800-ZZOUNDS (800-996-8637)
When you call, mention priority code 20C-PL37
close [x]
Hours of Operation (EST)
  • Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri 7:30AM - 11:30PM
  • Sat, Sun 9:00AM - 10:00PM
Free shipping on every order: no minimum, no exclusions. Fast 2-day shipping: free on 90% of orders.

Rating and Reviews: EHX Black Finger Pedal

Get the smooth dynamics control of an expensive studio compressor in stompbox form with EHX's Black Finger -- a true tube compressor with 300 volts of swing.

User Ratings
Ease of Use
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
| | |

"Essential piece" submitted July 22, 2012

By Aleksey K in Madison, WI
Ease of Use
Manufacturer Support
The Wow Factor
Musical Background: On and off, on and off :)
Music Style: Blues, folk, doom, black metal, melodic death metal. And just catchy tunes.
Back to Product Information
zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us.
Overall: This compressor pedal is much more than just a compressor. As a compressor it is really very lively, very warm, thanks to the red light you can see whether gain needs to be added or compression increased to have proper levels going. Besides the obvious purpose of being a great tube/speaker high voltage amp guardian against low frequency peaks and opening up the dynamic range of an instrument for more comfortable and sweet experience, It can serve as a great boost or on the contrary decrease the signal strength in the chain. It can add extra gain to the point of driving the tubes of the amp wild creating almost fuzz-like real tube distortion. It can't replace a proper fuzz pedal but the things you can do with this compressor could be very interesting. It flattens the dynamic range without loosing the richness of the guitar tone and is equally great for compressing bluesy improvisations from a single coil pickup as it is great for sorting through dark and dirty signal from active pups. SQSH mode, besides apparently being popular for Nashville country stuff, which I won't say much about for my own good, is great to create a very tight smooth signal. You would need to find that perfect relationship between pre-gain and post-gain settings, would be easier to do it with pickups that have more output but it still can be manageable otherwise. That signal would be great to enter the amps as is but I like to send it through EQ and add some lows, cut some mids and slightly increase the high frequency, but not too much not spoil all the work Black Finer just did. After that I send this beautiful mess through overdrive, which adds a little bit more compression, opens up the dynamic range for the amp and offers some great sonic assault juicy, sharp and punchy sounds. The lamp mode doesn't level as much high frequency which is great for screeching black metal and blues. Or recording vocals, never did but I really can see it being useful under such circumstances.. For tight punchy palm muted riffs LED setting is very good if a little more defined sound is needed. In terms of noise problem.. Careful manipulation of pre-gain and post-gain can help to reduce the possible Borris / Sunn O))) background ambiance to a harmless little hiss. It doesn't bother me as much as I have a good noise gate that for the most part takes care of mos of the noises. Sometimes it comes through during pauses between playing notes but it kind of sounds good, like a little slap across the face. Sometimes noise can be beneficial for certain music. Since I don't have to be as careful I like to turn tone knob on my overdrive all the way to the right which gives insane sharpness to the heavy distortion twisting that sound wave inside out. In other words, this pedal can be adapted for any chain. If a little noise is a big problem the pedal can be tweaked well enough to provide decent signal to noise ratio. Of course digital compressors in that sense much more manageable but so sterile. If you like vintage tube warmth Black Finger is the compressor to go to. At least I don't know any cheaper alternatives with the tube circuit. The tubes get a bit warm but not warm enough to melt the carpet, I would still rather keep the pedal on a board (or at least on top of the empty cardboard box it came with) and make sure nylon-covered jumper cables are not touching the heat source. Let's say you can touch it for a few seconds and then it would get too hot to keep a finger on. So it's not terribly hot. The built quality seems good, the on/off switch makes a loud click which I find a little funny for some reason. The pedal is actually quite light but takes place of three overdrives and requires its own special power supply. The aluminum casing makes sense as it gives off the heat very well. If stolen I would buy another one just like it. My next experiment would be placing it before some wicked fuzz effect for further sonic madness. It's great for clean sound too, by the way, just as much as it is good for everything else. If curious at least give it a try at a local guitar shop if they actually have it but be warned that it would take a couple of hours at least to get a good idea what needs to be done to create a particular tone so the first impressions will be very deceiving. A little is good and often enough with this one / goes a long way, this not one of the pedals that sounds good when all knobs are turned all the way. It's something that I particularly enjoy about Black Finger, room for experiments and a lot of trial and error experiments are required to become familiar with it but it's way more rewarding than getting a comp with two knobs, putting it into chain and forgetting about its existence. Where is the fun? Also, don't be afraid if your Black Finger will sound very trashy, noisy and uncontrollable at first. It needs a little taming and then you will be the best friends. Sorry for a little scattered review but I hope it still helps to get a general idea about what this pedal is about.
22 of 29 people (75.86%) found this review helpful. Did you?
Thanks for your opinion!
close [x]

Thank you. Your vote has been counted. Could you briefly tell us why the review was or was not helpful?

