Monday, 31 May 2010

Guitar Pedal Reviews - Digitech Hardwire RV-7 Reverb

Digitech Hardwire RV-7 Reverb Pedal  (now discontinued as of 2015)

The Digitech Hardwire series are a set of pedals with Lexicon effects inside them. They were released to critical acclaim and rightly so.

The RV-7 is the reverb pedal in the lineup.

Build quality:

The pedal is built like a tank and makes Boss pedals look like they're made of plastic! They are heavy to the touch and measure 13cm length by 7.5cm wide by 5cm height. There are 2 inputs and 2 outputs, of which, input 1 and output 1 are mono. The pedal itself is a maroon colour with a silver / black footswitch. There is a battery compartment, although I use a regular 9v power supply to power the unit. Under the footswitch is the option to turn trails on or off. Trails on means that when you switch the reverb off, the reverb will continue. Without trails, the reverb ends abruptly. Many reverb pedals don't act as true bypass with the trails on, but the Hardwire does stay true bypass.

The sounds:

The 4 little silver knobs give you control over level, liveliness, decay and to toggle the reverb types. The level gives you the amount of reverb of your chosen reverb. The liveliness acts as an EQ switch and controls the level of high frequency. The 'decay' function gives you control of how long the delay sustains before fading away. Then the final knob gives you the reverb options.


If you'd like to hear this up against the Hall Of Fame and Hardwire Supernatural, click here...

From Digitech Hardwire website:

ROOM - fast decaying reverb; great for a touch of ambience.
PLATE - renowned studio reverb found on classic recordings.
REVERSE - reverb in reverse; quietly crescendos to full volume.
MODULATED - lush modulating reverb ideal for chords.
GATED - unique reverb with abrupt decay; good for percussive playing.
HALL - large encompassing reverb with warm decay.
SPRING - classic “surf” reverb; great for Rockabilly too!

Sound Quality:

This is where the RV-7 soars above any other reverb pedal I've tried. Although obviously a digital pedal (which reverb pedals aren't!!) it has an incredibly warm, rich and deep sound on all the reverbs. The room is great for adding a hint of reverb. The plate is very true to sound. The reverse is interesting (maybe slightly abstract) with a quick zip up at the end of the reverb. It's the only setting that really seems to be close to 100% wet. Modulated is excellent and has a really unique sound. Gated is also an interesting sound with a very sudden decay, as mentioned. The hall is a great sound. I'd have liked this sound to have gone more wet than it does - but you can't have everything. Spring reverb would be nice for those hillbilly moments as well as for a classic 60s type of sound.


Compared to the 2 other reverbs I've tried, the Hardwire is absolute quality from start to finish, top to bottom.

The Behringer has more vacuumous sounds (cave setting) but sucks the tone out of your amp.

The EHX Cathedral just doesn't cut it and sounds far too digital.

The Verbzilla (haven't tried) has issues with tone suck, volume loss and has to use a separate power supply - although does have some nice wet sounds and others like the octo.

The RV-7 has no tone suck, no volume loss, varied sounds unlike some more single sound reverbs and has great build quality, unlike the Behringer for example. If you need a highly wet reverb, this may not be the pedal for you. But for adding dynamic and depth to your sounds with a real warmth, this pedal is outstanding.

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