Eric Clapton Crossroads review by DigiTech

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.5 Good
  • Users' score: 7.6 (33 votes)
DigiTech: Eric Clapton Crossroads

Sound — 7
DigiTech's Production Modeling technology is designed to model not only the amplifier, but the other facets of the recording process as well, e.g., the microphone, preamp, mixing board, etc. Clapton's early "woman tone" is one of the most recognizable in rock music, but I felt that the Crossroads pedal fell a bit short on that. Granted, a microchip will never fully replicate the interaction between a guitar and amp, but I have heard better tones out of these types of pedals. The "Badge" setting, however, was very spacious, and the Leslie rotating speaker effect was spot-on. The "Layla" model was much closer to that song's recorded sound, and the "Layla Unplugged" acoustic simulator was also impressive. I must point out that Clapton did not have the benefit of "Production Modeling" technology when he recorded his classic tones -- he set his amp the way he liked it, and the tone was colored somewhat by the rest of the recording process. Many young players today mistakenly try to replicate the recorded tone of their guitar heroes, not realizing that standing in the room with Clapton's amp rig would sound much different than the tone that ended up on the record. Also, I am a bit puzzled that no wah capability was included with this pedal, like with the Hendrix one. Wah was an important part of many of Clapton's most popular songs. Why not add a wah or two?

Overall Impression — 7
I just can't get that excited about the Crossroads pedal. After having so much fun with the Brian May Red Special pedal last week, this one pales a bit in comparison. Eric Clapton is no less important a player, and he has some unbelievably cool tones on tape, but the Crossroads pedal doesn't offer much that's new. Most of the tones odeled on this pedal can be achieved with an Overdrive pedal. To me, the real strength of this concept is for silent recording. If you're trying to demo an idea in an environment that is not volume-friendly, this is just the ticket. Plug it into your recorder and you're ready to go.

Reliability & Durability — 8
This is a brand-new pedal, but I have a great deal of experience with DigiTech gear. Their pedals are built very well, and you can expect many years of trouble-free use from it.

Ease of Use — 8
The DigiTech Eric Clapton Crossroads pedal is laid out simply: knobs for Level, Control 1, Control 2, and Model. It has an output jack designed to plug into an amp, and another designed to feed a mixer/PA or recording input. Both can be used simultaneously, eliminating the need to mic your amp in a Live performance situation. The Control knobs have different functions depending on which model is selected; Control 1 is Gain and Control 2 is Tone on most of the models. It would be a good idea to have the manual handy until you're more familiar with the pedal's settings.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    1st. looks really nice, and im a big fan of Eric Clapton. looks like something to check out.
    I have the same pedal, and I'm going to have to agree with the article. It's not something that gets me pumped to use everytime. Don't get me wrong I'm a huge fan of Eric Clapton and went to his concert 2 weeks ago (which was amazing) but, they did an alright job on the pedal, its just not something thats going to blow your mind.
    this pedal isn't brand new, it's been out for a year or so. but yeah, i've tried it and it's nothing special.
    Cobalt Blue
    i don't know about this being a 'brand-new pedal' pretty sure i saw it a couple of years ago... i couldn't see myself spending much money on this unless it was a perfect copy of his sound. even then i wouldn't use it too much.
    I have to agree. Not an overly exciting pedal, but hae I saw Clapton at Staples Center not tp long ago and he's not overly exciting (great show though). It is great for staight up rockin. Bought it for the Badge sound, and it does not disappoint. A must have for a Slowhand fan.
    Blind In 1 Ear
    yeah i was thinking about why there is no wah. im not sure why they didnt use the wah. some of the tones on there you dont even need the pedal to create so they should have put the wah on there.
    this looks like it would be fun to use but not enough that i would want to buy it...i'm pretty cheap i guess
    I saw this pedal 2 years ago, i think, and didn't liked it, i dont like pedals that imitate someone sound.
    Tuff Gong
    Love this pedal.It's not just Clapton's 7 tones(you get those tones when you turn CNTRL 1 and 2 knobs to the 12 O'clock position),you can change them the way you like make your own sound,and that's what makes this pedal a great one.Great pedal for blues,hard rock,jazz..