Four times as famous!
Stellar reverb tones. Exceptional build quality. Simple interface. Real-time control via MASH footswitches. Deep editing—but only if desired. Bargain price.
It’s reet, but not petite.
TC Electronic Hall of Fame 2 X4 Reverb
Ease of Use:
The Hall of Fame 2 X4 Reverb from TC Electronic is big in every regard. It’s 9" wide and 5.5" deep. It weighs nearly three pounds. And, most important, it delivers excellent studio-quality reverb (and many ways to modify and control it) at a sensible stompbox price.
When I unboxed the HOF 2 X4, I thought, “Wow, this is for players with a serious commitment to reverb,” assuming that its cost would be as imposing as its enclosure. But no—the China-built device lists for $249, which is a remarkably low price for such a beautifully designed and manufactured pedal packed with great sounds and a host of unique TC Electronic extras.
Basically, the 2 X4 is a maximalist expansion of TC Electronic’s popular Hall of Fame 2 reverb pedal. You get 10 factory settings and six user memory slots settings, with eight stored patches accessible via four hefty footswitches. (The original Hall of Fame 2 has eight algorithms, three user slots, and a $130 street price. Here you have the power of four HOF 2s for a bit less than double the price.)
This bulky pedal may be a non-starter for players committed to cramming the maximum number of devices onto their pedalboards. Yet it’s gratifying to interact with a piece of gear with an old-school sense of scale. The oversized knobs feel great in your fingers, and their functions are easy to discern, even onstage.
What Fresh Hall Is This?
These reverbs are lush and detailed. They bloom attractively and maintain their richness through their final decays. There’s no hint of digital graininess or annoying resonance, and they don’t fatigue your ear after a few minutes. Reverb can be a matter of taste, and some might prefer crisper, simpler textures to these thick, creamy ones. But if any other pedals provide superior reverb in this price range, I’m unaware of them.
My first demo clip features a grab bag of electric guitar tones, recorded in mono with the 2 X4 between guitar and amp. (Some settings are factory algorithms, and some are weirder concoctions.) But for the true acid test, check out the remaining 10 clips—one for each of the factory settings. Here’s why they’re more revealing: I play acoustic guitar, which has vastly greater frequency and dynamic range than anything emerging from an amp speaker. I hooked up the 2 X4 as an outboard effect, with a mono guitar signal going in, but a stereo signal coming out. The decay and tone knobs are parked at noon, and there’s no pre-delay. Again: impressive, especially at this price. If you told me these tones were produced by a far pricier outboard unit, I’d probably believe you.
Editing Is Optional
These default tones are more functional than freaky. The lo-fi setting actually sounds quite rich. The modulation setting is relatively subtle. And, speaking of subtle, there’s the ambient setting: a mostly-dry blend that’s perfect for adding just a touch of air to close-miked cabinets. The one oddball is shimmer—an octave-up effect whose transpositions are remarkably smooth and detailed.
But you can get weirder if you want, thanks to TCE’s free TonePrint software for Mac, PC, and iOS. If you just pay attention to TC’s marketing, the feature attraction here is the ability to download presets created by celebrity guitarists. Well, okay. But if you’re enough of a sound sculptor to edit reverb via software, the truly exciting part is access to a deep-yet-user-friendly editor that can customize tones in exquisite detail. The TonePrint system works like a charm. To edit and load sounds from a computer, you just connect the included USB cable. From an iOS device, no cables are needed. It’s not a wi-fi system, as on, say, Eventide’s H9 pedal. Instead, you hold your phone or tablet near your pickups. The device emits an audio tone, which the 2 X4 interprets as patch parameters. The system is fast, fun, and, in my experience at least, flawless.
It can also be nonexistent, if you prefer. All the complex stuff is only visible if you opt to connect to an external device. There are no confusing labels or multi-function knobs on the hardware. Many, if not most, players will get everything they need just by spinning the big, obvious knobs. That’s why I give the HOF 2 X4 a maximum “ease of use” rating, even though its software editing can get quite complex. The pedal is only as tricky as you want it to be.
TC Electronic’s TonePrint software permits deep editing, including of the roles of the touch-sensitive MASH switches.
The HOF 2 X4 runs on standard 9V power supplies, and it comes with an adapter. Rear-panel functions include old-school MIDI I/O jacks, buffer bypass, and a 100 percent wet option for using the pedal as a send effect. There’s also a 1/4" expression pedal jack, but you may never need it—which brings us to a final killer feature.
The pedal employs TC Electronic’s signature MASH switching. The four footswitches aren’t simply on/off toggles, but pressure-sensitive controllers you can assign to most edit parameters. You might, for example, click on a reverb patch, and then control its wet/dry blend via foot pressure. Or you could pilot the decay time, the modulation depth and rate, and so on. You can assign up to three parameters per switch. Again, it’s your choice whether to choreograph complex controller scenarios, or just ignore pressure sensitivity.
Everything about the Hall of Fame 2 X4 Reverb is exceptional. The reverbs are rich and varied. The large controls and simple interface are a delight. The deep editing options and built-in MASH control are fantastic features, but you can pretend they don’t exist if you want to keep it simple. The build quality is remarkable for the price—and the price is pretty damn remarkable as well.
