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!