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Hotone Audio
( 9 user reviews on products )
113 products2 news items9 user reviews

User reviews on Guitar Effects Hotone Audio products

Incredible Clarity and a Ton of Options (Binary Eko)

By MGR/Brian Johnston, 29/07/2018
SOUND:
If you’re looking for a super clear-sounding delay with a ton of options at a fantastic price, then the Binary Eko should be considered. Below is a YouTube demonstrating its qualities:



This 24-bit pedal (44.1 kHz sample rate) boasts a dual-DSP (Digital Signal Processing) powered platform and a CDCM (Comprehensive Dynamic Circuit Modeling) system. This is one reason why the Binary Eko’s clarity found a secure spot on my pedal board. Not only are the tones super clear, even when adding modulation or tremolo (built into the Binary Eko), but you get a lot of usable delay variations based on several classic delay pedals and concepts, including EHX Memory Man, several Maxon models, 1980s rack delay, tape and tube delays, etc. As impressive is how flexible the Binary Eko is and within such a small footprint, thus allowing for a lot of tweaking possibilities. As cool is the fact that you can use an expression pedal with the Binary Eko to control the degree of mix, modulation, feedback (repeats) and time.

OVERALL IMPRESSION:
At a price of about $139 USD, there is a lot to like about this pedal. With 17 different types of delay, along with a host of features (being able to add modulation, tremolo, sweep, etc.) that can be controlled with an expression pedal, you get an incredible amount of bang for your buck. The clarity is awesome, and even when adding modulation and sweep the signal stays very clear, and this goes for the Dual Eko delay on the Binary Eko… with two delays working in unison or with different times/feedbacks – very impressive. Not only that, there is one delay in particular on the Binary Eko that is so pure (called the Pure Eko, of course) that must be one of the cleanest and clearest available. One thing I noticed that the Binary Eko does not have is a ‘tone’ knob, but having said that… I don’t miss it or think it necessary. There are plenty of delay variations that offer more ‘dirt’ (e.g., Tube Eko, Sweep Eko to name two) that allows you to achieve varying qualities in your overall tone. And if you’re working with any degree of distortion or drive, you likely want the delay to remain crystal clear and relative to the guitar’s signal – which the Binary Eko does in spades.

EASE OF USE:
I really appreciate the easy-to-use downloadable software. This allows you to control the pedal from your computer monitor, if you wish, rather than having to stoop down to your pedal board to make adjustments. Obviously this is a perk for home-users, but also initially to create your patches since you can be very exact (e.g., 23% mix), as opposed to dialing in a knob. Scrolling through patches is very simple (two Banks x 5 patches each) – stepping on the Patch/Tap switch moves from one patch to the other (A1 through A5), whereas you need to step on both switches (Patch/Tap and the On/Off) simultaneously to access B1 through B5. Because of this, you would want your most used patches to be in A1 through A5 when gigging since stomping two switches 3-inches/8mm apart at the same time may not work fluidly always.

As with any digital delay pedal with a lot of features, the difficulty with the Binary Eko is what settings to choose, and there are plenty. You have 17 types of delay, ranging from vintage stuff (Tape, Tube, Rack and Slap Back) to modern classics (several Maxon models, an EHX Memory Man, Sweep Eko, Tremolo Eko, Dual Eko, Ping Pong, Lo-Fi, etc.). As with any delay pedal you then need to figure out your mix, feedback, time (or use the Tap Tempo feature accordingly) and if you’re going to add any modulation and how much. And to make matters more complicated and super fun, you can hook up an expression pedal (and determine the range parameters) so that you can achieve some very cool effects, like having a basic delay transform into a sweep delay. The Binary Eko may not be a basic plug-and-play pedal, but it’s certainly addictive and enjoyable to explore.

RELIABILITY & DURABILITY:
Hotone’s Binary Eko appears to have a cast aluminum body (it’s not very heavy and feels like aluminum to the touch). The soft touch foot switches (no hard-lock clicking) feel very solid and are raised much higher than the other knobs and buttons – consequently, it is unlikely stomping will produce any damage issues to the other controls. The push buttons (those controlling Global, Save/Exit and the +/-) are small and only slightly higher than surface level; the OLED screen is at surface level and would not encounter damage under normal conditions. The top knobs (Mix, A/B, Feedback and Time) are small and encased in rubber for added protection (those knobs light up, which makes it easy to see in dark environments, and so the rubber is a good idea to help protect the contents, besides feeling good to the touch). All the connections are in the back, which saves on pedal board space and keeps the inputs/outputs away from a stomping foot. One thing to be aware of is that the Binary Eko requires a 200mA, whereas many power supplies may provide 150mA per outlet – make certain of a proper power supply. Lastly, the Binary Eko does not operate on batteries.
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Mimic the sounds of a Jumbo, Grand Auditorium, Steel String, Nylon String and others (OMNI AC (Acoustic Sim))

By MGR/Brian Johnston, 10/07/2019
SOUND:
Your acoustic guitar will sound like an acoustic when combined with the OMNI AC (it does not sound artificial) You are taking your raw acoustic tone and customizing it so that it sounds more like a different type of acoustic.



