Magazine article Guitar Player

Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man

Magazine article Guitar Player

Electro-Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man

Article excerpt

IF ONE OF THE GREATEST boons of the solid-state revolution of the mid to late '60s was the way it compacted down cumbersome guitar effects into neat portable boxes, you could argue that the greatest benefit to guitarists didn't come until a full decade later when the luscious but unwieldy tape echo was replaced by the analog delay pedal. And for many players, the greatest rendition of that was the Electro-Harmonix Memory Man. Released around 1976, the Memory Man was one of the first solid-state pedal-based echo devices, if not verifiably the first, as EHX's Mike Matthews claims accurate dates for this era are extremely difficult to come by. It was certainly the most successful. It also remains the most beloved of the early analog delays still in use today.

The pedal's design evolved considerably through the late '70s and into the early '80s, and while the debutante models are certainly collectible, the most desirable to players is the rendition featured here, the Deluxe Memory Man that came out around the turn of the decade. It included some of the line's best features and delivered the warm, thick, tapelike echo sounds that made the unit famous.

All original Memory Man pedals were made using components called "bucket-brigade delay chips" (BBD), which are partly credited with the rich, somewhat grainy sound of their analog echoes. The moniker comes from the way these IC chips pass along a signal from one stage to another--across as few as 68 stages to as many as 4,096 between input and output--which can be done at different speeds to achieve different lengths of delay time. Real techies will drool over the beloved Reticon SAD1024 BBDs and Panasonic MN3005s used in the classic early pedals, but the rest of us just need to know that they sounded great.

The cool thing about the Deluxe Memory Man was that it packed all thissucculent echo into a unit with superbly flexible and versatile features. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.