DigiTech Whammy WH-4
DigiTech Whammy WH-4

Whammy WH-4, Octaver/Harmonizer/Whammy from DigiTech in the Whammy series.

rarson 03/25/2008

DigiTech Whammy WH-4 : rarson's user review


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The Digitech Whammy is a pitch-shifting pedal that allows a variety of octave shifts and interval harmonizing. For instance, you can set the Whammy to harmonize 5ths and use the pedal to shift to 4ths. It also has a detune function, both shallow and deep, and a divebomb function which is essentially just a 3-octave drop.


Everything is spelled out on the face of the unit. It's not very hard to figure out, though it can take a little while to get used to. In order to change the pedal's function, you use the rotary knob which can be a bit touchy. I used my foot to change settings, and it's pretty easy to skip a function or two. Obviously, using your hand isn't really a problem, but for fast switching on the fly, using your foot is the easiest way. It's very easy to do, but the problem is that the control is touchy, so to change between settings with precision can be a little difficult. Not really the pedal's fault, I guess.


Alright, a lot of people seem to think that the original pedal is some kind of godsend while this newer version is crap. I disagree. Sure, there's probably some sonic differences between the two, but as far as artifacting is concerned (that "digitalness" that the sound has), you can hear the artifacts of the original WH-1 on some Rage Against the Machine songs, and they sound extremely similar to this pedal. The artifacts themselves aren't a bad thing, in my opinion. They create a dimension to the sound that either you can use to effect (like Tom Morello does) or you can't. The nature of the pedal is that it won't sound absolutely realistic, but I realize this and I don't knock the pedal for it.

The problem is that it sucks the sound out. Even when you're not changing the sound, you can hear a difference with the pedal on, and I really didn't like that aspect. It's not a true bypass pedal, none of the Whammy pedals are, but if you want a true bypass Whammy, you're only option is to by an original WH-1 and modify it, because that is the only Whammy that can be modified for true bypass.

The tracking is less than perfect. Artifacting aside, chords sound like crap and there is a perceptible delay between playing notes and hearing them. These qualities, along with the sound degradation, ultimately led me to returning the pedal. It's just not as great as it is often made out to be, and if you don't need to bend the pitch between octaves, you can get a much better octave effect with an EHX POG.

On the plus side, the detune function actually makes a great chorus, so it's not all bad. And the pedal can definitely be used to good effect, but it's got some downsides. Too many for me.


I returned it. There's some good stuff here, but if Digitech could make it true bypass, ditch the AC adapter and make it 9V DC, and rid the delay between playing and hearing notes, it would be much better. Maybe the original WH-1 is better, but from what I can hear of the big name artists that use the WH-1, it sounds almost exactly like the current pedal. I just didn't feel like dealing with the shortcomings at the end of the day, and I feel the POG gives a better alternative for someone who doesn't need the expression pedal function of it.