The classic 80s bucket-brigade delay, the Boss DM-2 is still coveted for its warm, lush echo. First introduced in 1981, the Boss DM-2 was a mini revolution – a compact, stomp box analog delay that was accessible yet sounded excellent.
Its predecessor, the DM-1 had aimed to offer a more reliable, cheaper alternative to Boss' RE-series tape echo range, but the smaller, cheaper DM-2 was when Roland really hit the bullseye.
Where tape echoes used loops of tape to record and play back a sound, the DM-2 used a BBD, or bucket-brigade device – a capacitor array so-named for its similarity to a fire-bucket chain.
One of the unique features of most analog delays for the noise merchants out there is their ability to auto-oscillate – like tape echoes.
BBD-based delay pedals get their unique sound from the signal degrading as it passes down the capacitor line, with high frequencies being lost. This results in the darker, more ‘organic’ tone that analog delay fans crave.
Not only that, but the ‘whooshing’ sound of their darker repeats is also pretty musical – all things considered. Beside that, the dark tone beds into a mix better, and ambient players often like to stack them, as the echoes tend to interfere less with the dry signal.
The DM-2 was discontinued in 1984, as players gravitated towards cleaner, more pristine digital delays, but it wasn’t long before the price of used units started going up.
To get the gorgeous tone of an original tape echo, there’s a Faustian bargain involved due to the amount of effort required to maintain the mechanics of it all – but for an analog delay like this, that’s simply not the case.
This unit has been well used as you can see by the pics, but it has not been messed with or modified in any way – It’s just missing a little bark here and there.
And boy does it sound good …. why yes – in a deep, dark, magical & musical, very analog way.