The Tech 21 Boost D.L.A. offers a wide range of modern and vintage delay sounds along with some wisely-designed features such as the Tap Tempo, Triplets, and Trails functions. Couple the musicality of the pedal along with its tough construction, and you’ve got a winner.
It would have been easy for Andrew Barta and the folks at Tech 21 to rest on their accomplishments with their Sansamp amp simulators. After all, the Sansamp line is one of the most respected in the business. However, Tech 21 thankfully decided to jump into the pedal effects business as well. At first only offering Sansamp-inspired distortion and overdrive pedals, they branched out and currently offer a wide range of pedal effects, including the well-received Boost D.L.A., an analog delay pedal rich with tone as well as features.
The Boost D.L.A. sports six knobs (Mix, Feedback, Tone, Time, Boost Level, and Flutter) as well as two switches for Trails and Triplets. Two footswitches control Bypass and Tap Tempo functions.
In practice, I found the Boost D.L.A. to be incredibly intuitive. I tested it with a variety of other pedals as well as through my amp’s effects loop (a Dr. Z MAZ 18 JR NR). Given the degree of control that Tech 21 offers, as well as simulation of tape-based flutter, I was able to obtain a wide variety of digital and analog based delays and echoes. Honestly, it’s one of the most intuitive and best sounding delays I’ve ever heard. The Triplets mode is absolutely perfect, and the Tap Tempo is very useful (working even when the delay is bypassed). I particularly liked the Trails control, which lets the delay trails continue even after the pedal is bypassed. Of course, what makes the pedal so special is the built in 9dB you’ve got on “tap.” With many of my other delay pedals (including the “big green one”), there is a noticeable volume drop when using delays. Not only does the Boost D.L.A. not have any volume drop. You can actually configure the pedal so that you get a slight boost when using it for solos, for example. Smart move, Tech 21!
Aside from giving them away for free, I can’t think of a single thing that could be done to improve the current Boost D.L.A. The pedal offers a wide range of modern and vintage delay sounds along with some wisely-designed features such as the Tap Tempo, Triplets, and Trails functions. Couple the musicality of the pedal along with its tough construction, and you’ve got a winner.