T-Rex Replica review

September 13th 2009 | Posted in Reviews | 39 Comments

For some time now I’ve been searching for a good sounding delay that can replicate those lush tape sounds without messing up my signal or being overly noisy. In my quest I’ve realized that this is not that easy to combine. However, the T-Rex Replica seems to fulfill almost everything I was searching for.

Danish T-Rex is one of those companies that pretty much turns everything they touch (or produce) into gold. Every time they release a new pedal, guitarists and reviewers fall head over heels in their admiration. This usually makes me very skeptical but T-Rex definitely deserves all the praise.

Of course, the reason why I noticed T-Rex and the Replica in the first place was the fact that when I went to see David play at the Royal Albert Hall in May 2006 I saw two new pedals lying on top of his Cornish pedal board. I asked Phil Taylor, who was just positioning David’s Black Strat, but he simply replied that it was a secret but he was sure the info would soon appear on some of the numerous fan sites. Being the author of one of these sites, I had to do some research fast to keep my credibility intact (ha ha!) and now we know that David used the Replica in a loop with a triangle Big Muff for the “funky part” on Echoes.

I’ve always been a huge fan of the Electro Harmonix Memory Man. This classic analog delay is one of the few pedals that has managed to capture the rich, warm character of the old tape machines. However, it’s incredibly noisy and like all older EH models, it has a terrible volume drop when engaged. The Replica is very similar to the Memory Man. The fact that the Replica is digital is no reason to dismiss this pedal as just another hype. I really didn’t believe my ears when I first tried it. I’ve seen some reviews where people are slaying the pedal, but I think they’ve missed the point. This is not a bright sounding Boss DD3 but simply one of the best sounding tape sims available. The tone is incredibly smooth and warm with a natural decay and it blends very well with your guitar and other pedals.

The Replica allows you to dial in everything from classic 50s slapback echo to rich long delays up to 1500ms. Maxing the repeat control produce a wild self oscillation effect. The pedal feature two buttons as well: “brown” for even warmer analog tones (much like the Carbon Copy) and “subdivision” for blending in triplet delays (I’ve never explored this feature). There’s an on/off switch naturally and a tap switch. Like the Memory Man the Replica also feature a level control. It’s a bit hard to dial in unity level but unlike the Mem Man, this level control is inactive when you switch off the pedal. The Replica has a so called true hardwire bypass on/off switching system. I’m not particularly fond if this because it often cuts the treble (like older EH and MXR pedals) but I haven’t sensed any loss at all from the Replica.

It’s hard to find anything negative about the Replica. It’s simply the best sounding delay I’ve ever had on my pedal board. But, it’s not the pedal you should choose for the more demanding delay settings like Another Brick in the Wall, Run Like Hell etc. For that you’d need a typical digital delay for a brighter tone and preferably a display to be able to dial in the correct time. Other than that I find the Replica incredibly versatile and it works just as nicely for David’s classic 70′s tones as for my Airbag tones. Actually I find my self leaving the pedal on for most of the time!

39 comments so far

  1. Phil says:

    Awsome review on this Bjorn, I was just on my way to Harmony Central, and with FB being my home page, noticed U had done one
    Once again, really nice job and keep up the brilliant work !!

    [Cheers Phil! - Bjorn]

  2. Stanley Spilman says:

    Great review Bjorn!

    You ought to try the Boss RE-20 as well, really authentic sounds.

    [Yeah liked that one as well. - Bjorn]

  3. Jae says:

    Glad you like the Replica, Bjorn. I’ve had mine since December and I just love it! Like you I don’t use the subdivision feature. Congradulations to the happy winner of this fine pedal, I know you will be pleased.
    So, how was the show? Any bootlegs floating around out there?

