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.

Ratings

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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.

$399

HeadRush MX5
headrushfx.com

3.5
4
4
4.5

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Photo by Brittany Durdin

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