Which BOSS Digital Delay? DD-200 vs DD-500

DD-200 and DD-500

The awesome DD-200 is the newest multi delay from BOSS. If you’ve seen its powerhouse big brother, the DD-500, you might be asking, why would I want one over the other?

Let’s find out.

Contributed by Ed Lim for Roland Corporation Australia

Fantastic Flexibility vs Stunning Simplicity

The DD-500 is the Cadillac of BOSS delays, offering a huge variety of sounds, and a deep level of tonal flexibility and customisation options. 

For some players, this deep editing is integral to their needs. They might want the ability to, for example, pan their delays different amounts in the stereo field, each ping ponging back in different time signatures and shaped with a powerful parametric EQ.

If that sounds like you, then you can skip straight to our deep dive on the DD-500: https://rolandindonesia.com/one-delay-to-rule-them-all-boss-dd-500

For others, this level of control might be total overkill and a bit daunting! That’s where the DD-200 comes in.

The DD-200 takes the greatest hits of the DD-500’s superb high quality algorithms and distills it down into an easy to use, straightforward form.

The controls are all on the front panel, allowing you to instantly dial in your delay tone with no menu diving, and then save them to one of the available memory slots. There’s also a Manual setting which basically is whatever the controls are physically set to. Originally, there were only 4 memory slots, but in response to customer feedback, all 200 series pedals were recently upgraded to allow a whopping 128 total settings to be stored!

As mentioned before, DD-500 has a really deep level of parameter editing on tap (pun intended). For each delay type, you get a 4 band EQ, with control over modulation, ducking, feedback damping and much more. 

DD-200 keeps it simple, streamlining these down to a Tone control, as well as Modulation depth and a multi-purpose Parameter knob, which changes function based on which delay mode you’re using. 

For example, in Tape mode, the Parameter knob controls how many tape heads are active. You can even turn on that distinctive warm tape machine preamp drive (turn the Parameter knob until you see the dot at the end of the tape head numbers), or keep it nice and clean. But when you switch over to the Shimmer delay, the Parameter knob now controls the brightness of the Shimmer sound.

DD-200 also gets a totally new delay type that DD-500 doesn’t have – Pad Echo! This is a really cool mode for ethereal sounds. The repeats have a drifting, slightly wobbly feel to them, and the parameter knob adjusts the swell of the original attack. Turning it all the way up sounds like, well, pads!

However, one key mode that DD-500 still has over the DD-200 is the Vintage delay, which gives you the crisp but warm sounds of vintage delay units like the classic rackmounted SDE-3000 or the original compact delay, the DD-2.

DD-500 also gives you the ability to run two completely different delays at the same time with its combined AB functionality. You can run an analog delay on switch A and a tape delay on B, separately or combined!

Both pedals are fully MIDI switchable, via full sized plugs on the 500 and TRS mini jacks on the 200.

Both pedals have the ability to reassign the footswitches to other functions, as well as using expression pedals and additional footswitches to expand the capabilities of the pedal – including controlling the inbuilt looper!

So what's the bottom line?

Both these delay pedals feature some of the best, highest quality sounds on the market today. 

The DD-500 is still the king of control and customisation.

But if you want great delay tones and a simple, straightforward interface, the DD-200 is the one for you!

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