Premier Guitar

HardWire TR-7 Tremolo/Rotary Pedal Review

October 28, 2010

Download Example 1
Clip recorded with a Performance Strat-style guitar into a Peavey JSX head mic'd with Sennheiser mic into Garage Band
The TR-7 Tremolo/Rotary is the newest addition to the HardWire extreme performance series. It’s a stereo tremolo, rotary, and vibrato pedal that offers a variety of sounds ranging from traditional style tremolo, to a rotary cabinet simulator. It also features true stereo I/O, allowing for complex connections, creative flexibility, and trippy sounds.

The Basics
This tough little unit features seven effects: Tremolo, Opto Tremolo, Bias Tremolo, Duo Tremolo, Rotary, Vibrato, and VibroPan. It’s true bypass and features constant high-voltage operation for top-notch tonal quality and noise reduction. You also get an assortment of handy accessories including glow-in-the-dark gaffer’s tape for your pedalboard, a Stomplock knob guard to keep your pedal settings intact, and a hook & loop pad to fasten the unit to your pedalboard. It powers up with a 9-volt battery or adapter.

The four heavy duty knobs keep things simple: Speed controls the speed of the effect, Depth controls the intensity, and Modify controls various settings depending on which effect is in play. The Type knob allows you to select any of seven effects. It also features two inputs and two outputs so you can add a second guitar or amp. Tap Tempo can also be engaged.

Shakin’ All Over
I ran this unit through the effects loop of my Peavey JSX head using my Performance custom strat-style guitar. I immediately sought Uni-Vibe sounds. I wasn’t expecting a lush, liquid blanket, of pure old-school analog heaven, but the sounds I got were very disappointing—a cold and digital sounding facsimile. The same could be said for the Rotary setting, which is designed to emulate a Leslie rotary speaker cabinet. It wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t very inspiring. It lacked the lush warmth of other pedals that do a better job of emulating that sonic territory and made me wish for the real thing.

The other settings, which offered various wave patterns of tremolo and vibrato effects sounded much better. The Opto Tremolo, which imitates the circuit found in vintage Fender amps, and the Bias Tremolo, which is based on the Vox sound were very satisfying. Surf and rockabilly cats would surely appreciate having so many tweakable sounds at their disposal. The stuttering rhythm effect on the Duo Trem setting was very cool, and I was able to finally nail my James Bond guitar sounds from the VibroPan setting. From subtle to twisted, I can’t imagine anyone not finding lots of hip and usable settings to choose from.

The Verdict
The tremolo and vibrato sounds on the TR-7 are great, and the Uni-Vibe and Leslie sounds aren’t so great. It gets you in the ballpark, but those with educated ears will have issues and should look elsewhere. Tremolo freaks will surely dig it, though the lack of a knob to control the level of the effect might be a concern to some.
Buy if...
tremolo is your life.
Skip if...
you require deep Uni-Vibe sounds.
Rating...


Street $189.95 - HardWire - hardwirepedals.com

Tone Games 2010, Bonus Levels: 10 More Stompboxes Reviewed
Next up: Jam Pedals Rattler+