EHX’s Slammi Plus and Hot Wax pedals are not for the faint of heart.
Housed in heavy-duty plastic, the Whammy-shaped Slammi Plus may look like a wah, but it has different tricks in its bag. This polyphonic pitch transposer can shift a note’s pitch plus or minus three octaves and create harmony notes (though it’s not an Allman Brothers “smart harmony”). The Pitch Mix knob works with the pedal’s switch settings to tune intervals or determine the pitch-shift range. The novel X-Fade feature provides a cross-fade between a wet pitch-shifted note and a dry natural note.
The Shift knob on the Slammi Plus offers 11 intervals, while the Direction switch determines whether the note swoops up, down, or both simultaneously. It’s a great effect, particularly with gain ladled on and the Blend knob bringing in just the right amount of Slammi. If you want to create Satriani- or Vai-style leads, the Slammi Plus will get you there, with tons of pitch-shifting sounds and variations to explore.
The Hot Wax combines two overdrives – the tweed-flavored Hot Tubes and full-range Crayon. The latter adds global Bass and Treble controls, and a Blend knob mixes dry signal into dirty tones. Turn it lower for a more-transparent effect that lets natural tone shine through; increase it to find the Hot Wax’s dirty secrets.
Each circuit can be switched independently or together; adjust the Hot Tubes section for Stones-styled power chords and configure the Crayon section for a hotter Aerosmith lead tone, then kick on both for scorch in the vein of Randy Rhoads or Slash. The Hot Wax summons everything from Jimmy Page overdrive to Zakk Wylde distortion, and it doesn’t take a genius to realize its two-fer-one value.
This article originally appeared in VG July 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.