature.

  5. Just got to say, Karl- I’m so glad I did not take your advice on that delay… (mostly because I didn’t want to spend that much…hehe)!!!!!

    Man- was it really that bad? I have never messed around with any Digitech stuff… you should try the Visual Sound Axel Grease Delay! I have it, and it rocks!

  6. Dan W–the looper part of the Jamman was pretty decent; I might go with it to store loops…but the small one without the delay capabilities. hehe

    Nater2–I had an RC20 for a while, but didn’t think it sounded as good as the Timeline’s looper. Of course, this is before I had found a use for stored loops. hehe Might have to give to the RC20 another shot.

    Kenrick–does the RC20 not have a quantize? When I had mine, I felt like it was quantizing…just not when I wanted it too. haha Maybe I was just off!

    Brandon–did I ever recommend the Jamman delay?! Yikes!

    And it was very terrible. You could hear the algorithms trying to work, and it gave you the most sterile-feeling headache ever. hehe :)

  7. I used (or tried to use) a looper in church for the first time on Sunday. Only had one guitarist, but had parts that I really wanted to play during a bridge section of one song, so I tried to just lay down the basic riff and then play over the top of it. Sounded great when I did it at home, not too bad in practice with the band, but when I tried it in the first service it was a disaster – way out of time and the click rhythm came on unexpectedly (it never did that in practice – I swear I have gremlins who come and adjust knobs while we pray). Second service was marginally better, but still not quite in time…

    back to the looping drawing board for me.

  8. Mark H–totally! If the Timeline could store loops too, it’d be the perfect pedal. Even more perfect. hehe

    Baggas and Brandon–looping in a band context is tricky because even if you are spot on, now the band has to match your looped tempo. Which is difficult if you’re not main time-keeper of the band, and especially if you’re playing other stuff over the loop. And then if you’re on a click track, it gets even dicier, because even for the best musician the odds of starting and stopping the loop exactly on the click are next to none. It’s like trying to get two metronomes to be exactly in sync. Get one metronome going, and then try to start the other one exactly on time with the first one. I can almost guarantee you that after a minute or two (and that’s if you’re really good), they’ll have dropped slightly out of sync. Same with looping.

    What I usually do is loop when I’m playing solo. If I’m in a band context, I either loop ambient untimed stuff that can sit in the background, or I loop for one maybe two phrases tops. For example, I’ll loop the progression, solo over the progression, and then turn the loop off. Because if you let it go too long, it’s sure to slip off, a member of the band is sure to slip off, or the quantized click track will now slip off the quantized loop.

    The only way around it is to send the click track to everyone’s ears via the same pedal you’re looping from. That way the pedal will quantize your loop tot he click everyone is already following.

    But ya, it’s really difficult. Even the bands who claim to be able to do it…well, let’s just say it still sounds pretty sloppy to me. hehe I’d just stick with ambient stuff, or one or two phrases and then shutting it right off before it slips too much. :)

    Brandon–thanks, I’ll check it out.

    And I try to change strings once a week, especially if I’m playing often. Definitely if I’m playing out a lot. I’ll push it to two weeks at times, and I never let it go over a month. That may seem excessive, but in my humble experience, strings are the lifeblood of your sound.

    As for normal people (I understand I have issues, hehe), I wouldn’t go any longer than 2 months if you’re playing a lot, and would probably change them once a month.

    Or every week. ;)

  9. Just my two cents on strings… buy string cleaner or the Ernie Ball wipes… saves me a lot of dough on strings, and I still replace them all the time. When I used to play six services every Sunday, I’d go through a set after about the first three. The cleaner has saved my rear and my wallet!

    Karl… any thoughts on Morgan amps? Seem pretty legit. Only good clip I’ve heard is of Josh Smith playing through one, so thats not quite fair…. lol

    • I also use string cleaner and I’m careful to wipe down the strings/fretboard after every set and I usually get 2 weeks out of a set of strings before they start to sound dull.

    • I think I told you, but I am considering buying a DD-20 or a DD-7… They have a lot of loop time plus the delay.

      *I personally have not played through a RC-2, but I have heard that they tend be become noisy after awhile…

      • You did. I am very interested in the smaller footprint of the RC-2 and Jamman Solo. Same issue for the DD-7 over the DD-20. I’ll probably get the DD-7 for the short term fix now that I no longer have access to a RC-20 on my board.

