Boss DD3 Vs DD7: Which One Is Best For You?
Delay is an essential part of every guitarist’s rig. We can’t live without it! A chorus, delay, and a variation of distortion is a simple set-up that will make great music! Over the years, Boss Corporation has fully understood the importance of delay and capitalized on it! Today, among the digital delays Boss has made, Boss DD3 vs DD7 is often debated.
Would you believe that DD2 was released in 1983? Yeah, it’s old, and it still rocks until now! Three years later, DD3 was born. Boss released DD5 in 1995, and many avid fans tried it out. According to many users, DD5 had too much function and too many modes which made it a bit difficult to use.
In 2008, Boss released their fifth digital delay pedal under the model name DD7. With an insatiable hunger to create amazing delay pedals, they even released a larger delay module in 2015 called DD500! But hey, we’re here to talk about DD3 and DD7. Let’s get these two to a face off!
Boss DD3 vs DD7
To give you a better summary of the two pedals, here’s a table that would show you what they feature.
External Footswitch Input
Boss DD3 Review
DD3 was released three years after DD2. Actually, DD3 is a facelifted DD2. There was a dramatic increase in production of digital electronic parts that resulted in lower prices. Instead of giving DD2 a lower price, Boss facelifted DD2 and created DD3. Because of the price drop in digital electronic parts, DD3 was marketed with a lower price.
Since 1986, DD3 is still being bought by guitarists up to this date! DD3 is known for its ease of use and simple function. It is easy to configure and does not have too many parameters to tweak to make a great sound.
Let’s take a better look at DD3. It has four knobs that give you control over the level of the effect, feedback, delay time, and switch between four modes. It has a short medium and long mode that as a maximum value of 800ms. The fourth configuration lets you hold your last phrase indefinitely until your foot is off the stomp.
It three ¾ inch jack slots for your input, output, and direct output. The direct output gives you versatility in hooking up your effects with two amps giving you a wet/dry setup.
A delay, as the name suggests, gives you trails of delayed sound. This pedal is one of the simplest digital delays that gives you just that without the complicated operation. Although, four knobs may seem like it is a bit difficult to configure. Well, unlike single knob boosts and distortions, a delay needs to be configured properly to sound good.
This guitar effect can be hooked up to two amps. It has a wet output and a direct output. The output, or the wet output, sends the signal with effects to your amp, and the direct output sends a clean or dry signal to your other amp. This is an advanced configuration that will bring your sound to the next higher level. If you would want a stereo output, this will be a useful feat. This gives you a thicker sound with just one guitar.
Unlike the recent delay models, DD3 is very simple and only has four modes to chose from. The first mode, the short mode, gives you 12.5ms up to 50ms delay time. This is a very short delay and would make your output thicker without the trailing delay.
The second mode gives you 50ms up to 200ms delay time. The trails are more obvious and would significantly increase the fullness of your sound.
The third mode will give you 200ms to 800ms delay. This is the long mode, and you will hear a trailing delay from the initial attack. This makes it a great ambient sound filler. With proper setup, it will give a trailing delay that fills the air.
The last mode lets you hold the last note you hit. You can use it to make trills or vibratos. However, this may not be very useful in live applications. It would be quite challenging and impractical to switch to hold mode when you are playing live.
Delays are meant to create trails with layers of sound. The device itself doesn’t change the tone or quality of your signal. It does, however, create multiple layers of repeated sound on top of each other. It creates an echoing effect to your signal that fades away. It has a maximum delay time of .8 seconds.
The great thing about Boss DD3 is it doesn’t suck up your tone while it’s turned off. Some old-fashioned guitar effects have had trouble with their bypass switches, and the signal passes through the circuit even when it is turned off. So, you don’t have to worry about tone loss when this effect is not in use.
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Boss DD7 Review
Boss DD7 is the fifth single stomp model from the Boss’s digital delay series. It is launched in 2008 and was received by fans with open hands. It has all the features of DD3 plus more modes! More modes mean it can be a bit of a handful in the beginning, especially if you are new to guitar effects. But it’s nothing that you wouldn’t understand in a few hours of experimenting!
It still has four knobs to control your effects level, feedback level, delay time, and choose between 8 different modes. This compact delay effect packs a ton of functionality.
A more in-depth look would reveal that this unit has been improved a lot. They fitted five ¾ jacks for 2 inputs, 2 outputs, and one input for a tap tempo interface or an expression pedal.
This pedal, basically, has everything that DD3 has with more improved functions. Let’s have a look at the additional functions featured in this guitar effect.
Extended Delay Time
Boss dramatically improved DD7 with a 3200ms mode. This gives you up to 6.4 seconds of delay. Although the length of delay is quite astounding, a 6.4-second delay has very little application in live performances.
Built-in Tap Tempo
To increase the functionality of this pedal, they integrated a built-in tap tempo that can be activated by holding the stomp for 2 seconds. This tap temp feature lets you control your delay tempo in a breeze. This enables you to change your delay time without going down the floor and manually tweaking your settings. This is very useful in live situations.
External Footswitch Integration
A two-second activated switch is handy in live performances. But sometimes, during live, a zero-second activation would be outstanding! Boss integrated this effect with a tap-tempo device input that you can readily connect to DD7. This gives you a foot switch that is dedicated for tap tempo that does not need a two-second activation.On top of all the improvements that Boss added to this digital delay, the modulation mode is one of the best features it has. Aside from the wide range of echo you can get with this device, it has a has a modulation mode that gives you a chorus-like effect. If you are on a tight budget, this means that this can, somehow, give you a “chorusy” effect.
If you are more of a volume-swell guy, you can use an expression pedal to give you that dramatic ambient music.
The hold mode was drastically improved and has become more functional compared to how it is with DD3. Hold mode can now be activated via the footswitch with two successive stomps. Basically, it functions more than just holding your phrase. It acts as a 40-second looper! This is a great way to create thicker sound with a few instruments.
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Boss Corporation makes their guitar pedals with the users in mind. They have been in the industry for almost half a decade now and have given musicians fantastic guitar effects. When it comes to digital delays, they have become quite an authority and have made a large selection that caters to varying user needs.
When it comes to Boss DD3 vs DD7, clearly, Boss DD-7 wins the match. It has everything that DD3 has more exciting features like the hold mode which actually gives you a 40-second loop, the modulated delay, and the external footswitch integration.
There is no doubt that DD7 gives a lot of value. However, if you are on a tight budget, Boss DD-3 will save you a few bucks.