Gear Review: HardWire TR-7 Tremolo/Rotary Pedal

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HardWire TR-7
List Price: $189.00
www.hardwirepedals.com

HardWire pedals are ruggedly-built and feature superior technology compared with most traditional stompboxes, and they sound great.

The pedals utilize a switch-mode power supply, which allows them to perform at higher, and better-regulated, voltages and also provide true bypass, which prevents a guitar’s tone from being unnaturally colored when going from the pedal to the amp.

There are 10 different pedals in HardWire’s current line, including two tuners (chromatic and polyphonic) as well as a Stereo Reverb, Delay/Looper, Tube Overdrive, and others. Each pedal has lots of bells and whistles, but, in this review we’ll look at the TR-7 Tremolo/Rotary pedal, which has plenty of cool features on it’s own.

The TR-7 is a digital effects pedal that offers six tremolo and rotary-style effects. The pedal has four knobs which include Speed, Depth, Modify, and Effect Type. The speed knob controls the speed of the low-frequency oscillator (LFO) – at max speed, this produces a serious seasick feeling – while the depth knob controls the effect’s intensity. A third knob called “Modify” changes for each effect type.

The pedal’s fourth knob lets you toggle between six different effects settings. These include Tremolo, Opto Tremolo, Bias Tremolo, Duo Tremolo, Rotary Speaker, UltraVibe, and Vibropan. Both the Opto and Bias effects are based on the tremolo circuits and power tubes built into old Fender and Vox amps, respectively. These produce lovely vintage sounds and are some of the nicest settings. The UltraVibe and Vibropan are vibrato-laden effects that best come in small doses. The UltraVibe is HardWire’s version of the vibrator-cum-phaser, Uni-Vibe, while the Vibropan produces a kind of doubled banshee echo that also has phasing effects. Not for the faint of heart. The Duo Trem effect is also quite interesting, producing a glitchy signal that faints in and out. With a little more experimentation, I think it would produce very entrancing sounds.

The TR-7’s golden moment is in its emulation of a Leslie cabinet, the rotary speaker that shares equal association with the Hammond organ and Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing.” The Leslie effect on this pedal produces a shimmering, watery tone.

One neat accessory that the pedal comes with is “Stomplock.” It’s a piece of rubber that goes over the four knobs and locks them into place for guitarists who don’t change their settings and don’t want things getting messed up in between gigs or when stomping on the box on stage. HardWire pedals also come with a glow sticker and a pedalboard pad.

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Phil Manley

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