Hartman Analog Flanger: My Review

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by JRC4558Dude, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. JRC4558Dude

    JRC4558Dude Member

    Jul 21, 2007
    Ok, my new Hartman flanger finally showed up this week. I was just about ready to order one of these a few months back, when Hartman's supply of chips ran out, and he had to discontinue the pedal. Well, as we all know, he was able to secure a new stock of Panasonic chips (in place of the original-spec Reticon chips) and start making them again.

    I ordered my direct from Hartman and had to wait a little longer than the advertised "lead time 2 weeks", but Theo was very friendly via email, so it's no big deal. Wouldn't be surprised if he's a bit backed up on these as they were out of production for a while.

    I had been in the market for a flanger for a while and had narrowed it down to either the Hartman or the Maxon FL9. I also looked at the Toadworks Barracuda, but passed on it as the demo sounded a little flat, and the HBE Frostbite, but passed on that because it was ridiculously large and couldn't run on 9V. I ended up going with the Hartman mainly because I'm a Pink Floyd fanatic (Gilmour used the EH Electric Mistress), and because it's got such good reviews here on TGP. I actually wasn't blown away by the sound clip on Hartman's website, as it doesn't really show what the pedal can do.

    A few words about construction quality: it's very good. The three pots are soldered directly to the board, but the in/out jacks, power jack, footswitch and flange/matrix selector switch are all wired to it. Nice. For those of you who care, the red sparkle paints looks better in person then it does in pictures.

    The first Hartman flangers produced apparently had some issues with a volume drop when engaged, but Theo has since fixed this. There is NO volume drop when you turn it on. There's also a trimmer on the board that lets you dial in a volume boost (or cut if really want one). I haven't messed with this, or any of the other trimmers yet.

    So how does it sound? Great! You can get a lot of cool textures out of it. It can sound very dramatic, especially when you run a fuzz before it. The "rate" control goes from super slow to faux-Leslie fast with a nice, smooth sweep. I find that it's actually hard to get a bad sound out of it, and it never does that annoying metallic, "tubular" sound that I find in most flanger pedals. You can also get some chorus-like tones with the speed at about 2:30 and the depth at about 1:00. I don't really know how to describe the sound other than to repeat what someone else said in another thread here: It's very "musical". That's a good way to put it.

    Clock noise really isn't an issue, unless you turn all three controls full up, and even then it's just a faint "tick,tick." I was pretty surprised that an analog pedal could be so quiet. As for the "matrix" setting, I didn't really dig that. It lets you disable the sweep effect and use the depth knob to "park" the flanger. To my ears, it just sounded like pick-ups that were out-of-phase, really hollow and tinny sounding.

    Anyways, that's my take on it. I'm pretty picky about modulation pedals, because I find they are always either to subtle or too bombastic. The Hartman does a good job of being "transparent" but "lush" at the same, time, if that makes sense. :)
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  2. 10strings

    10strings Member

    Dec 19, 2009
    Good review man... :) Thinking about getting one.

Share This Page