  10. Karl, I’ve never been disappointed in one of your reviews until now. Not only did you fail to mention U2, even indirectly, but you also failed to show pictures of Keanu Reeves.
    :)

  11. Haha! Dude- I play everyday (pretty much every week live), and I haven’t changed them in 6 months! haha… I will go to change them today!

    Maybe that’s why I have been experiencing my tone to be a little thinner than usual???

  12. I typically changed strings once a month, but I condition the strings when I put them on and make sure to clean/wipe them down after each gig.

    Also. I highly recommend the dd-20 pedal. I got mine off Craigslist over a year ago and it still is mind blowing how powerful it is.

    • Would you rec the DD-20 or the DD-7… I can’t decide which one b/c I want to use all the stuff they have to offer.

      I am looking for something tap tempo delay/looper and can switch delays easily…

      • Personally, I’d opt for the DD-20. You can get better control of it’s functionality with out the need for an external pedal (for the tap although, the external tap is very handy). Plus, I don’t think the DD-7 has presets so, with the DD-20 you essentially get 5 separate delay pedals (4 presets + manual mode). Awesome box.

      • I’ve not found the looper on the DD-20 very useful personally. Delays are quite nice, but I wouldn’t use it without an external tap switch… an even better sounding delay (in my opinion) with built in tap and 9 presets is the TC Nova delay, which is still my number 1 workhorse delay.

        Doesn’t have a looper though… if you really must have both in the one unit the Timefactor might be a good choice… still on my radar to try one of those at some point.

  13. fantastic review!

    btw, i don’t think the delays on Garageband are that bad. If anything, it should make GB better … didn’t you say that delay can make everything sound great … i guess except for the Jamman :lol:

  14. Sam–very cool! Which ones will do that? I know some of the midi ones might…perhaps the Timefactor and Timeline…does the Boomerang have midi? I thought it did.

    Marc–ya, maybe I should actually think about cleaning and taking care of my gear instead of buying new things. haha :)

    And I like Morgan Amps very much. They sound like D13′s to me. Only reason I haven’t picked one up to try out yet is because since he’s based like, 45 minutes from me, it seems everyone and their cousin in my area right now is playing one. And I always like to sound just a little different than the rest of the folks. :)

    Gtr1ab–ya, just the delay. The looper was decent, and I may have even liked it better than the RC20, although it’s been a couple years since I had the RC20.

    Chris–haha You’re right!! Worst review ever. :D

    Jared–+1 on the DD20. :)

    Brandon–yep, I’d get those strings changed! hehe And I’d also go DD20…much more versatile in a live situation. :)

    KennyG–totally agreed!

    Rhoy–hehe You know what, I actually like Garage Band, too. I was trying to come up with a well-known, inexpensive recording program off the top of my head when I wrote that, and Garage Band was the first thing that popped into my head. hehe

  15. Alright man- got your email… I have found great deals on the Fender Champ 600 ($150) 5w tube… and the Vox Valvetronix 20w ($169) and it is half tube half solid state… I think I might go with the Fender since it is all tube…

    My question to you… would 5w be enough power for live settings (I mic it of course…)? Also, have you had experience with these amps?

    • I’ve got the Vox Valvetronix 50w (original AD50VT, not the newer stuff with more settings and options). It was a great starter amp for getting to know the different styles of amps out there, loud enough to play with a band, and great for home use when kids are asleep. However, the Frenzel amp I now rely on has opened up a lot more tonal exploration and will hopefully be even better.

  16. Ones that I can think of off the top of my head are:
    Boss RC-50 – but it’s massive
    Backline RiffBox – pretty simple looking, it’s being distributed by Hartman
    Electro Harmonix 2880 – if you want to maximize it’s potential you need the optional foot switch, which makes it’s massive
    Eventide Timefactor – but only 16 seconds of looping available

    I’m pretty sure you can send a signal out of the 2880 and the Timefactor, using the units to set the time of the click.

  17. Brandon – I have a fender champ 600 and its a great little tube amp. I would recommend it for sure, and I would tell you to put in new tubes and take apart the amp and twist the red/white wires together to enhance clarity. Doesn’t make sense now but it will when you get it. Other than that, I play with it all the time, Mic it at larger venues, and I get compliments almost every time about tone and real tube drive. The champ 600 is killer for the price and what you get.

