HardWire TL-2 Metal Distortion review by DigiTech

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 6
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 8.2 (78 votes)
DigiTech: HardWire TL-2 Metal Distortion

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Sam-Ash Springdale

Sound — 7
I play Ibanez S7320 Jackson RRJS30, (LOTS OF PEDALS), Carvin Nomad, Peavey JSX HALF-STACK. I gig a lot so having multiple distortion qualities is important. This pedal gives you a Hard-Rock (Three Days Grace) sound to a old-school grind (Carcass) and in between (Metallica, Death, Morbid Angel, Lamb Of God, Tool, Cynic (old&new)). Even Core stuff. CAUTION RHYTHMS SOUND WAY BETTER THAN LEADS. When I run this on the clean channel it sounds pretty good. I run it with an TS9 before it (the same way you run an Overdrive over a crunch channel to clean it up). Also I started running a Boss GE-7 after it the possibilities are great. (NOTE* Behringer and Danelectro EQs are just the same buy a cheaper one so you can save) I rate the sound quality letter grade: C, without Overdrive or EQ. B+/A-, With eq and overdrive. The sound is just a lot tighter and cleaner with the two.

Overall Impression — 8
It's an okay match because I play mainly in a tech/prog/fusion metal band. Though I wish it sounded better for melodies. But other than that it handles Low-End VERY well. Drop-A Seven string sounds very clear. Lay back on the gain though setting it past 50% is just stupid. If I lost this I would upgrade maybe to something tube driven but it's a good pedal to get for entry level for the price and durability.

Reliability & Durability — 10
It is very reliable. No worries. I would worry about it if I ran over a car with it. Maybe if you are buying it used open it up first and make sure it's fine. No worries about gigging without a back up. It's pricey enough where you shouldn't need a back up.

Ease of Use — 6
The way to get a good sound depends on the amp. I originally tried this on a amp with a tube preamp and a SS power amp. The sound was SOOO tiny. It sounds about as good as a Fender 15r distortion. PLAY THIS THROUGH A FULL TUBE AMP OR ELSE! Seriously I just put everything at 12 o'clock because it just sounds bad when you max any setting past 3 o'clock (75%). Considering the latter half of the reviewers seem to be newbs, I'll tell anyone now the sound is very dry and sterile. If you want to replace your amp distortion.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Mr Chrstopher
    *the grifallo: I have both this pedal and the Cube 15x and trust me - the Cube does not compare. I went one step further and bought the Boss ME25 COSM pedal to run through my amp, then I bought this a month later and the ME25 went straight on eBay! This is the best metal pedal I have played. Modelling amps/pedal dont compare.
    looks like all you guys bought this pedal WAYYYYY overpriced. i got mine for 69 bucks
    looks like all you guys bought this pedal WAYYYYY overpriced. i got mine for 69 bucks
    has anyone compared this to the metal master? I currently own a metal muff and have just tried the metal master this afternoon.