The first delay effects were found by using tape loops on reel-to-reel systems by controlling the read and write heads. In the late 40’s and early 50’s guitarist and famous guitar builder Les Paul started adopting echo and delay devices. In 1952 the EchoSonic was the first guitar amplifier with a built-in tape echo and was used in country and rock music by Chet Atkins and Scotty Moore among others.
By 1950 Tape Echo machines were also available. Machines such as the Echoplex in 1959 and Roland Space Echo in 1973 became well known as established echo effect machines. The Binson Echorec has also become a household name for its original technique of using rotating magnetic drums over tape. These were analog delay machines that used tapes and multiple playback heads. In the 70s, Solid state delay types became available and Boss used this method for the Boss DM-2. This began the start of pedal-sized delay effects.
In the late 70s, digital delay effects were available as both rack units and guitar pedals. Originally these were quite simple and primitive due to limits on digital memory size, but eventually they began to offer a wide range of tweakable parameters such as time, feedback, filter and more. Since then the world of delay has exploded with digital variants, now offering a wide range of types that include filter, pitch, reverse, modulation and echo decay types. Many pedals also offer an option to control the tempo of the delay using an additional tap tempo.
Marshall’s introduction to the world of delay is the Echohead EH-1 pedal. The pedal features 6 types of delay (Hifi, Analogue, Tape Echo, Multi Tap, Reverse and Mod Filter) and the Mode, Delay Time, Feedback and overall Level can each be controlled independently. Delay is also inbuilt to a number of our amplifiers, including models from our MG, CODE and Acoustic series.