  18. karl ! have you seen the mystery pedal that strymon is working on? its on their facebook page kind of off to the right in one of their photos. it has 3 footswitches, 9 knobs, and a minidisplay to be released at NAMM this year. timeline 2? perhaps.

  19. Hey Karl,

    Pretty sure you’ve answered this before, but I can’t find the post… Where does everyone get their tubes? Just looking for the best bang for the buck. I’ve been using tube docter.com, and they’re reasonable, but I wondered if anyone knows of somewhere better

  20. Brandon–if you like the Fender, I’d definitely go with it. I’ve never played a Valvetronix I liked. hehe And 5w is enough power if you’re mic’d. If you’re trying to get a clean sound over a drummer without mic’ing it, it might not be…just depends on the amp. But it should be plenty mic’d. :)

    Sam–ya, that 2880 is so wonderful…yet huge if you want all the versatility; and it seems pretty useless without the versatility. haha And bless you for mentioning the Riffbox! I’d forgotten all about that thing! Going to check it out now. :)

    Jared–cool! Thanks for the firsthand perspective!

    Ben–just saw it yesterday or the day before. Part of me is really excited, and then the other part of me knows that if I’m not ultra-quick on the draw, I could be waiting another year for one. haha

    Rhoy–seems to be working for them! haha But they’re so popular now that I’m hesitant to get anything from them lest I sound like everyone else. I’m probably just paranoid, though. No one can hack through a riff like I can, Strymon pedal or not! ;) ;)

    Nate–tube doctor is supposed to be good, although I get all mine from Eurotubes.com . Bob handpicks the tubes, and they get to your house like, 2 days after you place the order! :)

    KennyG–+1 for sure!!

  21. “Which is difficult if you’re not main time-keeper of the band, and especially if you’re playing other stuff over the loop.”

    Saw Future of Forestry live this year and they were showing how their drummer, who also plays guitar would feed rhythmic beats or melodies into the looper and that would keep the tempo for a good part of the song, sometimes all of it. It worked really well (they are a 3 piece band, less complicated) and was really enjoyable to watch. They actually touted the looper as their 4th member as they showed how they were using it in one of the songs as they clicked a clickable ball point pen a few times to record its metallic percussion.

    BTW, I use a Jamman Solo and have been enjoying it with my DIY 3 button footswitch that really increased its versatility by allowing it to bank up/down and stop the loop. You can use a SD card with it also and record up to 16 hours on it. I use it to record ideas as well as loop stuff.

  22. considering M9 or the DD-20 to replace my Nova Repeater. Is the DD-20 really that good? How about M9? The Nova sounds just so-so IMO and I need presets

  23. I always use acoustic strings on my single-coil electrics; particularly food of you are a heavy strummer like me :-) It gives a warm tone right off the bat and they tend to last longer too; not for everyone, but it works for me!

    I have a timeline for my main delay, and use a DD-7 for the looping with an external footswitch to control the timing; IRS actually meant to be a tattoo gun killswitch, but it has a 1/4″ jack and has worked perfectly with my DD-7 – cheaper than the FS-U! ( only cost me $10!)

    • Acoustic strings on a an electric? Interesting. Do you use nickel-wound acoustic strings or the standard bronze-wound type? I know that the bronze-wound strings react a little differently with a magnetic pup. I have a magnetic sound-hole pup in my acoustic and I do hear a difference between the two. I actually got a set of strings that are wound with both bronze and nickel winds (alternating) and were designed to be used with sound-hole pups. I can’t remember what brand they are or anything and I haven’t tried them yet though so I’m not even sure about how they sound. I guess the logic is that the bronze winds give you a fuller “un-amplified” sound while the nickel winds give you a stronger signal in the pups magnetic field.

  24. Forgivenick–very cool. Did they sync what he was looping to an external click, or did they play without a metronome and just let the loops be their tempo?

    And ya, the looping part of the Jamman was fine. Just…not the delays. hehehe

    Austin–well, you’re probably asking the wrong person. haha I’m sure almost everyone will disagree with me, but I’m not a big fan of the Nova or the M9. However, a lot of people do love them, and sound great using them. Personally, I think the DD20 sounds much weightier and fuller than those others. It also doesn’t digitize your dry signal like the Nova or M9. :)

    Dariathe–okay, if you have a tatoo gun footswitch on your pedalboard, then you officially have the coolest pedalboard ever. :)

    And acoustic strings, huh? Very interesting! Do you use a lighter gauge, or just set up your electric to handle it?

