Hello there and welcome back to yet another great review article for you! This time, we will have a look at one of the coolest loopers in the market, Electro Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper. In this Electro Harmonix 720 review, I will introduce you to this wonderful guitar pedal and effects brand, EHX and also provide you with some cool photos and a demo video of the EHX 720 in action!
Table of Contents
Electro Harmonix Company
EHX was founded by Mike Matthews back in 1968 and it’s known for being the pioneering company in analogue and digital effects in the industry. Mike Matthews was born with an entrepreneurial spirit and was already into any kind of business he could get his hands on. He was also taught piano by his mother when he was five and got infected with the passion.
Later, he started playing piano in bands while also booking all his gigs and promoting rock & roll bands in the area. After he graduated from university with an electrical engineering degree and an MBA, he got himself a job at IBM company, but still kept booking and promoting gigs. While booking gigs, he even met Jimmy James later known as the legend Jimi Hendrix and encouraged him that he could sing!
Mike Matthews also designed the Foxey Lady pedals while he was supporting making fuzz pedals in Maestro. Later, he decided to start EHX company and released its first-ever product LPB-1 Linear Power Booster in 1969 which is still in production today!
Next, he released the legendary Big Muff Pi pedal which created a huge following of guitar players such as David Gilmour, Billy Corgan, Carlos Santana, Jack White and many more. This pedal was even used by Jimi Hendrix while recording his albums! EHX was able to generate $50K in its first year of activity and then years later, they reached $5M, employing over 250 people from many diverse backgrounds. In 1978, Mike Matthews was the small business person of the year!
EHX also became one of the largest vacuum tube suppliers out there by having connected their business to legendary Russian tube manufacturers and repositioned the brand with a strong focus in this field. Today, when you are after a vacuum tube, it’s highly like you are going to go for an EHX vacuum tube under Electro Harmonix, EH Gold, Genalex, Mullard, Sovtek, Svetlana and Tung-Sol brands.
EHX also is known for many progressive pedal and effect designs such as a wide variety of Big Muff fuzz pedals, Memory Man delays, 16 Seconds Delay, Pog and Hog pedals which are octave generators, Ravish Sitar pedals with variations MEL9, SYNTH9, C9, KEY9, B9 and BASS9
Electro Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper
I was always interested in looper pedals, not because I wanted to perform or anything, but because I believe looper pedals are the most important pedals for training your guitar and music skills. Having your ideas converted into a musical loop and playing over them is a matchless experience and can teach you a lot about improvisation.
For quite some time, I was chasing a looper pedal for that purpose but never made up my mind. As there are many options in the market now, it is not easy to decide. I was even considering getting bigger looper pedals such as Boss’ RC-600 but quickly got rid of this idea as my goal was to only practice and improvise when I felt like it.
I was already aware of EHX pedals and how progressive and innovative the company is, so narrowed down my options to that brand. EHX also has a wide variety of looper pedals which is great. So you can choose based on your looping needs without the need to look for other models from other brands just because a feature is missing!
The EHX 720 Stereo Looper is possibly the greatest value/money looper pedal they offer. First of all, it is a stereo looper! This feature is usually not found in the most minimalist looper pedals out there. As its name suggests, it has 720 seconds or 12 minutes of stereo recording time which is more than enough for most guitar players and aspiring musicians.
On top of that, you have 10 memory locations where you can store your loops and this is a great feature as with the additional footswitch option, you can choose the loops and perform live!
EHX 720 also features reverse and 1/2 speed functions. You can simply activate these functions with the buttons on the pedal and activate them with the effects footswitch. This looper also has the highest uncompressed audio quality featuring 24-bit A/D/A converters at a 44.1kHz sample rate! It draws 60mA at 9VDC (negative centre) and even the power supply is included! Advertisement - Please click these ads and support the website
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To understand how the EHX 720 Stereo Looper works, I highly suggest you check out the official manual below. But also do not worry because I will give you the most practical guides on how to use your EHX 720 in the review section.
Check out the EHX 720 Stereo Looper manual here
If you also want to have a look at an excellent review video by Tom Quayle (one of my favourite guitar players of our time!), please also check this out.
Before I provide you with my honest review, let’s have a quick look at the tech specs below.
