Pedals

NPD Keeley Memphis Sun – Demo and Review

1

It's been a period of buying and selling pedals, so there'll be a good many NPDs from me…

The Keeley Memphis Sun is one of the intriguing ones. It was not very well received in forums, especially in the circles that were the intended targets (e.g. here). I bought it nonetheless for my "lo fi" blues, country and rock rig, to act as my dedicated slapback delay.

Well, it does that and more. I've done a demo of the settings I like.

Link

In doing that, I recorded a couple full song covers and decided to share this one.

Link

As I wanted to showcase classic tones we all know and love, I've played well-known songs. The authors, as well as the authors of the backing tracks, are fully credited, plus I am not making a dime out of this. Hopefully it'll be ok…

Comments and questions welcome, of course!

2

Sounds good on your demo and others I've heard. I just don't dig it through my own rig. Are you running it through the front of the amp or through the loop?

3

Sounds good on your demo and others I've heard. I just don't dig it through my own rig. Are you running it through the front of the amp or through the loop?

– Enis Penvy

Through the front. And I can absolutely see how it would not fit all rigs and all tastes. It has its own character – surely not a delay for pristine repeats – and it has three shortcomings:

  • there's a volume bump when you engage it – slight with my Fenders, more pronounced with P90s

  • it rolls off highs (which is said to be "warm", but I'd rather it kept my signal intact… if I want warmer, I can roll off treble at the amp)

  • it makes sounds when you engage it.

Neither of the three is a big problem for me. It's basically an "always on" pedal when I use it, so I adjust tone and volume accordingly. But again, I totally see these would be issues for others.

For my needs and tastes, though, it's really nice.

PS: thanks for your kind words about the demo!

4

I enjoyed that. Its a tricky area for 'warm analogue tape echo' flavours. I often find them dull and flubby. And warm analogue equals.... muddy. I have an AD90 that is a mudfest. I like delays that you can feel, not too in yer face

I'd love to try the Memphis Sun but I have a box of dusty delays.

Oddly, one favourite oddball is the Danelectro Rock A Bye. Great delay and boost

5

I enjoyed that. Its a tricky area for 'warm analogue tape echo' flavours. I often find them dull and flubby. And warm analogue equals.... muddy. I have an AD90 that is a mudfest. I like delays that you can feel, not too in yer face

I'd love to try the Memphis Sun but I have a box of dusty delays.

Oddly, one favourite oddball is the Danelectro Rock A Bye. Great delay and boost

– Vince_Ray

I think that your point about delays that you can "feel" nails one of the problems that many have had with the Keeley. The mix knob goes to "a lot" very quickly, so it's easy to overdo it. I tend to keep it in the lower quarter, save for very special uses…

6

I enjoyed that. Its a tricky area for 'warm analogue tape echo' flavours. I often find them dull and flubby. And warm analogue equals.... muddy. I have an AD90 that is a mudfest. I like delays that you can feel, not too in yer face

I'd love to try the Memphis Sun but I have a box of dusty delays.

Oddly, one favourite oddball is the Danelectro Rock A Bye. Great delay and boost

– Vince_Ray

I had to have a Maxon when I read that Poison Ivy used one exclusively from the mid 80’s on, but the newer Maxon Ad9 I had could be really muddy.

I took a chance and bought another one, but this time I got a “vintage” Ad9 from 1981. It’s not muddy at all. Actually, this one can be a bit too bright if I use my tele and I’m not careful with whatever pedals I have feeding into it.

I also have a Memphis sun. It does the “thing” it does really well, but the only setting for me is the “Echo 600” setting.

Also, try running vocals thru it. I think I like using it for that more than for guitar.

8

Sounds Great!

– James V Roy

Thanks a lot! It was my first video of the kind and I've learned a lot shooting it and putting it together. That Knopfler picking ain't my usual cup of tea and it wasn't easy to get it right either (er, get it almost decent, I meant )

9

Great display of the pedal...plus it helps that I really like the playing and especially the ability to nail Knopfler with the flat picking. It's not an easy style although his material is amongst my favorite and really dig your approach.

I've tried this pedal out a few times and definitely think it's quality. Since it takes me a year plus to really decide on anything, I eventually chose the Catalinbread Echrorec for my delay/echo as I wanted to be able to grab that early Gilmour sound but also create and expand that with a certain "atmosphere". This allowed me to then get the Catalinbread RAH for a different take on overdrive and dial in some Zeppelin which really nails it paired with Tech21 60w amp.

For that low volume dirt, I have my heart set on the Jr. Barnyard pedal by Nocturne (Tavo here on the GDP). But I do like that Memphis Sun and seems to have great balance. Your playing really was a great match with it. Thanks for posting!

10

Great display of the pedal...plus it helps that I really like the playing and especially the ability to nail Knopfler with the flat picking. It's not an easy style although his material is amongst my favorite and really dig your approach.

