The entry into the Eurorack world has become affordable and colorful thanks to Dreadbox & the Nostalgia review shows a delay module with a lot of cleverness & charm
Does the Eurorack adventure have to be expensive? No, it doesn’t have to. Not only Behringer but also the Greek Synthesizer manufacturer Dreadbox shows this beautifully with its current colorful Chromatic modules series. After I have already taken a close look at the oscillator (Hysteria) and filter (Eudemonia), I now go further with the Nostalgia delay module with 10HP which is also available well below 100€.
Nostalgia is based on a three-stage digital and analog aka hybrid delay circuit, which has been modeled after the iconic lushing sounding Erebus echo delay circuitry. In this, three delay lines are wired in series letting you create rich delay textures with to 1 second of decay time.
All the fun starts at the input of the Nostalgia, not a single but two: the lower one is for Eurorack level and the upper one with an attenuator for line level. You could even input a guitar if you want but not sure how many guitarists would do this. I personally prefer the upper one because you can set exactly the signal level that goes into the module where you have on the lower one just an input.
The dry /wet mix is located between the two inputs. Unfortunately, there is always some delay at 0%. Theoretical at 0%, in practice, however, its ends at 5%, and so there are always a few wet timbres entering your dry signal.
Dreadbox has implemented a two feedback control design in Nostalgia, one offering control over the separate stages (1/3 – 2/3) and one offering full control over all three stages simultaneously. Thanks to its slider interface, you can work very precisely with the feedback and use it creatively. Slow fades are not a problem here.
If you play more intensively with the feedback sliders, the delay falls nicely into self-oscillation in the higher values. At around 75% it gets exciting here. I immediately noticed that the output level remained moderate even with strong feedback. All this is topped by individual line outputs for the stages that allow you to create stereo space effects using panning in your mixer for example. Further, there is a time control that ranges from 30ms up to 1 sec that can be controlled via CV. In the test, the signal was clean up to 900/950 ms after that, the distortion part came. It’s not a bad thing because it brings the character and life to the effect. The module is called Nostalgia, so it can sound a little dirty and nostalgic.
2-In-1: LFO & Delay
This is rounded off with an onboard dual wave LFO with both triangle and square wave outputs. It is internally normalled to the delay time input but can also be used as a standard LFO in a modular setup. Very useful because every modular musician needs LFOs in a system and so you don’t need to buy another simple, rack-stealing LFO module. But it has to be mentioned that the module is unfortunately not syncable. However, it is not bad, especially in this price range.
Sonically, the module has near the same “un-digital” character of the original Erebus delay. “Un-digital” means here it’s digital/hybrid but it feels and sounds more like an analog delay. Nostalgia’s strengths are classic aka bread & butter delays, beautiful colored rich timbres up to experimental feedbacks. For the latter, please watch the video review with the feedback sound demo. However, very long spherical delays are not possible here. It is designed to color signals, to make them more versatile and thicker. Less the reverb-style delay module.
On the whole, I can say: Nostalgia makes fun. For less than 100 €, Dreadbox designed a nice, characterful delay including an LFO. So basically two modules for the price of one. Price-performance is absolutely right here. If you are looking for a very good sounding delay with vintage flair at a good price and can live without sync and complete dry stage, this is the module for you. At 10HP the Dreadbox Nostalgia offers a lot for the money and it’s colorful, probably the best thing.
- sound quality
- sound character
- clever layout
- colorful design
- 2 modules in one (delay + independent LFO)
- price (under 100€)
- not 100% dry setting
- not syncable
Dreadbox Nostalgia is available now for 89€ worldwide.
More information here: Dreadbox
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