Electro Harmonix 720 Tech Specs
|Power Supply||9.6VDC-200mA power adapter included (optional 9V battery not included)|
|Dimensions (in)||4.75 x 4 x 2.25|
Electro Harmonix 720 Review
As I mentioned, the EHX 720 Stereo Looper is an outstanding looper with really cool features. It comes in a nice packaging and box. The pedal and the power supply were protected with the packaging material in the box which is rare in most pedals.
Unlike many looper pedals in this price range, Electro Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper comes with a compatible power supply. I was a bit curious about where this pedal was made and recently have been noticing a pattern with some of the products that I purchased. Pedals or devices which are made in the US or EU would come with a power supply that was made in China. So you can see this on the power supply, it was made in China.
Where are EHX pedals made?
However, there’s no clear labelling whether the EHX 720 is made in the USA or somewhere else. But from a factory tour video that Sweetwater did, Mr Matthews clearly said that the circuit boards come assembled from overseas (possibly China?) and then assembled with the chassis in the USA. That almost makes me feel bad, because it is absolutely not clearly labelled misleading.
I thought I was buying a US-made pedal with a Chinese-made power supply. This was the case with Tech 21 SansAmp PSA 2.0, they clearly labelled the pedal with made in the USA label but the adapter was a Chinese-made one.
Also, as buying “American-made (or assembled)” pedals in the EU is costly, it feels like you are buying a US-made pedal but the reality is that it’s just the assembly. Not a big issue though, I’m just a little bit upset because lack of clear labelling.
Talking about the power supply, it is a pretty generic power supply, however, the cord is very thin and does not feel like it is going to have a long life span if you are not careful. This is not an issue for most electric guitar players (with G.A.S.!) as they all have (or should have) proper power supplies anyway. I’m planning to build a small pedalboard that is powered by my lovely Voodoo Lab Pedal Power X4.
Apart from these remarks, I can guarantee that there is no noise issue at all with this power supply. Using the pedal may be complicated at first, but as I mentioned above, with the provided manual and especially going through the quick start section, you can immediately enjoy your looper!
As you can see from the photo below, it comes with the printed manual, warranty card and a pair of speakers (Tung-Sol and EHX logo)!
Using EHX 720
Using your EHX 720 looper is pretty simple. As a looper pedal acts like a delay pedal, you can classify loopers as time-based effects. So the best place to add them to your signal chain is usually your amp’s FX loop. Of course, you are free to use it in front of an amp as well. However, in this use case, if you create a loop on a clean channel and then switch to an overdrive channel, your loop will be also overdriven. But when you looper pedals in the FX loop, it is not going to be impacted by the channel changes.
You simply need 2 instrument cables, one is coming from your guitar amp’s FX return to one of the inputs of the EHX 720 and another one is coming from your guitar amp’s FX send to one of the outputs of the EHX 720.
To record a loop: You need to choose an empty bank by using the rotary encoder and press the loop switch once. REC light will light up and you can start recording. To stop the recording, you need to press the loop switch again. Once you have recorded your loop, the MEM will light up, indicating that there’s a loop recorded in this bank.
Note that, the loops you record eat up from the total of 720 seconds of looping time.
Once you have recorded your loop and stopped recording, the loop starts playing until you press the loop switch twice or the stop switch *once!
To stop a loop by pressing the stop switch once, you need to adjust this setting by pressing and holding the rotary encoder until you see the dot at the bottom of the screen. Also, note that when this functionis enabled, then you can only use Reverse and 1/2 Speed functions with the buttons, not with the STOP/FX footswitch!
To record an overdub: First, you need to make sure the initial loop is playing back. You simply need to do the same set of actions to record an overdub. Overdubbing will never change the length of the initial loop. Right after you have recorded your first overdub, the Undo/Redo function is enabled.
To use the Undo/Redo function: You simply need to press and hold the Loop switch for 2 seconds. To indicate whether Undo/Redo is executed, the Play LED will blink twice.
To erase a loop: To erase a loop, a loop playback has to be stopped. Once stopped, you can press and hold the STOP footswitch for 2 seconds and the MEM will blink four times and the loop is erased.
EHX 720 Modes
As you notice, there’s a rotary encoder that has multiple functions. The first function marked as “L” is for selecting the bank. You have 10 banks in total, numbered from 0 to 9. This is the default function of the encoder.
