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DigiTech iStomp Review

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Waterpilot, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. I bought this pedal while visiting my local music store. I had first read about it from clicking one of the ads on TB, so I knew about it, but hadn’t planned on picking it up. It turned out to be an impulse buy.

    The case itself looks to be plastic but it feels pretty solid. EDIT: As the Rep posted, it's metal. I came home today to give it another look. I think its light weight threw me off. It’s made in the USA. Aside from the lights, which I’ll get to later, it’s pretty boring looking. Originally I thought the middle of it lit up (which would have been cool) but they supply some sticker type of things that you can put on it that resembles the pedal that’s been downloaded into it. Not really practical for any situation, IMO, other than screwing around at home. So… If you have a bad memory you may forget which pedal you have loaded up, the bigger problem for me however is not being able to know which knob does what. You can view it on your phone so it’s not the end of the world, just a little less convenient. I am however trying a bunch of different stuff so that could be part of it as well. If I narrow something down it may not be a problem.

    It has both mono and stereo inputs and comes with a power supply. It looks like there is an adapter for those travelling or living across in Europe. Don’t quote me on that though; I’m just guessing that’s what the second adapter is for… It also comes with the DSC-iOS cable that is used to download a new e-pedal into the… Pedal. You can leave it plugged into the pedal and your iPhone/iPad for fairly quick, about 30 seconds, pedal loads.

    I think, you need an Apple account for this. You download the “Stomp Shop” as a free app and from there you can try out and/or purchase different pedals that are offered. I’m actually REALLY impressed with this. It’s really easy to figure out and use and I like it a lot better than the “tone print” for my Flashback. The lights that are on it are cool and customizable. You can choose from a bunch of different colors. I haven’t tried it yet but they are supposed to help with pedals that use tap tempo as well. It comes free with the Redline Overdrive Pedal, Total Recall Delay, and allows you to choose from a few different pedals for $0.99 with purchase. I chose the Jet Flanger. I also bought the Half-Pipe Overdrive which is pretty good. I tried the Octaver (OC-2?) and it sounded quite good. Same glitch sounds and everything. It also seemed to track lower notes then my actual OC-2. I didn’t buy the [DEL]app[/DEL] e-pedal though and only had a 5 minute play time so I didn’t do a side by side. May later though… I haven’t heard any low end loss yet (Again… From the pedals I tried) and the pedals I tried have sounded good. I really like the DOD FX13 Gonkulator and may step up for that at some point.

    I’ve used the pedal at the end of my chain, in the middle (for a little bit) and on its own. There is no excess noise with pedal on or off from any of the pedals I tried and is very quiet. No tone suck when no in use and not pops or clicks through the amp when engaging/disengaging. There is no latency that could detect and it also seems to stack well with other pedals.

    Overall I’m pretty impressed. The stomp store is simple to use and downloading a new pedal is easy. The feel of the pedal itself is good and the ability to run in stereo is nice. There doesn’t seem to be any low end loss, nor is there any excessive noise, hisses or pops (From the pedals I tried). It gives you the ability to try different pedals which look to be from DOD, Boss, DigiTech, EHX, and some others. This design will allow peeps to download an e-pedal on the cheap if you need it for only one or two songs (Thinking cover bands). On the bad side, there isn’t an expression input, and figuring out which knob does what for each pedal is kind of a pain. I assume they’re going to come out with more sticker things for each new pedal but I doubt it’s something I’d be in to. You can however view it on your, or in my case, iPhone/iPad so it’s not impossible to figure out. I don't get the feel of a "Boutique" pedal and SO FAR but I haven't tried all of the e-pedals either. It wouldn't replace anything but I would use it to add something I needed or didn't have.

    Now if they come out with the DOD Meatbox for $4.99…
  2. Tom Von Kramm

    Tom Von Kramm Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2012
    Nice Review!

