If you have ever been to an Amsterdam dive bar at 2 a.m… you might have heard my band play a song or two… but realistically, if you are in Amsterdam at 2 a.m. – you probably won’t remember it anyway if you have. Being in a small, traveling band means living off pizza in side corner cafes, nursing hangovers at noon and making it all work on a budget – the kind of budget that isn’t actually a at all but basically the kindness of strangers, tips and what I can only describe as the grace of God when it is undeserving. Being in a small band also means that you have to rely heavily on your ability and less on your equipment because buying high priced extras just is not in the cards when you are already struggling to make ends meet just to make it to your next gig.
In an attempt to revive some of our old style from a few years back, I was looking for an effects pedal that would get the job done professionally but also allow me to stay on the road and not have to go back home, crashing on my brother’s couch. He hates when I crash on his couch – apparently I snore and sleep walk on the regular. I had read a lot of great things about the Hotone Skyline Series WHIP Compact Metal Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal. To be frank, however, I do not always trust online reviews. I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist and I do not actually believe anything I read until I try it for myself. So this thing could have gone one of two ways… it would work great just like the reviews said and I would pat myself on the back for taking a risk or it would suck hardcore and I would be eating ramen with no pedal for about a month.
When the pedal first arrive my first thought was that it belonged to a Smurf. This pedal is micro and I wasn’t really sure how that was going to what I needed it for but people always say not to judge a book by its cover which is actually pretty accurate. I got in a fight with this really skinny but wiry guy this one time – big mistake – he broke my nose… but I digress. I was pleasantly surprised when I used the effects pedal. What I got was a clean sound that was much bigger than I expected. It is also very versatile which is also not something that I thought I would get for such a low price. The best way to describe the sound created was a very grunge-90’s vibe but I was also able to get a lot more out of this than what we were looking to use it for.
Should You Buy It?
The size of this thing is going to make you second guess buying it. The price is going to make you second guess its quality. Stop over thinking it. You are going to be glad that you made the decision to go for the budget buy in this case and if you are a traveling band on the go with no money and no hope of getting any extra any time soon… you will get more gigs thanks to this one tiny, little investment. Improving your sound, this little powerhouse has impeccable tune and whether you are a 90’s style punk band or a classic rock cover band, you will get the same great use out this effects pedal. I know that I will be back to Hotone next time I need something of a similar nature. Much more cost efficient than Fender, with the same quality sound. You simply cannot go wrong.
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