    KennyG–good point on the pickups…I’m curious as well.

    Brandon–did you try it next to the Epi Valve Junior yet? The 600 does look cool, though. :)

    Chris–no worries. I’ll go check it out! :)

    • Karl, thanks. You comments count. Since you are the first person I knew who can demonstrate the differences of buffered / unbuffered sound on Youtube. Most people on Internet (especially Gear Page/Harmony Central) describe tone in words with keyboard. And my tone has improved after following the suggestion on this blog (of course by adding more delay :D)

      I found the Nova sound plain and dull as well. I had a chance to borrowed a DD-7 from my friend, it sounded better. If the DD-20 sound similar to it, I would probably happy with it. The reason I consider M9 is because of it’s functionality. It’s like everything in a box. I have no modulation pedal on my board right now after selling my CH-1. If I choose DD-20, I might also want to add a tremolo or something else.

    • Karl, I have 11-52 standard bronze-wound DR strings on my strat; I’ve set up the guitar to handle it tension-wise. It is a hardtail bridge so I don’t have to add extra springs to a tremolo, though I have done this with a tremolo one too; it took five springs to compensate the tension correctly; I was a guitar tech in a music store, so I know what I am doing, but as long as you compensate the truss rod properly, you can do whatever you like!

      And the tattoo gun killswitch sounds cool, but really it is just a regular unlatched footswitch; though it is easier to use the the FS-U as the switch is the whole fascia!

  25. Karl- I am pretty sure they just used the loops to set their tempo. Their drummer is really good and definitely impressive to watch.

    From their blog (http://futureofforestry.blogspot.com/):

    “NEW REHEARSAL VIDEO
    The song “Did You Lose Yourself” was filmed during one of our rehearsals in LA. You can watch it at youtube! It features our new live looping system we are unveiling on the 3 tour. Hope you like it!”

      • They are even better in person. I am fortunate and live in San Diego, where they are from (and pretty close to where Karl is as well :D). I first got a taste of their live performance skills when I used to watch Something Like Silas (Eric’s band before FoF) back when I was still in college. I think I have seen him play with his two bands in a live setting about 6 times. They tour, mostly on the west coast, throughout the year. Try to see them live if you can, you won’t regret it.

  26. I have not tried them together…I haven’t really tried 600. Just heard demos and got some advice from my friend who runs a similar gear. I have played through Fender tubes amps for special times, and I like the Fender sound. I looked at the Epi Jr., but could not find one for my price range…that is why I didn’t go with it. It does look like a great amp though!

    • I really like the epi amps. The amp I’m currently running is an epi (Blues Custom 30, 30 watt 2×12 combo w/ a half power switch). I love how it sounds and the only thing that is NOT stock about it is the tubes. I swapped ‘em out for a set of. Although, I’m considering buying/building an iso cab and pulling out the amp section and building a box to make just a head (leaving the combo box part intact so I go back to the original if I ever want/need to…). Using it at the 15 watt setting works pretty well at decent church stage volumes but, it really sings at 30 watts and I’d rather use it. Just too darn loud at 30 watts.

  27. hey guys no one what so ever has brought up the rangs i think the boomerang 3 is the best looper of course for multiply loops for a one man band sounds good very clear ? whats ur opinion

  28. KennyG–I didn’t know (or I forgot) you were playing an Epi 30. It has a half power switch? Yikes, Epiphone is really putting it together these days. Way cool.

    Brandon–like $10 give or take. Go to eurotubes.com . Best tubes, great customer service. :)

    Patrick–they’re supposed to be great tone-wise! When I last checked, I don’t think they stored loops. Is that still true? If I were to get a dedicated looper, I’d want it to store as well as loop live. But that’s just personal preference. They sound great!

  29. Yeah, the only thing it doesn’t have that I wish it did is a master volume. I’m getting around this with a Weber attenuator for the time being. Actually, the attenuator has allowed me to jump back up to 30 watts while keeping the stage volume reasonable. If I do wind up pulling the amp section out and making it a head, I think I’m going to mount the attenuator in the space and just make that an attenuated 212 cab (the attenuator has a bypass switch on it so it wouldn’t always have to be attenuated…).

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