Jack Deville Dark Echo Bluffton SC

Constructed in a compact, black crinkle-finish metal box measuring just 4.25" x 2.25" x1.25", the Dark Echo sports engraved silver logos and legends on its top face. Read on for more detailed information in the following article.

Freedman'S Music
(843) 815-7997
1308 Fording Island Rd Ste A
Bluffton, SC
 
Freedmans Music
(843) 815-7997
1308 Fording Island Rd Ste A
Bluffton, SC
 
Piano Gallery
(843) 842-2122
23 New Orleans Rd
Hilton Head Island, SC
 
Red Piano Art Galler
(843) 785-2318
220 Cordillo Pkwy
Hilton Head Island, SC
 
Johns Music
(843) 842-5225
23 New Orleans Rd
Hilton Head Island, SC
 
Savannah Fulfillment Center
(912) 963-4363
211 Little Hearst Parkway
Savannah, GA
 
Barnes & Noble Booksellers
(843) 342-6690
20 Hatton Pl Ste 200
Hilton Head Island, SC
 
Hilton Head International Piano Competition
(843) 842-5880
32 Office Park Rd Ste 214
Hilton Head Island, SC
 
Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra
(843) 842-2055
32 Office Park Rd Ste 214
Hilton Head Island, SC
 
Bay Street Music
(843) 524-6344
102 Sea Island Pkwy
Beaufort, SC
 

First Impression: Jack Deville Dark Echo

The delay pedal field has long been split into old-school analog – promising tonal warmth and richness – and new-school digital – promising power and versatility. The Dark Echo (retail $199/street N/A), however, stands proud with a foot in each bucket. Built by Jack Deville Electronics in Portland, OR, with early design consultation from guitarist Cameron Morgan, the Dark Echo utilizes the functionality of a digital echo processor, but combines that with a fully analog dry signal path and analog support circuitry. This means the proportion of the un-echoed signal determined by the Blend knob setting remains entirely analog, while a digitally-produced delay blended into it creates the echo effect (meanwhile, true bypass switching ensures that your “off” signal remains entirely analog, too). It’s already a clever way to approach an echo pedal, but the Dark Echo has further tricks up its opaque sleeve. http://www.guitarplayer.com/uploadedImages/guitarplayer/Stories/Jack Deville Dark Echo.jpg

Constructed in a compact, black crinkle-finish metal box measuring just 4.25" x 2.25" x1.25", the Dark Echo sports engraved silver logos and legends on its top face. Controls include the standard knobs for Blend, Repeats, and Time (length of delay, from 50ms–450ms), and the single input and output and center-negative 9V adaptor jack are all par for the course, but this pedal’s added dimension reveals itself in the enigmatically-named Sway knob. The Sway circuit applies a triangle wave to modulate the delayed portion of the signal. Set fully counter-clockwise Sway is off, but rotating it through its sweep changes the intensity and frequency of the modulation simultaneously, but in an inverse relationship. Lower settings yield a faster speed with a lower intensity, higher settings produce higher modulation intensities at a slower speed. In addition to the external controls, the Dark Echo carries an internal output volume trim-pot that provides up to +12 dB of gain (the unit ships set to unity gain).

Used as a plain old echo pedal, the Dark Echo offers a smooth, warm tone that I might have guessed was totally analog if I hadn’t known better. Repeats darken progressively in a manner that’s musically pleasing, and the overall performance certainly leans toward vintage-styled delay tone, with just a little noise behind the decay of the echoed notes. Despite the digital engine, there are no super-long echoes to be had here. Delay times run from an effective slap-back to an atmospheric 450ms chop. The Repeat control functions as expected, and can even drive the pedal into oscillation for special effects (and since the signal runs through the delay circuitry even when bypassed, you can begin your feedback oscillations at any time, then kick them in mid-riff for some wild affects). The Dark Echo would be a fun and hip-sounding delay pedal even if it only carried the upper three knobs, but the Sway function adds a deeper dimension still. Sway’s a bit counterintuitive in that it affects your tone more at shorter delay times, since the modulated repeats are...

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