Price paid: C$ 219
Purchased from: Spaceman Music
Sound — 7
I actually primarily use this for bass. The setup I use is: Yamaha rbx 270 j > MXR El Grande Bass Fuzz > Electro-Harmonix Stereo Memory Man with Hazari > DigiTech Digiverb > Yorkville Bassmaster 200T. The sound of the SMMH is very organic as opposed to the digital sheets of sound offered by Boss and DigiTech. However, for my purposes, I find the SMMH isn't ideally suited for guitar. It is difficult to get a long, smooth trail on this unit; the space between Echoes is always audible. The only settings at which they are inaudible are ones that are too short for my purposes on guitar. With bass however, the SMMH offers a very organic, somewhat lo-fi quality which is great for noise-rock droning. The filter is quite useless on a bass and only sounds good if left at 12 o'clock. The reverse echo is a very strange and interesting sound, though it isn't nowhere near as practical as the one found on Boss products. Unlike the Boss DD-20 Giga Delay, the delay on the SMMH cannot be turned off without silencing the loop, which means that it's virtually useless to loop long, ambient drones, because anything played over them will only blend into them and disappear. This is probably the most irritating feature of this pedal, and single-handedly caused me to decide to get something else for guitar use.
Overall Impression — 7
I play ambient/shoegazing music, making frequent use of bass drones, for which this pedal is ideally suited. For anything else, though, I've found it virtually useless. I've seen the demos, I've seen friends use it, but it just isn't at all useful to my guitar playing. I now use a DD-20 for that and the delays are much longer, smoother, more resonant, and more versatile, even if the tone gets a little thin. This was bought with bass in mind, so I don't regret the purchase, but there was a time when I wanted to get this to hook up to my guitar's fx chain, and this simply would not have done the job. I really hate the mentionned looping problem. To me, it simply ruins whatcould have been another amazing stompbox from Electro-Harmonix.
Reliability & Durability — 10
One thing that definitely can be said about the SMMH is that it's sturdy. Being a part of the newer Electro-Harmonix line, the Stereo Memory Man is encased in a thick die-cast armor with a very MXR feel. We all know how reliable MXR boxes are; this pedal is the same. One thing that may or may not be a reliability issue is that this thing gets really, really hot when used with the included adaptor. Really, though, there are no problems here.
Ease of Use — 7
For all of it's knobs and lights, the Stereo Memory Man with Hazari is a fairly simple pedal to use, simply because it takes very little tweaking to dial in any given sound. There are six knobs: Blend (controls the amount of wet/dry signal), Decay (controls the "thickness of the delay), Filter (controls the amount of low end/high end present in repeats), Repeats (controls number of repeats), Delay (controls length of delay), and the Hazari knob. The Hazari is used to Switch between 3 regular echo modes, 3 multi-tap modes, and the reverse echo mode. In addition, it can be used to Switch between saved presets. The SMMH allows for up to 8 presets to be saved, one for each mode. There is a manual for it, but it is long-winded and I've found it less frustrating to toy with the controls to discover the pedal rather than reading the manual.