Source Audio – Nemesis Delay REVIEW

Delay is not the most commonly used effect on bass. It never has been and probably never will be, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it, and it definitely doesn’t mean it can’t be tons of fun and wildly inspirational…

Source Audio is an innovative effects company that turned the world of experimental bass playing upside down with its amazing Hot Hand that allows you to ‘remote trigger’ the notes via a finger ring for your thumb. Sounds odd? Well, it is a bit hard to describe, so check out this video by Nathan Navarro if you haven’t seen it already.

Similarly, Source Audio’s pedals are innovative, and while the One Series pedals attempt to boil down the vast amount of knobs and features from the company’s SoundBlox pedals, there are still plenty of control options and creative possibilities at hand. Most of the One Series pedals have 4 knobs and a toggle switch, but while the Nemesis Delay does belong to this family of pedals, it actually has more in common with the SoundBlox pedals with regard to the user interface. Well, let’s dive in and check out the controls…

 

 

source-audio-nemesis-delay-control-knobsAs you can see, you get 6 parameter knobs, a 3-way toggle switch, an LED encoder, 6 additional LEDs, 1 push button and 2 foot switches.

The LED encoder simply allows you to select the basic type of delay you want to use. Source Audio refers to these as delay engines, and the Nemesis Delay comes with 12 of those right off the shelf. Through the Neuro App you can download 12 more and replace any of the existing ones as you see fit. More on that later…

The two footswitches control on/off (left) and Tap Tempo (right). The 3-way toggle switch lets you choose between quarter notes, dotted eights or triplets based on the tempo you tap in using the right foot switch.

The upper right knob adjusts you MIX balance – the dry and wet sound if you will. The upper left knob controls the TIME of your delay, moving from fast when turned fully counterclockwise and gradually decreases the tempo as you turn it clockwise.

The lower left knob also has to do with time, but in a different way. It controls FEEDBACK, which could also be explained as for how long you want the delay tail to last. The more you turn it (clockwise), the longer it will take for the delay to fade out.

The remaining 3 knobs all have to do with modulation. Depending on which basic type of delay you have chosen, you can add modulation to the delayed notes. While there may be some variation as to how these knob works depending on your chosen delay type, the MOD knob generally controls the amount of modulation effect, the RATE has to do with speed or depth of the modulation and the INTENSITY serves various purposes, but the name pretty much sums it up. Regardless of which parameter it controls exactly, the overall feel of intensity is increased as you turn it up.

Finally, you will also find a row  of 4 LEDs and a small push button. Each LED represent a stored preset, and you can select which preset you want to use via the push button. The last 2 LEDs indicate whether the pedal is on/off (the green to the left) and tempo (the red to the right).

 

 

white headphone with rhythm symbol

There are 11 rounds of sound clips in this review. Basically, the pedal is so complex that taking a strictly methodical approach would require literally hundreds of sound clips, so instead, I chose to simply dial in one tone for each basic delay type and simply capture whatever that tone inspired me to play. Therefore, this review is a little different in the sense that there are no drums or other instruments, and all basic sound clips are unique (no re-amping/fx setup):

  • Digital
  • Diffuse
  • Analog
  • Tape
  • Noise Tape
  • Degrade
  • Shifter
  • Heli
  • Reverse
  • Sweeper
  • Rhythmic

 

NOTE! Please use headphones or ‘real’ speakers. You simply can’t judge low-end material on laptop, tablet or phone speakers…!

NOTE! If you are on a mobile device, please turn it to landscape mode to see the knob settings of the pedal for each audio clip.

BUTTON-SOUND-CLIPS

 

 

 

 

In my opinion, there is no doubt that the Nemesis Delay is one hugely versatile pedal. All of the basic delay types sound stellar to my ears, and the option of adding various kinds and amounts of modulation to the delay tail brings up the sonic level of variety a lot.

Now, there is one important dimension that I have only mentioned very briefly in the Controls section – the Neuro App. You can download a free app and connect to the Nemesis Delay. This where you can access the additional 12 delay engines mentioned above, and it also gives you much more in-depth editing capabilities. You can also save, transfer and create presets to and from the pedal. The idea is not identical, but also not hugely different from the TonePrint feature you find on the digital pedals from TC Electronic.

On top of that, you can tap and hold to create a freeze feature that allows you to create simple loops, and on the hardware side, you get stereo connectivity, MIDI and further control options via an external expression pedal. Oh, and it is compatible with the Hot Hand.

Ultimately, it has been a while since I have had the opportunity to play around with a pedal as versatile and inspirational as the Nemesis Delay.

 

 

The build quality seems top-notch. Everything feels very sturdy and the rough, yet stylish, brushed metal enclosure projects a promise of a long life on the road. However, as always things may not always be as they seem, and true long-term durability can never be promised with certainty based on a few days of testing.

The design is quite good. It does have a fairly large footprint, and you may not wish to allocate that much real estate on your pedal board for a delay pedal. Having said that, though, the choices made for physical control knobs and switches are good, and it offers great control over most vital parameters, while the Neuro App adds true tweakhead options.

Finally, you also get 4 on-board preset slots that you can browse through

 

 

Today (2016), a new Nemesis Delay retails at $299, which puts it in the higher end of the price range. But for such great tone, quality and creative potential, I actually find that quite reasonable. If you need a great delay pedal and cost is not the only important part of the equation, the Source Audio Nemesis Delay is definitely worth considering.

 

 

The Nemesis Delay is a super creative tool that may inspire completely new types of grooves, or even kick off composition ideas. It offers great tone, tons of on-board features and expandability through a dedicated app, external control pedals and a Source Audio Hot Hand.

The two main issues to consider is probably the size of the footprint and the price tag. If you have the required pedal board space and funds, chances are the Nemesis Delay will make you delve into soundscapes you had never imagined and trigger hours of fun as well as loads of musical ideas.

 

PROS

Sounds amazing

Very high quality

Extremely versatile

Great value for money

Free Neuro App for in-depth control

4 Presets

MIDI and other external control options

 

CONS

Fairly large footprint

 

SCORE

SOUND: 95

VERSATILITY: 99

BUILD QUALITY: 93

DESIGN & USABILITY: 87

VALUE FOR MONEY: 84

TOTAL SCORE: 91.6

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