NUX has been stepping up its game lately, and the DuoTime delay demonstrates that point succinctly. Just about every guitarist likes a delay, but when you combine two engines and in stereo, you have a winner (particularly for $149 USD). Obviously feeding one delay with another can produce intricate and even massive results, but how this pedal sounds is of utmost importance. The best way to describe the DuoTime is crystal clear and pristine, as demoed in the video below. It is so clear, that it has become my go-to delay. It almost sounds glassy and lustrous.
Operation can be simple, although the number of combinations make the DuoTime a tweaker’s delight. Let’s start off simple. If you place the Repeats in engine 2 all the way down, it is, in effect, turned off. In this manner, you can work just with one delay. Now, there are five delays from which to choose, Analog, Tape, Digital, Modulation and Reverb. These algorithms are based on classics, although with some unique adjustments and in some cases - both in regard to the algorithm in general, but also the Parameter knob that adds in a certain ‘element’ for each. For example, the Analog delay offers up 40ms-402ms based on the bucket-brigade device, with the Parameter adding in modulation depth, whereas the Reverb delay’s Parameter adds in reverb with shimmer. The Digital Delay, one of my favorites, adds in a filter and compression from what is typical with most Digital delays. Parameter information is printed on the side of the pedal, in case you forget or don’t have the user manual handy.
Each delay engine has its own Time factor, and you select the subdivision you want, e.g., engine 1 could be a sixteenth note, whereas engine 2 could be a quarter note. And then you can give a few repeats with one, a lot with the other, or any combination between. If you decide to use the tap tempo footswitch (on the right), then the time (delay speed) for both engines (or just one if you keep the other off) become proper subdivisions of the select note times. Now, speaking of the tap tempo footswitch, what I like about this is that you do NOT have to turn it on – it automatically works as a tap tempo footswitch, which means making changes on the fly while gigging. You merely have to hold it down for a few seconds if you decide to switch the measure (e.g., milliseconds vs. bpm).
The left footswitch is an on-off switch, but when pressed down with the tap tempo, you enter the looper, which allows upward of 40-seconds of recording time and the ability to overdub. If you switch the delay type, mix amount, parameter amount, etc., that information changes with the ‘track’ you recorded (you cannot record one type of delay and then switch for a different type to play over the previously chosen delay type). The looper does come with one caveat – as you record with a long delay, then decide to stop the recording before the delay ends, it will cut off the trails. Consequently, the looper works best with short delay times, or the riff/passage needs to play out before you terminate the recording.
The little LED window provides only basic information, and so if you don’t like scrolling through data, then this will be to your benefit. It indicates ms or bpm of time for each delay, as well as how much looper time you’re using up, for example. Very straight forward with just enough information. Also, the manual provides several basic set-up methods. You can have stereo out with mono or stereo in. You can do mono out, while selecting either of the delay channels. And you also can set up for delay 1 serial with delay 2 connected via cable (from in 2 to out 2).
NUX certainly has a solid reputation for its Atlantic Delay/Reverb pedal, and I suspect the DuoTime will be as well received. Although you cannot combine delay types, and only one has reverb, the overall quality of sound is fabulous and holds a candle to the quality of delays I’ve heard in far more expensive units. Both price and sound make this delay a no-brainer if you’re in the market for quality and affordability.