Price paid: C$ 129
Purchased from: Lauzon Music
Sound — 8
I've used the Digiverb with batteries and with a couple of different adaptors (one DigiTech and one Danelectro) and have never noticed enough nosie to be bothered by it. I've used it with a Fender Telecaster and with a Fender Jaguar. It responds well to both single-coils and humbuckers. There are seven different reverb types available: Room, Plate, Hall, Church, Gated, Reverse, and Spring. The Room reverb is, to me, essentially useless. It is such a subtle effect that there is very little difference between a dry signal and one with Room reverb. I'm not entirely clear as to what a Plate reverb is supposed to sound like, but this one sounds very pleasant and adds a touch of sweetness to your sound. I find it's best used with the tone knob past 12 o'clock. Hall and Church are my favourite. Hall is perfect to get propelling lead tones (and would be the best choice for rock/hard rock players), and Church is great for ominous droning. With the tone knob set around 9 o'clock and the right fuzz, Church reverb sounds organic and menacing. I don't really understand the point of Gated reverb. It sounds very fake and synthetic to me. It isn't an effect I think I'll ever use. The Spring reverb is completely unuseable. The fake spring pops are frustrating and ruin what is essentioally a very organinc sound. Now for the Reverse. Finding a stompbox with this effect is a difficult task, and while it doesn't have the quality of rackmount reverbs, the Reverse will do the job. It sounds thin but not tinny, which sounds very sweet and fragile with a small amount of delay. The manual suggests running the Decay at full and the Level just past 12 o'clock when using reverse. Ignore this. For best results with the Reverse reverb, run the level at full, then adjust the decay as desired. Apart from when using the Reverse, I tend to avoid setting the Level knob to full because of the volume drop, but unless you plan on turning on the reverb halfway through a song, this shouldn't pose a problem. Theonly realy problem is that when the Level is very high, there is a slight delay in sound that I imagine causes great irritation, but when used in conjunction with a dela pedal, this is eliminated. This is probably the most versatile reverb attainable in this price range, but it would be nice to have a useable Spring reverb.
Overall Impression — 7
I play ambient music that relies heavily on delay and reverb effects, and this has been very useful in developing new sounds. It was demoed extensively for me before I bought it and I was impressed enough to choose it over other reverbs. The presence of a Reverse reverb alone was enough to convince me to buy it. I do wish there were a "garage" setting (as there is on some DigiTech multi-effects processors) instead of the room. Once again, it would be nice to have a decent Spring reverb model, but all in all, this works fine for my purposes. The only real issue is it's durability.
Reliability & Durability — 5
There are obvious flaws in the desing of DigiTech stompboxes in general, and the DigiTech Digiverb is not immune to these. First off, the battery compartment under the foot plate is a terrible idea. I don't like knowing how little holds that plate in place. Also, the tiny metal buttons that are pushed in to release the plate are flimsy and count easily be lost. My advice is not to use this thing with batteries. Buy an adaptor and you will be spared much grief. The activation mechanism consists of a small flimsy plastic rectangle underneath the foot plate, and it feels like it could pop off any minute. If used with care (and without batteries) the XDV will undoubtedly last, but if you plan on kicking it around, make sure to bring spares.
Ease of Use — 9
The DigiTech XDV Digiverb is very easy to use; it's controls are intuitive. There are four knobs, all of which are self-explanatory: "Level" increases the amount of reverb, "Tone" allows you to control the amount of bass & treble, "Decay" is used to adjust the length of reverb trail, and "Type" lets you select the type of reverb you want. It is failry easy to achieve the sound you desire; however, not all of the delay types are useable. The manual offers four examples of the sounds that can be achieved, but don't restrict yourself to these, as they are all fairly dull and very Also, it is important to note that this pedal is best used in conjunction with a delay (more on this later).