The Polara reverb pedal is a small but solid reverb pedal that has its home made in the same space as it’s ambient cousin, the DigiTech Obscura. The cosmetic appearance of this pedal is a bit bulky, but that may be appealing to some players.
This reverb pedal has four sliding knobs, as well as a tails switch. In a stereo pedal such as the Polara, switches that are side mounted are very common to come across.
There is one common complaint among some users of the Polara, but it truly is just a complaint that doesn’t affect the performance of the pedal. Some users wish that the Polara as a bit taller, in order to fit a top mounted I/O configuration, just to save some space.
The Polara is smaller than a Tube Screamer but larger than a Ditto. One of the most raved about parts of the Polara is the Stomplock knob guard that was installed in order to keep your settings locked in, avoiding an accidental movement while performing on stage.
The DigiTech Polara has seven Lexicon Reverb voices. These voices are:
- Room- This is a fast decaying reverb; you should use this option if you would just like a touch of ambience
- Plate- Studio reverb that is typically found on classic recordings
- Reverse- Crescendos from a piano to a fortissimo; this is reverb in reverse
- Halo- Reverb with surging octave changes
- Modulated- This reverb is ideal for chords
- Hall- Large reverb paired with a warm decay
- Spring- This is also called the ‘classic surf’ reverb, but it also great to use along with Rockabilly.
On this pedal, the Room reverb copies the tone of a reflective room that’s medium sized. As for the Plate, the Plate emulates a vintage, fizzy wash that comes from the boutique scene. If you have the liveliness turned down low you can play over a dark, soft base; this adds a creepy element which can be really cool paired along with vocal solos.
The Reverse reverb takes out the dry signal that comes from your guitar and replaces it with a wet reserved reverb. I love using the Reserve reverb to add an eerie effect to crescendos and decrescendos. Modulated is great to use if you are looking to pop your chords out of the mix without adding any muddiness to the sound produced.
If you have the Modulated reverb in use while you are in stereo, it can be very easy to get lost in the sound.
When I played around with the Halo reverb, I was surprised at how little part liveliness played in the sound produced. With the liveliness set at a higher rate, the lower octaves were more clear to the ear, but the higher octaves were muffled. I enjoyed the Halo reverb though because it added warmth to the sound produced and faded into a cozy decay.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the Spring tone because it made my tone harsh sounding. The harsh sounding tone was even worse when I had the Liveliness set all the way up. However, when I had the liveliness turned to around six o’clock, the Spring became tighter over single coils, which was enjoyable.
It is most definitely easy to become overwhelmed by the massive reverb pedal; the market that’s available; there is a countless number of reverb pedals available in every single style in the world.
In order to know how to evaluate a reverb pedals’ quality to make sure that the reverb you’re looking at is the proper one for your needs, you need to understand what criteria is used to evaluate a reverb pedal’s quality.
This review of the Digi Tech Polara Reverb Pedal will look at the following criteria:
- The quality of sound produced
- The materials that the pedal is made from
- Who the Digi Tech Polara Reverb Pedal is best suited for
- How easy the pedal is to use
- The value of the Digi Tech Polara Reverb Pedal for your money
Overall, the Digi Tech Polara is a reverb pedal that has a trippy cosmetic appearance to it. This IS a great pedal to have with you if you need something that has all of the basic effects, with a few extras added into the mix.
I would personally suggest this pedal to you if you are prone to dropping your instruments or your pedals, as this reverb pedal was built to withstand a decent amount of abuse. I would not suggest this pedal to you if you are a huge ambient user, as the Polara doesn’t deliver super well with the ambient setting.
- Decay knob allows you to determine the length of the tail on the reverb
- Liveliness knob determines the frequency response
- Level manages the volume of the signal that is affected
- Knobs lock in place so that the settings won’t change during transportation
- Stereo outs included
- High Voltage operation
- Uncompromised signal quality
- True Bypass circuitry preserves your tone while in bypass
- Custom Cut Hook and Loop Pedal board pad that you can use to attached and lock your pedals on to your pedal board
- Stomplock knob guard locks your tone into place, while also preventing accidental knob adjustments while on stage or preventing any tampering
Who is Digi Tech Polara Reverb Pedal best suited for?
The Digi Tech Polara is best suited for reverb users who are looking for a pedal that has a fit more accessories than a basic reverb pedal does. With the added Stomplock knob guard added into the creation of the Digi Tech Polara, this reverb pedal is perfect for traveling guitar players.
Maybe you don’t do a whole lot of traveling, but enter yourself into competitions to play, or play at a lot of concerts, I would also really suggest this reverb pedal to you, especially if you aren’t looking for anything that has a whole lot of bells and whistles.
Does the Digi Tech Polara Reverb Pedal work as advertised?
Yes, the Digi Tech Polara does work as advertised; it provides reverb users with a basic reverb pedal that has a little bit of extra jazz to spice it up. It truly is ‘built like a tank’ as Digi Tech describes, which is always a bonus, especially if you are not extremely careful with your instruments.
Pros of the Digi Tech Polara Reverb Pedal:
- Attractive cosmetics
- High build quality
- Various selection of robust reverbs
Cons Digi Tech Polara Reverb Pedal:
- Lacks a quality ambient reverb
- There is no pre-delay control, which means that the Polara is pretty simple. This may be a pro to some people, but to those who are more experienced with using pedals, others will find this a con.
Other alternative reverb pedals to consider:
TC Electronic Hall of Fame
If you are interested in something that’s a little bit less complex to use, the TC Electronic Hall of Fame may be something that you’re interested. The basic setup of this reverb pedal is a pedal board friendly, compact, battery powered pedal that has been loaded up with new sounds; these new sounds are now called Tone Prints.
Each pedal has a small number of several sound variations that you can choose from; one of these variations being Tone Print. Tone Print allows you to download the settings that celebrity guitar players have designed and upload them to your pedal by using a mini USB cable or by using your smartphone.
You can use your smartphone by aiming the speakers on your phone to your pickups; this beams the data directly to the pedal.
Red Panda Context
The Red Panda Context is an amazing reverb pedal, especially since it performs like a high-end reverb pedal that costs double of what the Red Panda Context does.
This reverb pedal is one of the best reverb pedals for guitar players that are looking for a large ambience or just a subtle space for your guitar, especially if you are someone who is just plugging your guitar into a single amp or just using an effects loop.
The only complaint that I have about the Red Panda Context Reverb pedal is that it doesn’t come with an Expression pedal control to use over the Decay or Blend; this would have been nice to use to have an extra momentary foot-switch for the infinite Decay.
Final Take: The Digi Tech Polara Reverb Pedal
If you are a fan of ambient, you are going to be disappointed by this pedal. However, if you are someone who is looking for a versatile compact reverb pedal, you’re going to enjoy using this pedal.
The DigitTech Polara pedal exhibits clarity and simplicity that make the Polara a simple and fine addition to add to any pedal board. The stereo spaces in this pedal create beautiful effects that will transform your music to a whole new world.
If you are looking for a small pedal to carry around with you instead of a whole plethora of units, this arrangement of simple sounds will take care of you.