Cusack Music have been building pedals and amps out of Michigan since 2002. Many of you might have seen/tried/heard the Tap-A-Whirl tap tempo Tremolo which has graced more than few pedal boards around the globe. Following the Tap tempo path (and Tap name), the Tap-A-Delay offers up to 750ms of delay with a range of features for some old school analogue sounding goodness. ‘This isn’t your clean studio quality digital delay with perfect repeats,’ reads the Cusack spiel.
In a hip foamy green coloured casing with a slick selection of fonts, the T-A-D has two footswitches of the soft switch variety for bypass and tap speed. Left to right the controls then feature level, mix, feedback, delay and mod with mini toggle switches for brake mode and divide (more on these soon). Top mounted jacks handle the I/O with input/output jacks, power inlet (9VDC) and an RCA External Tap connection. This little beauty can either handle an external footswitch to control the Cusack’s Tap Tempo or run to another tap featured pedal and be controlled via the Tap-A Delay. Quite spiffy indeed.
Starting clean, I dialled in a straight up slap back to add some body – great for country, indie, rock, and for fattening guitar parts. Add some more repeats into the mix and you’ll have warmer ambient sounds that can colour big open chords or single note lines, or add that big rock solo vibe to dirty tones. Of course you can tap to set tempos (and you get a visual display of the tempo set via the blinking LED), which is great for matching parts mid song or in the studio. The modulation gets you vibey chewiness at lower settings right through to seasick warble and craziness at the maximum. Adding more possibilities, the tap switch also has a brake function when held down. This gives you ramping up or slowing down effects with the ability to either ‘Snap’ back to the previous tempo when released, slowly ‘drift’ back to the previous tempo, or change direction when in the ‘stay’ mode. In short, there are a heap of options that should satisfy a lot of delay pedal junkies.
Delay pedals are a much used part of a guitarist’s arsenal and accordingly players are pretty picky with sounds and specs. The vintage analogue vibe is typically a winner and the Tap-A-Delay delivers in that realm. Obviously the tap function is handy, but the modulation and brake functions really add some breadth to the pedal and broaden the delay palette. The updated Cusack branding looks cool and a special mention shoud be made for the included goodies (badges, stickers and a stubby holder). All these combine to add an extra special touch to a good sounding delay pedal.
Hits and Misses
Plenty of options
Vintage analogue tone