The Electro-Harmonix Analogizer

The EH Analogizer is an interesting pedal that puts a well-known studio trick for thickening your tones (adding 10 to 40 ms of delay on a guitar signal) into a pedal format. Not only does it add this tiny bit of delay but rounds off the top until it is smooth and creamy.

It goes off into other territory as well (boosting, adding grit, overdrive, and a slightly wider delay that, with the right blending, almost doubles your guitar parts without the swishy chorus effect).

For me it is more useful with single coil pickups and it is not an 'on-all-the-time' nor a 'set-it-and-forget-it' effect.

Q: Can this box help get a faux tape echo effect.
A: Yes, to an extent, but it takes a wetter mix and more modulation.

I think EH's video does a nice job in illustrating the murky tape-like sounds you can get out of it but you're not going to get the tape machine, i.e., mechanical aspects of a real tape echo. If you have a delay pedal with a 300ms delay + modulation (e.g., the Stereo Memory Man) then you just turn the blend knob up to about 10:00 and the Decay knob (on the SMM) up to approximately 'noon' and you'll have good approximation of tape. Think of the effect as less tape echo machine and more in line with adding a tape age and bias feature to your delay in that it can give it a warmer, darker tone. But it isn't going to get you anything like an El Capistan (Strymon) or other tape echo effect.

Another way to use this pedal is in conjunction with the EHX Freeze or a looper: you can set up a dark sustain or phrase with the Analogizer on and then turn it off to play sparkly clean lines on top of that darker background, or, vice versa: record something clean and bright, crank up the output on the looper or Freeze, then kick on the Analogizer with some added gain for a killer, killer overdrive that will make your single coil guitar sound like a 10,000 pound velvet hammer.

However, as an overdrive I like it best with a fat humbucker equipped guitar with the volume maxed and the gain to taste. It sounds huge while also boosting mids appreciably.

It's a no-brainer for about $100 and more flexible and useable than you might imagine at first.

Update: I bought an El Capistan delay, took the Analogizer off my pedalboard and haven't used it since.

Next: the pursuit of analog Nirvana