Is there any cooler pedal than the MXR Custom Badass ’78 Distortion? Well, maybe, but it’s a pretty tough one to top. Just listen to that thing. But the team behind that possibly-underappreciated Dude You Totally Have To Try It pedal have just announced their newest offering, the Super Badass Distortion, which allows you to further personalise your distortion sound with separate Bass, Mid and Treble controls and nice broad range of distortion levels. Jim Dunlop has a great blog post where they discuss the pedal with the design team, and you can check that out here. But here’s the press release: Continue reading
Here’s something pretty neat from MXR: a new distortion pedal that’s exclusive to Guitar Center (both instore and online) and Musicians Friend. It’s a vintage-vibed stomper which seems quite flexible and amp-like. Check out the videos at the bottom of this post to get a feel for what this baby can do. By the way, don’t MXR do the coolest videos? I like their style. They seem to capture that whole exciting tunnel-vision vibe you get when you try a new pedal for the first time. And their videos from NAMM this year were killer too.
Here’s the press release for the Prime Distortion, followed by the videos.
TC Electronic is particularly known for their amazing reverbs and delays, but the company has quite a handle on gain-based effects as well. Case in point: their brilliant Nova Drive, a programmable, digitally-controllable analog drive unit. But not everybody wants to sift through digital presets and learn parameters and memory banks and the like. Some players just want to turn some knobs, dial in a killer tone and play. That’s where the Röttweiler Distortion comes in.
The Röttweiler Distortion is built using the same basic ‘hammerhead’ rugged die-cast aluminium chassis as TC’s excellent TonePrint pedals and the revolutionary PolyTune tuner, and purely from an aesthetic perspective it looks really cool. I like TC’s design sense. There are four control pots, Gain, Level, Bass and Treble, along with a two-way Voice switch which governs the midrange profile. There’s an input, an output, a True Bypass switch, a really quite bright red LED to indicate that the effect is on, and a 9v DC supply jack. Battery access is through a handy little turn screw on the bottom.
Last year I reviewed the phenomenal MI Amplification Megalith Beta amp. Well check this out! MI Effects is releasing the Megalith Delta high gain distortion pedal, and you can win one! “But dude,” I hear you type, “We want to know more about the Megalith Delta!” Well…
MI EFFECTS RELEASES THE MEGALITH DELTA HIGH GAIN DISTORTION PEDAL
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA JUNE 6, 2012 – The quest for the ultimate in high-gain distortion continues for MI Effects with the announcement that the Megalith Delta high gain distortion pedal is ready to hit the streets on the 8th June. This highly anticipated release has a completely unique and original design, and will change the perception of high-gain distortion stomp boxes.
Michael Ibrahim, director of MI Audio, and pedal designer comments “The Megalith Delta high gain distortion pedal design came from years of R&D of our MI Amplification high gain amplifier, the Megalith Beta. It took some time for me to really understand the variables behind great high gain tones. But by designing the Megalith Beta amplifier from the ground up, I was able to really grasp how to make a complex, sophisticated high gain sound that kept all the nuances, huge bottom end and the clarity and character of the top end”.
Welcome to the second ‘My Top Five Guitarists.’ Last week journalist Angela Allan gave us her list. Today it’s Dave Higgins, host of Distortion on Triple M. Higgo’s out there really pushing metal in Australia – seriously, can you imagine any other commercial radio station playing “Poltergeist” by the Devin Townsend Project? Or Soulfly’s “Redemption of Man By God?” So take it away Higgo!
choosing your favourite is hard…
Let me explain.
I’ve recently been asked to submit my top 5 guitarists of all time, and trust me, this is truly like asking a parent which is their favourite child. Providing of course that their kids are relatively normal and that one isn’t like Charles Manson so as to give an unfair advantage to the other child, or children.I can play guitar, poorly, and basically, but my appreciation of axe wielders goes back to the first time I dropped the needle onto my first record “Chipmunk Punk”.
For those that aren’t familiar with the blinding awesomeness of Chipmunk Punk, Alvin, Simon and Theodore, those 3 mischievous critters turned their paws to covering some great songs back in 1980. None of which are actually punk songs, more new wave than punk, it featured songs like Queens ‘Crazy little thing called Love’, Blondies ‘Call Me’, The Knacks ‘My Sherona’, so for an impressionable 6 year old, this was pure spun gold, especially is you turned the record player up to 78 so the chipmunks squawked at a pitch that would drive dogs to insanity.
But I would jam on my wooden tennis racquet in the lounge room of mum and dads place, doing knee slides during the solo of My Sherona, not fully realising how much the music was actually influencing my taste in music and increasing my appreciation for the sounds a guitar can make.
