Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Keeley Multi Echo ME-8 Review

The essence of eight echo machines gets distilled into a single, super-varied stompbox.

With eight effect modes in a single pedal, Keeley’s ME-8 Multi Echo is a time-manipulation toolbox par excellence. It can range from warbling ADT to vintage and modern delay to a handful of reverbs that can serve the most fickle delay and reverb chameleon. And though stuffing so many functions in a compact enclosure creates challenges, this box is a contender for the echo-flavors-per-pedalboard-inch championship crown.

Table for One, Party of Eight
The Keeley Multi Echo’s small footprint means multiple functions for the tone knob, so unless you like figuring out a pedal’s intricacies on the fly, it’s not exactly a plug-and-play experience. A little investigation of how functions change depending on the effect is time well spent. The effect selector rotary knob provides eight echo-mode options: ADT (automatic double tracking) modern, ADT vintage, tape echo, analog delay, digital delay, room reverb, chamber reverb, and hall reverb. The time, depth, and blend knobs function more-or-less conventionally for each selected effect.

The tone knob’s function varies from mode to mode. In ADT vintage and analog delay mode, the tone knob functions as a rate control. When digital delay is selected, the tone knob controls repeat subdivisions—ranging from quarter notes to dotted and triplet eighths. In room reverb, tone controls an added distortion effect—a tip of the hat to Phil Spector’s “room compression” technique. Smartly, Keeley added a quick-reference guide to these functions on the backplate of the ME-8.

The ME-8’s reverbs are often striking for their combination of transparency and color—particularly given the very non-transparent nature of its analog inspirations.

Structurally speaking, the ME-8 feels very solid. The circuit layout is compact but predictably crowded given all those functions, and there’s no room left for a 9V battery. The single output is mono only. Sorry stereo echo lovers!

Delays for Days
The ADT mode is essentially Keeley’s 30 ms Double Tracker—an emulation of the process that EMI/Abbey Road and Beatles recording engineer Ken Townsend devised to eliminate the process of manually doubling vocals. Townsend’s ADT was effectively a very short tape delay, and that texture is replicated nicely here. The Modern ADT has a little more headroom in the time department (an extra 20 ms, to be precise), but for my money the vintage ADT is where it’s at.

Adjust the tone control (which, in this case, adjusts the rate of modulation) and you’ll hear layers of chorus-y flutter that would be equally at home mated to a Johnny Marr arpeggio riff or a John Lennon vocal. By itself, the ME-8 is quite transparent in the ADT applications. Placing overdrive before the delay and modulation can make the output sound a bit boxy, however. That seems to attest to the breadth and richness of the ADT mode’s harmonic spectrum as much as anything else. But if you’re an effects-heavy player like myself, you may want to explore a delay setting with a little more headroom.


Great gigging or session tool. Nice transparency in delays and reverbs without sacrificing color.

No battery or stereo functionality. Can’t blend effects.


Ease of Use:




Keeley ME-8 Multi Echo

Other delay-altering choices are just as effective for modifying what are, across the board, very nice fundamental delay voices. Digital subdivision will please any Edge or late-model Gilmour fanatic. The analog delay’s dynamic modulation adds a chorus-like wave that enshrouds repeats and varies in intensity depending on your attack. It’s very expressive in live applications and killer for creating mood-shifting post-rock expansiveness or for adding shimmer to an already excellent BBD simulation. Both the tape and analog delays range from 50 ms to 950 ms of delay, while the digital can achieve up to 1000 ms.

Just like the ADT and other delay settings, the ME-8’s reverbs are often striking for their combination of transparency and color—particularly given the very non-transparent nature of its analog inspirations. During a rehearsal session, I set the ME-8 to room reverb and left it on for the duration. I experienced much less (perceived) volume drop and tone suck compared to a lot of the reverb boxes I regularly employ. The room setting has a very cool slapback quality to it, which works well for vintage-minded players, and the tone-knob-controlled distortion present in the output is a cool-enhancing texture. It can add mushiness to higher frequencies—particularly in live settings—but could be a very interesting color to work with in studio situations, especially if you’re chasing down ’60s atmospherics.

The Verdict
Perhaps the only complaint I can levy against the Keeley ME-8 is that you can’t blend the effects. For a stompbox that’s filled with so many cool features and great sounds, it’s a bit agitating that you can’t use any of them together. Several moments of inspiration sparked by the ME-8’s cool sounds found me wanting to trade the compact size for a little extra functionality. Still, for $199, this is a wickedly powerful session or gigging tool that can enable considerable pedalboard streamlining or serve as the cornerstone of a stripped-down selection of pedal essentials.

Watch the Review Demo:

This 1968 Epiphone Al Caiola Standard came stocked with P-90s and a 5-switch Tone Expressor system.

Photo courtesy of Guitar Point (

Photo courtesy of Guitar Point (

The session ace’s signature model offers a wide range of tones at the flip of a switch … or five.

Hello and welcome back to Mod Garage. Not long ago, I came home late from a band rehearsal, still overly excited about the new songs we played. I got myself a coffee (I know, it's a crazy procedure to calm down) and turned on the TV. I ended up with an old Bonanza episode from the ’60s, the mother of all Western TV series. Hearing the theme after a long time instantly reminded me of the great Al Caiola, who is the prolific session guitarist who plays on the song. With him in mind, I looked up the ’60s Epiphone “Al Caiola” model and decided I want to talk about the Epiphone/Gibson Tone Expressor system that was used in this guitar.

Read MoreShow less

Mdou Moctar has led his Tuareg crew around the world, but their hometown performances in Agadez, Niger, last year were their most treasured.

Photo by Ebru Yildiz

On the Tuareg band’s Funeral for Justice, they light a fiery, mournful pyre of razor-sharp desert-blues riffs and political calls to arms.

Mdou Moctar, the performing moniker of Tuareg guitar icon Mahamadou “Mdou” Souleymane, has played some pretty big gigs. Alongside guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane, drummer Souleymane Ibrahim, and bassist Mikey Coltun, Moctar has led his band’s kinetic blend of rock, psych, and Tuareg cultural traditions like assouf and takamba to Newport Folk Festival, Pitchfork Music Festival, and, just this past April, to the luxe fields of Indio, California, for Coachella. Off-kilter indie-rock darlings Parquet Courts brought them across the United States in 2022, after which they hit Europe for a run of headline dates.

Read MoreShow less

How do you capture what is so special about Bill Frisell’s guitar playing in one episode? Is it his melodies, his unique chord voicings, his rhythmic concept, his revolutionary approach to pedals and sounds…? It’s all of that and much more.

Read MoreShow less

U.S.-made electronics and PRS’s most unique body profile make this all-American S2 a feast of tones at a great price.

Many sonic surprises. Great versatility. Excellent build quality

The pickup selector switch might be in a slightly awkward position for some players.


PRS S2 Vela


Since its introduction in 2013, PRS’s S2 range has worked to bridge the gap between the company’s most affordable and most expensive guitars. PRS’s cost-savings strategy for the S2 was simple. The company fitted U.S.-made bodies and necks, built using the more streamlined manufacturing processes of PRS’s Stevensville 2 facility, with Asia-made electronics from the SE line.

Read MoreShow less