The king of bucket brigade echoes downsizes and brightens its voice.
Impressive ability to replicate big-box DMM functionality in a compact stomp. Extra toppiness sounds great in slapback settings.
Modulation controls can feel vague. Might be too bright for some DMM traditionalists. Modulation features may not justify extra expense over comparable BBD delays.
Electro-Harmonix Nano Deluxe Memory Man
Any time I go anywhere to record anything, I bring along an old Deluxe Memory Man as insurance. I’m not sure I can say that about any other instrument, pedal, or amplifier. As anyone who has used one knows, it’s a beautifully moody sounding echo. It’s also a brilliant design: an ergonomic, interactive, and handsome pedal that, at times, feels almost alive.
My well-travelled and much-abused ’90s edition is now noisy, dented, scratched, and wobbly in the knobs. But if there isn’t an Echoplex or Space Echo on hand, no delay sounds better or feels as good to use. The way it encourages performative, improvisational delay expressions means I’ll always come up with a cool sound of some kind—even on my least inspired days. It literally expands my musical vocabulary.
EHX’s newest take on the Memory Man circuit, the Nano Deluxe Memory Man, is the most compact DMM ever. And though its basic voice is brighter and slightly less widescreen than an original, it sounds like a proper old-school bucket brigade analog delay should and facilitates creative, on-the-fly adjustments in spite of the space constraints.
Unwinding in Tight Quarters
By virtue of its size and control orientation, the Nano Deluxe Memory Man is a very different iteration of DMM architecture. Though the six small knobs are tightly clustered, they turn with resistance uncannily similar to the knobs on an original Deluxe Memory Man. And the spacing between them is just enough that you can make simultaneous adjustments to mix, feedback, and delay time, provoking the weird, wild oscillation and pitch shift effects that are DMM hallmarks. The close quarters and tiny knobs make it hard to achieve the same ergonomic satisfaction and freedom of movement that come with operating an old big-box unit. But the fact that EHX managed to replicate any of the tactile experience of an original on an enclosure this small suggests they thought a lot about retaining a vintage unit’s interactive capacity.
Less Haze in Your Daze
Most players love DMMs for their “darkness”—more precisely, the way successive repeats dissolve like foggy miasma behind the initial attack. Relative to my ’90s vintage Deluxe Memory Man, the Nano sounds toppier and a little less mellow in the repeats. That quality is underscored when you add gain from an overdrive or fuzz.
For some artists, the extra top-end definition in the Nano’s repeats will be a silver lining.
Compared to most digital delays (at least those not trying to emulate old analog units), the Nano’s repeats are still pretty dusky. How that suits your style is a matter of personal taste. Some players that rely heavily on high-gain fuzz sounds actually prefer the cleanliness of digital repeats after they’ve stacked several sources of filth. So, for some artists, the extra top-end definition in the Nano’s repeats will be a silver lining.
Compared to digital delays like the Boss DD-5, the Nano DMM’s repeats are hazier and more glued together—particularly with overdrive or fuzz upstream. They aren’t quite as midrange-y as MXR’s Carbon Copy Bright (an analog BBD delay that bumps high-mid content to cut more like a digital delay), but the Nano DMM does, perhaps, concede to contemporary production values by offering a more mid-oriented voice.
This sonic signature is really cool in certain applications. Slapback tones, for instance, take on a brash attitude that shines in recording situations where a lead or hook has to stand out. And it still has a subtle compression effect on distortion, lending a cohesiveness that sounds nice when using long washes of repeats.
One big difference in the Nano that old-school DMM heads will notice immediately is the presence of rate and depth knobs for the modulation section (the original had a single depth knob) and the absence of a vibrato/chorus switch. EHX says that the rate knob effectively stands in for the chorus/vibrato switch and that the 9 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions achieve the same sounds as the original’s chorus and vibrato, respectively.
I didn’t find the correspondence quite so direct. Just as the darkness in a vintage Memory Man mellows repeats, it also tames peaks in intense modulations. Conversely, the Nano’s brighter voice makes modulation peaks a little more intense, so you may not be able to use quite as much depth as you would on a vintage unit. There are still cool textures to be found, though. The chorus is a very nice, if subtle, sweetener at lower depth levels, and the vibrato generates cool tape wobble and psychedelic pitch effects that add a mesmerizing sense of animation. Players intent on using aggressive depth settings may want to mind the effect level, however.
Like most old pedals, original Memory Man units are a varied bunch. That means there is no one standard to measure the Nano against—at least in terms of vintage authenticity. But outside issues of authenticity, the Nano fundamentally sounds like a really good bucket brigade delay. Most vintage DMM users will find the Nano’s repeats comparatively toppy. And experienced DMM users should expect very familiar sounds, although not overtone-for-overtone equivalents. But what the Nano does not achieve in perfect vintage correctness, it makes up for in utility and a distinctive tone signature for players that want a touch of shadowy bucket brigade personality without surrendering their tone entirely to analog haze.
The Best EHX Delay Yet? Electro-Harmonix Nano Deluxe Memory Man Demo | First Look
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Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.