HardWire SC-2 Valve Distortion review by DigiTech

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  • Sound: 5
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 8 (28 votes)
DigiTech: HardWire SC-2 Valve Distortion

Price paid: $ 50

Purchased from: Sweetwater

Sound — 5
Currently I am using my 50s RI Strat, Classic Player Jazzmaster, and Epi Les Paul Custom with a Fender Blues Jr amp and its pretty well when it comes to distortion. However it came off rather weak in the midrange area (it sounds like your amp just took a huge midrange scoop) which I was not really fond of. The distortion was also really tight, when I wanted gritty loose distortion, this is due to the voltage regulator that DigiTech integrated on these pedals which is nice for people that want a nice tight distorted sound, but not for me.

Overall Impression — 7
Since I was in need of a distortion pedal due to the fact that my Big Muff is not really good staying in the mix of other bands (tends to not be heard much). It did not really get the sound that I was looking for, which is that hard hitting saggy type of distortion. I would not buy another one if I were to lose it or have it stolen. It is a good pedal, I will admit that but not suited for my tastes. I wished that I did not rush into buying it, but oh well we all learn from trial and error.

Reliability & Durability — 8
The pedal is pretty sturdy, comes with a few things for live use like a stomplock (a rubber pad that you put over your knob settings so you don't accidentally knock a knob to a different sound...it's a rather ridiculous feature in my opinion), a velcro pad for pedalboards and a glow in the dark sticker for the rubber stomp, which I ended up not using since I don't really play any live gigs anymore. It is pretty durable since these pedals are made for live gigs, I can trust it without a backup.

Ease of Use — 9
I bought this distortion pedal for a great deal when I went to Sweetwater. Basic run of the mill distortion pedal, has 4 knobs which are the Level, Bass, Treble, and Distortion knobs. Came with a manual but its pretty straightfoward when it comes to finding what you need. Just like the Boss DS-1, its simple to use and if you are new with pedals, it is a great way to start finding out ways to get different sounds out Distortion pedals.

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Saw Bill Kelliher uses this and new it was good. After watching video reviews from my usual sources, it sounded even better. I saw the price and smiled even more. Kudos digitech.
    i've had this pedal for about 5 years. i can get some great sounds out of it and i like playing with it. the only problem i have is sometimes when i first power on my amp, i get no sound coming out of it. i have to stomp it on (distortion) and then stomp it off to go back to clean. maybe a little something funky with the switch.