It’s no secret that DigiTech manufactures some of the most advanced effects devices on the market, and their line of HardWire distortion pedals takes things to a whole new level. I recently picked up the DigiTech TL-2 HardWire Metal Distortion Extreme-Performance Pedal, and I thought I’d share my thoughts about what I like and don’t like about this state-of-the-art model.
• ¼” input and output
• 9-volt DC battery operated (14-hour battery life)
• True Hardwire bypass
• 2-position voicing switch (tight/loose)
• Controls for gain, level, low, mid and high tone
• -500 kOhms input impedance/1000 kOhms output impedance
• Compatible with PS200R adapter
• All-metal construction
• Includes Stomplock knob guards, custom Hook & Loop pedal board pad and pedal switch glow sticker
• Comes with 1-year manufacturer warranty
As soon as I took the TL-2 out of the box, I was impressed. It’s sturdy, made completely out of metal, and you can tell that this isn’t a pedal you’ll have to “baby” or replace anytime soon. If something were to happen, however, you’re covered by a 1-year manufacturer warranty that can be extended to 6 years if you get the “X” model and complete the registration form. As an added bonus, this pedal has a 14-hour battery life so you can keep on rocking without having to worry about losing power. When it is time to power up, DigiTech’s choice of a 9-volt DC battery is sensible and common among effects pedal manufacturers.
This pedal has a lot of features that you don’t get with other brands. The Stomplock knob guards keep your knobs from falling out of place while you’re playing, although the knobs themselves come pretty tight from the factory so there isn’t much risk in that department.
The glow sticker that’s included with the package is a great way to identify where you need to step if you’re playing on a dark stage or at an event with a lot going on. Additionally, this distortion pedal works great with the custom-designed Hook & Loop pedal board that’s included when you buy the pedal.
You can create an almost unlimited number of sounds with the DigiTech TL-2. It has multiple controls for gain, level, and tone, and the voicing switch can be quickly adjusted to tight or loose to meet your needs in the moment. Given how affordable this model is, it’s great to know that it can do so much.
This is such an impressive all-around distortion pedal I almost considered leaving this section out. However, there are a couple of issues that DigiTech might want to address when they’re developing the next model. These aren’t necessarily “knocks” on the pedal itself, but since no pedal is perfect we might as well talk about how improvements could be made.
If you aren’t familiar with toggling settings to obtain the exact sound you want, you might find the TL-2 to be somewhat complicated. If you’re used to adjusting your knobs then this shouldn’t be a problem for you.
It sometimes sounds like the gain is on even if the gain control is turned all the way off. Again, not a huge deal for the metal I like to play. Also, when you set this pedal to “loose” mode it can sound a little “bass-ey” for my taste, so I prefer to keep it tight to get the sound I want.
If you’re in the market for a distortion and effects pedal that will give you a wide range of options and sounds, this is definitely one model to which you should give serious consideration. It’s durable, comes extremely versatile, and affordable. Whether you are a weekend garage guitarist or need a new pedal to take on tour, the DigiTech TL-2 HardWire Metal Distortion Extreme-Performance Pedal is a solid choice. I hope you’ve found this review to be helpful, and I’d love to hear your feedback and experiences with this distortion pedal. Rock on!