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Fender Hammertone Pedals Demo | First Look

John Bohlinger tests out a handful of the compact, budget-friendly gray tone boxes designed by effects guru Stan Cotey.

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A smartly ergonomic and streamlined digital delay and modulation machine that walks the line between warm, familiar, and wild.

Smartly organized control set encourages intuitive, interactive performance. Nice build quality. Nice range of familiar-to-wild sounds.

Modulation depth control gets very deep, very fast.

$249

Red Witch Binary Star
redwitchpedals.com

4.5
4.5
4
4

Delays with modulation are common, but delays that do deep, varied modulation colors often live on the more complex side of the user-friendliness spectrum. Red Witch's Binary Star digital delay occupies a practical middle ground between basic modulation-enabled delays and menu-stuffed beasts that can weigh you down when you're in a fast-moving, creative mindspace. The Binary Star's design is ideal for spontaneous artists and performance thanks to a sensitive control set that offers easy access to familiar and far-out textures.

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Classic 4-stage sounds are just the tip of the iceberg for this uncommonly powerful stomp—but its looks can be deceiving, too.

Waveform knob facilitates an alluring variety of phase tones. Lots of parameter control.

Secondary functions can be difficult to keep track of. Some sounds don't feel as rich and dimensional as the classics.

$249

Flower Pedals Castilleja Phaser
flower-pedals.com

4
3.5
3
3.5

If you're looking for a middle ground between straightforward, vintage phase sounds and the parameter depth of a programmable device, Flower Pedals' Castilleja could be a godsend. Its orange exterior hints at classic 4-stage phase sounds of yore, but its multifunction controls are more powerful than they appear.

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