What is it?
Digitech Death Metal distortion. Modern issue from Digitech Distortion series. Built around 2009.
Why would i post this effect? To be honest, i acquired it just because i was curious. Didn’t check any demos or read any reviews before i got it. Didn’t even think about getting one, but as the opportunity where i could get one for next to nothing with some other pedal that i needed showed up – well then. Here we are. Once i opened this up, i was convinced of the genius about the enclosure design. It doesn’t leave a of lot room between the board and top of the box, but the way metal top and bottom hold the PCB and jacks is very nice. For some reason i find it interesting that the components used are sort of an hybrid. SMD, through-hole mylars and panasonics. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – capacitance is still capacitance, no matter what material rocks your boat. But is it neat and/or convincing? Maybe not. or maybe even definitely not. The splitter feature at the output is good to have, while i don’t see any application for using it.
Other thing that made me smile. DigiTech continues with the DOD heritage of using one board for multiple designs. Apparently this one shares a board with modern layout version of the Grunge distortion. These designs may have a lot in common, but it puzzles me how the gain/hi/lo/level setup of the Grunge can be transformed into hi/mid/lo/level. Looking at the Grunge schematic, Death Metal would need a new filter to where the gain control is. This can be achieved with omitting couple of components from the Grunge board – while adding them to make it Death Metal. Plus the active filters after the main gain stage will need all new component values to match the frequency response of each of the designs.
Does the main gain stage look familiar to you? I think i’ve seen it somewhere… Yeah. In about 350 different distortions since 1980. 100K pot for gain and a hard clipping after it. I’m calling it “The Mouse Design” (or YAM) from now on.
How does it sound?
Not bad. I’ve used it in a couple of rehearsals for leads. Not sure if i’ll ever attach it to my main board, but it is a good, cheap tool for rich super high gain sustaining leads. Output level is more than just satisfying, while the noise levels stay in tolerable amounts. This hound (not exactly a puppy) doesn’t have a gain control at all (not a con, when was the last time you turned the gain down on any metal/high gain box?) Just an usable three band EQ to dial it in max on bass, treble and leave the mids slightly scooped. There you go with beautiful hardcore lead sounds. To be honest, this may very well be a decent budget alternative for Metal Zone. Don’t know what more to expect, but this is very cheap and durable tool. Wouldn’t call it perfect or even desirable. But as a tool, it may very well stay with me for a long time. I almost sold it already. Glad i didn’t. A tool.