James LoMenzo HyperDrive Review

manufacturer: Ashdown date: 06/26/2008 category: Bass Effects
Ashdown: James LoMenzo HyperDrive
This is a unique bass distortion pedal developed in conjunction with James LoMenzo.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Ease of Use: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) 8 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.3
James LoMenzo HyperDrive Reviewed by: ChemicalFire, on june 26, 2008
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 59.99

Purchased from: www.Dolphinmusic.co.uk

Ease of Use: When I first received my new pedal, it was a slight struggle to work out what I could use to make a good sound. I mean I didn't know that the Q switch changes the octave of the sound. But after I downloaded some pre-sets of the internet, it became much easier to work out what I could do with it. To begin with I would give the pedal a 5 in ease of use, but after reading the manual and looking at the pre-sets (both available online) I would give it an 8, so I'll go half(ish) and give it a 7. // 7

Sound: I have used the pedal both with a Yamaha RBX 270 through a Peavy Microbass and with a EBMM Stringray 5 through a Wawrick Profet 3.2 and a 1x15 Ashdown cab. In both cases the distortion sound is great. The possible range of tones goes from a warming bluesy overdrive to a full balls out thrash tone. The beauty of the pedal is that it only distorts the mid tones which are fully adjustable using the frequency control. So you lose no bottom or top end. With proper EQing the pedal can provide a perfect Cliff Burton tone as seen on Pulling Teeth all the way to awesome Chris Wolstenholme fuzz sound as heard on Hysteria, and pretty much any distortion in between if you can EQ your amp properly. // 10

Reliability & Durability: As with most Ashdown products, this thing is built like a tank and is unlikely to ever fail on you, I would easily gig without a backup, but it may be worth pick up more than one at the price. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a mix of music including blues, rock, alt rock, a lot of kinds of metal, funk and more, and this pedal has a tone for all of them. I have only been playing bass for two years, but I have grown up around guitars and effects all my life. If this pedal was stolen I would find the guy Who stole it, plug it in to a massive speaker stack and use it to melt his face, or I could just replace it, as the price is so reasonable. I love the range of sounds you can get from this pedal, mixed with amp EQing pretty much any sound is possible. One thing is that I wish it came with a manual to begin with, so I didn't have to go online and print it off. However this pedal is a must for anyone looking for a bass distortion, there is no competition as far as I am concerned. // 10

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overall: 8.3
James LoMenzo HyperDrive Reviewed by: aaciseric, on may 19, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Pro Music Technology

Ease of Use: In all honesty, the James LoMenzo HyperDrive Pedal could be summed up in one word, unfortunately I can't spell that word so I'll just write a review instead. This pedal was designed on the specifications of Megadeath bassist James LoMenzo so this pedal is pretty hard core and an excellent distortion unit for bassists Who like it rough (sound wise of course). It's very easy to use with simple editing knobs such as: Input and output volume controls, drive (plus a ten plus drive switch), mix and frequency (the only real effect you can edit with a switch provided next to the rotary knob editing this gets some cool sounds). There is a very simple manual with this that simply shows all of the Ashdown pedal range (I think there are six in total) with instructions and explanations for all of them. // 9

Sound: The only setup I've tried it on yet is on my Boss pedal board with a Boss Synthesizer pedal and my five string Wesley Bass and the whole combo works brilliantly, the pedal only really gives one (editable) type of distortion which is very powerful and really rounds off a good bass line. It's especially good for doing Duff Mckagan bass lines and artists like that who really pound on the bass and keep a line going without pauses. This is a very simple pedal and is really only an add on to your amplifier so if you want to try and experiment with new sounds this is probably not for you but if you're in the market for a good distortion pedal then I would definitely advise getting your hands on this one (especially if your a Megadeath fan). One major problem I will add is the feedback which can be very high pitched and makes you want to smash a chair through your amp to make it stop (you'd probably be better off just moving though) other than that it just seems to buzz a lot. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I haven't had the pedal long enough to properly test durabilty but it is set in a hard metal case and doesn't seem succeedable to water damage or any other kind of physical damage that may occur if your'e playing at an outdoor or small venue. I would definitely bring it to a gig without backup fof those reasons because this pedal is more likely to break you than you are to break it. // 9

Overall Impression: I play general rock music with a taste for funk so a good bit of distortion goes along way and this unit is perfect for achieving that kind of sound. I'm unsure whether the pedal would work with direct recording because some single effects pedals don't which is something I probably should have asked before buying it. It would be nice if the pedal had a bit more of a variety of sounds rather than one type of distortion which can wear thin when over played. If this pedal were stolen I would probably get another or else look at one of Ashdowns other effect pedals as I believe they do another distortion pedal there which may be worth a test. Overall I think this is an excellent pedal and one I would advice getting especially for Ashdown users as this will work a treat at bringing up and improving your overall sound. // 8

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