T-Rex Tonebug Series Review

The T-Rex Tonebug series pedal is a solid choice for those on a tight budget. The design is very simple with only a few settings to play around with, which for most is ideal but for those obsessed with tweaking their sound this might not be the one for you. Aesthetically it looks great, a nice creamy finish that gives it a vintage and elegant vibe. The build quality seems to a good standard, it’s quite heavy and for that reason it’s fair to assume it can take a bit of a battering. All the controls and the foot switch are sturdy and reliable so no complaints there either.

It features two modes – modern and the popular spring reverb. The former has a nice warm tone and adds the much needed dimension to your sound with no problems, cranking the knobs up high gives you the artificial echo sound if that is what you desire. The spring reverb setting does a decent job at copying that unique sound a spring reverb amplifier would give, but if you have the money we would definitely recommend the Boss FRV-1 ’63 Fender for that purpose.

Overall we are impressed with the pedals sounds and design. Powered by either 9V battery or mains, the T-Rex Tonebug reverb effects unit is one of the best options at this low price range and makes a wise first purchase for those wanting to just check out reverb and see if it’s something they like. If we make a budget top 5 list in future, be sure to see this at or near the top!

Current US Price $99.00
Normal US Price $199.00

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8F477S9tLDA[/youtube]

Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Review

“Down from the heavens comes the Holy Grail, a compact digital reverb guitar pedal that is priced so low thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s reverb tank any longer. The Holy Grail will make you a believer with its emulation of classic Spring reverb so faithful that even Dick Dale couldn’t tell the difference. Next, get lost in the lush spaciousness of the Hall reverb and ask yourself, “how did they fit Notre Dame into such a small package?” Finally, reach enlightenment with the haunting Flerb.”

We just had to include that rather outrageous summary from the manufacturer, be sure to read on to see why it has every reason to boast!

The Electro Harmonix Holy Grail reverb pedal is one of the finest and most popular choices for guitarists seeking a long lasting unit that performs far above the average product. It’s quite an achievement that given its compact size (ideal for creating more space on your pedalboard or if you plan to carry around gear), it still produces some of the best reverb sounds we have ever heard, and even more so shocking, at a price that won’t leave you broke til next months paycheck!

The 3 way switch gives you the choice of spring, hall and, the pleasantly surprising ‘Flerb’. This lastly mentioned setting which Electro-Harmonix appear to be very proud of, combines reverb with a slight amount of flanger, it can enable a unique and satisfying aural quality to your instrument, especially with the right pick of guitar (make take a little trial and error). Finding an effective way to use flerb might take a little doing and it definitely will not be to everyone’s tastes (it split some opinions from us), but regardless it’s a nice bonus addition to the two other solid reverb effects already present on the unit.

Using the Holy Grail is very much fire and forget: plug in guitar – set effect – set amount of reverb – play away to your hearts content. A simple and hassle free approach to get you playing as quickly as possible without wasting time fiddling with extra and somewhat unnecessary controls that claim to fine tune your sound further but really make little to no difference in most of our experiences. Perhaps our only quibble with this fine piece of engineering is that you do not have the option to power it using a 9V battery, which is most likely a sacrifice made in order to keep it as small as it is. Not a huge deal to most people other than those prone to accidents who are constantly tripping over wires and cables (we all know one of those types!). We advise using a mains connection for all effects units regardless of a battery option, as it provides a more stable output as batteries tend to have the habit of altering sounds as they lose their charge.  The Holy Grail Nano pedals saving grace is that it does come supplied with the power supply so you do not need to splash out extra cash before you can use it.

It sounded great with the 3 electric guitars we tested it on, a Squier ’51, a Les Paul Junior and a Hagstrom Super Swede. It also performed exceptionally well with an entry level electro-acoustic we hooked it up to. Be sure to look at the videos at the end of this review to have an idea of what this little guy can do, baring in mind reverb usually sounds better in the flesh (recording equipment and video compression tends to lose some of that brightness, trust us on this one.)

