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The Alter Ego V2 Vin­tage Echo is built into the same style enclo­sure as the Flash­back Delay, Hall of Fame Reverb and other ped­als on that ilk. It fea­tures nine exclu­sive deal sounds crafted by TC Elec­tronic and Pro­Gu­i­tarShop based on spe­cific iconic vin­tage delays (some of them quite rare and not usu­ally found among the usual gang of sus­pects of analog-inspired dig­i­tal delays). There’s every­thing from sweet sat­u­rated EchoPlex-style repeats to the mag­netic drum delays of the leg­endary Echorec, an exclu­sive mod­u­lated take on TC’s own 2290 delay unit and more. There’s also a TonePrint mem­ory slot so you can down­load a pre­set via USB or smart­phone (hold your phone up to your guitar’s pick­ups, hit a but­ton and the pre­set will be sent as dig­i­tal chat­ter through your gui­tar to the pedal) — or you can make your own with a desk­top pro­gram on your com­puter. There’s also a looper mode, with 40 sec­onds of looping

There are four knobs: time, feed­back, level and mode. And a sub­di­vi­sion mini-toggle lets you select quar­ter notes, dot­ted eighths or a dual delay com­bi­na­tion of both. There are stereo inputs and out­puts, so you can dis­creetly process a stereo sig­nal or split a mono sig­nal into stereo delays. And like all TonePrint ped­als, you’re given the option of true or buffered bypass depend­ing on your sig­nal pro­cess­ing needs. And the dry sig­nal stays all-analog.


The Alter Ego V2’s tones are incred­i­bly warm and ‘non-digital.’ A lot of care has gone into mak­ing them as funky and dis­tinc­tive as the orig­i­nal units they’re based on, and this means some of them will have an accept­able level of grit and growl, or war­ble and flut­ter: what­ever is most appro­pri­ate for the sound being mod­elled. But the option of stereo oper­a­tion really opens the unit up to wider exper­i­men­ta­tion than would be pos­si­ble with a vin­tage unit. Nat­u­rally it sounds great in an effects loop whether you’re run­ning a clean or a dirty tone, but one of the real joys of this pedal is when you plug it through a clean amp’s front end to really warm up the tape-style delays. The 2290 reverse mode is plenty of fun for psy­che­delic sounds, and the model based on the BOSS DM-2 is uncan­nily sim­i­lar to my mem­o­ries of the orig­i­nal. There’s a great Space Echo mode too which is per­fect for Devin Townsend-like back­ground spaciness.


If you’re after clean, electronic-sounding dig­i­tal delays then you really owe it to your­self to check out the Flash­back or Flash­back X4 because they’re just loaded with mod­ern sounds and they deliver them in a really clean way. But what really makes the Alter Ego V2 kick butt is the way it cap­tures the smears, smudges and arte­facts of old-school pre-digital delay units. Many play­ers will want both types of effect in their rigs, but if you’re after one delay that can do it all — up to about the early 1980s — the Alter Ego V2 is a must-try.