What is it?
Danelectro DJ-4 Corned Beef reverb from Mini series. Made in chine around mid 00s.
Mini reverb? Idea sound solid. As i was closing in at finishing off my Mini collection, there was very little i could do but acquire one. There are many digital reverb designs around and usually their circuit footprint is relatively close the one of Spinosaurus. So either Danelectro had done the impossible by squeezing a reverb design in a box of this size, or there must be some pitfall in there. Opening the bottom plate shows that bottom PCB houses only the electronic bypass switching components. Have they managed to cram a digital reverb design to the smaller top board?
No. They have not. Checking the top board shows PT2399S. I had a gut feeling about this, mainly due to low price of these units. Usually reverbs of any kind are expensive – even the ones that are from those low end series of many big brands. This sort of explains everything. Sadly, Corned Beef is not a true reverb in anywhere else but the marketing spiel.
So the “reverb” is in fact a fixed delay that is made to mimic reverb sounds with short feedback and delay time. It may not be a true reverb, but it’s still a nicely designed PT2399-based SMD board. Controls do not control the reverb characteristics at all. There are simply mix and hi-cut knobs. Mix is obviously mixing the “reverbed” signal in with the clean and the high-cut seems to be a simple low pass filter with roll-off point controlled by a pot.
I could be a lot more disappointed. Cheap price is one factor that keeps the depression away. I think Dano wouldn’t have gotten away with charging real digital reverb prices for this one. I do think this is the closest to a reverb you can get with a single PT2399. Points for that. However, i’d rather call this one a pseudo-reverb…
How does it sound?
True. It sounds a bit reverbish, but not much. However, it’s not eve remotely close to any of the real digital reverbs around. Anyone familiar with the PT2399 sound can probably spot it being used just by hearing what it sounds like. As a short delay-like pedal, this could be useful. As a reverb? Nope. You need to cough up those bigger bucks for an unit to satisfy that need.