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Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters are designed to offer a fat midrange and a smooth top end.
Billy Corgan was looking for something for heavier Smashing Pumpkins songs, so Joe Naylor designed the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One pickup. Sporting custom artwork etched onto the covers, the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One Humcutters have a fat midrange and a smooth top end. This pickup combines the drive and sustain of a humbucker with the percussive attack and string clarity of a P90. Get beefy P90 tone plus amp-pummeling output with the Railhammer Billy Corgan Z-One.
Patented Railhammer Pickups take passive guitar pickups to a new level with rails under the wound strings lead to tighter lows, and poles under the plain strings offer fatter heights. With increased clarity, the passive pickup’s tone is never sterile.
Railhammer Billy Corgan Signature Z-One Pickup Demo
For more information, please visit railhammer.com.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials
The Generation Collection of acoustic guitars features the exclusive Gibson Player Port designed to offer a unique and immersive sonic experience.
The G-Bird, the newest addition to the Generation Collection--represents the glorious legacy of the Gibson Hummingbird colliding with modern sonic enhancement through the Gibson Player Port to add a new dimension to the G-Bird sound. The Gibson Player Port allows players to hear more of themselves as the audience hears it. With a tone that is crisp and resonant, all of the Gibson Generation Collection acoustics are designed to be comfortable to hold and play for long periods of time. All Generation Collection guitars feature the Gibson Player Port, slim, lightweight bodies, a flatter fingerboard radius, Walnut back and sides, Sitka spruce tops, and a stunning Natural finish. Additionally, the new G-Bird, and the G-200 and G-Writer are equipped with LR Baggs™ Element Bronze pickup systems which amplify deep bass and crystal-clear highs.
The G-Bird represents the glorious legacy of the Gibson Hummingbird with modern sonic enhancement through the Gibson Player Port adding a new dimension to the G-Bird’s sound. The G-Bird features a stunning solid Sitka spruce top and solid walnut back and sides for the ultimate in crisp, resonant tone. This square-shoulder dreadnought delivers all the rich low end and well-balanced mids and highs the original Hummingbird is famous for. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with chrome Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning. The utile neck, with its easy-playing Advanced Response neck profile, is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-Bird also comes equipped with an LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system, so it will always sound as good to your audience as it does to you. The G-Bird also comes equipped with an LR Baggs™ Element Bronze pickup system, so it will always sound as good to your audience as it does to you. The G-Bird is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
Modeled after Gibson’s pioneering small-body parlor acoustic guitars from the 1930’s, the G-00 is a top choice for blues and fingerstyle guitar performances. Despite its more compact size, the G-00 achieves a full, balanced sound. The G-00 fills any room with rich tones-which players can hear like never before, with the exclusive Gibson Player Port. Like all models in the Gibson Generation Collection, the G-00 is handcrafted in Bozeman, Montana, by the same highly--skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustic guitars. The G-00 features a beautiful solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The slightly thinner G-00 parlor-sized body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and play. The TUSQ nut and saddle along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-00 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
The G-45, a round-shouldered jumbo, adds the Gibson Player Port to its famous “Workhorse” J-45 style body, which is Gibson’s best-selling acoustic guitar of all time. On the G-45, players can now hear more clearly than ever how this beloved guitar responds to every style and technique of playing. Powerful one moment and soft the next, the G-45 delivers all sounds with incredible dynamic range in an elegant, medium body size. The G-45 is part of the Gibson Generation Collection and like all models in this collection, it is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The G-45 features a slightly thinner round shoulder body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and play. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners deliver solid tuning stability, so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-45 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
Gibson’s impressive range of square-shouldered guitars have become an expressive standard for rock, pop, folk, and country artists. The G-Writer is known for its wide range of sounds, from gutsy and loud, to soft and sweet; they are superb for all styles and shine, whether strumming chords or fingering intricate solos. The G-Writer comes ready for the stage or studio with an LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system and the ear-opening Gibson Player Port. The G-Writer is part of the Gibson Generation Collection and like all models in this collection, it is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The G-Writer features a slightly thinner cutaway body, is more comfortable to play and provides effortless access to the upper frets. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners deliver solid tuning stability, so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-Writer is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is also included.
Gibson built its first “Super Jumbo” SJ-200 as a custom order for country and western singer and film star Ray Whitley, who desired a big, loud, and deep flat-top over which to croon. The SJ-200 quickly became a staple of cowboy singers and horseback troubadours, and then country music, 60’s folk stars, and onto every acoustic guitar genre that has followed. Ray would be proud to hear the booming sound from the Gibson Player Port on the new G-200, which comes ready for the stage or studio with a LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system. Like all models in the Gibson Generation Collection, the G-200 is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly--skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. The G-200 features a beautiful solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The slightly thinner G-200 cutaway jumbo body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and provides excellent access to the upper frets. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-200 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is also included.
G-Bird | Generation Collection
For more information, please visit gibson.com.