While this and the rest of Mad Professor’s lauded pedals have been around for a few years now, it wasn’t until they introduced their printed circuit based pedals that the company addressed the single biggest gripe about their products – the price tag. Sure, who wouldn’t want an all hand-wired pedal, but in a world where there are plenty of outstanding stompboxes at a fraction of the price of the hand-wired, a more economical line was wanted. Does this new Deep Blue cut tone when it cut its cost? Let’s find out.
Like most of Mad Professor’s pedals, the Deep Blue is comprised of straight forward no nonsense controls: Level, Delay and Repeat. You might be thinking automatically that Level must be in charge of volume like it would on several other pedals, but not exactly with this one. Instead, it regulates the ratio of clean guitar signal to the amount of the delay effect. The Delay control meanwhile does exactly what you’d expect – changing the amount of delay – and offers a sweep of times from 25 milliseconds to an impressive 450 milliseconds. By comparison, my own personal favorite delay, the Way Huge Aqua Puss, only offers about half as much and even that should be enough for most player’s needs. That actually shouldn’t come as a surprise since the Deep Blue is a digital pedal (as opposed to the analog Aqua Puss), although the direct signal path is pure analog. Still though, suffice it to say that 450 milliseconds of delay is robust. And finally, the Repeat control lets you manipulate how the delay effect will repeat, from a single regeneration to infinite feedback. Mad Professor designed the Deep Blue to replicate the warm sounds of classic tape- based echo units of the '60s so to enhance that old-school vibe, there are no settings for noise reduction, which honestly isn’t that important in delay pedals.
As far as the build goes, this pedal feels as solid as anything from BOSS, Dunlop or the other big guys in the market, sized exactly like BD-2 Overdrive and the like. And just like yesterday’s Sweet Honey, the Deep Blue is powered by an AC adapter with no option for batteries which might be a letdown for those of you out there who try to keep the chords and plugs at a minimal. And yes, the pedal is offers complete true bypass like most pedals worth their weight have these days. I do have to mention the awesome paint job though. Just like the Sweet Honey, the Deep Blue has a very nice translucent, high gloss type finish to it that reminds me of a lot of the way old school cars would shine – or classic ‘50s guitars for that matter! Anyways, this pedal will stand out on your board, for good reason. So, it looks good and feels good, but how does it sound?
As soon as you plug the Deep Blue in, you can already sense that old school, vintage feel from the get go. I tried playing a few licks of my favorite Creedence Clearwater tunes – which is very much the sound the pedal reminded me of – and it was amazingly easy dialing up precise tones for each song. After running through some old electric country, some rockabilly and even a little bit of blues, I was consistently impressed with how easy to use the Deep Blue is – not the mention it sounded just as excellent.
Although delay pedals usually aren’t known for inspiring a player to expand their creative, tonal vocabulary since most of us equate them to a very specific set of sounds, there is actually a lot to offer inside the Deep Blue Delay. After I exhausted all of my Fogerty, I found myself getting lost in all of the different sounds I was able to make, from cool mellow ambient tones to high gain rhythm and lead parts that really stuck out, and then some! Whether you’re looking for that “just the right amount” twang of rockabilly or even the delay-drenched stylings of MGMT, the Deep Blue can deliver.
When Mad Professor decided to offer more cost conscious factory models in order to quell one of their pedals’ biggest drawbacks, it might have been the best decision they could have possibly made, allowing the company to introduce their excellent products to a much broader segment of players and thereby spread their excellent reputation. Seriously, don’t be surprised if you start seeing more Mad Professors out there on your fellow players’ pedalboards! Sure, the company still offers all hand-wired versions of their pedals if you simply must have one, but just like we mentioned yesterday, based on the sound quality of the PCB models, there really isn’t a reason to shell out that extra cash since both models are equally excellent. All in all, if you’re looking for an easy to use, outstanding delay pedal, you can’t go wrong with Mad Professor’s Deep Blue Delay!