Archive for March, 2014

Danelectro LM-1 Black Paisley Liquid Metal

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

LM1-BlackPaisley

What is it?
Danelectro LM-1 Black Paisley Liquid Metal distortion with optional down octave. Made in china around early to mid 00s.

Danelectro is a fun and sometimes quite surprising brand that truly appeals to me. For some reason i’m sort of an sucker for those floral patterns, so the graphics on the pedal have their own piece. of attraction as well. Where some of the Danelectro units are meh, kinda ok or well designed (or sometimes just redesigned), there are some that really blow my mind. This unit is one of those. In addition to very successful graphic design, just take a look of the photo below. Check the placement of the SMD resistors and caps. symmetry is astounding. No schematic around. I think that this is not a prime suspect for tracing due to heavy component count and pretty complex overall design. After all, it is a super high gain distortion with good EQ controls and an added flip-flop based down octave.

LM1-BlackPaisley-guts

All the controls deliver what they promise. To begin with, there’s your volume pot, in addition to distortion and two band EQ with separate controls for bass and treble. Next, there’s the mids control on a switch that goes from flat mids to scooped to boosted. Lastly there’s a down octave slide switch between the jacks. All the controls work well and offer quite a large palette of tweakability.

How does it sound?

The sound has its own character when it comes to distortion. Down octave feels quite wild, even though this doesn’t get even close to overwhelming DOD Buzzbox kind of wild. The personality in the sound reminds me easily of many classic metal distortions, like Boss HM-2 and MT-2. Boosted mids on this one are probably a game saver for many HM-2 fans. Output level is sufficient and the EQ plus the mids switch offer a lot of versatility for overall tone. Very versatile and still it manages to have a personality. Very recommended Danelectro unit, and not just for down octave enthusiasts.

Colorless writings, part 8 – Short but sweet

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

I’ve been wanting to write this piece for a long time. As a note to self (and to you, too)…

These are just guitar effect pedals. They are not magic. Capacitance is capacitance and resistance is resistance. One component won’t sound any different from another with exactly the same value in capacitance or resistance. They are not magic. The thing called “mojo” is just a psychosis. It doesn’t exist. These are just guitar effect pedals.

Ibanez DFL Digital Flanger

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

DFL

What is it?
Ibanez DFL Digital Flanger from Master Series. Made in japan in mid 80’s. Missing the type plate sticker, but otherwise in very good condition.

Now, for real, get ready for running in the guts of the iron worm. The basis for all the metal worm psychedelic action is MC4101F. There’s also a schematic available for download at Schematics Unlimited. Must be one of the most complex pedal designs i’ve seen so far. Just look at the solder joints. The board is so full that it’s simply amazing.

DFL-guts1

The amount of usable controls are  also notable. There’s your standard Speed and Width. And Delay Time and Regeneration. Plus a three position switch for delay time range from 0.5-4ms to 1-8ms and finally to 2-16ms. Those ranges offer pretty much every usable delay times that are needed for flange effect. There are scans of user’s manual up on Tone Home.

DFL-guts3

With wide range of  controls, it is very usable and well made flanger. Even i don’t consider myself as a huge flanger fan or big time user, this unit still impresses me. And for the complexity.. There’s really not much for me to go on about with my puny understanding that is all based on simple analog circuits.

There are rumours around the internet that these units are ultimately rare and the number produced is very low. I don’t believe either of those claims are true as at the time of writing there are five different units for sale on ebay.

How does it sound?
In the guts of a iron worm. Metallic and cold. Simply beautiful sound. And over the pot at the same time. If you’re after a soft sounding airplane sweeper, you should pass this one completely. It offers harsh, deep flange that’ll melt your brains. Just beautiful.