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Fender Hammertone pedal series review

Stop! It’s Hammertone time!

Cringey jokes aside, this is yet another great run of Fender products. If you want pedals that offer a great sound and straightforward feats, this could just be the right choice for you!

Fender Hammertone guitar pedals review

Overview

These babies are quite basic in pretty much all regards. The mere feats are really easy to get a grasp of and put into use immediately. This can be of great use to anyone who wants to dial in a great tone without too much fuss.

Also, it can be a great starting point for any newbie that wants to step into the magic world of guitar effects and pedals.

With these pedal series, you get a uniform feat palette, where it is found to be appropriate. The shared naming system of controls across almost all of the pedals makes for a truly convenient user experience.

Besides that, the shared look of the pedals makes the whole series a real eye candy for any guitar pedal connoisseur. The collectability aspect is an added bonus!

The design of the pedals is inspired by the stone age aesthetics in terms of coloring and minimal design overall. Personally, my biggest complaint design-wise is the fact that the functions are somewhat hard to read.

The pedals are made out of aluminum which makes them sturdy, yet quite portable.

The most unique functions (of most of the pedals here) are the trimpots. They are located on the back of all the pedals except chorus, reverb, and flanger. They are beneath the screws which you can unscrew to access the magical trimpots.

The trimpots themselves can be used to further manipulate the frequency response of the pedals that feature them.

Ok, so, now, we’re getting into the nitty gritty in the confines of the different pedal groups.

Dynamic pedals

All of the guitar effects pedals that fall into the dynamic pedal category share the same basic principles of function. They color and affect your tone by manipulating the loudness of the signal. Hence the “dynamic” part in the dynamic pedals moniker.

Overdrive

The first dynamic pedal we’ll cover within the Hammertone package is the overdrive pedal. The immediate impression I got is that the overall sound is really organic. The streamlined design features four pots you would usually expect from an overdrive pedal. Those four babies are “Gain”, “Level”, “Tone”, and “Pre-mid boost”.

The last one mentioned is a real treat here. It is placed before saturation which allows you to determine where exactly you want to saturate. This is any lead guitar player’s dream. It can make your solos sound extremely expressive and present.

Fuzz

What immediately jumps out once you plug this one in is the sheer aggressiveness of the sound that it produces. Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is up to you. Having said that, the gain-gated fuzz really is a cool effect that can be put to great use.

The other standout feature here is the “Octave” switch. Although mostly really effective, the upper position of the switch that engages the upper octave creates a highly messy sound.

I can see it being used for shock value and some ambient avant-garde coloring, but I don’t see it being very applicable in the conventional sense.

Distortion

The knobs you get here are your traditional “Gain”, “Level”, and EQ. The good thing about the EQ section is the fact that the treble and bass can be manipulated separately.

My main concern here is that the “Bass” knob tends to engage too much bass very early on. This can result in some boomy and very un-tight sounds which can be a turn-off for a lot of distortion-playing guitarists.

The main difference between this one and the Metal pedal is the scooped sound of the Distortion pedal frequency-wise.

Metal

Although the knobs of this one may seem different than those of the Distortion pedal, don’t be fooled. Those are basically the same knobs, with some of them just named differently. The EQ section here is named “High”, and “Low” as opposed to the “Treble” and “Bass” on the previous pedal.

Besides having the same features as the Distortion pedal, these two are also similar sound-wise. The main difference however is the fact that the Metal pedal is much more dynamic. This one is also much more mid-heavy than the previous one.

Modulation pedals

The main thing about modulation pedals is that they create multiple copies of your original signal and play them simultaneously. The differences between the types of modulation pedals come in the idiosyncratic way they treat the copied signal.

Chorus

The chorus pedal of the Hammertone features all of the usual suspects: “Rate”, “Depth”, “Level”, and “Tone”. The “Tone” switch allows you to engage a high pass filter which in effect allows you to get the chorusing effect in the high frequencies exclusively. Talk about tonal possibilities, huh?

Other than the standard features, the other switch here is the “Type” switch. The “Type” switch allows you to access three different positions. In the upper position, you are getting the one voice effect. In the middle position, you are getting the double chorus, and in the bottom position, you get four voices.

Flanger

This one features the same knobs as the previous pedal on our list. One of the exceptions is the function of the “Type” switch. The “Type” switch here is used to change the polarity from positive to negative.

With the positive polarity, you would get the traditional rich sounds of the flanger. Whilst with the negative polarity you would get the phase cancellation effect.

The other control that differs from the chorus pedal is the “Resonance” switch. The “Resonance” switch features three different positions that allow you to change from low to high resonance.

Time-based pedals

In the same fashion as the modulation pedals, the time-based pedals create copies of your original signal. The difference is that the time-based pedals play the copied signal at different timing to your dry signal.

Delay

The “Type” switch of this pedal allows you to access three different types of delay. The upper position allows for a digital delay. The digital delay effect behaves by making identical copies of the signal delayed.

The middle position allows for the Analog 1 effect. The sound of this mode provides a traditional warm analog delay sound. The bottom position allows for an Analog 2 effect. The main hallmark of this option is that it creates repetition signals with different EQ treatments.

The other knobs here are your expected “Time”, “Feedback”, and “Level”.

Space Delay

This one is almost identical to the Delay pedal in the Hammertone series. However, the standout difference is the fact that this one emulates the legendary tape delay effect. The “Pattern” switch would be your go-to tool here when you want to change the tape heads.

The other unique feature of this one is the “Modulation” switch. Modulation machinations in tandem with the tape delay effect can create some really lavish soundscapes!

Reverb

With the Hammertone Reverb pedal you get three different types of reverb: hall, room, and plate. The “Damp” knob is a really cool feature that changes the EQ on the tail of the reverb.

Final verdict

All in all, this is a very good collection of pedals! Although some of the particular pedals are not the best that ever was, the overall impression is, well, quite impressive!

All of these pedals are straightforward, well-designed, and sound great. These Hammertone pedals can be your loyal friend for some years to come.

As I said earlier, my only objection is the fact that the names of the controls are hard to read. If that’s not a concern for you, I highly encourage you to buy these pedals.

Check availability here: SweetwaterAmazon

Video demo

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