Absolutely FABulous

Danelectro D-4 FAB Echo
FAB Echo Despite having always heard good things about the Danelectro FAB Echo and Chorus pedals, I had never really paid much attention - perhaps I was put off by my preconceptions of their build quality. When I found the Echo on sale for under £10 I thought it would be worth trying - for that sort of money it’s hardly a gamble.

First impressions?

As with Danelectro’s current Cool Cat range of pedals, (I think) the FAB Echo looks much better in person than the pictures suggest; it looks far less toy-like than I thought it would. It appears to be pretty rugged - despite the top part of the casing being made of plastic - and should survive many years of normal use... I wouldn’t make a habit of intentionally abusing it and throwing it around to test this theory though, but then I wouldn’t do that with any of my pedals!

It’s a very simple device; unusually for a delay/echo pedal, it only has two controls: Mix and Repeats. There is no delay time control, but for the retro, slapback echoes this pedal is designed to produce, it isn’t needed.

OK, so it looks better than expected, the build quality is better than expected, but what about the sound?

You’ve guessed it: better than expected!

It is perfect for use as a slapback delay for thickening riffs and solos, or for surf styles, but where it really shines for me is when used for ambience: set the mix control just before the point where the echoes are too obvious and distinct, set the number of repeats to taste, and this is the kind of pedal you could leave on all the time... you could even use it as an alternative to reverb.

I own or have previously owned lots of great delays - both analogue and digital, some of which cost 10-20 times as much as the FAB Echo, but the FAB is a more than worthy addition to the collection. It has a charm and an immediacy that some 'better' pedals lack. I like it. A lot.