A super sounding analog delay stalwart finds refinement in tap tempo, subdivisions, and a hold switch.
A great-sounding analog delay that’s easy to use and rather addictive in the process.
Repeats control tapers abruptly, and the two footswitches are very close together.
Jam Pedals Delay Llama Mk3
In this thoughtful, understated upgrade of the original Delay Llama, those sneaky folks at Jam Pedals have brought much of the essential bonus functionality of 2020’s Delay Llama Xtreme to a more compact pedal with a simple and familiar layout. Though the new Llama looks a lot like its predecessors, the Mk3 includes a tap-tempo footswitch, subdivisions switch, and a hold function—simple, practical, but critical improvements that enhance its functionality and musical capabilities considerably.
Most importantly to those that have always savored the sound of the original Delay Llama, it retains the same analog delay engine, driven by bucket-brigade chips that are faithful reproductions of the beloved Panasonic MN3205. This architecture means the Mk3 is capable of a maximum delay time of 600 ms. So, you’re guaranteed the warm, full-bodied sound that, over the years, attracted major players like Jim Campilongo, Marc Ribot, and Adrian Legg to the original Delay Llama.
"Best perhaps, the pedal is a doddle to dial in and use as desired."
Knob and Tube
The core of the Delay Llama Mk3’s functions still reside in the three knobs for delay time (T), repeats (R), and level (L). Below these, the previous single on/off footswitch has been moved to the lower-left corner of the enclosure and is now paired with a tap-tempo footswitch situated in the opposite corner. Needless to say, it requires nimble footwork and practice to avoid hitting both. But essentially, the setup works. Just above the tap button, a 3-way toggle lets you divide the tapped tempo selection into eighth, quarter, and dotted-quarter notes. Holding down the tap footswitch engages a self-oscillation mode.
Inside the enclosure, there’s an internal trimmer that sets the delay trail’s fade-out time (the amount of time the delayed signal takes to decay once you switch off). Another trim pot sets the maximum number of repeats. Further, a nifty trick allows you to change the pedal from its preset (factory) true-bypass mode to a buffered mode that enables trails (this involves removing the power cable, pressing and holding the tap button, then reinserting the power cable until three LED blinks tell you the buffered mode has been set). Power comes via standard center-negative 9V adaptor, and the unit draws 120 mA.
Llama Rama Ding Dong
In practice, the Delay Llama Mk3 reveals a superbly characterful and juicy-sounding analog delay voice that shines—even within a product category that’s rich with enticing delay sounds. At its essence, there is very little to criticize in the design or sound. The 600 ms maximum delay time is pretty standard for the bucket-brigade crowd and supplies enough spacey echoes to suit just about everything save for ultra-expansive, otherworldly soundscaping. What’s best, perhaps, is that the pedal is a doddle to dial in and use as desired.
Though many deep texturalists need über-complex delays with a boatload of extra parameters and presets, many guitarists relish the straight-ahead pleasures of an analog delay pedal—where you settle in, fine-tune the repeats and blend, and dig the atmosphere without wondering about the little stuff. That’s exactly where the Delay Llama Mk3 transported me with ease. I’m not exactly a delay fanatic, yet I did not want to turn this thing off. Its sound and the effect itself inspired new riffs—and plenty of smiles—from the start. And it only got more enjoyable the more I played it.
Very few of its design shortcomings upset the bliss of playing the Delay Llama Mk3. The taper of the repeats knob accelerates pretty quickly from the fully anti-clockwise position, so dialing just three repeats instead of six or eight can be tricky. Still, most such nuances can be managed with practice and a light touch.
The Delay Llama Mk3, which is one of the last BBD delay pedals still being handmade with through hole components, is a great-sounding analog delay pedal that easily dishes late ’70s and early ’80s bucket-brigade goodness with a low noise floor and useful tap-tempo functionality. The repeats pot taper could benefit from some fine-tuning, and the enclosure is a bit narrow for negotiating both the bypass and tap-tempo footswitches cleanly. But the Delay Llama Mk3 is still a standout in the analog delay camp, any way you cut it.
An untraditional take on a delay pedal with unprecedented functions.
