The Sagan Delay V2.1 PCB is a Roland Space Echo emulator from the mind of Chris Carter (AKA, Diablo Chris from the MadBean Forums) at DC6FX. Elegantly designed, this circuit provides so many features and options that allow you to capture almost any kind of spatial delay tones, from ambient echoes to short-time reverberations. Its features include three separate delay lines, treble and bass controls, and a built-in LFO. This project is intended for more advanced builders—not for the faint-hearted.
Like the Space Echo, the Sagan contains three individual delay lines and independent Treble and Bass controls in the tonestack. These tonestack controls, along with the built-in LFO, enable fine-tuning of the tape age and quality.
The Sagan Delay V2.1 PCB features an external Effects Loop (the Send and Return jacks at the top), which allows you to plug in your favorite effects pedals directly into the delay line. Try it with a pitch-shifter, or a flanger. You can also control whether the effects loop gets implemented before the feedback loop or before the Mix control.
The Sagan’s input and output are paired with super-clean, high-quality buffers, which make the Tails feature possible, so your echoes fade out into silence after switching off the effect, rather than being abruptly cut off as with non-buffered delay effects pedals. The Dry-Kill switch mutes the clean part of the signal, allowing only the pure delays to shine through to the final mix. The Slam switch momentarily ramps up the feedback control to its maximum, giving you a quick way to a super-saturated, infinite feedback loop.
- Three individual delay lines simulating the Roland Space Echo’s three discrete play heads
- Tape-like quality — The effect goes through a series of high quality op-amps and filters, including a Baxandall-style tone stack, to simulate the quality of the magnetic tape loop that is part of the original unit’s delay mechanism. Individual controls for Treble and Bass allow you to tweak the settings to perfectly match your taste.
- LFO — An LFO has been built in to effect which modulates (either subtly or heavily) the delay time of the first delay line. The three-way TRI/SQR switch controls the waveform of this LFO, and the Rate and Depth knobs control this waveform’s parameters.
- Effects path — route one or more pedals through the Sagan’s signal path via the Send and Return jacks. You can toggle whether to apply the effects loop to the delayed signal as a whole, or to only the feedback portion of the delayed signal.
- Slam switch — temporarily ramps up the feedback to an infinite loop
- Tails on/off switch
- Buffered bypass with high-quality input and output buffers (but can also be wired for True Bypass)
- INPUT — Controls the signal volume going into the buffer prior to the delay signal. Note that because the Sagan Delay is a buffered bypass effect, the INPUT controls the guitar or bass output volume even when the effect is off.
- MIX — Controls the amount of the “wet” delay signal volume being mixed back in with the dry input signal.
- DELAY — Controls the amount of time that the signal will be delayed after the clean signal and in between each simulated play head.
- FEED — Controls the amount of delay signal that feeds back into the delay lines after the initial echoes.
- TREBLE — Simulates the tape quality by controlling the high frequency response of the delay signal. If the delays start to sound piercing, consider reducing the Treble.
- BASS — Simulates the tape quality by controlling the low frequency response of the delay signal. If the delays start to sound muddy and undefined, consider reducing the Bass.
- RATE — Controls the LFO speed.
- DEPTH — Controls the LFO depth.
- DRYKILL — This switch toggles the dry signal path off, allowing only the wet (delay) signal to come through to the effect output. This allows for some fantastic ambient tones to come through. **Note:** If this switch is set to KILL then the dry signal path will be muted even when the effect is disengaged.
- PRE/POST — This switch toggles the placement of the send/return effects loop in the Sagan’s delay signal path. The loop will be placed either:
- before the feedback loop (meaning that the first delay taps will be clean, and the delay signals that feed back into the delay lines will receive the effect); or:
- before the Mix control (meaning that the entire delay signal will receive the effect)
- TRI/OFF/SQR — Toggles between different waveforms of the LFO. You have options for a triangle wave and a square wave, or you can simply switch off the LFO modulation.
- 1/2/3 TOGGLES — These toggle switches turn on/off the path for each of the three delay paths.
Note that this price is only for both the circuit boards. You will need to source your own parts.
As a reference, feel free to check out my own builds using the DC6FX Sagan Delay V2.1 PCB!