Behringer HM300 Heavy Metal Distortion effects pedal review and demoWritten by Helmut Watterott
Behringer HM300 Heavy Metal effects pedal review and demo. We take the HM300 for a bit of a spin around the block to see what it sounds like and also comment on other things such as build quality, competition and more!
Although the Behringer pedals are made of plastic they do not feel flimsy or that they will break when you step on them. If treated properly I would not be surprised if they last a very long time. The pods and plugs however do not feel as reliable. They are small and stiff but don't feel stiff due to build quality if that makes sense.
Look and feel
Just aweful in my oppinion. The colours, the shape (the copying of BOSS without the quality and the rounded corners).
Like all Behringer pedals the HM300 sounds the way it should. There is no better way to describe them. They do what they need to do. It is hard to explain or phrase differently but it is as if they are built to description. There is nothing more or less to them. This HM300 sounds nice and is a good sound, but you will not be blown away. There is a bit of noise on the buffer for sure and also in the distortion. In fact I would say they are very noisy. And this is a pity as they do sound good for their price. For those worried about the buffer tone suck on the pedals please see our article on the buffer comparisons HERE!
They are typically based on the BOSS range from a tone and dial perspective. But there are some real issues in my oppinion and I have to list them:
1. The knobs are very small and close together. So you can't turn the knobs all the way as your fingers get stuck agains the other kbobs (one thing that BOSS has in common)
2. The battery compartment is a joke to get into. You have two prongs at the hinge of the footswitch that need to be depressed. Then the flap opens and you gain access to the battery. You need two hands for this operation and something to depress these prongs in. Then it is a real operation to get it back again as you need to align a spring and re-insert the prongs. Doing this at a gig or in the dark will be a real challenge. They obvsiously wanted the same footswitch mechanism as BOSS which is a good idea but they could not copy their way of opening the battery compartment... possibly becuase of copyright or patent? If I were them I would rather build the battery into the bottom like boutique pedals. I would rather fiddle with a screwdriver that the current mechanism of the Behringer pedals... even in the dark
3. Low volume... gain on and the volume drops conciderably so the volume knob has to be all the way up
(this could be a quality issue as previous ones were too loud and stuck)
4. Printed deals and text seems like it will rub off with much use
Cheap as chips. Yet I don't believe that is such a big deal anymore. Mainly because there are so many pedal builders now that sell great pedals for under £30. These are usually metal casings, true-bypass and great sounding. See the likes of Joyo, Mooer, Belcat etc. I would argue that Behringer has now lost the bottom end pricing market for pedals and I wouldn't be suprised if they had to re-think their whole guitar effects pedal business.
Belcat, Mooer, Joyo, ENO, Hotone etc etc. The list goes on for great sounding, really great sounding pedals that come from China. The pricepoints are good and are smaller companies. The factory tours at least seem to indicate smaller companies and relatively well treated employees. Just like our hand and boutique builders I would rather support them. Behringer reviews are also always the same, hit and miss quality, noisy, just good enough. These are stereotypes usually associated with cheap stuff. Most of the other makers ahve managed to shake this off though so I believe and predict and real problem for Behringer exists. I guess it is adapt or die for their pedals. And to be brutally honest, if the Behringer pedals did go the way of the dinosaur I don't think anyone will miss them... would you?