The Pedal: Diamond Quantum Leap
The Point: Delay + Modulation + Filters
The Cost: $249
At first glance, the Diamond Quantum Leap looks like a neat little delay pedal, quite similar in setup and appearance to their own highly regarded Memory Lane Jr. But the Quantum Leap (QL) is much more than “just another delay pedal.” It’s also a flanger. And it’s also a chorus. And it’s also a filter pedal. I guess you could say it’s sort of a hybrid delay/modulation pedal, not easily comparable to much else out there.
The controls are pretty simple - four knobs for speed, depth, regeneration and mix. There’s a toggle switch to change modes, and an on/off foot switch. Finally, a second footswitch serves two functions: tap tempo, or to activate other options. Two LED’s vary in color depending on which mode you’re in. Included is a comprehensive guide that clarifies all possible combinations.
Two Delays with a Twist
The delay(s) alone might be worth the price of admission. Based on the very successful Memory Lane Jr, the Quantum Leap offers less delay time (600ms) and is voiced a bit darker. I loved how murky the delays sounded with the regeneration (number of repeats in this case) cranked, a lot of modulation (depth), and the mix set high. There are actually two delay modes in the QL. The first one features a conventional tap tempo. But if you hold down the tap button it switches to an ethereal-like pitch, shifting octave up delay. It’s almost like having a Pog connected to your delay. Not many delays sound like this.
The second delay has the same tone, but the tap feature is gone, replaced with a ramping- up effect. Yet another cool effect that you don’t see very often. How useful it is depends on your imagination. A quick tap of the button returns it back to its normal delay mode.
Let’s Try Some Modulation
Hit that center toggle button a couple of times, and you enter either flange or chorus mode. Again the controls were pretty intuitive – speed, depth of the effect, regeneration and the mix. The tap tempo does two things. While it controls the speed like a regular tap tempo control, hold it down for a seconds to switch to ¼ speed. This gives it a cool, subtle sweep of the effect. I liked both effects a lot. Neither had that warm feel of a true analog effect, but yet they didn’t have that sterile digital effect to them either. They have almost no noise or artifacts at all, which is usually a plus in my book, but they don’t quite have the depth of their analog counterparts. Changing speeds via the tap button, or going into ¼ speed mode is great. Set the chorus for a faster speed, almost like a rotating speaker, and then hold down the tap button, and it shifts into slow speed. There are tons of great tones from these modulation options.
The Filter modes were a welcome addition too, featuring a high and low filter, chosen by the tap button. I like using the filter mode with some fuzz, which can create some interesting textures. Overall, though, I didn’t really find the filters all that inspiring to play. I would have preferred a tremolo, which I use a lot more. I’m sure some players will welcome the addition of two different filters with this pedal. It’s just a preference thing.
One might consider the Quantum Leap a stand-alone pedal that can kill 3-4 birds with one stone. Since you can only use one effect at a time, it might be difficult to use live. But I view the Quantum Leap more as an accessory pedal; one where maybe your board has some good pedals on it already. And what you’re looking for is that second delay pedal for a different, darker vibe. Plus the option of having some additional modulation for now and then would sure come in handy. Overall you get a lot of good quality tones in a very well-built, compact package. And something I don’t say about every pedal I test, this one’s just a lot of fun.