For example, you could have a nylon string and have it sound like a steel string, or a dreadnaught, a Gibson Hummingbird, or a grand auditorium acoustic. Likewise, your steel string mid-sized body could sound more like a jumbo or a nylon/classical string guitar. In essence, you are taking the tonal characteristics of a different acoustic and applying it to your acoustic. The options in the OMNI AC certainly are varied, with the second ‘grand auditorium model’ being my favorite (while playing my Ibanez Euphoria guitar… each guitar will have different outcomes). In the demo I use the Ibanez through an Orange Acoustic Pre, which produces a particular flavor or tone. Certainly I can customize that tone via the EQ of the Orange Acoustic Pre, but the ‘flavors’ offered via the OMNI AC certainly sound convincing, unique and affords you a host of other instrument choices without having to buy more acoustic guitars. I also found many of the models added ‘life’ to my tone – a bold, crisp attack that made the notes stand out even more. Now, while using an electric guitar the OMNI AC did not make the electric sound 100% like an acoustic. However, certain models (the Gibson Hummingbird matched with my Eastwood-Backlund 200 electric with middle pickup selection) did a pretty convincing job of producing a more lush and ‘acoustic-like’ ambience – it sounded as though there was more ‘air’ in the notes.

OVERALL:
Why buy several acoustic guitars when you can play the one you like and still have it sound like other acoustics? This is the objective of the OMNI AC as it simulates the tonal characteristics of various steel strings, dreadnaughts, jumbos, grand auditoriums and nylons. There’s even a preset for mandolin and two types of acoustic bass (fretless and double). The sounds are very convincing when working with an acoustic guitar (you’re simply altering the characteristics of what you’re playing, and although an electric guitar may not sound exactly like an acoustic, selecting your pickups properly and fiddling with the pedal’s EQ certainly give a very close representation. Relatively easy to use, you have access to all parameter changes via the knobs (while viewing the OLED), or via the free downloadable computer software (IOS and Windows), either of which allows you to select various parameters – the acoustic guitar type, the adjustment of volume, and EQ and Gain associated with each EQ parameter (bass, mid and treble). At $199 USD the price is reasonable relative to the quality of sounds produced and particularly if you still don’t have the acoustic sound you need or if you want to spice up the sound you do like.

GENERAL USE:
You can access all controls and functions via the OMNI AC’s knobs and switches, but also through the free computer software. The software certainly makes it easier to navigate, providing a larger and clearer representation of the controls that necessitate hooking up to your computer via an 8-inch USB cable, but the onboard controls are easy enough to use (visible via the OLED screen). The pedal has a master volume control and a Function knob. When you turn the Function knob left or right you select a preset. When you press down on the Function knob you enter the menu system, whereby you can make a number of changes (again, this can be done via the computer software). There are 15 presets or options, e.g., steel string, jumbo, dreadnaught, etc. You could have all 15 presets the same guitar with different EQ and Gain settings or each one can be a different guitar/acoustic instrument (and any combination between). Via onboard or through the software you can set the overall preset volume, whether playing an electric or acoustic, and the EQ setting associated with low, mid, high and presence. With each EQ setting you can set the Gain, thereby reducing the bass, upping the midrange, etc. The Footswitch is assignable so that it can bypass, mute, change modes (whether using an electric or acoustic guitar) or scroll up or down the presets. What’s cool about this pedal is that it has a Thru so that you can blend your original acoustic or electric guitar tone with one from the OMNI AC. There’s also a balanced XLR out (to a mixing board, for example) with a ground lift option, a headphones jack and an Aux In (to connect an MP3 player or other device).

OTHER DETAILS:
Slightly smaller than a standard pedal, the OMNI AC measures 101 mm (D) x 58 mm (W) x 47mm (H) or (3.97 x 2.28 x 1.85 inches). The metal chassis (feels aluminum, although there is good weight to the pedal at 224g) has a gold finish, which does not appear to be painted, but rather the color of the metal. The input impedance is 1MΩ (mono) and its output 100Ω (mono). The two knobs are made of aluminum and will withstand normal use and abuse. The footswitch produces a solid click without any popping or significant signal noise when switching. All inputs (cable inputs/outputs, USB, power input, etc.) are located in the back and along the sides of the pedal; some modest care is required to prevent damage to any input/output when stomping. The OLED screen is sandwiched between the knobs and footswitch and is safe from regular and normal use. The OMNI AC requires a 9VDC power supply while consuming less than 200mA of power – as a bonus this pedal also comes with its own power supply.
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News Guitar Effects Hotone Audio

[MUSIKMESSE][VIDEO] Live from the Hotone booth

Published on 04/08/16
At the Musikmesse, Hotone present a large collection of guitar pedals and mini amp heads.