I've tried this pedal out a few times and definitely think it's quality. Since it takes me a year plus to really decide on anything, I eventually chose the Catalinbread Echrorec for my delay/echo as I wanted to be able to grab that early Gilmour sound but also create and expand that with a certain "atmosphere". This allowed me to then get the Catalinbread RAH for a different take on overdrive and dial in some Zeppelin which really nails it paired with Tech21 60w amp.

For that low volume dirt, I have my heart set on the Jr. Barnyard pedal by Nocturne (Tavo here on the GDP). But I do like that Memphis Sun and seems to have great balance. Your playing really was a great match with it. Thanks for posting!

– NJDevil

Thanks a lot NJ Devil!

I can only say that we have similar tastes.

I have Tavo's Jr. Barnyard and it's my "life saver" when I play with my big band and cannot bring my old '46 Zephyr. It really helps to get that octal sound that I need to have for swing from generic amps or even a PA. Never tried it as my all-purpose dirt pedal with tele or strat, but it's a tempting idea!

As for the Echorec… it got here a week ago. I am forbidden to even touch it as it's the Christmas gift (…ain't life cruel) but when I tested it just to make sure it worked, the wife and kids basically had to wrest it away from me. I thought that it was the best-sounding delay I ever had, and that it's full of possibilities. As an avid fan of Gilmour I am really looking forward to putting it on the "big board". There will be another NPD … as I said, one of several for this end of 2020.

11

By the way… I see threads with nice photos showing on the thread lists, and lovely previews of the linked videos in the posts themselves. Could a gentle soul explain to me how that works? I just included a "link" copy/pasting the URL of the YouTube vid, but there has to be a better way. Thx!

12

Since I was at it, I've published the second cover as well: Setting me up, again by Dire Straits. Great picking' by Mark Knopfler, and really hard to get (more or less) right.

Link

13

Since I was at it, I've published the second cover as well: Setting me up, again by Dire Straits. Great picking' by Mark Knopfler, and really hard to get (more or less) right.

Link

– radiofm74

Sweet! You got it right and really like the percussive attack your flat-picking goodness adds to the song. Yup, I love the bouncy goodness of Knopfler's magic but you bring a great/new approach that brings equal value and does the song justice.

I have to admit that I have been practicing to get to the point that execute extremely well!

14

Thanks a lot NJ Devil!

I can only say that we have similar tastes.

I have Tavo's Jr. Barnyard and it's my "life saver" when I play with my big band and cannot bring my old '46 Zephyr. It really helps to get that octal sound that I need to have for swing from generic amps or even a PA. Never tried it as my all-purpose dirt pedal with tele or strat, but it's a tempting idea!

As for the Echorec… it got here a week ago. I am forbidden to even touch it as it's the Christmas gift (…ain't life cruel) but when I tested it just to make sure it worked, the wife and kids basically had to wrest it away from me. I thought that it was the best-sounding delay I ever had, and that it's full of possibilities. As an avid fan of Gilmour I am really looking forward to putting it on the "big board". There will be another NPD … as I said, one of several for this end of 2020.

– radiofm74

Ha ha this is really cool! It makes sense though considering your playing has me hooked. Great attack, feel, precision and style.....NICE!!!!

Oh man life is cruel that you had a taste of the Echorec and now must wait 2+ weeks to really stretch your legs but I promise that whatever you are waiting/expecting of the Echorec, reality will surpass your expectations. The Echorec is a tool for bringing imagination to life!!!

We certainly do have REALLY similar tastes as my commitment to big band playing as me wanting the Jr. Barnyard more than ever. My wife wanted to know why I wanted the pedal so bad. I just answered "because it delivers organic grit of a bygone era." It's the best I could do with 1 sentence and she said she understood!!!

Keep on "keepin' on" with your playing....it rocks!

16

New Pedal Day! Or as Proteus calls it, Thursday.

– Junior Q Man (Ryan M)

There's been a lot of Thursdays lately … too many! I'm testing and tasting like mad… there will be more NPDs in coming weeks!

17

Ha ha this is really cool! It makes sense though considering your playing has me hooked. Great attack, feel, precision and style.....NICE!!!!

Oh man life is cruel that you had a taste of the Echorec and now must wait 2+ weeks to really stretch your legs but I promise that whatever you are waiting/expecting of the Echorec, reality will surpass your expectations. The Echorec is a tool for bringing imagination to life!!!

We certainly do have REALLY similar tastes as my commitment to big band playing as me wanting the Jr. Barnyard more than ever. My wife wanted to know why I wanted the pedal so bad. I just answered "because it delivers organic grit of a bygone era." It's the best I could do with 1 sentence and she said she understood!!!

Keep on "keepin' on" with your playing....it rocks!

– NJDevil

Thanks a LOT NJ! I had a lot of fun doing that, and as just said I'm at the end of the greatest pedal-buying spree in my life… so when the testing is over, it might be demo time again. If you upload anything, please do let me know!

All the best!


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