This moderately priced digital stomp aims for lo-fi cool via a handwired PT2399 circuit.


Featuring delay, mix, repeats, and a somewhat unusual volume control, the handwired Vick Audio Hypocenter Delay serves up 25–450 ms of delay from a Princeton Technologies PT2399, a digital chip often used to more affordably approximate analog-echo tones.

The Vick’s volume control achieves unity gain between 9 and 10 o’clock, and at its higher reaches (combined with generous mix settings) it really brings out the PT2399’s unique sonic character. I wouldn’t call it analog-sounding in the sense that fans of, say, a Maxon AD999 or even an Ibanez Echo Shifter, would think of it, but it’s not digitally pristine, either—it’s a stringy, lo-fi texture that’s quite intriguing with everything from slapback settings to longer repeats where you harmonize with yourself on syncopated lines.

The down side is that, even at moderate volume settings, the Hypocenter emits audible digital clocking sounds when delay is set past 2 o’clock. And while dexterous feet might coax semi-spacey sounds by manipulating delay time while your hands play, the Vick never really conjures more than four or five repeats, so unfortunately full-on weirdness and self-oscillation aren’t possible.

Test gear: Schecter Ultra III, Eastwood Sidejack Baritone DLX, Goodsell Valpreaux 21

Clip #1 — Schecter Magna'Tron bridge pickup: Vol 10 O'clock, Delay - Noon, Mix - Max, Repeats - Max
Clip #2 — Schecter Magna'Tron bridge pickup - All Knobs Max

Ratings

Pros:
Solid build. Intriguing sonic textures.

Cons:
Audible clocking noise at high settings. Meager repeat capabilities.

Street:
$139

Vick Audio Hypocenter Delay
vickaudio.com

Tones:

Ease of Use:

Build/Design:

Value:

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