Our last word are this…if the Electro Harmonix Holy Grail is good enough for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it’s most certainly good enough for us! If you are looking for a simple, low priced reverb pedal that does exactly what it advertises, this is definitely one of the few we can whole heatedly recommend.

Current US Price $121.20

Normal US Price $163.37

Here are a couple of videos with the product in use (not the Nano but they are almost exactly the same besides the size)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FsOysUoZzI[/youtube]

We can’t say that in this next video the ‘reverb sucks’ comment didn’t offend us…just…just a little. But it’s a good video and he clearly favors this unit over others available. (P.S reverb does not suck)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3YNW2a-llg[/youtube]

 

TC Electronic Hall of Fame Review

If you’re after a professional sounding reverb pedal, the TC electronic Hall of Fame is definitely a viable option to consider. Built-in it has many different available options, giving the user much more control than other alternatives on the market. One of its standout features is its TonePrint capabilities, allowing you to connect the pedal with your PC or laptop, in doing this you can download multiple different sounds and try to achieve a similar sound to well known artists.

TC Electronic is a highly-respected name in the audio industry world so it’s a safe bet when you are uncertain of which brand to buy. Their products are generally very reliable, I have had a TC Electronic chorus pedal that was given to me by a relative, and it has been working without fault for over 8 years now.

With 10 different reverb types and the aforementioned TonePrint, you will never be bored with the same sounds. There are the more common controls that you find on several other effects pedals such as decay, tone, FX level. The fourth knob control allows players to select the size and type of room they would like to emulate the sound of, from a large Echo magnet like a church, to a much smaller venue with a more subtle amount of reverb.

In our tests this TC pedal was incredibly stable and we found it hard to fault. Our setup was pretty standard on this one to try and emulate what the majority of customers might be playing it through., we decided to use a commonly available guitar – a mid-range Squier Stratocaster, along with a Marshall MG10, a casual setup for many budding guitarists. It’s built to last with good quality electrical components and a hard casing to protect them, we’re sure it would survive the typical wear and tear that occurs when doing a lot of live performances, it’s not made out of cheap plastic so it can with stand the odd accidental knock about (we didn’t do a full durability test because that hasn’t gone so well for us before!)

The true bypass works perfectly fine, an important feature for people recording or out playing live. It’s a snug size so for those players with hundreds of contraptions stuck to your pedalboard, making room for this one shouldn’t be too hard.

The only setting we unanimously agreed on that we could not find a use for was lofi, it doesn’t measure up against the other 9 fantastic options and we tended to avoid it after initial tests were carried out. This is such a small detail though compared with the top quality of the rest of the pedal.

Current US price: Too low to display
Normal US price: $204.00

We have a feeling this pedal will sit in the featured area of the site for quite some time as we love it so much. Here’s a useful link to a video demonstrating the platitude of various effects you can create. It really shows off the unit much more than we can through text, so give it a watch.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cMpaEDSF8M[/youtube]

 

DigiTech RV-7 HardWire Stereo Reverb Extreme-Performance Pedal

Superior Technology • Meticulous Craftsmanship • True Innovation
True Bypass. HardWire pedals modify your guitar tone only when you want. HardWire pedals add pure effects when they’re on and don’t add noise when they’re off—truly the best of both worlds. And if you happen to lose power to HardWire pedals in the middle of a performance, you can keep playing because HardWire pedals switch to True Bypass mode until power is restored.

Higher Voltage . HardWire pedals preserve guitar tone because they operate at a significantly higher voltage than your standard pedals. HardWire pedals get the most out of hot guitar pickups and perform flawlessly in the high voltage environment of an amplifier effects loop.

Constant Voltage. HardWire pedals guarantee constant effects performance throughout the life of the battery and prevent tone loss because they operate at a steady voltage—independent of decaying battery voltage.

Tourworthy. HardWire pedals are designed for the touring musician. Unique Stomplock guards prevent controls from being kicked and your tone from being changed. Each HardWire pedal includes custom-cut Velcro pads to fasten it to a pedalboard and green gaffer tape for the actuator label and see the pedal in the most adverse stage lighting conditions.

Full review coming soon.

Current US price: $149.95
Normal US price: $189.95