Amdek – DMK-100 Delay Machine

Today we’re taking a look at the Amdek DMK-100 ‘Delay Machine’, a vintage echo effect pedal from the 1980s.

The model we’ve got has seen better days, but that only serves to add to its mystique. Like many hardware of its vintage, it soldiers on unrepentant and undeterred by cosmetic wear. It’s seen things, and lived to tell the tale. Reportedly manufactured by Roland in Japan under the Amdek name (the font and design is a dead giveaway), this is one BIG mofo; taking up about as much space as some people’s whole boards – or about 3 BOSS pedals in a row (but much taller). It is not a subtle bit of gear.

Behold, its brutalist simplicity:

and here’s a picture with a Behringer pedal to give an idea of scale:

Processed with VSCOcam with 4 preset

The pedal contains what are apparently pretty highly prized analogue delay chips: the BBD MN3005 and MN3101. As a result, it is often described as being tough to find one in the wild, but it seems like they can be picked up fairly regularly on eBay.

There are a whole variety of different level controls which would be unusual now. A toggle switch to go between LOW/MEDIUM/HIGH input levels, an input level pot (which acts as a Gain knob), and a LOW/HIGH output level switch. Mind boggling. This does have the interesting side effect of allowing you to get some really interesting distorted sounds when using the Low input option, with the input knob turned all the way up. To quote the pedal’s current owner:

Even though it’s a delay pedal, it sounds mint as a fuzz machine too.

The effect itself has a really warm analogue sound, especially when you start to play about with longer delay times. Crank up the ‘Intensity’ knob and the pedal will start to cannibalise its own sound, which can give some pretty cool feedback. Check out the demo video below to see it in action, running through a Korg Electribe ER1 drum machine, a Volca Bass, and then a Volca Sample at the end.

Cheers to Lee for providing his hands.

The details

  • Up to 300ms delay time
  • One single jack input
  • Two jack outputs – one for a dry/wet mix, and one dedicated to just the wet signal.

Where can I get one?!

If you can live with the size, and the hard-wired mains power, this is an awesome analogue delay pedal with a lot of character and authenticity. Obviously, the vintage nature of the pedals means you’ll be looking at the second-hand market if you’re interested in this beast. Prices lately have been hovering in the region of £100-200 (140-290 USD), and if you spot one for lower than that you should definitely grab it before someone else does (i.e. me).

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Amdek – DMK-100 Delay Machine

  1. Thank you, your information here was very useful (and funny) …and helped me make the decision to buy one. A further peculiarity of this pedal is that it was sold as a kit – to be put together by whoever purchased it. I don’t know if that means that any DMK-100 seen on the second-hand market now was put together by their original owners, or whether some were constructed by the shops who sold them. Anyway, there are some great pictures to be found online of the original Amdek brochures and construction manuals. I realised that mine wasn’t self-oscillating as well (or as easily & crazily) as it could, so opened it up; to my delight, there are several easily accessible and handily-labelled trim-pots inside (one misspelled ‘Deley’). I tweaked the intensity pot and it ‘s now as nuts as I’d hoped. I can also clarify that it does indeed contain the highly-prized MN3005, and also an MN3101!

    Like

  2. I just purchased one of these, encouraged in part by this review; but I’d been ‘watching’ them on ebay whenever one came up for some time. It really is a gorgeous thing. Incidentally, and adding further to its eccentricity and mystique, they originally came in a kit, to be put together by whomever bought them. There are some great photos of the original box and manual online. When I first got mine, it wasn’t self-oscillating quite as easily and madly as I’d liked. I opened it up (easier that I thought) and, to my joy, it has 3 trim-pots, all handily labelled (one marked ‘DELEY’); a bit of tweaking with a screwdriver and it’s now exactly as I like. Also, I can confirm that it does indeed contain the very sought-after MN3005 chip. Loved the review – many thanks. P.S: if you’d like a couple of photos of its circuit board, I have some 🙂

    Like

    1. Hey… I’m not entirely sure what you’re hoping to do. Can you try explain a bit better? The Amdek just has the standard in and out audio jacks, so there isn’t any synching available.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s