Danelectro Back Talk Review

A welcome reverse delay reissue is a mind melt in a box.


Convincing reverse-tape textures. Intuitive and fun to use. Ability to remove all dry signal.

Faint digital artifacts at fast-repeat/high-mix settings.


Danelectro Back Talk


Ease of Use:



I've had many mind-blowing Beatles-related experiences. But among my most cherished is a recollection of my very young self, listening to the backwards guitar solo on “I'm Only Sleeping" and feeling … strange. There are few sound textures as evocative of mind travel as the backwards solo. What's remarkable about this reissue of Danelectro's Back Talk Reverse Delay is how effectively it captures the melting textures of backwards tape that made 1960s reverse solos such a marvel.

Back Talk is richer with pitch irregularities that distinguish real reverse tape.

When the original Back Talk appeared in the late '90s, it wasn't the only way to experience digital reverse delay. But where similar effects on some stompboxes could sound disembodied and artificial—usually with too much dry signal at the wettest mix—the Back Talk melds more seamlessly with the dry signal and is richer with pitch irregularities that distinguish real reverse tape. Repeats become a seamlessly slithery answer to your input signal at slow repeat rates and 50-50 wet/dry mixes. At all-wet mix levels, which critically eliminate the dry signal, you get super-authentic reverse-tape textures. Slapback tones can exhibit hints of lo-fi mangling or become strands of eerily, endlessly cascading dew drops depending on your repeat and mix settings. Meanwhile, multiple repeats at low mixes create beautifully fluttering ambience. What a gas!

Test Gear: Fender Telecaster, Fender Vibro Champ

Fender Hammertone Pedals Demo | First Look

John Bohlinger tests out a handful of the compact, budget-friendly gray tone boxes designed by effects guru Stan Cotey.

Read More Show less

A lightweight, portable amp series developed after months of forensic examination of vintage valve amps.

Read More Show less

Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

Read More Show less