If you’re curious about Aqua Puss vs Carbon Copy analog delay pedals and how they compare, you’ve come to the right post!
Way Huge Aqua-Puss
Way Huge is one of the brands that got famous for its analog pedals. And in this article, I’ll be discussing their Aqua-Puss analog delay. Just like almost all of the analog delay pedals, it works with a BBD chip.
The Aqua-Puss pedal has changed over the years. At this point, we have the pedal’s third iteration, the MKIII model. Its full name now is Smalls Aqua Puss Analog Delay.
But the basic features remain the same. There’s the strong metal casing and only three parameter controls:
- delay time knob
- feedback control
- the blend control adjusting the ratio of wet and dry signals
The blend control is interesting. You usually find the volume level for the repeats. However, the mix approach has a different twist. Sure, it may take some getting used to. However, with the right approach, you can do more interesting things compared to regular delay pedals.
In particular, I’m impressed with how atmospheric it can get. You can make some really ethereal or even spooky-sounding stuff with it.
There are some differences between versions. In particular, the original MK1 Aqua Puss was different But I never got the chance to try it out. It’s pretty rare to find these days. Those who have played it claim that it has longer repeats. Additionally, its older circuitries made it sound just slightly warmer.
MXR M169 Carbon Copy Analog Delay
MXR’s M169 is another classic analog delay that’s still in production. But Carbon Copy is a bit different compared to a conventional delay.
Once again, we have three simple basic controls: delay, regen, and mix. The delay control is the delay time. Regen is feedback while the mix works the same way as I explained above.
Now, what’s worth noting is that the pedal supports longer delay times. It goes up to 600ms. This is, in my experience, just enough for all musical styles.
Carbon Copy brings a smooth and warm tone to the repeated signal. This is, in my opinion, really useful for mildly distorted tones on tube-driven amps. It adds a different twist to the clipping.
But what’s particularly interesting to me is the modulation button. There’s a switch on the top that turns on a chorus-like effect. In practice, it makes the pedal sound a bit like a tape-based delay. Additionally, you can further shape the modulation tone using two internal trim pots. These control the width and speed of the effect.
It’s a surprisingly versatile pedal for having only a few controls on the top panel. And sure, adjusting internal pots may feel a bit tedious. However, having the option is certainly welcome.
Aqua Puss Vs Carbon Copy: How Do They Compare?
Way Huge and MXR brands are both parts of Dunlop. And these are both simple analog delays with BBD chips. However, there are a few obvious differences here.
They have different delay times. Aqua-Puss’ max time is 300ms. Meanwhile, Carbon Copy goes up to 600ms. Aqua-Puss is more of a classic slapback-style delay. With its short delay time, it’s more of a vintage-oriented device.
Additionally, the modern versions of Aqua-Puss have a slightly brighter tone. This isn’t that common for analog delays. But it brings that 1950s feel to what you’re playing. This is especially useful for clean tones on vintage Fender or Fender-style tube amps.
Meanwhile, MXR Carbon Copy is a warmer one. Despite having three basic controls, it sounds smoother and darker. In addition, it brings longer delay times, up to 600ms. This is more than enough for most modern genres as well.
The difference in the tone also has to do with the delay times. Analog delays that have longer delay times usually lose some fidelity. This brings those mellow-sounding repeats. And that’s exactly what we have with MXR’s Carbon Copy.
The modulation control makes it even more interesting. It can add some of that tape-like tone. In my opinion, Carbon Copy is a much more versatile device. But some players may not like the darkness of its tone. Here’s what it sounds like in action.
I feel like Aqua-Puss is a bit limiting. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that it’s a bad pedal. However, it has a narrow use. It’s mostly for vintage-oriented stuff. Psychedelic rock and rockabilly guitarists love to use it. It’s also great for the ’50s and ’60s-style country music. Here’s a great demo of this pedal’s potential.
What Are You Looking for in a Delay Pedal?
Over the years, I found digital delays to be more practical and versatile. These days, you have so many diverse digital effects that can even plenty of analog ones. But that’s my experience with the gear that I’ve been using.
Analog delays still have their following and practical use. However, these days, only the pickiest of audiophiles will notice the difference.
Between Aqua-Puss and Carbon Copy, I’d go with Carbon Copy. But if you want my honest opinion, consider getting a digital delay instead. You’ll be able to create longer and shorter delay times and make them sound bright or dark.
Aqua Puss Vs Carbon Copy: Conclusion
I hope this article has helped you think through the differences between these pedals and which might be best for you!
And as usual, feel free to let me know in the comments below if you have questions about this or another guitar-related topic!
Lastly, if you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy checking out some of the other gear comparison posts on this blog like: