Hot Rod Distortion Review

manufacturer: DigiTech date: 02/25/2011 category: Guitar Effects
DigiTech: Hot Rod Distortion
Features:Rock distortion morphing, Spectral-contouring EQ, Normal & CIT? Cabinet Modeling outputs
Controls: Level, Gain, Tone, Morph, On/Off Pedal
Jacks: Input, Out 1 (Amp), Out 2 (Mixer)
 Sound: 7.7
 Overall Impression: 8.1
 Reliability & Durability: 8.2
 Ease of Use: 7.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (11) 10 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
Hot Rod Distortion Reviewed by: UG Team, on august 04, 2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 79.95

Ease of Use: It's Distortion effect pedal in a Boss style housing. 4 knobs: LEVEL, TONE, GAIN, and MORPH. It's simple to use, the morph knob is the only mysterious one. The manual says it a morphing control between 3 different distortion voicings: smooth distortion, british stack, high gain fuzz. It's kind of like an extra tone/gain variation control. A real nice addition that mkes this pedal different from most other distortion pedals. It's easy to find useful sounds out of this unit, you don't have to play around for hours to find a sweet spot and you'll find many sweet spots not just 2 or 3 as with some distortion pedals. Another unique feature is cabinet simulation 2nd output jack for a direct mixer/recording set-up. The manual could have been more elaborate considering there are so many sounds available in this unit, such as suggested settings for certain sounds. Not that you should play by a rulebook. I'm a firm believer self-intiated creativity. // 10

Sound: This way above average distortion pedal with a variety of uses. I haven't opened the housing but I believe it uses digital modeling technology rather than transistor or tube type construction. It's very smooth sounding not a harsh digital sound but lacking the punch and clarity of a tube driven distortion. If you're using it with a tube amplifier this shouldn't be a concern. This unit is labeled a distortion pedal but it's capable of nice overdrives and a clean boost as well. Adding to it's versatility is cabinet simulation 2nd output jack which works well. I tried it through a cassette portastudio and through M-audio/Deltalogic on a G4 Mac and achieved good results though I would recommend using a tube mic/preamp or tube compressor in the chain if you have those available. As far as the distortions sound on this pedal beauty is is always in the ears of it's maker.It's voiced on the mellow side, I generally keep the tone control turned all the way to the treble side at all times, the gain knob and the morph knob is where all the action is at. I use amplifiers known for their brightness: Vox AC15, Fender super reverb, Carvin Vintage 50 head. I also use single coil pick-ups on my guitars.If you use Marshall Amps and Humbuckers on your guitars you might find the Hotrod too murky or cranking the treble controls may be an option to get that in your face sound. The morph control is what makes this pedal unique and it allows you to get more of a variety of sounds than your average distortion pedal. If youre a beginner or have a limited budget the few extra bucks it'll cost you to get the Hotrod is still a better deal than an inexpensive DOD or Boss and a way better deal than a Tubescreamer or a Maxon or any of those pricey boutique pedals. No distortion pedal is perfect, there's always another that can get you different flavors. I dug this one. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Built sturdy, But I haven't had long enough to know it's longevity. I use a pedal board so I don't know if it sucks batteries. // 10

Overall Impression: I Play a mix of psychedelia, hardrock, punk, rockabilly, and the twangy stuff. I've been playing 17 years and own a variety of stuff. I would buy this again if lost or stolen. It's an easy pedal to use with a variety of sounds an applications. It's not my main source of distortion but I do a lot of recording this pedal is useful for extra tidbits and it's quiet. // 10

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overall: 6.5
Hot Rod Distortion Reviewed by: kurdtkobaign, on december 21, 2004
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 60

Purchased from: Music6000

Ease of Use: Easy, very easy. Even if you have no idea what the heck youre doing. // 8

Sound: I use a SKB powered pedal board. My pedals are as follows: Boss Tuner, CoolCat Chorus, DS1, Hot Rod, Delay, Phase, and Volume pedal. And so far with this paticualr set-up it is very noisy. It hisses like none-other. The sound that comes out of it is a little too weak for me. Althought you can get alot of cool sounds out of it, its not a very good pedal to use if you want a lot of hard rockin crunch. The only real reason I use it during gigs is becuase I turn it all the way to the right to get that metal sound, turn up the gain, the volume, and the tone. And that gives you a really heavy metal sound. Anyways, I use it becuase me and my drummer have this song that we play and its funny. // 4

Reliability & Durability: Built like a tank. I use it in a gig without backup anytime but if you're playing a long set and youre using a battery instead of an adapter be prepared to bring alot of batteries. // 8

Overall Impression: Its not a pedal I use seriously. I'll put it like that. I mainly use it as a boost for solos or mess around with the different sounds. It's built very strong but sucks battery like no-ones finuckiluckin business. If it were cheaper say like 30 bucks Ide encourage everyone to buy it cuz it's a fun pedal to play with. Test it on your gear before purchase. // 6

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overall: 9.5
Hot Rod Distortion Reviewed by: slash_pwns, on april 15, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: The Arts

Ease of Use: Very easy to use. Press the pedal and boom. The only tough part is getting a good sound, but thats up to you. The manual was ok, but it's universal for all X-series pedals. All in all, anyone, doesn't matter what level of intelligence, van use this effectivly. // 10

Sound: I run my guitar into the Hot Rod into my Marsall MG15CD. I have this pedal, so I can get a good distortion, as my amp cant give me that. It's only really noisy when you turn all the knobs up, all the way, but other than that its all good. I can get a good Jimmy Page sound for some songs, and I can even get a metal-ish sound. Very versitile. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I can definately depend on it, but I would only gig without backup if I was using a power supply, as the batteries run down fast. The power supply was not included, so it's an extra $30. // 8

Overall Impression: This matches all styles of music pretty good, you just have to get the "in between" settings right. I would definately get a new one if this was stolen. // 10

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overall: 7.5
Hot Rod Distortion Reviewed by: ironbird PPS, on july 05, 2004
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: E-bay

Ease of Use: if you are good at tweaking to get the sound you want, this pedal won't frustrate you too much. It didn't come with a manual but was pretty-much self explanatory because all of the inputs were labeled, which was a gidsend for a tard like me. // 6

Sound: It Is universal for just about any rock you play from light 60's distortion to gut-wrenching, ear splitting, screaming Death Metal. I have a strat that sounds great through 3 single-coils and the pedal and I also have a double hum-bucked B.C. Rich that kix ass through this thing. And when you max out the gain you can scream forever. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It didn't come with an adapter, so I had to use 9-volt batteries. And a tip for you hot-rod users: these batteries have short lives in this pedal. When you are trmporarily done playing, un plug the line to your amp and the one going to your guitar. This eliminates most drainage of the battery. But if you dont like dealing with the nine-volt bullshit, just go to the music store and get an ac adapter for it, you'll a little more for it but I will pay for itself when you see all the money you save without having to buy 5 nine-volt batteries a day. // 8

Overall Impression: For screaming Death Metal this thing sounds great with all knobs maxxed. But if you pplay any other type of rock this will work for you after some tweaking. So be patient and this thing will rape and pillage most of your other solid-state distortions. // 8

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overall: 4
Hot Rod Distortion Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 10, 2005
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 144.9

Purchased from: Centrum Musik

Ease of Use: When I first board this pedal, I felt stunned after having tried it at ther store. But the moment I came home and turned it on, I really had some difficulty making it sound like anything that it did at the store. I was quite disapointed. But well, I had thought that it would take some time, getting the right sound. Now I have had it for around 8 months and I still havn't found any use of it in any song. Unfortunately no manual for this pedal, has ever crossed my path. // 4

Sound: This pedal is the worst peace of s--t that I've ever heard. The noise is devastating. The moment you turn the pedal on it just destroy your feeling, of wanting to play guitar. // 2

Reliability & Durability: The only good thing about this pedal is that it seems to be build to stomp on. I don't think it would crack even if you jumped on it. But then again, I would never use it at a gig or a show, but that's because of the sound. // 6

Overall Impression: I must admit that I expected pretty much from this pedal. After all it was the most expenssive pedal I had board at that time. But the sound and the noise just makes me want to throw it out of the window. The only thing I can say is, that if it was stolen, I would never, ever replace it. // 4

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overall: 8.8
Hot Rod Distortion Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 24, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Shop

Ease of Use: Very easy but hard to find a match to some songs. Manual gives some good distortion settings but I like using my own. // 8

Sound: Kick ass sound but sometimes hard to find what your looking for but overall a great addition to your guitar potential. The effects are very strong never to crackly. The "morph" knob really gives you a great distortion range with the other level, tone, and gain knobs. I play classic rock to hard rock like Boston to Judas Priest. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Hell yeah you can depend on it never bring backup. Droped many times just as new. // 9

Overall Impression: I've only been playing for a year and for me it is the first distortion pedal I have ever owned but I have played others and they were no where near the quality or sound of this pedal. // 9

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overall: 7.5
Hot Rod Distortion Reviewed by: delongesmyhero, on january 27, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 59.99

Purchased from: muscians friend

Ease of Use: The Hot Rod is pretty easy to get a good sound out of, but the sounds produced aren't like many bands out there, the manual it came with has some pretty good sounds but I use my own setting. It's my go to pedal for my band. // 7

Sound: I use it with a Washburn Pro X-series and a Roland 30 Cube amp producing a pretty good sound, it has a good noisy sound when all the knobs are turned up. The effects are good, I like the morph and tone knobs better than the gain but thats my personal sound. It gets a wide variety of sound, I can match a little Jimmy Page with my pedal and some Rise against. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It's a very dependable pedal, I would gig with out a back up but you need a power supply, it eats up 9 volts like crazy. It doesn't come with a power supply so you have to buy one but they are only a good $30. // 7

Overall Impression: I play punk/metal and it gets a very good sound for it. I have been playing for 5 years. Everything I wanted before buying this pedal I got, its very versital and dependable. I would buy it anyday if I lost mine. I really love the tone and morph knobs it creates a very good sound. I don't like how it eats up 9 volts but now that I have a power supply its ok. I only wish it came with a powersupply. // 8

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overall: 7.5
Hot Rod Distortion Reviewed by: Crimsonashes, on september 04, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 39

Purchased from: sam ash

Ease of Use: It is very easy to get a great sound out of this stompbox. The sounds can range from crunchy tones to heavier gain. The manual even comes with three different settings that sound like three different pedals. ProCo Rat, Boss DS-1, Arbiter Fuzz Face, and Rat with Hair. The difference in the sound of these just goes to show you how versatile it is. Only problem with sound is unless you have a noise gate, turning up the volume while playing and muting strings will give you unnecessary feedback. // 7

Sound: I use a crappy Brownsville guitar with a 25 watt amp. The pedal combined with a decent amp should provide you with something slightly overdriven and crunchy to that Boss ds-1 sound that I love. I can play Metallica with this pedal, and even System Of A Down. The Boss dS-1 setting works wonders for that. using the Fuzz Face setting you can get the proper sound for a song like I walk alone by Saliva. It's very versatile. The only problem is like I said at higher volumes, there is unnecessary feedback. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Oh you could depend on this thing with your life! It comes with a battery, but one should always get a ac adapter for gigs, unless you trust ur batteries that much (I don't) it would not break, it's made solid. The guy from Testament uses this pedal on stage for anyone interested // 8

Overall Impression: I play mostly rock and metal and for the most part I can play any rock I like. Audioslave, Breaking Benjamin, SOAD, Doors Down, etc. I have been playing for three years now, and this pedal has been clutch, considering I own a uber metal pedal from Line 6, that while great is not as versatile as this one. I wish I had more 'settings' in the manual. But you can fool around with it as you like. I would buy it again if it was stolen. I love that it can play lots of different styles, I hate that it doesnt't have a noise gate, it should! // 8

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overall: 9.3
Hot Rod Distortion Reviewed by: Jake-1125, on may 21, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Borrowed From Friend

Ease of Use: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 9

Overall Impression: 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. // 9

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overall: 8.3
Hot Rod Distortion Reviewed by: zeppelinisno.1, on january 08, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 19

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: It is very easy to get the sound you want and it never quits. You have to replace the battery in it every so often but overall it's pretty good. You can either by the wire for it or put a battery in it every so often, but the wire hooks up to the wall so you don't have to change the battery. // 8

Sound: I use my Peavey RAGE 108 amp and my Epiphone les paul. The sound changes very easily depending on which knob you turn on it, but I can flip the rhythem-treble Switch to rhythem and then it's got a really good sound and the effects always work unless you get to close to the amp with the sound to loud. I can get pretty close to anyone I want to with the equipment I have. I wont be able to get the sound effect like the SPIDER 3 Line 6 amp but it's got a full sound to it. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It's very dependable as far as it always keeping a sound, but as far as working all the time I would probly bring a backup to a gig and the connector where the battery hooked up came off because I bought it used. but I fixed it easily with a saudering iron. // 8

Overall Impression: I play a lot of types that are near rock, classic rock, and metal. It all works with me and I've been playing for two years. I have a lot of equipment so if you want to know what I have then you can go to my profile and check it out. If I didn't have this one I would Switch to a Boss MT-2 distortion pedal. It would be nice if it had more sound effects though. // 8

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overall: 8.8
Hot Rod Distortion Reviewed by: T Morrison, on february 25, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 65

Ease of Use: First of all. I'm glad I bought this one instead of another distortion pedal I've seen in the same store the same day. This effect is really easy to use. I'm not really technical but everything is really clear. I'm so glad about that. The manual is also really clear but I think most of the things in the manual are the same for all the DigiTech effects, but that's okay. Controlling the HotRod is just easy! The knobs twist smooth and they don't feel loose and wiggly. // 8

Sound: I use a SMALL 10 watt amp just to practice in my small room and even there it sounds great! I tested it on my Ibanez RG350 EX. I hear a little hum when I turn all the knobs up but it's not that much disturbing. The Morph knob really gives the effect some extra 'BOOM'. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This is an interesting effect for gigs. The mixer output can also come in handy during gigs because with the mixer output the sound technician also has an audio track of the effect. I've had several stompboxes made out of plastic. This one is metal and I'm not afraid to kick it into pieces anymore. So I'm also not afraid to buy a backup effect or borrow one because I kill it. The whole box feels steady and heavy so you won't 'launch' it easily when you kick the hell out of it. // 9

Overall Impression: I play rock, blues and funk and I think this effect is pretty interesting for the rock and blues songs I play. At the moment I also have a Behringer UT100 (tremolo effect). Overall... I love the sound of it, the Morph knob, the metal housing. I also tried the OD100 and OD400 (Both Behringer) but this effect stole my heart because of the better sound and quality. // 9

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