REVIEW: TC Electronic Hall Of Fame Mini Reverb

hofminiOkay, we all know that TC Electronic makes incredible effects. Their 2290 delay is legendary. Their G System, G Major and G Force: legendary. Their Nova series of pedals: legendary. But the TonePrint series of pedals is a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor of something that’s going to become legendary. Because TonePrint pedals allow you to dial in your own sounds, sure, but they also give you access to finely tweaked effects designed by some of the best ears in the biz, including Dream Theater’s John Petrucci, Steve Stevens, Paul Gilbert, Bumblefoot and many, many more.

The Hall Of Fame Reverb is but one pedal in the series: others include the FlashBack Delay and Flashback X4 Delay, the Corona Chorus, Shaker Vibrato, Vortex Flanger, and the John Petrucci signature modulation station, the Dreamscape. The Hall of Fame Reverb is another TC instant classic, giving you all sorts of reverb textures, from naturalistic to freaky. And it’s endlessly customisable too, thanks to TC’s TonePrint Editor, software which lets you create your own sounds or download those created by some of your favourite guitarists, and then send those presets into your pedal by holding your smartphone up to your pickup and sending a digital signal down the line. But not everyone wants to mess around with the Hall Of Fame’s (very handy) four-control layout. Maybe you prefer to control your reverb the way your amp handles things: with a single knob. Enter the TC Electronic Hall Of Fame Mini Reverb. So that’s what you get with the Hall Of Fame Mini Reverb: a single control to govern the amount of reverb, yet a laptop’s worth of editing power thanks to the TonePrint capabilities. It has an Analog Dry-Through signal, which means your dry signal is never converted to analog, and it’s designed to be equally at home with guitar and line level/FX loop signals, which is very handy because different players demand different textures from their reverbs, and here you can effectively use it as a substitute for amp reverb without worrying out level mismatches or what have you. it’s also true bypass for zero tone coloration.

The Hall Of Fame Mini Reverb comes loaded with the company’s beautiful-sounding Hall reverb algorithm, but send a TonePrint to that bad boy and you get access to plenty of different reverb types like Room, Spring, Plate, Church, Modulation, LoFi, Tile, Ambience and Gate as well as TonePrints by players like Greg Koch, Gary Willis, Jona Weinhofen, Mark King, Paul Gilbert, Deep Purple’s Roger Glover and Steve Morse, Steve Vai, Troy Van Leeuwen, Guitar World’s Paul Riaro and even UK retailer Andertons Music.

hofminiOh and one more thing about the Hall Of Fame Mini Reverb: it’s tiny. Real tiny. So tiny, in fact, that they couldn’t even fit ‘Hall Of Fame’ on its face. Instead it’s abbreviated to HOF.

I plugged the Hall of Fame Mini Reverb into the effects loop of my Marshall (first unplugging my regular four-knob Hall Of Fame reverb – yes, I’m a fan), and heard the same great reverbs that I knew and loved from my Hall Of Fame. Its biggest strength is its ability to fade into the background for natural, unobtrusive yet once-you’ve-heard-it-you-can’t-do-without-it echo, and the Ambient, Room, Plate and Church modes are especially great for this. Other settings are useful for more obvious effects: the Spring mode can be cranked up or brilliant surf-type tones or more subtle vintage rock and blues, while the Tile mode is perfectly tailored for dramatic ‘check out this tiled room,’ wall-of-sound type effects. Modulation mode is best used for more modern sounds, and like the full four-knob version it’s great for copping some of that A Perfect Circle echo/modulation sound. The Gate mode is cool but probably the least utilitarian, but the Church mode is amazing – very lush and multi-dimensional. And then there are the TonePrints. It’s worth spending an afternoon just trying them all, because you’ll quickly find that even if you’re not into the music of a particular TonePrint artist, you may find that you love their reverb.

When I reviewed the original Hall of Fame I said it was probably the most versatile yet simple to use reverb stomper out there. I was wrong, because the Hall Of Fame Mini is even simpler! And since that time, TC has made their editing software available to everyone for free, so whether you go for the original Hall Of Fame or the new Mini, it’s even more versatile and flexible than ever.