    Jae

    [The show went really well. We had a great time as always. We didn't record the show and I', not sure if anyone else did... - Bjorn]

  4. hey,,, it is a digital Delay not a Analog Delay,,,

    also i think this pedal can be not good with a Fuzz since the T-rex has a buffered bypass wich changes the nature of the Fuzz

    [I know and so it says in the review. I use the Replica with my SunFace fuzz and it works very well. It has only one buffer at the output stage so it doesn't mess upp the signal as much as Boss pedals. - Bjorn]

  5. Deck says:

    Run Like Hell : Tempo on mark n°6
    ABITW : Tempo on mark n°7
    And now, you don’t have any good reason to use another delay pedal ;)

    [Thanks I'll try that :) - Bjorn]

  6. This really sounds like a delightful delay pedal. I’ve got a DD-5, and it’s just simply not warm enough for me, nor does it have much of a natural sound, in my opinion. But this Replica seems like it would be an absolutely terrific addition to anyone’s rig. No wonder David used it!
    I look forward to your future reviews, sir. Another great job.

    [As I said in the review, the Replica is a bit too dark for the more modern Gilmour stuff like Another Brick, Run Like Hell, Coming Back to Life etc where you need an accurate and brighter sounding delay. But it's hard to describe the Replica because the tone lies somewhere between the darker sounding analog delays like the Carbon Copy and the bright Boss DD range. Among the Boss pedals I think the DD2 is amazing while the newer models, like you say, is just too bright and sterlile. The Replica is an incredibly versatile delay and you just want to leave it on for most of your sounds really. - Bjorn]

  7. Leandro says:

    Congrats man!! that definitely is terrific sounding delay! i cant even imagine how good would be playing echoes through that baby!

    Cheers!!
    Leandro

    [Actually I did last saturday. Sounded sweet with the SunFace! - Bjorn]

  8. Franck Machu says:

    Great review as always. Everything becomes clear.

    [Thanks! - Bjorn]

  9. Paul_C says:

    Thanks again Bjorn, another great piece of work. Have wanted one of these for some time now. In fact I’ve wanted to try it since seeing it on top of David’s board at the Bray Studios rehearsal (Gdansk dvd), along with the triangle muff (one of which I managed to get on good old Ebay!)

    I wish all entrants (including myself of course!) the very best of luck.

    Best wishes to all in Gilmourish land

    Paul

    [It's not often I find pedals that I can't find anything wrong with. The Replica is simply amazing. - Bjorn]

  10. Eric Nyberg says:

    Bjorn,
    Hope you had a great show, please upload the setlist! I got a Fender Deluxe Reverb two weeks ago and am absolutely in love with it, the vibrato sounds great, just like a univibe, is it a similar kind of thing? I was wondering if you would use the Carbon Copy analog for Another Brick In The Wall or Run Like Hell. Again, thanks for all the great responses.

    [The Carbon is a bit too dark for stuff like Another Brick and Run. It's a delay and you'd have no problem dialing in the settings but you won't get those bright, accurate repeats.
    The show went really well. I think there will be a review written by one from the audience but the setlist was:
    In the Flesh
    Thin Ice
    Another Brick 1
    Happiest Days
    Another Brick 2
    Young Lust
    Last Few Bricks
    Goodbye Cruel World
    Echoes
    (intermission)
    Shine On 1-5
    Time
    Us & Them
    Any Colour You Like
    Sheep
    (encores)
    Have a Cigar
    Comf Numb
    Run Like Hell.
    - Bjorn]

  11. Ernest says:

    +1 review Bjorn :-)

    My favourite delay pedal!
    Actualy it is very ‘modern’ WITHOUT the “brown” switch engaged.
    I realy like love the “brown” switch. Superb TES!
    My T-Rex works fine with other pedals.

    Just look at the list of users like, David Gilmour, Gay Moore, Pet Townsend, … etc.

    [I really haven't explored the brown switch more but I'll definitely do. - Bjorn]

  12. TQuay says:

    Bjorn,

    Someone wrote in the Examining Comfortably Numb blog that if you take a delay and put another delay behind it at a short clip (?) you can get a ADT (Automatic Double Tracking) kind of sound that makes so many studio sound so full and lush from the Beatles to Comfortably Numb, etc. If so how do you do it and any other tips. I’ve been thinking about picking up a Memory Boy as second inexpensive delay and use it with the chorus delay mode it has to hopefully capture that “big sound.”

