Short reviews of ALL of the Digitech HardWire pedals

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by mlj_gear, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. mlj_gear

    mlj_gear Member

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    I bit the bullet and bought them all. Most of them have already been sent back, BUT I really love the metal pedal, and I'm keeping the chorus and distortion as well. My guess is that these pedals won't be a huge TGP phenomenon, but here are (very) short reviews of each:

    (Supposedly these are all true-bypass, so that's a plus over the Boss and Ibanez equivalents -- in most cases, anyway)

    HardWire™ HT-2 Chromatic Tuner: Decent. Slower tracking than the Korg Pitchblack, which is also TB. I think the Pitchblack wins in this category pretty easily.

    HardWire™ CM-2 Tube Overdrive: Man, I hated this thing. It sounded extremely nasal and congested to me. I really didn't find anything to like about it all. The EQ was kind of useless, as when you added in more low-end, for example, it was crappy-sounding low-end. I'm certainly not choosing it over my Maxon ODs, Fulltone OCD, or MI Audio Blues Pro.

    HardWire™ SC-2 Valve Distortion: A pretty nice pedal, with both modes being useful. I can see it competing with the Boss DS-2, the ProCo Rats, etc., and winning. It's is more flexible (the EQ is nicely done), and at the very least, it has the TB over the Boss. I don't have any "boutique" distortions to compare it too, really, as I think they tend to sound a little too fuzzy, and I like to keep my fuzziness to my fuzz pedals. I didn't the SC-2 up against my Shredmaster, but I will eventually. I don't think it will pale in comparison, really, even if it's not quite as sweet.

    HardWire™ TL-2 Metal Distortion: I think this is a fantastic pedal. Most boutique metal pedals sound WAY too fuzzy to me. Because of that, I settled on the EH Metal Muff. I actually really like the Metal Muff a lot, but it is (A) large, and (B), not TB. At least the MM takes a standard 9v adapter unlike the Dime Distortion. But I digress... I think I like the basic tone of the TL-2 better that the MM, size and TB aside. The EQ on the TL-2 is fantastic -- very versatile. This is a METAL pedal folks. That's for sure.

    HardWire™ CR-7 Stereo Chorus: A decent pedal. I've wanted a digital, stereo, TB chorus to compliment my analog ones for a while now. I'm not blown away by the CR-7, but it's a decent pedal.

    HardWire™ DL-8 Delay/Looper: Another decent, but not spectacular, offering. Most of the modes sound fairly good. I wouldn't call any of them outstanding. It's definitely gimmicky, but the reverse mode on the DL-8 is very cool, and I like it much better than the reverse delay on the Boss DD-7. Unfortunately, I think the loop functionality on the DD-7 is a little more natural, in that you tap to start and stop rather than holding down the pedal the whole time like on the DL-8. Maybe I'll get used to holding down the pedal for loops... I don't know. I probably won't ever use loops all that much, anyway. Actually, neither the DL-8 or DD-7 will ever be my main delay (I'll keep my Maxon AD-999 for that), but I think I'm keeping the DL-8 over the DD-7 for a versatile, stereo, digital "multi-delay". I haven't made a final decision yet.

    HardWire™ RV-7 Stereo Reverb: I wasn't impressed. For guitar, I'm almost exclusively a spring-reverb guy, and the spring setting on the RV-7 leaves a good bit to be desired. I actually thought the reverse reverb was the best I've heard, but that's pretty gimmicky. The other delays were okay, I guess. They also sounded a tad digital to me. Myabe not as much as the previous Digitech digital reverb and the latest Boss digital reverb, but I can still hear it. I think EH has the digital emulation of spring reverb pretty well nailed, though, and the unfortunate noise level of the Holy Grail has been fixed in the Holy Grail Plus, which is also slightly more versatile than the Holy Grail. I definitely prefer the Holy Grail Plus to the RV-7. Reverb-wise, I also prefer the Marshall Reflector, although it can suck tone when off with its "hardwire-but-I'm-not-really-true" bypass.

    Now where are the EQ, compressor, phaser, tremolo, and flanger? :) Actually, I would LOVE it if they came out with a Hardwire EQ that turned out to be nice. I still haven't found a decent TB EQ with more than three bands of control. It's pretty amazing that no one aside from BYOC (that I know of) makes one. BYOC's is noisy as all get-out.

    I'll give you a couple of years to put out the fuzz, wah, octave, filter, and treble booster, Digitech :).
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2008
  2. MERCYFULFATE

    MERCYFULFATE Member

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    Now where are the EQ, compressor, phaser, tremolo, and flanger? :) Actually, I would LOVE it if they came out with a Hardwire EQ that turned out to be nice. I still haven't found a decent TB EQ with more than three bands of control. It's pretty amazing that no one aside from BYOC (that I know of) makes one. BYOC's is noisy as all get-out.

    I'll give you a couple of years to put out the fuzz, wah, octave, filter, and treble booster, Digitech :)



    thanks for the reviews.


    well, all i have is the hardwire tuner and tl2 metal distortion. i think the tuner is way better at tracking than the Boss tu2. and the Hardwire Metal Distortion is awesome. it is very tweakable and musical. it could actually be the best high gain pedal i have ever used. and being a 28 year player i have used a lot of them.


    where the hell is the phaser,eq and flanger????????
     
