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July 10, 2008

Digitech EX-7 Expression Factory

So call me a pedal junkie if you like. I don't care! haha! I can't say no to a great deal on a good sounding pedal - especially if it's a pedal that does sounds different from what my current herd of pedals can do.

Fact is, I got a really good deal on this pedal - under hundred bucks in the States. A friend of mine was nice enough to run down to Guitar Center and buy me one and ship it to Ol' Canada.

I haven't played around with it that much yet, but I am impressed so far. I mean, any kind of multi-effect pedal will always be a compromise. That's why I've always settled for separate analog pedals - because it's more fun and you get better tone and more flexibility (as long as you have lots of pedals).

However, this thing has several effects I can see myself using live. It has 2 wah models (Vox Clyde and Dunlop Crybaby) - both sound really good. The travel of the pedal is by default very short compared to my Fulltone Clyde Wah, but it's possible to adust this. Truth is, I might just put away my Fulltone for a while. Yes, to me it sounds very close in quality and to save pedal board space, I think I'll use the EX-7 for wah stuff from now on. I have even 2 wah pedals in 1 this way! I ran my distortion pedal into the EX-7 and I must say I like the wah tones I'm getting.

Maybe the coolest effect of them all on this thing is the Space Station effetct. It's wicked, man! I sound like a symphony of synthesizers with the EX-7 Space Station effect. Really cool. I am not sure HOW I will use it, but I think I can come up with something. In any case, it's just a blast to toy around with.

The uni-vibe sound is pretty good too. I need to tweak it more, but it's not bad. Not perfect either. Thing is, I have a decent uni-vibe on here if I ever need it.

The Whammy pedal is awesome too. I love the octave up effect! I had been thinking about getting a Whammy pedal, but now I don't have to! The EX-7 does the Whammy effect just as good to my ears, and again, I'm saving pedal board estate.

The rotating speaker effect I haven't really bonded with. It sounds too fake to me. Maybe I need to tweak it more. It don't matter though, because I love my Arion SCH-1 for this type of stuff anyway.

The AD/A Flanger is very, very good sounding. I am impressed. Problem is, I never use flanger. I have never liked it and have never found a use for the effect. Still, I must say this pedal does the flanger effect very, very good.

The EX-7 also has distortion models, but you have to engage both the expression effect AND the distortion effect at the same time. Kinda stupid. However, I am not impressed at all by the distortion effects, and probably will never use them live.

The one thing I don't like is that I must use the supplied power supply - it's AC power and most pedal adapters are DC, so my 1-spot adapter won't work with it. I hate that. This means I have more cable clutter happening on my pedal board.

Does it suck tone? Not that I can tell. I haven't done any A/B testing, but it seems very good in this department. I don't hear no tone suck. I will not have a problem hooking this pedal up for live gigs without running it via a true bypass loop.

In summary, a very cool pedal for 100 bucks. Is it perfect? No. But it has several very nice sounding effects, and it's all in this one pedal, which I think is great - it saves space. The sounds are mostly very good, and you can tweak the pedal quite a bit, since there are lots of knobs to play around with. You should be able to make it work for you because of the flexibility it offers.

I think it's just great to play a wicked wah solo in one song, then in the next song play the Space Station effect. Maybe in a third song we'll have some wacky Whammy effects going, or perhaps some nice, old-school uni-vibe for some tunes from the 60s. You can do all of this with this ONE pedal. Isn't that cool?

Oh another thing - if you want to switch between the effects during a song, you'll be in trouble unless you have a separate pedal for switching between the effect models. The way you change models is by turning a knob. However, with an external "switcher" pedal, you can move up and down between the effects, while you play live.

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com


Posted by Robert Renman on July 10, 2008

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