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DigiTech HardWire DL-8 Delay/Looper Guitar Effects Pedal

DL-8 Delay/Looper presents a variety of loops and delays. Augment your performances by dialing in and fine-tuning your favorite delays (from 150 milliseconds to 8 seconds) and loops: Reverse, Modulated, Analog, Slapback, Lo Fi, Tape, and Loop. As with all HardWire pedals, the DL-8 is crafted from premium all-metal components to perform night after night, tour after...

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DigiTech Hardwire DL-8 Delay/Looper - versatile bo featured

Ease Of Use The DigiTech Hardwire DL-8 is extremely easy to use given the sheer amount of tonal options. There are 4 knobs to adjust: Level, Repeats, Time, and the Effects knob to set the type of delay or loop.

The controls are very easy to precisely set, there is a nice solid feel to them at each point the knob turns. All effects sound great, so the pedal can really be a jack of all delay trades.

Sound The Hardwire series are True Bypass, so there is no tone sucking from the pedal when it is off. The DL-8 has a switch under the foot pedal to switch over to tails mode (allowing the delay effect to decay even once footswitch has been turned off) which removes True Bypass, but there still is no noticeable tone suck with this option on. Fantastic!

Another great feature of the Hardwire series pedals is that they run at a higher voltage than the 9 volt power supply or battery would suggest, providing much higher clean headroom for hot pickups, and better results in the effects loop. The Hardwire series also provide a constant voltage, so there is no degradation of your tone and effect as the battery dies. Essentially when the battery dies the effects will not appear, but you will still be able to play through without losing your signal.

The DL-8 has many different options for the user to select, and the great thing is all of them sound great. This is seriously an extremely versatile pedal with great effects for all styles of music.

The effects are as follows:

* Digital
o 0.5 Seconds – 150 ms to 500 ms (milliseconds)
o 1 Second – 500 ms to 1 sec
o 2 Seconds – 1 sec to 2 sec
o 8 Seconds – 2 sec to 8 sec
* Reverse
* Modulated – chorused delay
* Analog – vintage bucket brigade analog delay
* Slapback – 80 ms to 150 ms
* LoFi – low-fidelity delay
* Tape – classic tube tape echo
* Loop – infinite stereo loops up to 20 sec

The other controls on the DL-8 are level, repeats and time. Pretty self explanatory really.

The DL-8 is a very “clean” pedal no matter what setting you have it on. There is no real noticeable hiss when the pedal is engaged, so all you are getting from the pedal is the great effects.

I’ll comment mostly on the settings I use most. My favourite settings for the styles of music I like to play are the digital delay, and the analogue delay. The loop function is also great fun for jamming over a riff, and practising.

To start off with the digital delay is fantastic. As you would expect it is very clean, with no signs of muddiness as the repeats decay. Having the 3 different options make it extremely easy to dial in the delay time you wish to use. I love using it for riffs where you want the delay bouncing around building up layers of sound. It’s also great for slow melodic leads where you want to build up an ambience with your few chosen notes.

The analogue delay is just as an analogue delay fan would want it to be. Nice and organic, with the decaying muddiness that work really well for leads, and a general building up of your guitar tone. I love using it on my leads, regardless of style.

One of the great things about playing an instrument is jamming with other people, but what do you do if there is no one else around to jam with you? The DL-8’s loop feature is great for laying down a riff or pattern, and then jamming over the top of. It is also very useful for working on multiple guitar parts. You can lay down one guitar riff, and work on the second guitar part, hearing exactly what the two parts will sound together. It is also great for working on solos, etc.

20 seconds is usually long enough, but a little longer would have made the loop function perfect. The other great thing is you can lay down multiple parts as well, so that 20 seconds available to use is only as limited as you imagination and creativity.

The other settings I like playing with from time to time are the reverse delay, lo-fi delay and tape echo. The slapback and modulated delays don’t interest me so much, so I wont really comment on them.

I find it hard to find a real use for the reverse delay, but sometimes I just want to muck around, and make up some Jimi Hendrix type reverse leads. The DL-8 does a great job of retaining your tone and notes when reversing phrases, so for people who can really find a useful application for the reverse mode they will be very satisfied with the results.

The lo-fi and tape echo also provide great sounding delays for different applications. The lo-fi has a great am radio type sound, it’s a little muddier than the analogue delay, but still usable. The tape echo gives you a faithful reproduction of those great 60’s type echos, very usable if you are after a real retro effect.

All in all, the Digitech Hardwire DL-8 is a great value, well built, fantastic sounding pedal. It would be at home on any musicians pedal board, and provides great boutique pedal type tones for a lot less cash than most boutique pedals go for.

Reliability The Hardwire series pedals are definitely built tough! Solid metal casing is always welcome with stomp boxes, and the pots and knobs are nice and solid, with a great feel to them.

I don't see any real issues occuring with this pedal, it's designed to last a long time out on the road.

Customer Support I haven't contacted customer support.

Liked about it - Versatility of the pedal
- True bypass means no tone loss, and such silent operation
- Fantastic tones from all included effects

Didn't like - Looper could perhaps record a longer time frame
- Would be awesome if Digitech enabled the pedal with the ability to store the last loop

Overall satisfaction:

By LonePhantom
Oct 04, 2009
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