LINE 6 DL4 Delay Modeler
The LINE 6 DL4 is a heavy pedal both literally and figuratively. Introduced in 1999, this was one of the very first digital eefects modelling units available. It is truly a legendary pedal. Regardless of its significant weight and size, the DL4 is still one of the most versatile and customizable delays you can buy. This versatility is only enhnced by the DL4’s rather complete and user friendly looper. With a staggering fifteen delay types and a loop sampler, the DL4 certainly is an instrument in and of itself. This timeless pedal is truly a wonderful piece of sonic technology that every pedal nerd should play with. But, because it is 3.1 pounds, putting on your board might be another story.
External Control: EXP
The DL4 has a lot going on. Its four foot switches and six knobs are a lot to learn. In each delay engine, the knobs and foot switches might change function, and the text on the pedal and the informational stickers that come with the DL4 is small and hard to read on stage. This pedal is definitely one that must be learned. While the pedal is surely complex, it still manages to have am element of user friendliness. When taking into account the vastness of its sonic capabilities, the DL4’s controls do quite a good job in making that extensive sonic pallet accessible to the user.
The DL4 is one of the most versatile delay pedals on the market. Not only does it boast a huge range of delay engines and controls within each, but its looper is quite versatile on its own. With half speed and reverse functions, the looper gives you more than you bargained for as a secondary function of an already formidable delay pedal.
Tonal Reproduction: 4.5/5
Even though this delay machine represents the earliest stages of digital effect modelling pedals, its tonal reproduction is excellent. The extensive tweaking one can do to each delay type will allow the user to dial in exactly the sound they want to achieve..
Live application: 4/5
The LINE 6 DL4 is a classic and timeless pedal, and it sounds just as amazing live as it does in a recorded setting. It has presents and an interface that, once you learn it, is quite good, even on a dark stage. However, it is considerably large and heavy. This pedal was designed before space on a pedal board was such a huge consideration. In today’s world of expensive baggage checking fees, small tour budgets, and a general need to downsize, this pedal may not fit in with the trends of pedal usage. But, if you have room on your board for a large, 3.1 pound pedal, the DL4 is a magnificent way to fill that space.
Chase Jackson, Vibraphone - "I've used the DL4 for years in a variety of musical settings on multiple instruments and always loved how versatile it is and how many additional features it has in addition to simple delays and looping. There are tons of different modeled delays that have many adjustable parameters for each setting via the "tweak" and "twease" knobs. These can take a while to memorize what they each do, but great to be able to adjust on the fly.
The dynamic delay is great for "ducking" down your delay tails as you play, so that your lines retain clarity. The lo-fi and tape delays also add some great "analog" modulation and drive. My personal favorite is also the reverse delay which is extremely versatile and musical. Stereo functions sound amazing particularly the ping pong delay through a house system or 2 amps. Turning down the delay time all the way down and mix up creates a crazy ring modulation setting. Saving 3 dedicated presets with 1 tap switching to each is invaluable in a performance setting. The dedicated tap tempo is also crucial and very useful.
The looping mode is also really intuitive and there are some hidden features including the ability to reverse your loops, record in reverse, double or half time your loops or create stutter stop and start loops. A function to delete your last looped recording would be nice but it's not necessary.
My biggest critique of this pedal is the large footprint, but if different delays and looping is an important part of your sound, I highly recommend this pedal for your live setup.
Digital Effects - 16
Factory Presets - 18
User Programmable Channels - 3
Factory Presets - Effect Selector, Delay Time, Repeats, Tweak, Tweez, Mix
Additional Controls - Tap Tempo (included), EX-1 Expression Pedal (optional)
Mono/ Stereo - Stereo in, Stereo out (Loop Sampler sums signal to mono)
Chassis Color - Green
Dimensions - Length: 10-inches/25.4 cm; Width/Depth: 6-inches/15.24 cm; Height: 2.5-inches; Weight: 3.1 lbs
Product info from Line 6 Website