pedal issue 2016

Analog feel in a high-headroom digital delay.

At a glance, CAST Engineering’s Casper digital delay looks like a lot of old-school, 3-knob delays. And even when you power it up in a dimly lit room and experience the visual pleasure of the eerily glowing backlit knobs, there’s little to suggest that it’s different than any simple digital delay. But Casper’s echoes seem like the product of thoughtful circuit tweaking—clean without sounding characterless. And with a feedback pot that allows adjustment of the self-oscillation threshhold, it often feels very analog.

Glowing Promise, Hidden Powers
When you click Casper on, the knobs become enshrouded by nebulous baby-blue light. Otherwise, it’s simple as a delay can be: no tap tempo, no LCD screen, and no presets.
The narrower control range makes it much easier to dial in the settings you need on the fly.

The three silver knobs control delay time, repeats, and effect level. Casper’s I/O jacks are mounted on the crown of the box, so you can cram the pedal more easily onto an crowded board.

Removing the backplate enables access to the 9V battery compartment (there’s also a 9V jack on the crown) and the internal feedback sensitivity trimpot. This hidden control, in many ways, shifts the personality between more or less digital. At the full-counterclockwise zero position, the Casper becomes virtually oscillation resistant, enabling you to leverage the unit’s clean, transparent digital voice and create more detailed musical passages at high delay and feedback times. As you twist the trimpot clockwise, Casper starts to feel twitchier, more unhinged, and more like a vintage Ibanez AD9 or Boss DM-2 analog delay, with their touchy, hard-to-nail oscillation thresholds.


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Can an entry-level modeler hang with the big dogs?

Excellent interface. Very portable. Nice modulation tones.

Some subpar low-gain dirt sounds. Could be a little more rugged.


HeadRush MX5


The allure of portability and sonic consistency has become too much to ignore for some guitarists, making smaller digital modelers more appealing than ever.

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Emily Wolfe lets loose, with an Epiphone Sheraton around her shoulders. Her signature Sheraton Stealth was released in 2021. "The guitar is the perfect frequency range for my soul," she says.

Photo by Brittany Durdin

The rising guitar star blends classic and stoner rock, Motown, and more influences with modern pop flourishes in songs replete with fat, fuzzy, fizzy tones from her new Epiphone Sheraton signature.

For so many artists, the return of live shows means the return of the thrill of performing, much-needed income, and, in a way, purpose. The third definitely goes for guitarist Emily Wolfe, who, when asked about her goals, immediately responds, "I just want to play arenas every night for the rest of my life. When I go up there, something could hit me at any point—an emotion that I felt 10 years ago could come out in a bend on the low E."

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