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Hermida Distortion Review

slopeshoulder

Senior Member
Messages
7,867
Executive Summary: It's TRULY GREAT, and very different from a Zendrive, while maintaining that Hermida sonic mojo.

Background: I've owned or played a zillion pedals. All the usual suspects. I've wanted a higher gain pedal, but I really needed to maintain an open sound. I love live cream and government mule and bonnamassa tone. I don't want a creamy fuzzy top, a loss of dynamics, hyped mids, or a loss of low end. I also didn't need Nigel Tufnel/GC shred buzz (rectum fryer scooped metal). I guess I wanted easier sustain (e,g santana europa), more hair (rock!!), and taking it from Robben Ford and SRV up to Warren Haynes and Joe Bonnamassa. I've owned 2 Mosferatu's in the past and, while they were good, they weren't magic, and I replaced them with various things.

The Distortion delivers in spades. It is louder than the zen, has more low end, more hair, more gain, and more sustain. It has less mid hump (or to be fair, a less mid forward voicing). It's a bit grunty without being hyped in the lows, and hairy without being harsh in the highs.(It goes great with chicken kiev). All the openness and dynamics are there, but there's enough compression to sing longer. It's extremely musical; I could listen to it all night. Doesn't sound like a pedal; even less than the zen does. Assuming Alf can deliver in a short timeframe like he has been, this is a great pedal at a very fair price. If not, it'll go up to $500 on ebay. It might be even better than the zendrive (more versatile, even more toneful).

I used it on its own: GREAT. It's all there. Turned volume and gain down and fed it into Howie and Kar Krash set to dirty clean (omigod). Then hit it with a Klon, a treble booster, a clean boost, and even stacked it with the Zendrive (adding those zen mids is the fast lane to bonnamassa 2 amp tone!). Great googly moogly. Many shades from clear and articulate medium gain to infinite sustain madness, while still articulate. All the wood and magnet of the guitar comes through. BTW I used a Collings CL (LP), a Ransom tele with Lollar vintage T pickups, and an alder Ransom tele with FAT Lollar/GVGC pickups into a clean Bruno Cowtipper 45/212. Can't vouch for tone via a blues junior.

I can't say enough. Hello velcro.

If you want infinite sustain or scooped shred, look elsewhere, but for thumping, hairy, clear, musical and open distortion, it can't be beat IMO. It doesn't look very rock, but it rocks for sure! Like a plexi easily up to metalfront and beyond. Not buzzy like an 800. Imagine a fat 800. It has that present marshall upper mid thing going on..
(I haven't tried low gain sounds with it). Burn your BB.

Hope that helps. (PLEASE, no clips! I'll just say that the clips currently online do not do it justice at all!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Collings/Menatone/Hermida/Bruno = :phones
 

blackba

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,458
Thanks for the review, so it sounds like it doesn't have the gain for 80's metal.

I like the non-buzzy top end, I hear that in alot of distortion pedal clips.
 

slopeshoulder

Senior Member
Messages
7,867
I'm the last guy to ask about 80's metal (I spent the 80's lamenting its existence), but boosted or stacked it does, and dimed or into a overdriven amp it certainly would. It's not a 70's pedal. It's not a med gain OD.
 

tga-3

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,004
Thanks for the review,, I loved the clip on web site. Whats the wait on these?

I ordered one last Saturday and received it yesterday. I've only had a few minutes with it, and it really delivers!
 
Messages
12,052
I have had the pedal in my studio since Christmastime (past December),and it has earned a spot on the studio pedal board with the Zen.I think Chuck D'Aloia has done some excellent clips,to show what the pedal is capable of.Slopeshoulder's review is accurate,but neglects to address the fact,that it sits well in a mix,with a minimum of EQ adjustment.It does for me.I also feel he left out the fact,it has a little of the overdriven Vox flavor in its capabilies.An extremely versatile pedal,which has the same two tone controls (as the well loved Zendrive),a voice and tone which both add a lot to the choices going from early to late Marshall gain styles.Not quite a fuzz,significantly more gain than the Zen or Mosferatu.It does adjust it's effect (down quite low), down into a Zen range-If I still gigged out,It would get a great deal of use.In the studio,it's got uses I still haven't gotten to.Harmonically,it's a Swiss Army Knife.
 

tga-3

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,004
Like everyone has stated, Alf has come up with another winner. And I ordered mine last Saturday and got on Thursday!
 

slopeshoulder

Senior Member
Messages
7,867
guitarsfrommars: cool. I haven't even messed with voice yet. Will do today. I also record a lot and I imagine you're right: it'll record and sit beautifully.
Tell me, what do you do to bring out the vox tones?
 
Messages
12,052
guitarsfrommars: cool. I haven't even messed with voice yet. Will do today. I also record a lot and I imagine you're right: it'll record and sit beautifully.
Tell me, what do you do to bring out the vox tones?
hey slopey-jack up the voice and tone,you'll get there quick...
 

tga-3

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,004
Coool!:dude Please get back with us when youve stomped on it some more. :dude

I've been a Zendrive fan from the very beginning, but the Hermida Distortion pedal is giving it a run for it's money. It is very versatile. You can dial in a Deluxe/Dumble like breakup, to a Vox-like breakup, into Marshall territory. Reminds me the front end of the Budda Stringmaster I used to own. I'm using a '52 Reissue Tele with Fred Stuart Blackguard pickups and running it into a Dr. Z Stingray, which is a great clean platform for pedals anyway, but you really don't know this pedal is on, really blends well with this set up.
Fwiw,
Rick
 

blackba

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,458
Just sent an e-mail to order one, we will see how long it takes.

You guys really don't help a mans GAS.... :)
 

blackba

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,458
No wait on the distortion. I e-mailed yesterday and got a response back that my pedal was ready today.
 

Garygtr

Almost as good!
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
7,433
No wait on the distortion. I e-mailed yesterday and got a response back that my pedal was ready today.
Yep, I emailed this a.m. and had a response back in an hour or so. Payment has been sent!
 

Gibson 1964

Member
Messages
1,283
I ordered mine the first day it was available and got an email that day that I was up on the list. Does Alf number these? I'd be curious to know what number I have.

Its very interesting to me how different this is from the mosferatu, while both have a bit of the zen vibe going on. (I own a zen2, mosferatu, and a distortion)
 




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