Hot Head Distortion review by DigiTech

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.6 (67 votes)
DigiTech: Hot Head Distortion

Sound — 9
I've ran this through both my Strat and Les Paul style guitars, and I have to say I do prefer this with humbuckers. Not a lot of noise is given off, even on the higher gain settings. I've struggled to find a bad sound from the Hot Head. The general sound reminds me of a sort of "Marshall in a box", but I think its not compressed enough for that (not in a bad way). It is definitely a definitive hard rock kind of sound, with some classic rock Overdrive lurking in the lower gain reaches. This also reacts well to dynamics and using your guitars controls, if you do that kind of stuff (also another great selling point).

Overall Impression — 9
I play rock and blues in general, and this pedal hits the nail on the head for 40. Whether cranking up the gain and blasting power chords, or reigning it in and using your Pick dynamics for that weeping blues solo, this pedal is great. I would definitely get another if it were to get stolen, for 40 this is a bargain. I've owned a Boss DS-2 for almost a year now, and I kick myself for not considering this DigiTech pedal. Even after modding my DS-2, I felt it just wasn't cutting it. The price of the Hot Head attracted me, and the sound of it did the deal. Definitely one to Pick up for only 40

Reliability & Durability — 10
This pedal feels like a tank. Sturdy knobs, metal casing and even looks like it can take a beating! An easy 10 here. I would definitely gig without a backup. Feels just as robust and solid as any of my other pedals, including a DS-2 and a Fuzz Factory.

Ease of Use — 8
This pedal is straight forward - Level, Low, High and Gain controls. The separate EQ knobs are a real selling point on this pedal, in comparison to a lot of other distortion pedals with just the one "tone" knob. The knobs cover a wide spectrum of sound (very little gain to lots of gain).

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Please don't take the reviews too serious. I was fooled by reading all reviews and think that the pedal was some kind of gift from the gods, too good and too cheap. Is actually cheap but not so good after all. 0-10, I go to a 5, seriously.
    well,,,maybe... i also think its good, pretty good, if compared to ds-1. i used for about 3 years and i think HH is better because it sound is a bit heavier and crisp. but not the best distortion pedal. right?
    Like any pedal, it's going to depend on your setup. However, I'm a firm believer that you can get a usable sound out of almost any pedal provided you're willing to seek the right tone. What I love about this Digitech series are the hi/low eq controls. Makes dialing in the right tone so much easier than a single tone knob found on your standard Boss DS-1 and generic TS units. This, coupled with your amp's eq and your guitar's volume knob, makes this pedal a heavy hitter! A lot of players play their guitars with their volume and tone knobs dimed. But if you are willing to adjust your guitar's volume knob, and roll off that tone a tad, this pedal will explode into some awesome distortion territory. I also recommend that you use this in front of your dirt channel with just a touch of gain in the amp. Putting it through an ice cold clean channel will make it sound shrill and unusable.
    Mr. Stripe
    Awesome pedal. I prefer this over the DS-1, mostly because this one has seperate tone knobs.
    I've been playing guitar for a year. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when it came to start adding some pedals to my gear. I wanted a punk/metal sound when it came to distortion. I was in the market for cheap pedals to start off with. I picked this baby up for under $20 with an adapter . The first time I tried it out, it knocked my socks off. I love the the noise you can get off of this pedal. I will admit it is a bit of a hummer, but that can be cured with a noise gate or by putting an overdrive on low levels in front of it .. i give the Hot Head an 8 out of 10 ... Rock On people !!
    I got a Boss OS-2. Don't like it very much . I'm gonna get rid of it and buy one of these mothe****ers