    Just to clarify, the chassis of the iStomp is metal.
  3. Edited and thank you! Can you pass along any info on new e-pedals coming out? I would like to recommend... The Meatbox. :D
  4. hmmm, interesting! I had seen this before and not really given it a second look. But this actually looks like a cool idea, if the models are accurate and not overly digital-ly sounding. I can see that not having the knobs labeled in gonna be a pain the butt if you change pedals often, but I imagine that most people will pick a few favorites and usually leave it on one of those, so you can just memorize the knob layout.
  5. fasto


    Mar 4, 2007
    Amsterdam, NL
    patch request: Bass Whammy ;-)
  6. Without an expression jack, I don't see that patch being of much use. :p
  7. Nice Review.
    I am not scared of digital, it's just that it being a single pedal kind of makes me less interested in the pedal. If it was a mini multi, say 3 pedals put together, smallish footprint, I would be interested. I find that I usually have a couple little gaps in my board, effects that would be great for this one part in this one song. I am not really wanting to pay a ton for a pedal just for that use.
    I say 3 because I would not be interested in downloading pedals in between songs. I would not be interested in buying 3 of these either. I want the mini iStomp multi to cost as much as buying 2 individual iStomps.
  8. behndy

    behndy Banned

    Nov 1, 2008
    yah. as long as it's well done i don't care if it's digital or analog. unless it's fuzz. but my two favorite filters are digital, the BEF Pro and Xerograph and the Line6 M-series has some great stuff in it.

    very cool write up. it answered all the things i was curious about the Pedal.

    i'm with Deltz. either a 3 in 1 or the same size that had enough memory for holding around 5 effects that you could switch between without loading would make it more useful for me live. this design would be more of a recording or trying out combinations of effects for writing use for me.

    thanks for the deets!
  9. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    I just don't see the point in paying $150 for a pedal that I have to pay more to load effects onto it. You can get the Line 6 M5 for not much more and it has many effects for "free". Currently there are two bass pedals in the iStomp store that if purchased separately used, since they're out of production, cost less than $150 and will certainly be still working in five years when this pedal is discontinued or no longer supported on whatever version of iOS is out then. It's cool to be able to hook up your iPhone to a pedal, but it's a recipe for quick obsolescence, IMHO.
  10. I have to agree with cybersnyder. Although it's a neat idea, I don't see the practicality of a single pedal like this one. For $50 more you can get a Zoom B3 which has many built in effects plus the ability to use three at a time. the Zoom also has the ability to connect to a computer and has a DI.
  11. Good points and I like the idea. You could always download the next pedal during a song if you space the effected songs apart.
    Here's my thoughts on on the M5... I know good peeps who give the M series good lovin' so I have no doubt how good it is. I have read however that not all of the effects are that good. Some are fantastic, and some... Not so much. So you're paying for the good and the bad. With this, you only pay for what you want. And you can try them ALL out before you buy them, at home, in your jammies. Plus you're taking up some real estate for things that aren't wanted or needed. The last difference, I assume, is that it's Line 6 effects, where these seem to be clones of actual pedals. Some discontinued. The obsolescence is an interesting point.

    Thanks for everyone's replies! I'm not married to this idea yet, even though I may sound like I am, and it's cool to hear everyone's thoughts on it. Both good and bad.
  12. Nomadskills


    Dec 27, 2010
    This kinda seems like an inbetweener kinda thing. Where you have enough pedals to not justify a multi but could use a couple more on a budget. For me it would depend on what pedals will be coming down the line.
  13. RichSnyder

    RichSnyder Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 19, 2003
    Columbia, Md
    Just had a thought, if I own three iStomp pedals can I put the OC-2 model on all three or do I have to buy three digital copies of the OC-2?
  14. I'm interested in this as well.
    They way it seems to be set up, I believe you can use the Octaver, or any pedal, for all three. Maybe the rep can chime in for sure though.
  15. caeman

    caeman The Root Master

    Sep 17, 2008
    I see the iStomp only really being useful if they release a software development kit so users could develop their own effects, share them, create a cottage industry around it while 2 and 3 multi versions would be eventually be sold.
  16. MSUsousaphone


    Dec 4, 2009
    Lake Charles, La
    Endorsed Artist: Myco Pedals
    Nice review, man. :bassist:
  17. I just don't think boutique buyers are in their target market and to be honest, I wouldn't want them to be I don't think. I kinda like the case, the art, the feel, and the sound of the smaller builders. I don't know that I'd like their work digitized.

    For me this is an opportunity to bring in something that I may not need forever or just want to play with. Maybe use for one or two songs... The DOD FX13 GONKULATOR is a really neat pedal. Right now they're selling for anywhere from $110 to $150 one with a buy in now for $205. That's more then I'm willing to spend, but now that I have the iStomp I can buy it for $7.99.
    Thanks man! :hug:
  18. dannybuoy


    Aug 3, 2005
    The Xerograph is digital?!
  19. Yup

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