You don’t have to look too hard on the internet to find out that the recently released Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail has quickly won the praise of a ton of analog delay users. So much so that I feel like I can already go ahead and tell you that Seymour Duncan has crafted a fantastic effects pedal with the Vapor Trail, one that can easily stand toe to toe with the more established analog delays out there. In fact, I loved it so much I included it in our Great Delay Effects Pedals Under $200 article. Mixing the meticulous attention to tone and response, a slew of useful features and an affordable price tag that puts it among the best at its range, it’s a stompbox that’s easy to recommend for multiple reasons.
The Features Of The Vapor Trail
Despite its $149 price tag, Duncan has packed the Vapor Trail with a good deal of useful features and impressive specs. The core of the pedal’s sound comes from the legendary Bucket Brigade chips combined with modern all-analog circuitry, meaning you get the warmth and feel of old school delays without the noise levels they are often plagued with. As far as controls go, the Vapor Trail features five knobs – Delay, Mix, Rate, Depth, and Repeats.
With the Delay knob, you can dial in anywhere from 15ms to 600ms of delay time, an impressive amount for an analog pedal. There’s also an LED built into the middle of the Delay knob itself that flashes to indicate the current delay time, a feature that should be especially useful during live performances. As for the other controls, the Rate knob regulates the rate of modulation from 0.2Hz to 4Hz; the Repeats knob controls the delay feedback from one repeat to self-oscillation; the Depth knob fine-tunes the modulation depth from zero to “over the top” and the Mix control allows you to dial in your desired amount of wet/dry signal.
And if that wasn’t enough, the Vapor Trail also includes a wet channel insert loop, allowing you add other effects to just the wet signal. It also doubles as a wet-only output, handy for studio use or a wet/dry stereo setup. And yes, the pedal also features true bypass, allowing your signal to go through the box uncolored when switched off.
The Sound Of The Vapor Trail
If you’re a fan of classic, warm analog delay, the Vapor Trail has it in spades. And by pairing the Bucket Brigade chips with modern circuitry, you also get the high-fidelity, low-noise signal response of today’s pedal tech without the irritating hiss of older units, essentially the best of both worlds as far as old school fans should be concerned.
Beginning with all the settings at their mid position (the reliable 12 o’clock test), the pedal gave off a luscious, smooth delay tone that I could easily see myself using in many situations. Pushing every setting up a bit gave a thicker, warmer sound with longer roll offs and delays that had a very nice vibe to them. After messing around with all sorts of position, I was easily able to dial in a wide variety of classic delay voices, each of which maintained the smooth feel that pedals equipped with all-analog circuitry are known for. From vintage style slap-back echoes to rotary speaker chorusing and even delays that sound ripped straight from a U2 album, the Vapor Trail delivers.
For the creative-minded players that like their effects a bit wilder, the Vapor Trail can deliver on that end as well. With the Modulation control cranked up, you can add an increasingly vibrant shimmer to the overall effect whole the pushing the Delay and Repeats will send the pedal into a frenzied self-oscillation.
The included wet channel insert loop is another feature that shouldn't be discounted when thinking about the sound of the Vapor Trail. By plugging in your favorite pedal, you have infinite more ways to play around with the tone of the Vapor Trail. For example, by adding a reverb pedal, you can add much more depth to the overall sound while an EQ pedal will help you saturate and sculpt the tone. You can even use your own modulation pedal instead of the Vapor Trail's modulation control. Add in the already versatile controls and you have a pedal with nearly limitless tonal potential.
Check out the video below to hear the Vapor Trail in action:
Seymour Duncan can add the Vapor Trail to their growing list of amazing guitar effects pedals. Featuring, warm, clean analog delay tone, powerful features and intuitive controls that let you dial in an impressive amount of high-quality voicings, the Seymour Duncan Vapor Trail Analog Delay easily wins our full recommendation. And when you add in the very competitive price point, it really makes you rethink what an affordable pedal can and should be.
If you have any questions regarding the purchase of the Vapor Trail or any other piece of gear, don't hesitate to chat with one of our friendly PAL pros by using the live chat feature below or by calling us toll-free at 1 877-671-2200!
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