BizRate Customer Certified (GOLD) Site
Questions? Our gear experts can help!
800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
When you call, mention priority code 20C-PL37. Llame Gratis en Español: 844-432-7449
Lunes-Domingo de 9AM a 7PM EST
Customize Search Results for Your Location
Follow zZounds on:
Shop with those who respect your privacy — we do. Copyright © 1996-2018, zZounds Music, LLC. Terms of use apply.
close [x]What is this?
A temporary customer reference number is assigned to each customer only while they are shopping on zZounds.com. If you call our customer service department for assistance, this number makes it easier for us to answer any questions you have about products, services or purchases.
close [x]What is this?
A temporary customer reference number is assigned to each customer only while they are shopping on zZounds.com. If you call our customer service department for assistance, this number makes it easier for us to answer any questions you have about products, services or purchases.
close [x]

1. zZounds offers the industry‘s most musician-friendly payment plans

zZounds offers a variety of Play as you Pay® installment plans that allow you to get the gear you want today. While our competitors might offer house credit cards that require you to fill out an application and pass a credit check, our payment plans are easy to get, simple to use, and, best of all, accrue zero interest. Unlike those house credit cards that can leave you vulnerable to exorbitant interest charges once the promotional period ends, we never have and never will charge interest when you take advantage of one of the zZounds Play as you Pay® plans.

zZounds payment plans details »

2. zZounds guarantees the lowest price

Seen it for less somewhere else? Get it for less at zZounds. Simply click the “Seen it for less?” link on any product page and as long as we‘re not losing money, we‘ll beat any legitimate competitor‘s lowest price, usually within two hours. Want our best price even faster? Call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll provide you with a lower price on the phone. Also, if you purchase from us and later find the product for less elsewhere, call or email us within 45 days, and we‘ll refund you the difference.

zZounds.com price match details »

3. Nobody Beats zZounds‘ Fast & Free Shipping

At zZounds, we know you want your gear fast, and shipped to you free of charge. That‘s why we have absolutely free ground shipping on every single order shipped within the continental United States. This includes heavy and oversized items. No minimum purchase required. No exclusions. We also ship over 90% of our orders with FREE 2-day shipping. We pull it all off with our strategically placed, coast-to-coast warehouses.

zZounds.com shipping details »

4. zZounds makes returns super easy

Buy it, try it, like it, or return it to us for a full refund. It‘s just that simple. If you‘re not in love with what you bought, return it to zZounds within 45 days, and we‘ll promptly arrange for an exchange or a refund. No hassles. No hidden charges. And if a product‘s defective or damaged, call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637), and we‘ll email you a prepaid shipping label so you can easily return it to us at zero cost to you.

zZounds.com return details »

5. zZounds delivers top-rated customer service

zZounds has received multiple Bizrate® Circle of Excellence Platinum awards, placing us in the top 0.7 percent of Bizrate‘s network of 5,200 retailers. Our success in meeting the needs of our customers -- since 1996, we‘ve satisfied over 1,000,000 people -- is due in large part to the fact that zZounds only hires experienced musicians to answer your calls and emails, and they are never paid a commission.

zZounds.com customer service »
close [x]
Available on
orders $59+
learn more

Need it now but short of cash? All we need is the first payment up front and the rest in easy monthly payments!

Fast approval.
We approve everyone, with very few exceptions, as long as we can verify your identity.
No interest. Ever.
It's just as if you paid the whole amount up front!
No paperwork. Nothing to track.
No application to mail or fax, no bills to pay. We automatically charge the payments to your credit card.

We'll wait on your money so you don't have to wait for your gear!

When you checkout, just click the Play as you Pay® checkbox to indicate which installment plan you wish to use.

close [x]
no minimum

learn more

Why fight traffic and pushy salesmen when we'll bring your gear straight to your home, free of charge?

zZounds free shipping is really free!
No hidden charges or hassles on returns.
Fast, reliable delivery
We have warehouses on both coasts, so most shipments arrive in 3 days or less.
close [x]

A guarantee so solid, you never have to worry about price when shopping at zZounds

We'll beat any price
Simply click the Seen it for less? link next to the gear you want or call us at 800-zZounds (800-996-8637)
Got a coupon from another site?
Use it with us - we'll beat those prices, too!
Find a better price after buying from us?
No problem. We'll refund you the difference for 45 days, so you'll never regret buying from zZounds.

You'll still get the trustworthy service you've come to expect from zZounds, without paying more for your gear!