Zen Delay

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Ninja Tune - an English independent record label based in London and Erica Synths have teamed up to create a custom dub delay effects unit - the Zen Delay.


Controlsdelay time, feedback, delay mod (5 presets), tap button, dry/wet, bypass switch, filter cutoff, resonance, drive, input level, filter mode

Stereo In: 2x standard jack

MIDI In: standard MIDI socket 

CV In: standard jack

OutputsStereo Out: 2 x standard jack
Delay times1-5000ms with 1/8...x8 of clock/tap rate in beat mode 

Inspired by a trip to Berlin’s trailblazing music hardware trade show Superbooth, Coldcut’s Matt Black and longtime friend Dr Walker (Liquid Sky artist collective / Air Liquide) envisaged the exciting possibilities of a custom hardware effects unit. The result is the creation of the Zen Delay — the first-ever hardware effects unit produced in collaboration with an electronic music label.

Bringing together the best of the digital and analogue worlds, the Zen Delay is a BPM-synced stereo delay line, combining extreme feedback ranges for dub and experimental lo-fi effects with a multi-mode 24 dB synth filter and valve overdrive.

Created and manufactured by Erica Synths, the unit is housed in a metal case with Erica Synths’ signature bakelite knobs and a valve circuit for extra analogue warmth. While sonically versatile, it is incredibly easy to use — each function has a physical knob that you can play around with without diving into manuals or scrolling through menus on a tiny screen.

Crafted in close collaboration with DJs and producers, the Zen Delay was uniquely developed with both live and studio use in mind and is suitable for many different performance situations, musical styles and instruments. While most delay devices are designed as ‘stomp boxes’ for guitarists, the device is equally powerful in the hands of electronic music producers, artists and DJs, adding a unique, warm and powerful sonic character to drum machines, loops, vocals, synths, samples or any other source. Even full tracks or a live stereo mix can be enhanced by the combination of analogue and digital circuitry, breathing new life into iPad performances and giving traditional digital synths and drum machines a huge kick.


It's a dangerous little tool. Fun to play with, nice feel. Really versatile and great sound.Helena Hauff

This is the kind of modern update I was looking for, and it's instantly replaced my older circuit boxes. It’s a black box and it sounds incredible.Actress

On the hardware side of things, Erica Synths are clearly highly experienced in the worlds of effects, delays, filters and valve circuits. The benefits of the brand’s extensive design and manufacturing expertise are obvious as soon as you remove the Zen Delay from its packaging: it’s a beautifully built unit, with a real sense of quality before you’ve even plugged it in. The world of synth-friendly delays is in a healthy state right now. The Zen Delay feels like one of the most fully realised offerings of the lot. It’s a brilliantly inspiring effect that brings your music to life in creative new ways.- Juno 

What could have been a simple branding exercise has resulted in one of the best hardware effects of recent years. MusicRadar verdict: It’s not cheap, but the Zen Delay is musical, powerful and could become your secret weapon in the studio or the DJ booth.

Zen Delay has quickly become one of Ricky Tinez most used FX units - ''Whether i'm making house, hip-hop, techno, whatever type of music the Zen Delay is practically always on it.'' - Ricky Tinez

I'm thrilled by the sound of the Zen Delay: its connectivity, the way the parameters are tuned to each other, that you can use all three effects independently of each other and add them to the signal according to your taste. The Zen Delay's experimental factor should make the heart of any ambitious electronics engineer beat faster. The delay times are simply amazing and leave me with a big grin on my face. - 

The Zen Delay is a product of our expertise on vacuum tube designs, our powerful, custom DSP platform and the great sound of our filter ICs made and developed in Latvia. It by far exceeded expectations in terms of how it sounds and feels when played. - Ģirts Ozoliņš

The Zen Delay is the analogue delay unit I've been waiting for. Stereo warmth, tone and texture. Perfect for live abusage, and studio madness… love it - The Bug

The Zen excels at the sort of extreme dub possibilities Coldcut love. Feed it back! - Matt Black

For years I have dreamed of a state-of-the-art stereo valve dub delay for my MPC that perfectly masters all sound aesthetics from "badass" to "psychedelic hypnotically trashed" — and now, have a look! There it is... the Zen Delay! - Dr Walker 

Sound Demo with synths by Necromass

Sound Demo with drum machine by Necromass

Sound examples from Liquid Sky Artist collective 


Power12v (power supply for worldwide use is included)
In/Out levels3.2v peak to peak

114 dB dynamic range

-100dB THD+N


108 dB dynamic range

-98 dB THD+N

Dimensions21 x 15 x 5 cm




Manuals book

Updates refresh

FAQ question_answer

  • Is my unit running the latest firmware? Do I need to update?
    If your Zen Delay was ordered from 2020 onwards, it is already running the latest firmware (factory installed), there is NO NEED to update!