Seymour Duncan is best known for pickups, but the company has fast developed a stellar line of effects that runs from dirt to delay. Many of Seymour Duncan’s new pedals are deep, feature-rich affairs. You can count the new Andromeda stereo dynamic delay among those ranks. And it offers many fresh perspectives on how to apply this classic effect.
The Andromeda is not small but, given all it does, the enclosure is relatively compact. You get up to 5 seconds of delay time and a plethora of options including digital versions and analog emulations of normal, ping pong, reverse, and reverse ping pong delays. In addition to standard delay control parameters—feedback, delay time, mix, modulation—there’s a tap tempo footswitch and a few other controls that are less common on garden-variety delays.
These include a tone knob, a saturation knob that enables the addition of tape-echo-like grit on the repeats, and a tap value knob to let you select from quarter note, dotted eighth, eighth, and eighth-note triplets. There are also controls for turning trails on and off, and for dynamic expression (which has a corresponding threshold knob). Remarkably, these features are all presented in a very clear and intuitive manner.
The Andromeda is programmable and has room for 128 presets (32 banks of four presets), so you can save a sizable roster of preferred settings. A tiny LED screen lets you see which bank and preset are selected. There’s also a mini USB jack, so you can use Seymour Duncan’s Librarian software (a free download) to download updates and exchange settings. There are also MIDI ins and outs, and if you integrate the Andromeda into a MIDI setup, you can have more convenient access to the presets.
After setting the Andromeda up in a pedal chain, I quickly found out that, like more than a few delay pedals, it doesn’t like to be powered in a daisy chain. There was a loud hum with two pedals in front of it. So I gave the Andromeda its own power source and was good to go from there.
The Andromeda is very intuitive. I plugged it in, twisted a few knobs, and was up and running almost right away. It was easy to dial in a lush and warm modulated delay that was intoxicating for clean chordal passages.
Having a tone control proved very helpful, particularly in situations where I was using the analog emulations. Sometimes, with the tone knob all the way down, echoes were a little too round and undefined. Having it all the way up could take away some of the warmth. The tone knob allowed me to find just the right balance.
The dynamic expression functionality, which controls responsiveness to picking dynamics, really distinguishes the Andromeda. It lets you choose a parameter—mix, mod, or saturation—and blend more or less of it in depending on your attack (you can also turn it off entirely). The threshold knob lets you control how sensitive the effect is. The dynamic expression’s reactive nature makes the delay feel more like an instrument. I loved using it for dynamic modulation—setting it up to feature prominently when I played soft and roll back when I played harder, and creating a nice dialogue between aggressive single-note riffs and hazy, soft chords.
While there’s no looper on the Andromeda, the on/bypass button serves double duty as a freeze control. Keeping the button depressed for two seconds lets you sustain the last thing you play, and I was able to jam melodically and add cluster voicings over chords and other song fragments.
There’s no shortage of great delays on the market. But the Seymour Duncan Andromeda’s dynamic capabilities effectively make it an instrument as much as an effect. You can bend it to your will in infinite ways. And if you’re a creative player, it’s sure to inspire new directions that you might have otherwise missed.