|My Hall Of Fame Reverb|
The TC Electronics HOF has become a bit of a modern day classic in reverb terms. When I was looking for a new reverb pedal, I did consider a couple of other pedals but am glad to have the HOF.
If you'd like to hear this up against the Hardwire RV7 and the Hardwire Supernatural click here...
First of all I looked at the Eventide Space (as I did when researching new delays with the Pitchfactor) but the price meant that I decided to look elsewhere, despite the Eventide's stunning sounds. I then looked at the Strymon Bluesky Reverb which has an utterly stunning sound, plus the luscious shimmer type sound! But again, price was just too much especially here in the UK.
So what to get... Many people had the Boss RV5 or recommended it! But on listening to the HOF I felt that this offered a little more. I also felt the in-built sounds on the HOF just had the edge, but that is probably a preference!
Beyond this, the killer feature of the HOF are the 'Tone Print' sounds. These can be downloaded from TC Electronics website (and are created by many quality artists and experts such as Andy from ProGuitarShop.com) and then uploaded to your pedal by USB (or by smartphone app). I imagine that many other pedals may move towards this kind of ability, influenced by things like the POD HD range of multi-fx units where this is possible, but goes beyond to allow you to tweak the in-built sounds by using your PC.
Getting in to the pedal itself, the make is the usual TC Electronics sturdy build and is true bypass. However, the true bypass can be changed to a buffered bypass among other things by unscrewing the plate at the rear and changing the dip switch. The on/off clicker makes a sound when it's engaged and disengaged, but this is no bad thing and will last many thousands of clicks!
Top left is the 'Decay' for the sounds (sadly you can't see this in my pic!) The decay (as you'd expect) controls the length of decay of the reverb sound. Of course the amount of decay depends on the reverb sound selected as obviously each reverb sound is unique. The 'tone' (mostly) affects the high and low frequencies (more on this later). The FX level controls the level of the reverb. When moved past the unity gain setting (middle) the reverb increases over the direct sound of your guitar. There is also a pre-delay switch in the middle where you can choose a short or a long pre-delay.
Left and right of the pedal you can choose to use a mono or a stereo signal in and out. At the back of the pedal is the usual power input (-9v) and the USB connection.
So, the sounds...
I bought the HOF because of the near 'wet' reverb sound it's capable of making (although not fully wet I believe). As you'd expect with TC Electronics, you get a pretty rich reverb on each of the settings. I do prefer the modulated setting on the Boss RV5 (and possibly on my Hardwire RV-7) but aside from that, the HOF is great and does what it says on the tin!
The Room reverb has a fairly short and light reverb. The hall has a larger acoustic sound. The Spring mimics the old spring reverbs with its more slapback type sound. The Plate is pretty good for ambient sounds, although won't touch 'shoegaze' territory. The Church sound is the huge sound on the pedal, swelling to a cacophony of wet reverb with the fx and delay settings up. It's probably too much for the average player but perfect to have as an ambient tool ! The Mod setting adds modulation into the reverb (not the direct signal). The LoFi does what it says adding a slightl gritty sound. The tile sound is supposed to be like playing in the 'bathroom' but with a sharper sound to cut through. Ambient gives you that little bit of reverb. Finally the gate does what it says, cutting off as you'd expect a noise gate to.
The killer weapon in the arsenal as mentioned is the final setting which is the TonePrint. This allows you to download sounds from TC Electronic's TonePrint site. Sadly you can't create your own sounds (maybe in a future model huh?!) But plenty of talented people are given access to the software needed to create TonePrint sounds and there are a huge range. The ones I've used have been the Church of Andy TonePrint, the MultiMod Verb TonePrint and others. Amazingly, the MultiMod one allows you to choose a number of types of reverb simply by moving the 'Tone' knob on the HOF. You get reverbs with hints of chorus, near delay, near flange etc. Amazing!
So all in all, an incredible pedal. Would be great to tweak the unit yourself; would be even better to have more than one 'TonePrint' ability, or the ability to remove all the original sounds and put the ones you want in (but then again, how would you know what was what without a LCD/LED display!) So an incredible pedal and well worth the sound. No disclouration of my tone from this pedal at all and it sits at the end of my pedal chain.