DigiTech Black-13

Scott Ian has defined contemporary metal tone throughout his career with the bands Anthrax and S.O.D., so it’s fitting that the latest addition to DigiTech’s tone-modeling Artist Series captures seven of his eviscerating sounds in a pedal dubbed Black-13 ($229 retail/$149 street). DigiTech applied the same Production Modeling technology used for the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Eric Clapton Crossroads pedals to craft seven flavors of heavy distortion—all named for the standout tracks on which they are heard.
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The American-made unit is robust and gig-worthy, housed in a dark-chrome-plated pedal with a hinged stomp pad. Four recessed knobs provide control over Level and Model selection, plus two other parameters—Control 1 and Control 2—that vary according to the preset. A second Mixer Out for connecting to a mixer or hard-disk recorder is a nifty extra, as are the heavy-duty power supply and the little padded gig bag. Players seeking instant, plug-and-play sonic extremes suitable to thrash, nu-metal, or death metal riffage will surely find them here. The majority of sounds on tap capture varying degrees and textures of heavy distortion—the searing lead tones of “I Am The Law,” the grinding crunch of “March Of The S.O.D.,” or the huge, modern transistor-drive turmoil of “What Doesn’t Die”—although “Finale” throws in a dramatic pitch-shifted delay. Overall, the sounds are digital and harsh—which is the point—and this pedal sounds great when it’s cranked up and couched in mayhem.