  3. nibus

    nibus Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the reviews!
     
  4. Alter

    Alter Member

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    man, thanks for the time and the reviews
     
  5. Ben C.

    Ben C. Member

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    I'll add that I think the DL-8 sounds better than the DD-7 overall. DL-8 sounds a lot more natural to me, and you can especially hear that when you A/B their 'Modulate' settings. And the true-bypass nature of the pedal really let me hear what my DD's had been doing to my signal over the years! The DL-8 definitely works for me.

    However, the DL-8 has those issues with self-oscillation I've mentioned before because of the detented pots and lack of infinite repeats at constant volume. Also the DL-8 does not have rhythmic tap tempo or ability for external tap tempo. I hate to keep repeating myself like this, but those really are serious deal breakers for some (not me, obviously) and folks should know about those when making up their minds about purchasing the DL-8.
     
  6. jamison162

    jamison162 Supporting Member

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    Thanks, I'll stick with my Verbzilla.
     
  7. mlj_gear

    mlj_gear Member

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    I'm going to replicate the problems that you've mentioned tomorrow. Thanks for the head up(s)! BTW, perhaps I'm being an airhead, but what is a "rhythmic tap tempo"? I think I know what it is -- something along the lines of tapping in delay times for a multi-tap delay -- but I'm not sure. Also, that's not something the DD-7 has either, right? I know the DD-7 has the controller input.

    I actually have an Empress Superdelay on order. Can't WAIT to try that one out!
     
  8. Ben C.

    Ben C. Member

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    No problem! The rhythmic tap tempo - it's when you can tap in quarter notes but the pedal automatically subdivides them into dotted eighths or triplets or whatever. The DD-7, DD-6, etc. can do this. The Hardwire has no such option to do this.

    And about the self-oscillation things... here's a snip from my orig. post about the issue (I'm lazy!):

    "One thing for the ambient noise-boys. It will not self-oscillate. Well, it does, but it will not maintain a constant volume when self-oscillating and it drops off pretty quickly. With the Level, Repeats, and Time maxed, you can get those oscillation noises and such, but it starts fading out... almost like it's keeping you from destroying your speakers ;) ... unlike the Boss DD-7 which does not have this restriction. ALSO - when tweaking the 'Time' knob to increase / decrease the speed / pitch of the repeats when self-oscillating.... you cannot do this smoothly. The knob itself does not turn smoothly... it's like there are a ton of little 'clicks' to the knob. And you can hear each 'click' as a small jump up or down in pitch / speed when you're twiddling. So imagine not hearing a smooth ramp up, but more like stairs. I think these points will be a serious issue for the ambient / noise crowd."

    -Ben
     
  9. williamh

    williamh Supporting Member

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    the digitech digiverb had really bad volume drop issues with the reverse reverb setting, does this reverb pedal have the same issues?
     
  10. jbert58

    jbert58 Member

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    I just picked up the RV-7 reverb and quite like it, although I don't have much basis for comparison against other pedals. It is a big improvement over the rather anemic reverb in my combo though.

    Anyone else have any comments about the TL-2 Metal Distortion???
     
  11. Rev2S

    Rev2S Member

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    I tried the SC-2 and it sucked. Sounded way to fizzy, buzzy to me. Back it goes...
     
  12. Darkburst

    Darkburst Member

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    Did you try it at gigging or rehearsal volumes? I hated my Digitech Hothead Distortion until I used it with my amp turned up.
     
  13. macmax77

    macmax77 Supporting Member

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    Max, please don't open your mouth on your thoughts about Digitech and Line #Q%#Q$ products.

    ok Ziggy, i won't!
     
  14. Sniper-V

    Sniper-V Member

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  15. Tripower455

    Tripower455 Member

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    I just got a DL-8 today.... I am still in honeymoon phase, but so far, I like it as much, if not a little better than my Carbon Copy.

    Keep in mind that I am not a hardcore delay junkie. I use them more for ambiance and the occasional slapback than for the more esoteric effects effect.

    No effect on bypassed tone. Nice natural sounding repeats. Good price.....
     
  16. Julia343

    Julia343 Member

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    I test drove the tube overdrive with a 5150. I ended up with the stock Ibanez TS808. I would have liked to have tested the Maxon OD808, but they didn't have one.
     
  17. Tripower455

    Tripower455 Member

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    Well, I used the DL-8 at band practice last night......

    It's a keeper. The tap tempo is great for live work, and it just sounds better in my rig than the Carbon Copy, which is still a good delay.........
     
  18. jzucker

    jzucker Supporting Member

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    I would agree and also think this pedal has benefited from the typical TGP hype. After hearing this pedal, I have serious doubts that any of the lexicon algorithms are in there. In fact, the pedal sounds remarkably similar to my Digiverb in quality. I suspect it's a digiverb with better buffering and true bypass. At least, that's what it sounds like to me.
     
  19. GovernorSilver

    GovernorSilver Member

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    That's a bummer, considering the closest thing we have, otherwise, to affordable Lexicon reverb, the MX200, seems deliberately designed to be hostile to guitarists, with its +4 dB inputs.
     
  20. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the quickie reviews, I decided to stick with my Verbzilla too!
     

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