Gear review | Kmise - Digital Delay pedal



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Posted August 30, 2020, and last updated September 1, 2020, by Chuck Miller 


I love delay effects. There's nothing better than a subtle guitar slap-back sound on 50's rock-n-roll songs. Before digital took over, engineers had to run the instrument or voice through a tape delay or maybe another primitive analog device to get that effect. Now, all that can be done easily in the digital domain.


Recently, I hand built a digital delay pedal project based on the Rebote Delay 2.5 circuit. I'm very happy with the resulting pedal. It has an "analog" sound, due to the filtering used after the digital delay chip does its thing. It's the best inexpensive digital delay circuit I have heard.


So when Kmise offered me the opportunity to review their line of products, I jumped at the opportunity to try their digital delay pedal. I wanted to hear what the current digital delay devices could do. As a participant in their Testing Club, I received the effect for free in exchange for an honest review of the product. Previously, I had purchased their US Dream distortion effect without reimbursement, and I absolutely loved it. My last blog post is a review of that product.


So when the Kmise Digital Delay pedal (KM-08) arrived and I unboxed it, my first impression was that the pedal itself looked quite boring. It has three typical, unassuming (delay) Time, (effect) Level, and Repeat control knobs. It's housed in a thick aluminum casing that has a sparkly brown coating on it. It has a solid feel to it, able to be used and abused over many years. But it still looks rather generic to me.


I built that Rebote Delay 2.5 project last month because I didn't have a usable delay yet and I wanted to emulate the sound Neil Finn got on the Crowded House hit song "Don't Dream It's Over." That pedal is able to emulate the effect very well. So my first test for the Kmise Digital Delay pedal was to get the slap back echo sound on that song. It was easy and intuitive to dial that effect in. The knob settings were quite different than the ones I used on my pedal project, so the circuit is not exactly the same. The Kmise delay pedal has a cleaner sound to it than my project delay. The repeats are clearer and slightly more mechanical sounding. But it's still musical. Like my other delay pedal it does an excellent job of reproducing the guitar sound on that song.


I measured the Kmise Digital Delay pedal as having a maximum delay time of 583 milliseconds. The circuit is self oscillating, meaning that when the repeat knob is turned up to the maximum, the pedal will continue to produce delay endlessly. It's a strange effect, but for some people, it's important. Like my reference delay the Kmise pedal doesn't allow for "tails." Meaning, when you push the on/off switch while the delay effect is happening it immediately cuts the repeats rather than allowing them to continue. That "tails" feature is usually only found on much more expensive delay pedals.


I really like this pedal, although I'm not sure if it will completely replace my project Rebote 2.5 delay. I will stack them and use them together on my pedal board for a while. One advantage it has over my current delay is the maximum delay length. But, it's only a few milliseconds difference. My current delay outputs more white noise than the Kmise pedal, so subjectively the Kmise delay sound is slightly clearer. In a live environment that may be an advantage. It's also true bypass and requires a 9v center negative power supply as the case is too small to house a battery.


For comparison, I also have a Donner Echo Square digital delay pedal. It has several different types of delay that can be selected. But, that pedal outputs so much white noise when engaged that it is unusable for me. I like crystal clear tone, and the Donner digital delay I have doesn't allow for that. I've contacted Donner to see if the device I received is defective. The Donner pedal cost me $43 on Amazon. The Kmise Digital Delay pedal can be purchased on Amazon for $18.59.


To sum up, the Kmise Digital Delay pedal (KM-08) is an incredibly affordable digital delay effect. It doesn't sound harsh at extreme settings and is easy to use. It's very inexpensive for a device that sounds so good. If you want that clean, non-degraded delay effect and don't need more than a half second of delay time, it's a no brainer. Buy it. The more I use it, the more I think it'll replace my current delay pedal, mainly because it's so clean sounding.


So far, Kmise is batting 2-2 on its guitar pedals for me. I have a Vintage Phase pedal coming from them soon. That will be my next review. I hope it is as useful as the last two Kmise pedals I've received. I need a chorus pedal so I may review that one too in the future.


Visit the official Kmise website

Follow this link for more information on the Rebote 2.5 Digital Delay and many other guitar effect pedal projects

Follow this link to get more information or to purchase the Kmise Digital Delay pedal on Amazon