Hot Rod Distortion review by DigiTech

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (38 votes)
DigiTech: Hot Rod Distortion

Purchased from: Borrowed From Friend

Sound — 9
I'm Playing a Fender Squier Strat, into a Dunlop Crybaby, A Hot Rod and then into a Vox Pathfinder 15 Amp. No hissing or strange noises at all, unless I'm at my relatives house. Then there's noise, but that may have to do with a radio tower built just above them on a hillside. You can do pretty much anything with this pedal. Boost, overdive, to metal sounds, it's quite versitaile. You can pretty much any sound out of this pedal. Put a Wah in front of it for some really spectacular sounds.

Overall Impression — 9
This is a truly spectacular pedal. I was debating buying a DS-1, but I got this on "Indefinete Loan", so I'll stick with it. If it were stolen, I'd have to buy a new one, or else I'd be screwed and my friend would beat me up. The only complaint I have it that at times it can seem a little "generic" sounding, and I kinda wish there was more control over the effect. My only other beef is the battery life. I forgot to unplug the cord and went through three 9 volts in less than 24 hours.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I would totally gig with this, it's built like a tank. I asked my grandmother to hold it for me while I was moving something, and the first thing she remarked was how heavy it was. It's tough to beark this bad boy, however it eats batteries like nothing else. Either remember to unplug the input when not in use, or just go for the AC adapter.

Ease of Use — 10
Modeled after Boss-Style pedals. Four dials: level, tone, gain and modeling. I didn't get any manual or directions with this, It was basically "Here you go. Have fun". Set-up is easy, you don't have to play with it for hours to get a good sound. Level controls the pedal output, tone controls the tone of the sound, gain is for gain and the modeling is for the "type" of sound you want. Towards zero is more overdrive, 5 is cabniet sound, and 10 is muddied distortion.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Hey iv had this pedal fore about 6 months now it was my first and it served me well and still does. It doesnt have the Metal crunch but it has that smooth overdrive that i cant get enought of. Im a huge fan of digitech for those who never picked up one of these pedals before and badmouth it, try one out and if you still dont like it dont diss it dude.. get another pedal because i personally think if u want that smooth sound digitech hot rod is the only way to go. And yes they do eat batteries but it takes nothing to pick up an AC adaptor
    played thru american strat & 74' fender twin reverb - i think its a great pedal for most rock applications. if you bought it to use for death metal or something like that, then u bought the wrong box. its definitely a keeper on my board
    Price paid: 85 Purchased from: Ease of Use: Straight forward enough; the knobs do what they say. But getting the sound you want can be problematic 6/10 Sound: Not good, really struggled to get a distortion sound I wanted! This thing is really noisy as well! Whilst connected with other effects on my pedal board it created a horribly hiss sound, (higher the volume worse the hiss) no matter where in the pedal board I put it, only lost the hiss when I removed all the other pedals, not really ideal!! It seemed to loose all the notes I was playing as well and just made my sound fizzy, getting a crunch sound out of this was not easy, I tried this thing on various amps and settings on the pedal etc but its just got that digital fizzy distortion lifeless sound to it ! Using a wah pedal with this thing was a nightmare, really does ruin the sound of any other effects used with it!! Only sound that was ok out of this thing was a metal sound, but I play rock so the sound for me was not ideal! 4/10 Reliability & Durability: seems pretty well built, and I chucked it across the room at a practice out of frustration, didnt seem to make it any worse!! 9/10 Impression: waste of money! I have kept it for a last resort or emergency. Ive lent it to friends to have a go and none of them have been impressed (not been able to give it away let alone sell it)! The studio output seemed to give me a better sound using it on my boss recording gear than it did through the amp! If you do get one make sure you get a noise suppression pedal, quality cables, power supply (the thing drains batteries really quick) and dont use it with many other effects! I was hoping this thing would give me a range of cool distortion sounds and sit nicely with my other effects; instead it sits under the bed collecting dust!
    This is a pretty basic,but good-sounding pedal. I tried hooking it up through my DigiTech RP50 and it lost a lot of tone and volume.Pretty crunchy sound,morph is cool if you're playing heavier styles of music.I play it through my lil' 10 watt Kustom on the mixer out and it gives it a flatter,60's rock sound that can be associated with the Rolling Stones.
    pedal give very cool distortion. morph at 7 hours, tone at 12 hours, variable gain(low gain - 10 hours, high gain - 2 hours).