There are times in your life when you want something with your whole heart but cannot get your hands on it because you are short on the budget. There is nothing more disappointing than inability to purchase the things that make you happy and trigger your creativity. This is something that many musicians face at some point in their career, especially those who are into loopers. These wonderful devices are not cheap, and if you have good taste and require a sophisticated model (a.k.a. expensive as hell pedal), then you know perfectly well what I am talking about. When you look at your small budget, you understand that you can only afford something with limited features. What if you still need versatility? What if you want something powerful at an affordable price? You forget those fancy and well-known brands and go for Chinese products. Many of those manufacturers create very capable units and perfectly fit in your budget. Donner is definitely one of the best examples. We are going to talk about their Deluxe Looper – a stompbox that has so many features you will not believe your eyes. If you are interested in buying something of that ilk, then keep on reading and pay close attention to the information I will provide. Let’s begin!
When you come across affordable pedals, you rarely except much. However, Donner and the brands of similar ilk can surprise you in a positive way. More often than not they are saturated with diverse features and have decent quality. Deluxe Looper comes equipped with essential properties that will assist you in the process of creating wonderful pieces. It offers 10 minutes of recording time, which is more than enough in most cases. The build quality is good enough to last you through many years of utilization. This baby has on-board effects, such as Reverse, Speed, Forward and Change. Reverse plays the loops backwards, while Speed allows you to slow everything down or go faster. This way you can experiment with different sounds and see what works for you the best. Deluxe Looper has two channels and can operate in mono or stereo modes. When you choose Change, the input from mono will be output through stereo and the sound will move between these two. This will create a transitioning effect and add certain dimension to your sound. This bad boy does also enable you to record backing tracks and jam along with them. This will be particularly useful for those who play solo, as you will have the chance to create the illusion of a band. Deluxe Looper can be connected to your computer via USB port, allowing you to import or export certain tracks. It has two footswitches that simplify your job and make the process of looping really convenient. The downside is that the manual is completely useless, since it seems to be automatically translated without any editing. However, if you fiddle around and explore the pedal yourself, you will quickly understand what to do with this one.
Since Donner Deluxe Looper is quite versatile and offers ample features, the control section is not scarce by any means. On the contrary, we have a couple of knobs, toggles and two footswitches. This way you can take full control over your sound and tweak the things you want to modify. For the price, we cannot complain about a thing in this section. This baby has certain additions that you will not come across even in high-end models. I will stop teasing and move onto the specifics now.
So, both channels of this pedal have dedicated level controls. Level L and Level R allow you to change the volume of the loops and set them at the same value or experiment with some alterations. Between these two you will see a toggle that enables you to move between Change, Reverse and Forward. This means that you can easily swap the effects and go from there. Then we have a toggle that lets you alter between Stop and FX modes. This switch puts you in charge of the right footswitch and gives you the ability to assign different things to it: you can either set it to switch between effects or let it stop your looping instantaneously. This will be extremely useful in the latter mode, since we all hate those double taps in loopers, am I right? The last knob we have here is Speed: it can go from Normal to Fast and Slow. And lastly, the left (a.k.a Looper) footswitch records, playbacks, overdubs, undoes, redoes, stops and clears your loops.
The sonic capabilities of Donner Deluxe Looper must be taken with a grain of salt. I will start with the flaws: some of the effects are not usable and do not seem to make any audible difference. For instance, Forward is just like the normal mode. What is more, Speed alters the pitch when you change the rate, which might not be the best thing for your sound. With the cons out of the way, let me tell you that the sonic quality of this one is mind-blowing. If we neglect the negatives, we will have a fantastic looper on hands. Two-footswitch layout makes the whole process extremely convenient and flexible. Stereo operation is great and Change and Reverse effects are quite usable as well. This baby enables you to overdub interminably without deteriorating the quality. All in all, Deluxe Looper sounds way better than you would initially expect and that is just wonderful for the price point.
On the whole, Donner Deluxe Looper is probably the most versatile looper pedal for the price. Its quality is good enough to set this one apart from its competitors. It does not have fancy properties, though the ones it has are workable and usable on the daily bases. This baby will be a great model for practicing or for those who are just getting started. More professional players might complain about a thing or two, but the fact that this is a decent stompbox cannot be argued with. Good luck!
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