    Congradulations on getting a quality delay. Like you said Pink Floyd is 99% delay. Also, check out the Diamond Pedals Memory Lane 2 someday. I found mine at a great price which was lucky. It may be the best delay out there and all analog. Cheers

    [I've never tried it my self but ADT is basically just a delayed signal. You can easily do the same on today's digital recording softwares by duplicating the recorded track and slightly delaying it from the other track. I guess you could recreate that effect with two delay pedals but I have to try it to see how it works. - Bjorn]

  13. Eric says:

    Just a follow up question, would a Boss DD-3 be good enough sound wise for ABITW and Run Like Hell? I can’t find a DD-2 anywhere.

    [The DD2 was discontinued some time in the late 80s but it pops up on EBay regularly. The DD3 is close but has a brighter tone and can appear a bit cold. Still, the delay effect it self is great for Wall and newer stuff. - Bjorn]

  14. João J. Francisco says:

    Hi there!

    I’m glad you got your hands on Trex! It’s probably the best digital pedal out there! I wish to have one too, but you know… money don’t grow in my garden!…
    Now you don’t need to get a TC 2290 for a good digital delay ;-)

    I read in a previous review that someone asks about Boss DD2 and DD3. Now, there are good DD3 but it’s need to be sure if it was made in JAPAN. For those who want to know the year and the day of a BOSS pedal: http://www.bossarea.com/serial/sndecoder.aspx

    I hope that some guitar players don’t think that Trex delay is not so good because it’s digital… All “analog” delays are digital!! All have the delay chip, all work digital! So Trex is really a plus! And remember the brown knob… it passes the sound to low fi and the repeats will lose quality as they fading: that’s the analog delay.
    I think you made a smart buy, Bjorn. You got the best digital delay available in a pedal and a good analog delay, all in the same box!

    Just for ending: I didn’t know that memory man have that volume drop and it’s so noisy! I’ll never buy one!

    Thank you! ;-)

  15. MT says:

    Nice review. I tried one last month, is very tapeish, i mean, almost like reverb, and quite expensive :]-.
    I was tempted to buy one, when i was using the DD2, but i setled up with the nova. Different monsters.
    On the “bright” side the nova can do both sounds, the dark sounding tapish echo, and the more brigtly/punchy/modern U2 like delay; but the repetitions are too acurate to sound like a true echo unit. The replica is the best “digital” delay if your tryng to emulate an old tape echo.

    [Agree. - Bjorn]

  16. Nate says:

    In response to João, the comment about analog delays being digital is not correct. The IC (integrated circuit) used in those delays are still analog circuits crammed into a chip. See this for more information http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucket-brigade_device

  17. Dave A says:

    Hey Bjorn in your comments you say you used the repica for echoes,and very well i might add but what delay did you use for Run like hell and Another Brick.

    [The Boss DD-2. - Bjorn]

  18. Daniel Krause says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Great to see you finally got a Replica! I’ve had one for quite a while and I love it. It’s a very simple unit too, which I think is important.
    I sometimes use the subdivision switch…It can come in handy ;-)

    Cheers,

    Daniel

  19. João J. Francisco says:

    In response to NATE:

    Yes, that’s correct! That’s why I said “analog”. What I mean is that many of the pedals called ANALOG used DSP IC’s, and we can’t hear any difference in most cases! ;-)
    I can’t get a get a schematic of TREX delay to analise it, but I gess it works with that IC. And they’ve got a wonderful sound!!
    Thank you for warning me! ;-)

  20. Yannick says:

    Great review! Only concerns I had about the Replica form what I’ve read were two things. One it is very dark delay. Some say even with the brown switch off it’s still very dark.

    The second thing was that when you tap in a new tempo while the you’re playing it warbles the delay. Much like it would when you change the delay time knob manually on most delay pedals.

    I’m in the middle of getting the Tech 21 DLA with Tap tempo. If you get a chance check it out. Seems like something you would like to try out. It’s also very affordable for what it does. It’s also designed similar to the Replica.

