Boss DD-3 Digital Delay Review — the Gold Standard of Compact Digital Delay Pedals

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Boss DD-3 is considered by some to be the original compact digital delay pedal with an affordable price point to it.

Having previously been within reach for only studios or such household names in music as Steve Vai or Eddie Van Halen, digital delay production has been eventually facilitated by technology to the point of fitting the same high-performing components in a smaller form factor. 

That is how Boss DD-2 was born, and after some time engineers have figured out a way to make the offering even more affordable.

So, we enter Boss DD-3 digital delay. Let’s see whether the pedal holds the same quality standard as other Boss hardware.

Demo Boss DD-3 Digital Delay


The device offers a standard stompbox design Boss pedals are known for. The pedal is made out of metal with plastic knobs. The input, output, and direct out jacks are located on the opposite sides of the chassis, and the front panel houses 4 sound control knobs, as well as the footswitch to turn the effect on and off.

With a light paint job, the device offers a utilitarian design that just gets the job done without poking out of your pedalboard setup.


For sound control, the Boss DD-3 offers the following settings:

  • E.Level. The effect level is for mix control. The signal path is all-analog on this one, accompanied by a digital delay chip. So, the knob allows the user to control the mix of those two signals before the output.
  • F.Back. Feedback tweaks the number of times the recorded signal repeats. The users can have the buffer repeat endlessly without oscillating.
  • D.Time. The knob is used to adjust the length of the delay recording buffer. 
  • Mode. There are three delay modes: 50ms is the shortest setting, 200ms is the medium, and 800ms is the longest the pedal can do. It also has the ability to record samples and a hold feature.

And onto the features that sets the Boss DD-3 apart from some other pedals: it has a direct out so that the players could run a 100% delay out to one amp and direct un-effected signal to the other.

Despite not having a ton of versatility, the pedal produces a very clean sound for its small form factor.

  • Compact size.
  • Great sound quality.
  • Sturdy build.
  • Low sound versatility.

Bottom Line

Boss DD-3 is a great successor to the popular DD-2 model. It nails pretty much everything you would expect from such a device: it’s small, easy to set up, has great sound, and offers a sufficient amount of controls.

Whether you are an expereinced or an amateur player, you will appreciate the clean tone of Boss DD-3.


How long is hold mode on Boss DD-3?

The longest setting is 800ms.

What year did the Boss DD-3 come out?

The very first version hit the shelves in 1986, and the refreshed iteration was released in 1990

Trying to ship a boss dd-3 pedal, what are the dimensions?

It’s a small pedal, coming at 73 x 129 x 59 mm.

What is the difference between Boss Digital Delay DD-3 and DD-7?

Boss DD-7 is an overall feature upgrade compared to DD3: it has 6,4 second of delay against 800ms of DD3; offers 8 delays modes instead of 4; has 6 hours of battery life; features sound modulation; and has multiple input and output jacks.

How long should the battery last on Boss DD-3?

Boss DD-3 can last up to 11 hours

Which jack do you plug the power supply in?

It has the DC IN jack on the top for the AC adapter.

How do I get the slapback sound from my Boss DD-3?

Use the following settings: Mode 200ms, E.Level at 12 o’clock, F.Back at 9 o’clock and D.Time at 4 o’clock. You can also tweak  E.Level or D.Time to your liking.