Delay effects pedals – incredible pieces of audio tech that can completely change the nature and atmosphere of a song.
They are just another tool that is at our disposal, but probably the one that has the most impact on the sound we want to build.
For most guitar players, delay is something they use occasionally and in small amounts. That’s why you will see simple inexpensive delay stomp boxes on the pedalboards of enthusiasts and even some career guitar players.
However delays go far deeper than your run of the mill Boss pedal. As a matter of fact, we will be reviewing one model that gives delay a dose of complexity. We are talking about the Moogerfooger MF104M from Moog.
Back in 2002 when Robert Moog decided enough was enough and requested name rights for Moog from Norlin, things were already going south for this company. Soon after Norlin became known as a brand that didn’t really invest in quality control or product improvement. Moog didn’t want anything to do with that, so he set up his own little shop in North Carolina.
Instead of designing products that would be average at best and easy to manufacture, Moog took a different approach and decided to put quality as the top priority of his small enterprise. Moog’s products quickly gained popularity as they offered incredible performance and a lot of flexibility.
With that kind of policy and reputation, Moog designed and delivered the Moogerfooger MF104M. They could have made a decent analog delay, but instead Moog gave us a unit which not only features a powerful analog delay but it also comes with modulation circuits.
In terms of size, Moogerfooger MF104M comes across as rather intimidating. It’s larger than your regular run of the mill stomp box, and weighs more too. The case design is very retro and minimalist.
The sides are made of wood while the top and pack panels feature flat matte metal. The whole thing inspires confidence and feels like quality made product.
The main control panel is divided into two large sections. On the left side you have the delay cluster with a time knob, short/long switch, and a feedback knob. Underneath these is a Tap Tempo stomp switch.
On the left side you will find the modulation cluster that comes with a wave selector, rate knob, and amount knob. In-between the delay and modulation clusters, you have drive, output level and mix knobs.
The back panel is what really separates this model from the competition. Aside from your standard input and output lines, you have the option to plug in expression pedals for time, LFO rate, LFO amount, mix and feedback.
It might seem a bit overwhelming to control all these features with a dedicated pedal, but the fact that you can is just impressive. But wait, there’s more. You can also control all of these features with a MIDI controller as well since this pedal comes with a MIDI jack.
This mean that you have a powerful modulation section that you can control in just about every way possible.
When it comes to MF104M’s delay section, it’s basically all you could ever want from a true analog delay. The effect you get feels natural, has enough force but never crosses the threshold. With the long/short switch, you can explore different temporal modes, and there are many.
So even if all you want is a good quality delay, this Moog stompbox is definitely up there on the scale.
However, delay is not the only thing MF104M can do. It’s not that uncommon to see modulation on delay pedals, but an average model that has these features usually offers a very limited array of options.
You can generally expect to find chorus, flanger and vibrato. Moog MF104M does all of that but with one important addition. The waveform select knob.
You can apply six different waveforms to your signal. You have sine, square, triangle, saw, reverse saw, and sample and hold. Combining any of these with the delay section allows you to create an abundance of different results that you can shape into just about anything. In terms of practical use, this stompbox is the ultimate delay multi-tool.
What we like
There’s so many things on this pedal that we just love. The quality of the whole product is definitely the first thing that comes to mind. Analog delay alone is among the best ones we had the chance to experience for sure.
Combined with the modulation section, this whole package goes from great to impressive. Moog delivered a product that gives the end user so much control and flexibility.
What we don’t like
Although we find this pedal to be impressive on so many levels, there are things that think could have been better. First and foremost the size of MF104M. It’s large even for a complex stompbox. If you plan on using it on stage often, you will definitely need to pay attention what you step on.
The stomp switches are not that far away from the rest of the controls so some finesse is required. Another thing that we don’t like is the price of this unit. Yes, you get the top quality product, but the price you are expected to pay creates some reservation. If MF104M was a bit cheaper, it would be the ultimate delay pedal.
Moogerfooger MF104M is definitely an exciting model that brings all kinds of features to the table. Moog once again delivered a high quality product that just blows anything else out of the water with its performance and capabilities. It’s a not without flaws, but we think that pros definitely outweigh the cons in this case.
Ultimately you need to ask yourself if you can justify purchasing this pedal. Unless you really want to explore the far edges of what you can do with a LFO controlled delay, there are far cheaper analog delays on the market. Overall we find the MF104M to be a refreshing addition to an already saturated market.