The Eventide H9 Max is a guitarists’ secret weapon. For a session player or hired gun, it means you’ll never have to make do without your desired tones and troubleshoot alternatives on the fly again.

For the bandmate or songwriter, it allows you to tap into hundreds of fun, creative sounds that make writing easy and interesting. Thanks to every one of Eventide’s 49 algorithms—including the TimeFactor delay, Modfactor modulation, the pitch-shifting Pitchfactor, and Space reverb—and the customizable factory presets, the pedal packs a whopping amount of potential, and your new tuner, into a reasonably small space on your board.

The H9 features a wildly straightforward interface, with an old school digital screen, 5 buttons and a massive dial to adjust whatever you pull up. But the magic happens with the free H9 Control app (available for iOS, Mac, PC and newly on Android), that connects and communicates with the pedal via Bluetooth, allowing you to scroll through and select presets at the tap of your screen and adjust them while the device updates in real time.

At A Glance

The H9 comes with two hefty manuals, and for good reason. Even though this pedal looks simple to use, you need to know how to use it to unlock its full capabilities. I read the user manual cover to cover as recommended on its first page. The second manual is the algorithm guide, an in-depth but totally easy-to-follow explanation of how the parameter dial in the program affects each tone. After reading both of the manuals I had zero trouble navigating this pedal, so I’d say it’s a good idea that anyone who picks up the H9 do the same.

  • Midi In and Out/Thru capabilities
  • Includes 99 factory-created presets, additional presets can be purchased via app
  • USB Input for laptop or interface connection
  • Input 1 (mono) + 2, Output 1 (mono) + 2
  • Ability to connect an external Expression Pedal for more control

First Thing’s First

Connection. One of the beautiful and also kinda confusing thing’s about the H9 is its ability to house a number of possible connections, again making it a really great companion for the tour warrior and hired gun. Here’s a few recommended connections to get your started (also found in the manual on page 10).

*Keep in mind that if you plan on connecting additional pedals with the H9 make sure to connect them in front of the H9 and adjust levels accordingly.

Basic guitar/bass Setup
Guitar > H9 > Amp — Input 1 (Mono In) / Output 1 (Mono Out)

2 Amp Setup
Guitar > H9 Input 1 (mono in) > H9 Output 1 (mono out) > Amp 1
Cable from H9 Output 2 (stereo in) > Amp 2

Mixer Connection
Mixer Effects Send > H9 > Mixer Effects Return

Amazing Sound

With the H9, Eventide yet again proves its reputation for quality products. Even with all the processing power and effects consolidated into this unit, no details are spared. The quality of sound is unbelievable. It’s stereo in/out, and sounds spacious and crystal clear when played directly through my interface.

Customizable Expression

You can use the H9 to set a range of functionality for any parameter of the expression (for example, your mix could be set to swing between 26% and 89%, never less and never more), and you can also choose to set multiple parameters to change in tandem. The Hotknob function allows you to adjust expression with the center dial.

Queue Your Presets

The H9 allows you to save all of your presets—including the ones you’ve created yourself—to a playlist you can cycle through your favorites and pull them up with the touch of a switch, or edit your queue and create sets in-app. Change to your next preset whenever you want, and easily switch from phaser to overdrive to delay. Streamlining the H9 with a feature like that makes it extremely efficient for live use.

$700 ($499 street price) is pricey for a pedal, but when you consider the amount of ground the H9 covers, it makes it an affordable and convenient alternative to a huge collection of one-shot pedals. There’s nothing Eventide hasn’t thought through with this pedal, and it’s proven by it’s versatility and functionality. If it feels outside of your budget, they also offer more affordable versions. The H9 Core and H9 Harmonizer are the exact same hardware with the same capabilities, just come with less algorithms and presets. You can buy the effects you want in-app, and both the Core and Harmonizer versions have the option of upgrading it to the Max version with all algorithms and presets, plus any made for the H9 in the future.