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Aguilar Tone Hammer
Overall Rating
Submitted: July 28th, 2009
by lowbhz
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Sound Quality
I've got a pretty simple setup, but IN-YOUR-FACE sound. Primarily, I've got a Peavey GV (graphite neck) 5-string bass and then a custom Ibanez fretless SR506 6-string bass into a GK 1001 RB-II head. All I have in my effects loop, going from first to last in the chain, are the Tone Hammer, an EBS Unichorus, and a Morley Steve Vai Little Alligator volume pedal. My cabinet is just a Markbass 102P Traveler 2x10 cab that sits on an Auralex Gramma board...very portable setup and very powerful. I haven't found this pedal to be noisy at all, but just when the oeverdrive kicks in (normal). Speaking of overdrive, it's the BEST non-tube type that I've heard yet. You can get a crushing Tool or R.A.G.E. grind, or a true vintage, almost Nathan Watts-like growl (finally). The eq, why I bought this, is very clear and effective. It's so on-the-mark that I only used the pedal at a gig with my in-ears once, and it sounded GREAT. That's right, NO AMP OR CAB! This is also because the DI is transparent, like my GK's, and the soundguy loved it. I think one of the other great things about the eq, as opposed to the eq on my bass, is that the Aguilar's doesn't sound all distorted through my in-ears. Both the pedal and the Peavey's are 18-volt, but something about the pedal is more filtered...maybe the mid frequency option does it. What's more, is that there's also a ground lift switch and I think a phantom power option. LOTS of bang for the buck.
My Tone Hammer is S-O-L-I-D, so no need for a backup. It's an all-steel box. Need I say more? The ultimate test will be to see if it's still badass years from now.
General Comments
I play in two cover bands, ranging from 70's funk to hard rock and metal (80's, 90's, today), and have been playing since '95. I also own a Sennheiser in-ear monitor system with M-Audio IE-40 earphones. I'd definitely buy another Tone Hammer if it were stolen (*wince* at the thought). I bought this, not having played with it previously, because of such good things that have been said about it. I just wish the ENGAGE and AGS switches were further away from the eq knobs, so I don't accidentally bump the settings with my feet. All in all, a very slammin' pedal...highly recommended for stage or studio.
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