Digitech has come a long way, and nowhere is this more visible than in their high-end HardWire line. The CR-7 Stereo Chorus pedal in particular has garnered quite a bit of attention recently, but does it live up to the hype? I decided to pick one up to find out.
Right out of the box, I was impressed by what seems to be a very solid build quality. The CR-7’s sturdy metal chassis looks like it can take quite a beating. While I haven’t gigged with it yet, this is definitely a pedal that you can take onstage or on the road without worry.
The main thing that drew me to this pedal is its versatility. In addition to its level, speed, and depth knobs, the CR-7 has seven settings: Studio, Multi, Modern, Boutique, Analog, Jazz, and Vintage. This allows for a virtually endless variety of chorus tones, suitable to any style.
For example, those who prefer a subtler chorus will enjoy the Studio, Modern, and Jazz settings. The Modern setting, a two-voice chorus, is barely perceptible at lower levels, and cleanly fills out your guitar tone at higher levels. The Studio setting is a bit more prominent, but still very crisp and smooth. I was especially impressed by the Jazz setting, which produces a warm single-voice chorus ideal for jazz guitarists.
For those who like to soak their signal in chorus, there are the Multi, Boutique, Analog, and Vintage settings. I’ve found that Multi is my favorite all-around setting; its warm 8-voice chorus can be dialed back to flesh out your guitar signal, or cranked up for a heavily modulated, watery sound. The Analog setting yields a similarly warm and lush sound. At lower settings, it resembles a subtle flange, which adds some nice texture when playing chords.
The Boutique and Vintage settings offer a bit more unpredictability and a wider range of tones, for those who are up for more experimentation. These are the settings I’d recommend for more shoegaze and ambient playing. With the level and depth knobs dialed up, Boutique and Vintage create a dreamy, ethereal, and incredibly rich sound that’s perfect for modulation junkies.
Rating: 5 - Build Quality
Rating: 4 - Sound Quality
Rating: 5 - Features
Rating: 4 - Ease of Use
Overall Rating: 4.5
You can get one here:
For the guitarist who’s looking for a chorus pedal with a huge variety of great tones, you can’t beat the CR-7. While it might not have quite the same warmth as a bucket brigade analog chorus, it comes impressively close. Add to that true bypass switching and tank-like casing, and you’ve got one killer digital chorus pedal that even analog worshippers are sure to love.