Tone Report Weekly 184 - Page 29

Variable Delay Few things are weirder and more exciting than the Fender oil-can Variable Delay. Delay isn’t the most accurate name for it—it’s more like wacky-echo-reverberation- modulation machine. It’s sort of like the lovechild between a Space Echo, tape delay, and analog delay, which is one beautiful lovechild. Using a spinning disk to achieve its signature sound, in addition to preamp tubes, and a layer of oil, there are a lot of old-school bits and pieces and moving parts that make this crazy beast special. And while there are some great boutique versions of it in pedal form, why not make the real deal? I recently wrote about modern, current production tape echoes, and it would be awesome if Fender brought the Variable Delay back to life. Imagine the noise you could make with one of these sitting on top of a Pro Junior. Roll back your guitar’s volume knob, add in some Variable Delay on whatever setting you like, then crank your volume for dramatic guitar stabs accentuated by murky, lo-fi, warbly echo goodness. It probably wouldn’t be very cost effective to make this again, but man, it would be awesome. 29