Wampler Faux Tape Echo – Review of V2 Delay Pedal

Wampler Pedals company was founded by Brian Wampler in 2007 and is headquartered in Martinsville, Indiana. It produces some of the best and most practical boutique category effect pedals for guitars, bass and guitar amplifiers. Their overdrive, boost and delay pedals are particularly admired in the guitar world. The units are manufactured in Kentucky, USA.

The concept of Tape Echo was the brainchild of Les Paul. In 1950's, he decided to use a tape machine to record his guitar signal and then play it back. The result was an echo which was given the name, the "Tape Echo". Tape machines in those times had lots of moving parts, resulting in inconsistent sound that would often break down. These inconsistencies along with the wear of the tape created vintage, weird and warbly tones. Tape echo pedals are designed to produce the warmth and character of the old tape echo units.

Faux Tape Echo V1 was considered as one of the top sounding Tape Echo pedals in the market for the depth of the effect, purity and sheer beauty of tone. But it was the tape emulation feature with its organic and unpredictable sound that blew the people away. V2 keeps all the good aspects of V1 such as purity of signal path, depth of tone etch while having more subdivisions on Tap Tempo and added delay time.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Delay Pedal

The world of guitar pedals can be really overwhelming with so many different types of pedals available in the market and wide variety in features, even in the same type. While experienced players already know their way around. We present some factors which you must consider before purchasing a delay pedal, if you are just starting to use them. Knowing what you want is half the battle won.

  • Analog or Digital? - Debate continues to rage between admirers of both the types with no clear winner. Analog delays have organic sounding, natural tones with a characteristic warm sound but, much shorter delay times. Digital pedals use modern Digital Signal Processing (DSP) techniques and provide more flexibility with delay types, presets and host of other features. Choosing among the two is usually a matter of personal preference, but it is always recommended to listen to some demos of the pedals under consideration, before deciding. If possible, try the pedals with the set of electric guitars, you intend to use them with. Now, even hybrid pedals, with the best from both the worlds are available and gaining prominence.
  • Tap Tempo or not? - Tap tempo allows you to set your tempo on the fly to create some coherent delay effects. It controls the speed of the delay through a foot switch or a button and allows you to match it with the tempo of your song or any specific tempo that you want. More the number of time subdivisions on the switch, more control you have on the tempo. You may also like to check if you can have presets, where you can set the specific time instead of tapping.
  • Exact Delay Time? - Some pedals in the market, allow you to precisely set the desired delay time to the order of milliseconds. While tap tempo lets you  get close to the tempo of the song, there can be times when out of sync effects are evident. This feature allows you to create rhythmic effects that precisely match the song's tempo.
  • Single or multiple Delay Types? - Analog delays have usually one or very limited types of delays. With digital you have more choices, but you need to decide on the number and type of delays before selecting any model. Some common types are tape, tube, analog, analog with modulation, space, reverse, dynamic, 2290, 2290 with modulation,  ping, pong, slap and low fi.
  • Presets? - Presets is an important feature on modern delay effect pedals that permits you to quickly and seamlessly switch between different delay settings. This is specially important if you have multiple delay types in your unit. These are blank, where you can store your desired delay setting created during the practice sessions and use them during live performances.

Our Picks for Review

Make

Model

Details

Wampler

Faux Tape Echo

Wampler Faux Tape Echo

PRO's & CON's of Wampler fauz Tape Echo

Every technology and gear in the market had some advantages and disadvantages over their contemporaries and competitors. Before selecting any specific gear, it is essential that you know them and fully understand the implications. In this section we will present some Pro's and Con's of the pedal under review - The Wampler Faux Tape Echo Pedal V2

Pros

  • It is a hybrid delay unit with a totally analog signal path over which the digital delay repeats itself.
  • Large variety of tones and applications. Faux tape echo has six control features - Rate, Tone, Repeats, Delay Mix, Depth and Delay.
  • This tape emulation quality pedal has the warm adjustable tones, characteristic of analog pedals and tap tempo.

Cons

  • Does not come with a separate 9V battery. You need to use your own 9V Power adapter.
  • Some users may find it a little bit on the expensive side.
  • The pedal may develop some white noise.

Features and Benefits

While many pedals may have a host of features available, it is the quality and utility of the features that matters, over the quantity. The good news is that Faux Tape Echo has all the essential and useful functions.

Features

Let us have a look at some of the important and standout features of Wampler Faux Tape Echo unit below:

  1. 1
    Wampler Faux Tape Echo is a hybrid delay unit with fully analog dry path. Nearly all the parts of the pedal including filters, modulations and all the major functions work on analog circuits. The only digital part in the signal path is the delay line as analog chips can't match the clarity and focus of the digital line.
  2. 2
    Faux Tape Echo excels at design and build quality as is customary with Wampler pedals. The unit uses quality  components such as high grade capacitors and resistors to get superior tone and response.
  3. 3
    V2 version has additional subdivisions of 1/4, 1/8, dotted 1/8 and triplets on the Tap Tempo and added delay time of 200 ms. Tap tempo is a specific function on digital delay pedals that allows the user to set the delay time (speed) by repeatedly tapping the footswitch or a button. The tempo then matches the set delay time (speed). This means that the delay will now come at one of the above four settings based on our set tap tempo.
  4. 4
    Wampler Faux Tape Echo has an extended delay time of 800 ms, which is more than most of the similar units in the market.
  5. 5
    It works on a 9V DC battery or 9-18V DC power supply that is not included with the pedal, with about 40 mA consumption. It has a standard 1/4" input and output. Faux Tape Echo is manufactured in the USA and has the dimensions of  88.9 x 114.3 mm.

