The Return of the Bucket Brigade: Seymour Duncan’s New Vapor Trail Analog Delay

Delay is the reigning sovereign of effects. Ask 4 out of 5 guitarists and they’ll agree, if they could only bring one effects pedal with them it’d be their repeater. Well, that’s assuming you don’t count tuners and noise gates. And let’s also assume that the distortion is built into the amp…

…I lost my place. I think I was talking about delay and how we all agree about how great it is. But what type of delay? That’s the point where we break out into rival gangs and have musical knife fights with tragic endings. Are you an digital delay Jet, because you need the utmost clarity and can’t live without tap tempo? Or are you a Shark that can’t stop moving once the analog kicks in with all its warmth, maybe driving the front of an amp a little harder in the process.

So now that I’ve ruined any metal cred that I had by referencing West Side Story, let’s take a look at Seymour Duncan’s latest delay offering, wherein they throw down for the analog camp. This pedal in question is the Vapor Trail. It uses a bucket brigade device, sending the signal down a line of capacitors, each more analogy and delay-y than the last.

Pretty much every smart feature you could ask for in an analog delay is included: small form factor, modulation, the ability to boost the output hotter than the incoming signal, and a dedicated TRS insert jack that can be used in a multitude of ways. You can plug it into your effects return, or send it to a second “delay only” amp. You can use it to put an effects pedal on your delay tone without affecting your dry signal. Or you can send it to a volume pedal and control your delay mix with your feet.

Oh, and the blue LED flashes to match the rate of your delay setting. Neat. For more info head over to Seymour Duncan’s website.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.