Empress Tape Delay Pedal

I’ve been addicted to delay machines since the 80’s – now I’ve just become addicted to the new Empress Tape Delay Pedal.

I got my first delay fix from a Boss pedal in the late 70’s – the same time the Chorus CE-1 entered the market. Shortly after realizing I had a delay-addiction, I started looking for more serious alternatives to the noisy Boss and bought my first rack unit.

Since then I’ve been through a lot of different units. The TC 2290 has been a favorite and the brain/center in my rack-setup for years. A few years ago, when I decided to go for a pedalboard solution instead of the rack. I searched the market for a while and ended up buying the the Empress Vintage Modified Superdelay, which in my opinion, is the best delay pedal around. It sounds awesome, has tons of configurations, and even the ability to save up to eight presets.

empress tape delay pedal - Soren Reiff board 2014
Empress Tape Delay together with the Empress Compressor and the Radial Tonebone placed in my new board – 2014

Why should I ever consider buying anything else?

If it sounds that great and presents all those possibilities, then why should I consider other options? Well, this summer I had to go to Canada to play – and when I realized that I had to cut down on my current pedalboard, to avoid paying overweight charges, I started browsing some of my favorite brand sites for new solutions. And as an extra excuse I didn’t want to tear my current pedalboard apart just for this trip.

Empress Tape Delay Pedal

empress tape delay pedal - Soren Reiff board 2014
The Empress Tape Delay – pedalboard 2014

Empress Effects has a nice site with some nice products 🙂 I had to visit that, even though I knew I was happy with my Superdelay. But what really spiked my interest was when I realized they had released a new delay. The Tape delay is smaller (which means it’s easier to carry and travel with, if you need to give your wife some sort of explanation 🙂 ), cheaper than the Superdelay, and still has that monstrous tape simulation that many people agree sounds extraordinarily good. In short: everything I would need for this type of board.

About this tape delay: It has three different flavors of tape, so you can decide how “old” you want your tape-delay to sound. You can add some filters and modulation to this, so you can get the exact sound your looking for. Apart from the fact that I want my delay to sound the best possible – preferably as a very expensive studio unit. I also want the tap-delay time function – I can’t live without that … I would prefer no delay, than out of time delay- and the Empress Tape Delay pedal has that.

Does it sound as good as I expected?

Overview of the Empress Tape Delay
Overview of th Empress Tape Delay –  pedalboard 2014

To be honest with you – I’ve read tons of ads through my career… I’ve believed many of them, and been disappointed many times too, so I was a little anxious when I got my Empress Tape Delay Pedal and opened the box. Fortunately though, as expected, it looked super cool and was very intuitive to operate. After a couple of minutes it was placed on my new board, and after that we were like old buddies.

Actually I can write up this “review”  in almost as few words as the review I wrote on the Empress Compressor: buy it!! It sounds super great, it’s super easy to operate, and does everything you expect. Actually, it does a little more since it also gives you the ability to program presets, and it has a buffered bypass with the trails intact, and so on. If you want to get into the more technical details, check out Empress’s official site… here I’m just writing about my experiences and expectations. Once again, and in short – it’s super, I love it and I can only recommend it – recommend it – recommend it – recommend it.

All the very best


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