Fender has further entrenched its position in the effects pedal market with the launch of its new-for-2022 range, the Hammertone series.
In contrast to the brand’s existing range, which boasts sleek (albeit chunky) anodized aluminum chassis, the Hammertone lineup features compact, relatively barebones enclosures, finished in a Hammertone powder-coat.
Prices range from $79 to $99 for pedals in the new lineup, which spans nine no-nonsense effects: Distortion, Overdrive, Delay, Reverb, Fuzz, Metal, Chorus, Flanger and Space Delay. We’re surprised there’s no tremolo or phaser yet, but we’d expect to see them within the year.
All the pedals were designed in-house by Fender’s effects expert Stan Cotey, and feature space-saving top-mounted jacks, true-bypass switching, 9V battery/power supply operation, and color-coordinated ‘witch hat’ knobs.
This is another serious play for the effects market from Fender, and could win over players who don’t quite have the pedalboard real estate for the company’s existing line.
Read on for more info on each of the pedals in the new Hammertone lineup…
Fender Hammertone Distortion ($79)
Promising enough range to cover just about any style, Fender’s latest take on distortion packs an active two-band bass and treble EQ, as well as the traditional level and gain controls.
Fender Hammertone Overdrive ($79)
Like the Distortion, this is apparently an all-original Fender circuit, but there’s one intriguing addition in the form of a pre-mid boost, which should offer additional tone-shaping potential over its plentiful rivals.
Fender Hammertone Fuzz ($79)
The Hammertone Fuzz seems to want to cover a lot of classic fuzz bases. Fender’s blurb alludes to the “horn-like sustain used on the formative records of rock ’n’ roll history” (ie, Maestro Fuzz-Tone), but the purple knobs and octave fuzz switch hint at more Hendrixian Octavia tones. Either way, two silicon diodes are onboard to fuel the fuzz. Color us intrigued.
Fender Hammertone Metal ($79)
Every pedal range has to have one, and the Hammertone’s Metal offering is spec’d similarly to the regular Distortion, with a two-band active bass and treble EQ, but focuses solely on the upper echelons of gain.
Fender Hammertone Delay ($99)
The Delay’s digital circuit offers up to 950ms of crisp repeats, with the ability to add modulation via a dedicated switch. A second toggle, meanwhile, adds a swirling, choral effect to the repeats.
One welcome addition is analog dry-through, which keeps your pure guitar tone unaffected by the pedal’s digital converters.
Fender Hammertone Reverb ($99)
You get three go-to reverb algorithms in this one – Hall, Room and Mod – with additional flexibility via the Damping control and Tone switch. No word on whether these are the same sounds found in the Tre-Verb or Marine Layer, but either way, this should be good.
Fender Hammertone Space Delay ($99)
The Hammertone lineup’s ‘other’ delay, the Space Delay sets its digital sights on analog-style repeats and warbling tape-style echoes. There are switches for Mod and Pattern, which bodes very well indeed, with 950ms of delay time and oscillation. Oh, yes.
Fender Hammertone Chorus ($99)
“Glassy, shimmering, and bubbly,” reads the Fender PR. Hold on, bubbly? Could this be the very same circuit as the rather nice Bubbler Chorus, but a damn sight smaller and more affordable? We sure hope so.
So, while you might lose the Bubbler’s adjustable speeds and dynamic control, there are still Tone and Type switches onboard the Hammertone – presumably adjusting between sine and triangle waveforms.
Fender Hammertone Flanger ($99)
Flashing three delectable Surf Green knobs, the Flanger offers a fair amount of flexibility for its size, with controls for Depth, Manual and Rate, plus Resonance and Type switches.
Fender doesn’t have a flanger pedal in its existing lineup, so whether this is based on modified Bubbler Chorus architecture, we don’t know. But we do know that we want those knobs for our Jazzmaster, yes please and thank you very much.
To pick up one of the new Hammertone pedals, visit Fender.