You also have a Loop Progress function which you can select by pressing the encoder and choosing “P“. Loop Progress mode shows the loop’s progress in seconds as it plays back.
There’s also a Fadeout function which you can select with the same encoder. Once you select it, you need to indicate a fadeout value from 0 to 10. Each number represents a value for fadeout length. For example: 1 indicates 1 second, 2 indicates 3 seconds, and 4 indicates 10 seconds of fadeout. For the fadeout value table, please check out the manual.
When this mode is activated, you can stop the loop as in normal operation but this time the loop will fade out based on the value you choose.
Before I give you my verdict on this pedal, let’s listen to the EHX 720 Looper in action! I just prepared a quick video for you. Here’s the signal chain.
Signal chain: Epiphone Les Paul Custom Ebony > Ibanez Tube Screamer Mini > Boss SD-1 >EHX 720 Stereo Looper > Marshall JVM410H > Red Seven Amp Central (using Celestion V30 IRs featuring SM57/414 mic combo) > RME Babyface Pro > Reaper (Eventide SP2016 room reverb on top of JVM’s reverb)
Electro Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper Test (no talking)
Electro Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a simple yet powerful looper pedal. Its unique features and layout easily stand out among the competitors. You may find alternative looper pedals with similar feature sets such as 1/2 Speed or Reverse loops, however, its layout is pretty unique and smart in design.
Most looper pedals in this price range do not have multiple footswitches which you can assign to different functions. I enjoy using my EHX 720 by assigning the second footswitch to a stop function which also reassigns deleting a loop after you stop it and hold for two seconds.
There’s also an adjustable fadeout function which is unique to this pedal. Sound-wise, EHX 720 guarantees the highest audio quality for your loops and I can assure you will like the audio quality.
I would say it’s still a very compact pedal considering this layout and you still have the option to have an external footswitch to assign functions. So in my opinion, it offers a lot of flexibility.
Mind you, I also bought a Boss RC-5 Looper pedal as it was on sale for a really good price. This has allowed me to quickly compare some of the looping basics. As I mentioned before, I used to own a Boss Looper pedal back in the day and I never had an issue with the timing.
For sure, one needs to be synced with the tempo and know when to start and stop the loop recording for the perfect cycle. However, with EHX 720, I often had this issue and started researching this topic within user reviews found online. Many people are claiming that quantising is pretty weak in the EHX 720, therefore they could not perfectly record a loop.
In the video I prepared above, I had to take a couple of shots before I was able to start and stop the loop recording without any timing issues. This is pretty weird in my opinion. As you can see in the video, I was able to play, record and overdub a loop without any issues. So it’s working fine, however, I wanted to keep it transparent as you may have difficulties with this. When I try the same thing on my Boss RC-5, I have zero issues with syncing.
I think these standard footswitches are not the best for my use case because I always play in my living room. I’m not a professional musician and I don’t wear shoes in my apartment (I’m Turkish!). It’s not the best feeling to stomp on these footswitches with bare feet or with socks only. When I used my Boss looper, it felt just perfect.
These are some of the things I wanted to share with you, not necessarily completely negative comments on the pedal. Apart from these comments, I’m also not happy with the fact that the country of origin is not clearly stated on the pedal or in the documentation.
However, as many of you know, we use many electronic devices that are made in China or anywhere in the world, but clarity and transparency are key for me.
Overall, I recommend this pedal to anyone who is looking for a compact yet powerful looper pedal with unique features in the best possible layout for a simple, affordable looper pedal. I hope you enjoyed the video and my improvised jams.
Regardless of what brand of looper pedal you prefer, I highly recommend you get one! It’s probably the best guitar pedal ever! Having chord progressions, riffs and motives that you recorded will allow you to explore your instrument and improve your musical skills. When I start playing with my looper pedals, I completely space out and always play 10-15 minutes of interrupted improvisations every time!
Where to Buy EHX 720 Stereo Looper?
I bought mine from Thomann very recently and I can highly recommend them as they usually offer the best prices in the EU and they always have everything in stock!
However, feel free to check out Reverb.com as well as you may find great offers in the used market.
I hope you find this EHX 720 Stereo Looper review article honest and insightful! Thanks for visiting my blog and supporting me so far! I will hopefully see you in the next review here!
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