    [Thanks for the tip! I'll check it out.
    About the Replica being dark... Depends on what kind of delay you're looking for. Analog or tape delays are dark (although the Replica is actually a digital sim). That's just their nature. If you want a pristine, bright delay you'd better check out a typical digital delay like the Boss models, TC Nova or similar. The Replica is one of the best sounding tape sims on the market - ideal for David's 1968-1975 tones but for the newer stuff, I'd get a digital bright sounding delay.
    I haven't noticed any warble when I tap but then again I haven't really tapped that much when I'm playing... usually I do this before the passage where the tap tempo is needed.
    - Bjorn]

  21. Luciano says:

    Hello, Bjorn.

    Nice review, as always.

    Wish I could buy a Replica, but the price, here, is obscene. Think I’ll enter the competition… :)

    I’m afraid Nate is right about the analog/digital question. The fact that a circuit contains an IC, such as a bucket-brigade device, does not make it digital, since there is no analog/digital – digital/analog convertion of the signal. A digital device is the one that converts the signal into digital (numeric) information (zeros and ones), right? At least that’s what I understood after reading the great and much recommended “Analog Man’s Guide to Vintage Effects” (http://www.formusiciansonly.com/analog.html).

    Now, going OFF-TOPIC (as a matter of fact, “OFF-Gilmourish”), I’m planning to get a semi-hollow guitar.
    Since I can’t buy a Gibson ES-335, I’ve been searching about Epiphone’s Sheraton II and Dot, and also read some very good review about the Ibanez AS73 (cheaper, but considered by many as better). I’ve narrowed the options down to these models, since they are the easiest to find around here.
    Do you or the guys have any thought about it?

    By the way, going a bit Gilmourish now, would any of these be a good substitute for the Gretsch Duo Jet, to achieve the “Where We Start” tone, or do you have another suggestion on that?

    And as far as guitar mantainance go, do/did you have problems with golden hardware on Epi’s (you used to use an Epi SG Custom with Airbag, didn’t you?). I’ve read something about oxidation and the gold finish going off. Is it just a matter good care or the finish is really crappy?

    Sorry for going so off-topic, but I really apreciate your opinion.

    Great setlist on the Pink Floyd Experience show! It’s a pitty you haven’t recorded it.

    Cheers.

    Luciano.

    [Hi Luciano, sorry for my late reply. I have very little experience with ES guitars. Perhaps someone else here can help you. Check out the Pro Jet series. They're Gretsch's own budget models of the Duo Jet equipped with Bigsby and all. Different pickups but really nice guitars.
    Never had any experience with oxidation on the SG.
    - Bjorn]

  22. Pete says:

    Bjorn, nice review. I recently had the opportunity to A/B/C the T-Rex Replica, Empress Superdelay and the TC 2290. After messing around for about half an hour I walked out of the shop with the Superdelay. The T-Rex did it’s one thing very well. The Superdelay did almost everything very well. From clean delays to tape sim to old bb chips it handles it all and does it so transparently. I’m not trying to create GAS, but if you do have the opportunity to try one out, do.

    [Thanks for the tip! - Bjorn]

  23. James says:

    Bjorn,

    Might be worth pointing out that, certainly in my experience, the T Rex stock pwr adaptor somehow causes a little bit of noise when a lot of gain is through it. I recommend using the Voodoo Lab into it. It works a lot better. I’ve also discussed this with a good mutual friend of yours and mine who gigs Floyd stuff a lot (!) and he agrees totally.

    Other than that, great review and I’m with with you that it’s the best delay around, other than the delicious MXR SysII.

    James/Jakey.

    [Yes, there's some distortion going on when you crank the signal through the Replica. Very vague though but enough that I wouldn't use the pedal for recording without using a different adaptor. - Bjorn]

  24. TP says:

    Gotta go little against the grain. :) Replica was my main delay for a year or so. Replica has very full sounding repeats, but it darkens overall tone what was the reason I got rid off mine. Atleast mine did, it took away high end and made dist pedals sound smoother. So I had to keep it on all the time and tweak amp for brighter tone. Not very ideal solution. I was never totally satisfied with it and when pedal costs 400euros it should be flawless. To me the DMM does better tape echo simulation and sounds better overall. But it’s not flawless like you said is little noisy, but so are real tape echos.. I never had any volume drop issues, so you must have the older model with no true bypass (level control is effective even when the pedal is off right?). Diamond Memory Lane is very good alternative to real tape echo.

