Pedals

Electro-Harmonix 720 Stereo Looper

Loopers are not new, but like many other effect types, they’ve received a major overhaul over the last few years. Gone are the days of clunky, pedalboard-sized loopers. With the wealth of smaller, feature-laden loopers available to players today, many guitarists now have a loop pedal on their board because it’s just so darn convenient. Electro-Harmonix is no stranger to looping, and its latest foray into sound-on-sound, the 720 Stereo Looper, aims to bridge the gap between diminutive basic loopers and their spaceship-sized brothers.

The 720 is about the size of a Micro POG, making it relatively pedalboard friendly. Featuring stereo ins and outs, as well as an input for an optional control pedal, it has the capability to send your loops to multiple amps, or you can get creative and run a mic or another instrument through one of the outputs. Three lights at the top indicate when the pedal is in Record, Playback, or Memory mode. A single Level knob controls the volume of your loops, and another knob enables you to store loops and choose loop modes.

Let’s take a look at the three loop modes. Loop Select mode allows you to choose from ten stored loops. With 12 minutes of loop time available, you can store passages or entire songs and summon them when needed. Loop Progress mode counts down your loop so you know where you’re at as you’re overdubbing. Depending on how long your loop is, the numbers represent different values, so be sure to go over the manual - it’s more than can be covered here. Fadeout Mode is this pedal’s secret weapon and it is awesome. In this mode, you can choose a specific fadeout time anywhere from 1 to 60 seconds in length. The loop naturally fades away, similar to the fadeout effect on records when a song is over. This is a must for any player who uses a loop for an intro or outro or has an entire song on a loop. It’s a very cool feature and one that sets this pedal apart from its peers.

Dedicated Loop and Stop footswitches are a nice touch as well. The Stop switch can also be used to control the Reverse and half-speed effects. The effects themselves sound great, and are a wonderful bonus on an already great looper. I’ve often wished for a simple looper that could achieve sounds similar to the loop function of the Line 6 DL4, and EHX nailed it. Yes, the TC Electronic Ditto X2 has these capabilities as well, but there are no buttons for the effects and it has less loop time available.

Just for fun, I ran the 720 to two different amps and looped myself into ambient glory courtesy of a Line 6 Echo Park in Ping Pong mode and a Fulltone SupaTrem 2 set to bounce back and forth between amplifiers. The 720 can take layer upon layer without any tone loss, enabling you to loop to your heart’s content. I had a blast alternating between normal and Reverse modes, as well as making higher octave chipmunk noises while recording in ½ Speed mode. The Loop Fadeout mode turns any loop into a haunting experience.

If you’re looking for a looper, you’ve got to give this one a try. For under $150, EHX has delivered a high quality, full-featured looper with a generous amount of loop time. I’m adding this to my board no question. In fact, I may not send this one back.

What We Like:

High quality looping capability with 12 minutes of storage and reverse/half time functions. Loop fadeout mode. Stereo ins and outs. Great value.

Concerns:

None.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 Comments

  1. Quang

    It is a wonderful thing ! I want to have it .

  2. a looper

    While I own one of these and think they are totally great, the thing that all these current +/- $100 looper are missing that the Line 6 DL4 has is generation degrade. It seems like it would be a very simple thing to build into the algorithm. Much like tape as you continue to bounce material onto new tracks the repro material degrades and fades away into noise. The DL4 does this, in really beautiful ways. Your tracks mutate and change over time. Maintaining pristine audio quality has its creative downside.

    The upside of the 720 being stereo is you can loop out and back in and introduce degradation there.