DigiTech CabDryVR Review

DigiTech CabDryVR review

DigiTech’s CabDryVR (cab driver, get it?) is one of those neat devices that makes you think, “Why hasn’t this been around before?”

It’s the standard pedal format, with stereo in and out, but can be used in mono mode as well. Each channel has 7 cabinets to choose from. They range from a smallish 1×8 (think Fender Champ-like) 2×12 and 4×12 cabinets, with plenty of variations of American, British, vintage and modern flavors. Simply place it at the end of a pedalboard. The only other real control is the size knob, stacked with the output level control. It affects the resonant response of the cabinet emulated, enabling it to be tuned for a better response. In some cases, bringing this level down with some of the beefier 4×12 models, opens things up for a lot more breathing room.

Once connected to a pedalboard, sending the outputs to a DAW for recording or a mixer for live use is a no brainer. It just brings in the sound of a guitar cab miked up. The emulations are spot-on, and still have a slight bit of tune-ability. There’s really no gap of tonal selections.

The street price is around $135, and for players who use their pedalboards for fly dates, this is an easy way to bring a big cabinet sound without shipping an amp or big bulky cabs. Run a splitter ahead of it, and use the CabDryVR as a second feed for the front of house mix in a live setting. Want to record with a pedalboard, but not have to deal with the volume of an amp, and the variables of miking an amp? Here’s a super simple solution. Using a DAW’s amp sim plug-ins can really tax a processor, and using this external device means more tracks, while using less CPU power.

Running it in stereo mode really opens things up; run one channel with a Vintage American 2×12 and the other with a British straight 4×12, and it provides a huge, lush tonal spectrum. Being able to blend the two signals in a mix, really adds a lot of choices in the overall mix, one sound covering another’s shortcomings, or even enhancing the good points.

DigiTech CabDryVR review

DigiTech CabDryVR

It does work equally as well with basses as it does electric guitars. In bass mode, the cabinets are completely different, covering sizes from 10” to 18” speakers, with plenty of variations. Again, the applications for live and studio are impressive.

The downside is having to remember which cabs are which; meaning in guitar mode Cab1=Vintage American 2×12. If DigiTech went without the vintage checker cab graphic and went with a more utilitarian graphic layout, it might be easier to navigate and select cabinets.

DigiTech does include a neat little rubber knob guard that prevents any inadvertent adjustments, called the stomp lock, and a die cut piece of Velcro for pedalboard mounting. Nice touch.

Overall, it’s well worth looking into, as more and more players are trying to tour and record with stripped down, no-nonsense rigs that still sound great without breaking the bank.

PROS:

great section of cabinets; stereo.

CONS:

better labeling of the settings would be nice.

BUY NOW:

Currently $149 at Musician’s Friend

Summary
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DigiTech CabDryVR
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