Unique take on delay functions. New sounds to explore and inhabit. Deep details mean the Habit will hold your attention for a while.
Steep learning curve. Abstract functionality. Need to keep notes.
Chase Bliss Habit
Chase Bliss’ creations are driven by some of the most forward-thinking ideas in guitar-pedal design. Each unit is a unique device that reworks, not just tone, but how players engage with effects— almost like a hands-on art project. Look on their website and you see terms like “bottomless looper,” “instant ambience,” and “analog timeshifter” used as the descriptors for their knob- and switch-heavy stomps. Clearly, they’ve carved out their own niche outside convention.
Chase Bliss’ newest offering, the Habit, is equally esoteric. Described on their site as an Echo Collector, it could just as easily be classified as a delay-adjacent device as an echo pedal. Because while the basic elements of a delay live among the many features, the complicated digital architecture gives users access to something much more singular—and weirder.
There’s not much that is linear about the Habit. Much of the user experience feels abstract because the simplest controls don’t always act like regular delay functions. The level and repeats controls act as you’d expect. But instead of a delay-time control, the Habit is equipped with a size knob that reduces delay time without warping pitch. The Habit also offers sixty seconds of delay time, so if you add too much time between phrases you might be waiting a while for parts to come back around again. The space between repeats can also get super tiny, which opens up unexpected and bizarre rhythmic delay possibilities.
The modify knob controls six echo effects—stepped speed, stability, trimmer, smooth speed, filter, and dropper—which are accessed via combinations of two 3-way toggles. The spread control adds a secondary echo, which I used for multi-tap-style repeats. But longer settings open the potential for maximum weirding. The range of this knob is, like the size control, sixty seconds. So by cranking it, you might hear stuff you forgot you played. And if you haven’t cleared the memory—which is done by holding both footswitches—the Habit might regurgitate an idea with a different key, feel, or tone. Conceptual continuity or unintentional chaos? You decide!
Tone and function combinations in the Habit often feel infinite. But I found many highlights. Stepped speed, for example, turns the modify knob into a speed knob, with a zeroed setting at noon. I had fun switching modifiers and hearing how the other controls reacted, each of which was a unique experience. I also enjoyed hearing my ideas pile up on top of each other in collect mode, and I’m a sucker for dry-kill settings, so I can imagine plenty of uses for each function. In the Habit’s default auto mode, the scan knob will search the pedal’s memory and bring back ideas at random in glitched-out glory. But by switching the dip switch for “manual,” the scan becomes like a radio dial spinning through the last sixty seconds of your recorded history. I’d play some riffs for a minute or so, then take to the scan knob. By bouncing between those methods, I laid out an ambient auto- generated, minimalist sound journey. This was easily my favorite way of interacting with the Habit.
Switching the dip switch for “manual,” the scan becomes like a radio dial spinning through the last sixty seconds of your recorded history.
Like some of Chase Bliss’ other offerings, the Habit includes 16 tiny dip switches on its top panel. Each further modifies the pedals functions in a unique way, and using them almost feels like instant circuit-bending. Because of the size and delicate nature of these switches—and the precision they require—you won’t want to be changing them on the fly at a gig. (And if it’s strapped onto your pedalboard, you probably won’t have the option to anyway). But they enable you to shape sounds a high level of detail.
At its simplest, the Habit is a delay pedal that plays by its own ruled and lives in its own galaxy— somewhere alongside glitchy pedals like the Montreal Assembly Count to Five and Red Panda Tensor perhaps. Yet the Habit is totally unique.
Dialing up settings with precision isn’t easy. There is a lot of guesswork involved in finding your way back to sounds. And with 60-second delay time ranges, rhythmic interactions between size and spread are sometimes hard to configure with exactitude. Plus, with so many control possibilities, you might as well keep a notebook next to your pedalboard, which isn’t everyone’s idea of fun. But if you like the notion of taking the basic functions and sounds of tape delay and mangling them into new, unrecognizable forms that get you out of your safety zone, the Habit will keep you coming back.
Old-school and streamlined—Eastwood distills essential, classic tones into an affordable stompbox series.