TC Nova Repeater
I saw this pedal on sale for $125 (regular price $199), so I bit the bullet and replaced the good old Boss DD-20 I’ve had for few years. I found that I never really used any of the advanced features of DD-20 like looper, presets and whatnot and it’s taking a lot of space. Nova Repeater sounded like a perfect pedal for me – uncompromising sound quality with a reasonably simple interface.
What makes it interesting?
- “Audio Tap Tempo” is interesting and noval. You can hold the tap tempo button and play the pattern in the desired tempo on your guitar and it will figure out the tempo. Awesome!
- “Dynamic Mode” is another cool feature that adjusts delay level to your playing. I don’t like delay on rhythm or faster alternate picking parts because it makes it sound dirty. Dynamic mode will take the level down and recover it back when you stop playing so you get a nice trailing delay.
- Unlike the DD-20, modulation is not a delay mode but rather an effect that you can add on top of any delay mode. That’s much better configuration in my opinion because you can mix modulation with tape delay and add that tape warble effect, or add some modulation to clean studio delay. You’re not stuck with one modulation mode. Also, you can choose between vibrato and chorus which is also nice.
- “Division” is another interesting feature that I didn’t fully explore yet. It’s got several single delay settings that let you choose between quarter, dotted eighth, and eighth note triplets. Also, it’s got a few dual delay stereo modes that use different pattern on each output: quarter (left) – dotted eighth (right), quarter (left) – eighth triplet (right) and finally quarter (left) – eighth (right).
- “Spillover” is a cool option that lets the echoes that already started finish even when the pedal is bypassed. You don’t get that cut-off when turning the pedal off in the middle of playing.
- 12V operation for more headroom than regular 9V pedals, useful for hot FX loops or when used after pedals or preamps with higher output.
Is it true bypass?
No, but a) which delay is true bypass and b) who needs true bypass anyway?! Properly designed transparent buffer is as clean as true bypass and provides nice low impedance signal that can drive longer cable better and reduce noise.
Is it worth the money?
At $125 it’s a steal! That’s even less than a DD-7 which doesn’t come with tap tempo or power adapter by default and has less features. At the full price it’s a bit expensive and relatively close to the full blooded TC Nova Delay. My advice is – wait for a holiday and grab it discounted or with coupons. Even with 15% off it’s a good price.
Sooooo, did I trade up or down? I’d say up 🙂 I sold a 3 year old DD-20, bought this and was left with 30$ to spare on MXR Classic Overdrive. Yes, it may not have all the options of DD-20, but it’s got everything I need and then some. Sound quality is amazing, very clear and no noise at all. Build quality is also good. Body is metal, but the control plate seems to be plexi. It looks awesome, but is probably not bullet proof. Having a digital display is a nice feature that I miss a bit, but it’s not bad. Range control gives enough info to be able to say what the tempo is within a few milliseconds. And also, it’s a brand new pedal while DD-20 is a design that’s years old. In the digital device world that’s like centuries 🙂
Click on a thumbnail to play the video on YouTube.