For those who wish to highlight the idiosyncrasies of analog delays in their music, Fairfield Circuitry has created its Meet Maude analog delay pedal. Meet Maude offers rich, deep repeats that brings a smile to any analog delay lover’s face, but this pedal also challenges players to put the quirks of darkened repeats and modulation to work for them.
Meet Maude offers simple delays that can be used for rhythm parts, but that’s not the pedal’s strength; those looking for Gilmour or Edge-like utility would be better off looking elsewhere. Indeed, any kind of intense, sustained dirt (think high gain strumming, ringing notes played with fuzz, Townshend-esque power chords) seemed to choke off Meet Maude after one repeat. This effect was so consistent I’m wondering if there’s a gate; the manual talks about the compression function working to keep distortion out of the delay stage, so perhaps that description is to be taken literally. No, where Meet Maude excels is in overtaking your clean signal.
When playing clean, Meet Maude offers plenty of delay, and the modulation can be turned off to get straight repeats. The Tone control allows the user to dial in the right amount of high end or to accentuate the murky bottom. While there’s not a lot of top on tap, Maude seems to impart a certain brightness to the entire signal, an effect that was really only noticeable with an OD or fuzz. Mix and Volume controls enable the user to blend the right amount of dry and wet signal.
So Meet Maude will add plain ol’ rich, analog repeats, but the fun comes when you start playing with the modulation and compression. Set to “Light,” the modulation has notable (but erratic—the effect is random) peaks and valleys but, overall, a modest amplitude. Set to “Heavy,” the modulation takes on a distinct wow-and-flutter vibe, as you’d find on a tape echo that’s noticeably out of whack. These effects are further enhanced by the compression options.
Setting the compression toggle to “Light,” results in delayed notes that bloom then fade, allowing the effect to come to the fore without clogging the notes. Setting the compression to “Heavy” offers a kind of self-oscillation that users can still play over and that won’t blow up an amp; the seemingly endless feedback hits a very reasonable ceiling and then stays there. Conversely, this same setting works best for those playing fast leads with dirt; the delays are still cut off, as noted above, but the tracking is tighter. Feedback also can be controlled via an expression pedal.
What we like: This pedal highlights specific characteristics of analog delays, allowing users to dig into the trademark characteristics of this classic effect.
Concerns: The incompatibility with overdrive and fuzz was disappointing, and dialing in preferred settings was surprisingly time consuming.
Tone: The Meet Maude has some very nice depth to its tone.
Build quality: This pedal feels rock solid.
Value: Meet Maude sounds good and makes it easier for users to get at certain facets of analog delays that are often afterthoughts. While this may be valuable for some, most people who want traditional delay effect will want a second delay pedal.