Whenever Electro-Harmonix releases a delay pedal, guitarists tend to perk up their ears. Little wonder— the company has a great track record where echo is concerned. The original Deluxe Memory Man secured the EHX’s place in the delay pedal hall of fame decades ago. And modern evolutions of the Memory Man are known for cramming in whole worlds of control that can occupy the most restless tone shaper. The Canyon Delay & Looper takes EHX’s modern digital-delay formula a step further through downsizing. But while Canyon is small, it’s rich with powerful sound-shaping features and echoes that range from familiar to extraterrestrial.
At a casual first glance, the control layout on the sturdy, Nano-sized metal box struck me as minimal, if well thought-out. The three delay controls—FX level, delay, and feedback—are typical enough. But it’s the mode selector that tips the Canyon’s capable hand. With this one knob you can select any of nine delays, a sample-and-hold function, or a looper.
It’s an efficient design and, impressively, it only scratches the surface of what the pedal can do, because some of the best sounds come from secondary functions that you don’t see among the 11 rotary knob settings. But while the breadth of the functions is impressive, it’s the Canyon’s ability to blend these features so seamlessly and simply that really blew me away.