    Many people love the Replica so it must be good but it’s not for everyone, but hey this is just the way it goes.

    Thanks for the review it was nice reading.

    [Well, the fact that it receives rave reviews doesn't mean that everyone likes the pedal :) I can see what you mean but then again it depends on what you're looking for. If the Mem Man had been noiseless, I'd choose it over the Replica any day. Mine doesn't have true bypass. - Bjorn]

  25. Ruud says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    Again a nice usefull review. Do you have some experience with the TC Nova delay? I’m very curious how the T rex compares itself with the Nova

    [The Nova is very similar to the Boss DD20 although a bit more studioish. The digital delays are extremely pristine and accurate and there are a couple of very nice tape and analog sims but they don't really have the same warmth and authenticity like the Replica. - Bjorn]

  26. Eric Nyberg says:

    Hey Bjorn just checking in with you. I got the BOSS DD-20, I couldn’t afford the Replica and I’m pretty impressed with it so far, it sounds good, I’m using the carbon copy for the earlier stuff and an instrumental I’m working on. I was wondering if you can raise the volume on a delay pedal with a latched BOSS fsl-5 footswitch or whether you need a volume pedal like an Ernie Ball. Oh, and how is the “Time” article coming along? I know you’re busy but I’m longing…

    [You can boost the volume with a volume pedal, if that's what you're asking but it's always a good idea to place the volume pedal before the delays so that when you lower the volume, the delay will still ring. The Time article will be published in a few weeks time. - Bjorn]

  27. Darko says:

    Could you please write the mail-address for the competetion? I can’t open it with Outlook…

    Thanks!

    // Darko

    [post@gilmourish.com. - Bjorn]

  28. Fernando says:

    Great review, Björn! A few months ago I was deciding which one of these sims to buy (Replica and Danelectro Reel Tape Echo) and I chose the Dano. Would be great to compare them both together!

    Kind regards,

    Fernando.

  29. Willem says:

    Hi Björn, I have a question. Using a T-Rex Reptile, I find that it produces a lot of hiss. When I turn up the level, when the device is on, the hiss increases, turning up the echo though, diminishes it. Funny is that when I turn on my Tube Driver, the hiss is almost gone. When I turn the reptile off the hiss is completely gone. Could it be my iSpot adapter, or what?

    [I really have no idea. Try using a different adaptor and see if that helps. - Bjorn]

  30. Alan says:

    The only flaw with it is that when you turn it off, the delay just suddenly cuts out and not fading out.

  31. Ernest says:

    Look at this (3:00)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU2uNjxvBcs
    Actually, this guy uses a Replica as well ;-)

  32. Tomas says:

    Did you know that the R-rex replica actually was made by T.C. Electronic and that TC sold it to Trex a few years ago. You can see it in this link a the original tc vintage delay. A you can see it has all the same controls etc.
    http://www.tcelectronic.com/VintageDelay.asp

    TC electronic are the best there is.

  33. Bruno Ribeiro says:

    hi bjorn!
    i’m thiking about buying a DD-2 (for the warm tone and versatility) I’ve read about the non-recommended DD-3 and DD-6. but what about the DD-7? have you tried it ?(it has an “analog” switch…)

    otherwise what do you think is more versatile:
    -a replica(that could be used for “modern” delays)?
    -or a DD-2 (that could de used for “analog” delays)?

    thanks for awsering!
    and bravo for the nice review! very usefull as allways

    Bruno
    France

    [I've never tried the DD7 but my general oppinion about the newer Boss delays is that their too cold and bright sounding. The Replica has an analog, vintage tone similar to the Memory Man. I'm using mine for David's Binson sounds. The DD2 is digital is is better for the more modern stuff. However, the tone is very warm and is perhaps best described as a mix between analog and digital. - Bjorn]

  34. Pierre Chartier says:

    Hello my dear friend, I’m just listening to Airbag Identity and surfing around on the net late at night. What an incredible album, fantsatic music… Airbag is one of the greatest band of all time. Ok now, for the delay comments. I’ve already compare side by side the T-Rex Replica and the Mad Professor Deep Blue Delay… and my choice go with the DBD. IMHO the MP DBD is better for tape echo simulation and so lush, you should try one!