Controls

In order to fully utilize the capabilities of any gear, you must be fully familiar with the controls. The new Wampler Faux Tape Echo unit contains six control knobs - Depth, Rate, Tone, Delay, Repeats and Delay Mix controls. In addition we have Bypass & Tap Tempo footswitches and  a subdivision selector switch. Let us see the functions of these controls in brief:

  1. 1
    Depth: This knob controls the depth of modulation. Modulation effect becomes deeper, as we go clockwise (CW). It works in conjunction with the Rate control to weave its magic.
  2. 2
    Rate: This control defines the speed with which the modulation effect reacts to the original signal. The rate or the speed increases, as the knob is rotated CW. If both Depth and Rate are set in a fully counterclockwise position, the modulation effect is completely bypassed.
  3. 3
    Tone: It controls the character of the delayed signal and how it sounds. We can choose to set all the way from warm and dark tone in full CCW position to cleaner, brighter and more pristine sound in the full CW setting.
  4. 4
    Delay: This knob determines the actual delay time of the Wampler Tape Echo unit. The delay is almost instantaneous in the setting, 9 o'clock and before, also called a "slapback" delay. In noon position, the unit provides 300 - 350 ms delay time, which goes all the way up to 600 ms as you move clockwise.
  5. 5
    Repeats: This knob manages the feedback level to the delay line, which translates broadly to more number of echo repeats. This is the number of times the delayed signal is fed back to the original. It also depends on the tone setting and your guitar output.
  6. 6
    Delay Mix: This controls the total output volume of the pedal. The adjustment allows you to select the level of wet signal you want to mix to your dry signal.
  7. 7
    Tap Tempo: This soft switch overrides the delay control and dictates the time of the repeats, on pressing.
  8. 8
    Subdivisions: The subdivision selector switch on Faux tape selects different delay subdivisions. This selection sets the delay  pattern, relative to, tempo defined by Tap Tempo switch or the  delay knob.
  9. 9
    True Bypass: This relay based stomp provides unadulterated signal in bypass position.

Sound

The below video demonstration will give you a fair idea about the capabilities and the sound output of the Wampler Faux Tape Echo unit under various common settings of the controls.

The effect of various controls on the characteristics of the sound produced by the unit is summarized below:

  1. 1
    At the low settings of the delay mix, when the wet signal percentage is low, the effect is quite subtle with Tone and Repeat controls having a strong impact on it.
  2. 2
    You can get a very large number of pleasing oscillations for your setup, on playing a note, if you turn the Repeats knob high.With lower delay mix and tone settings, you can adjust the repeats knob to the point of  oscillations, to get a beautiful ambient background undertone to play over.
  3. 3
    Just where the first repeat, pre-oscillation and oscillation will happen, will largely depend on your setup including your guitar output's volume, delay mix and repeats knob setting.
  4. 4
    Tone knob only controls the wet signal and defines how your delay signal will sound. With delay time  setting in high position, the soft distortion over the end of the notes will increase as you increase the tone setting.
  5. 5
    Modulation allows you to make changes in your delay repeats that range from minor pitch adjustment to creating interesting and even crazy sounds.
  6. 6
    The unique characteristics of any tape echo device is filtered repeats, chorus like effect and tape saturation. The Wampler Faux Tape  Echo largely emulates the organic & natural delay sound of a slightly worn out tape.

Social Proof of the Pedal

We are impressed by the features and sound of Wampler Faux Tape Echo pedal. However, before you decide to buy the Wampler delay unit, we recommend that you read some reviews from the experienced users available over the net. We present some reviews that we have gathered to let you have a feel of it.

Wampler Faux Tape Echo Review 01

The reviewer has been using Wampler pedals in the past and is impressed by their build quality and features. He is also impressed by the tones of the pedal in consideration.

Wampler Faux Tape Echo Review 02

This is a very in-depth review with the reviewer commenting favorably on almost every feature - analog, digital, sound, delay volume, tap tempo and tape simulation. He has, however, experienced noise with shade control when used with longer delay sounds. He also recommends what type of delay the pedals work best and otherwise.

Wampler Faux Tape Echo Review 03

In this very rare critical review, the user expressed his disappointment with the pedal, particularly the faux tape feature. But, we could not find any similar review or comments from any other user.

In Conclusion

While Wampler Faux Tape Echo may be slightly expensive, its features and above all its performance provides enough value to justify the price tag. These features include analog warmth in sound, hybrid of digital delay in the path of analog signal, tap tempo footswitch, doesn't alter the basic guitar tone, superior sound and response, 800 ms delay time, 6 controls and true bypass. Do click below to check it out!

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