So where do you start with a a list like this?
TC Electronic is quite up-front about the sound they’re going for with the new Dark Matter distortion: their website proclaims that it is designed to give you the sound of an early Plexi amp. Sounds good to me! So do they nail it? Let’s have a look.
The Dark Matter is a very robust stomper with a no-nonsense control array consisting of Treble, Bass, Gain and Level pots and a Voice switch (which shifts the bass response). It’s made from high-grade components, and is built into the same basic ‘hammerhead’ rugged die-cast aluminium chassis as TC’s excellent TonePrint pedals and the revolutionary PolyTune tuner. Its pedalboard footprint is pretty minimal so it’s unlikely that the jacks will cause too much of a space problem. There’s an input, an output, a True Bypass switch, a really quite bright red LED to indicate that the effect is on, and a 9v DC supply jack. Battery access is through a handy little turn screw on the bottom which you can easily turn with a guitar pick or a coin. The pedal runs on an 9v battery or a power supply.
The Source Audio Soundblox Multiwave Distortion is not your standard grit box. It’s a whole new approach to the way we make our guitars scream, cry, wail, grind, howl, grunt and growl. It features 21 variations of Source’s digital distortion algorithm – some conventional, some definitely not – with seven ‘normal’ settings and 14 multiband ones. Reeves Gabrels is a fan. not hard to see why.
The pedal is divided into two distinct sections – effect and switch – and while the switch is of the momentary variety, it triggers an active analog bypass which fully routes the signal around the DSP for pure tone when the effect is not engaged. At the heart of the unit is a state-of-the-art DSP — source’s proprietary 56-bit Digital Signal Processor, the SA601 and crystal-clear 24-bit converters. There are only four controls: Effect, Sustain, Drive and Output. Effect selects between the 21 different sounds; Sustain adjusts the input gain to increase the level going to the distortion effect; Drive modifies the gain of the signal going to the distortion; and Output is your standard volume control. You can also pair it with Source’s Hot Hand motion sensor ring and wireless adaptor to
The MXR Custom Badass ’78 Distortion is the first product from the Custom Badass design team of Dunlop Director of New Products Jeorge Tripps (founder of Way Huge Electronics), Dunlop Senior Engineer Bob Cedro (who cut his teeth working with the legendary Tom Scholz of Boston) and Bryan Kehoe. The ’78 Distortion is described as a factory-modded pedal designed to give players the boutique vibe of an aftermarket-modded pedal without actually buying a pedal then paying for some dude to poke around in its innards.
Controls are your standard Output, Tone and Distortion knobs, along with a Crunch button (and accompanying blue LED which remains on when the button is depressed, whether the effect itself is on or not). There’s a red status LED, input and output jacks, and a 9v power supply jack. Battery access is via removing the bottom plate – kind of annoying and fiddly, especially if you keep your pedals attached to a pedalboard, but at least you don’t risk losing or breaking a battery door like some other pedals.
The MXR Distortion + is the legendary pedal that Randy Rhoads used with Ozzy Osbourne. My guitar teacher had one and I freaking loved that thing. I’ve vowed to get one myself some day. I still haven’t checked that one off the list but maybe you can, if you enter Jim Dunlop’s MXR Distortion + giveaway. Check out this snippet from the Jim Dunlop blog:
We got a GREAT Friday giveaway for you diehard vintage MXR fans out there. This week we’re giving away a vintage reissue of a Distortion +, yup its the tone that made Randy Rhoads famous. You won’t find this bad boy in stores because it’s still in pre-production! This is a special model that was meticulously spec’d, and recreated—hand-wired by one of our engineers. MXR Vintage fans – complete the vintage family before everybody else! Generally speaking we usually restrict our giveaways to USA only, but because this giveaways so rad we’re going to open it up to the world.
For details on how to enter, click here.
Steve Vai’s ears are a very demanding pair of fellows indeed. In addition to holding on a parade of stylish sunglasses over the years they’ve been at least partially responsible for some of the coolest distortion tones in recorded history. “Bad Horsie.” “Erotic Nightmares.” “Building The Church.” The dude knows tone. With the Ibanez Jemini, Dr Vai is seeking to redefine the humble distortion pedal for the needs of modern guitarists, who tend to achieve distortion a little differently to players of 25 years ago (when everyone used an ADA MP-1 into the effects return of a Marshall JCM900) or 35 years ago (Marshalls cranked up to 10). Modern guitarists often layer different kinds of distortion together, or they seek pure preamp-type gain. The Jemini has you covered either way.