    [Hi Pierre! Hope all is well! Thanks for your kind words! We appreciate your support immensly! Thanks for the tip on the DBD as wll. Never trie dit actually. The Replica isn't really a tape sim but more a digital delay with a vintage tone. Kind of like a mix between the memory Man and Boss DD2. Cheers! - Bjorn]

  35. Bill says:

    For a more demanding delay for Another Brick in the Wall, Run Like Hell, instead of using the Replica would delay pedal(s) would you suggest ?

    [I'm using a Boss DD2 but any digital delay would do really. The TC Electronics Nova Repeater is an excellent processor pedal stripped down for all the fancy features. Only great sounds and easy to use. See recommended PULSE delays in the article. - BJorn]

  36. Bill says:

    David, (I mean Bjorn, hard to tell the difference when hearing you guys’ guitar tone since they’re practically the same lol): Am I correct in making the assumption from what I have read above that if you were fortunate to have a Binson Echorec, you would probably not need the T-rex Replica, but would keep the Boss DD-2 for Another Brick in the Wall and Run Like Hell ? If so, is that the case for those 2 particular songs or most of the songs from The Wall? What about tunes from Dark Side of the Moon? (probably the Echorec on most I would think.)
    Cheers, Bill

    [If I had a Binson I'd be drooling over it every day :) I've never played a Binson but heard enough of it to say that nothing really compares to its tone. Those old tape machines can't be replicated with a single digital pedal. However, The Replica and EH Deluxe Memory Man are decent substitutes I think. The Replica is basically a cleaned up version of the Memory Man. I'm using it for anything between 1968-1975 to achieve David's warm analog Binson tones. The DD2, although incredibly warm and analoge sounding for a digital delay, is brighter and has a more distinct delay and is better suited for replicating David's MXR, TC etc delays between 1977-present. - Cheers! - Bjorn]

  37. Freddy says:

    Ever tried DMB’s analogue Lunar Echo?
    http://dmbpedals.com/lunar-echo/
    It seems to be the talk of the town these days.

    [Haven't tried it but thanks for the tip. I'll check it out :) - Bjorn]

  38. Martin says:

    hello!
    i just wanted to know, if you ever tried the new t-rex reptile 2.
    does it sound similar to the sooooooo expensive replica?
    i own an ibanez de-7 but i want to replace it either with mxr cc or t-rex reptile 2.
    greetings!

    [The Reptile is a great sounding delay pedal with a couple of really cool modes for a classic analog tone. Not as smooth and warm as the Replica but IMO the best affordable delay on the market. - Bjorn]

  39. Josh says:

    Hi Bjorn and fellow guitarists,

    A couple of people have mentioned the Diamond Memory Lane 2 – this is a very versatile pedal and a key part of my pedal board. Very lush and musical delay, sounds great in front of the amp (clean to moderate gain settings from the amp) and works nicely in the effects loop also. One of the few analogue delays with a dotted 8th setting. Feedback / repeats can be coloured darker or brighter which addresses some of the comments above about DMM. Also has feedback expression pedal output which I haven’t used, but intend to explore soon. I’ve had mine for 6 months or so and would highly recommend trying one.

    One more special note that I have a Laney Lionheart hand wired combo. For whatever reason digital delays just don’t sound good with this amp (loss of clarity, tonal changes) analogue sounds just fine.

    However at around US$600 new they aren’t cheap. Happy picking! Josh

    P.S. Love your website, insights and resources, very nice work

    [Thanks for the tip Josh! I haven't had the chance to try the Diamond yet. The Lionheart is a great amp indeed! - Bjorn]