What is it?
Danelectro DC-1 Cool Cat Chorus, the original 18V version. Made in china, 1996.
Again? Didn’t i write about this already? Well. I did, but with the later 9V version. This is the first edition that runs on 18V. Are there a lot of differences between these two? Well. Not that much, but i thought this would still warrant the overview. On the outside, the differences are minute. The only noticeable thing is the “18V” note next to the power supply jack. Once the bottom plate is removed, there are two battery snaps in place.
This is definitely the most interesting thing about the whole series. As the enclosure is the same for all “original series” boxes, there is this dual battery slot present in every single one. The reason must be that the 18V DC-1 was designed first and i’m assuming there were plans to use the 18V supply voltage on later models as well. Other 18V units never happened, but the dual slot remained in every pedal. Which is quite funny considering that the Dan-Echo uses only 5V for its entire operation. Due to two batteries and the doubled supply requirement, the jack board is slightly different too.
Rest of the circuit remains closer to the latter 9V version. As Dano pedals come, this is the most beautiful board design in them all. Completely filled and there is something that reminds me of Ibanez L-series boxes with extremely crowded boards a bit. Tight squeezing also resembles some of the old japanese boards i’ve seen. Although this isn’t as packed as, for example, the Pearl Electro Echo. No standing resistors.
The factory that was chosen to build these had their quality high gear on with this first run. This doesn’t mean that the later pedals are done in a sloppier manner, but the plant was obviously not in a hurry when they produced these.
Either way. It’s very close to the latter 9V version by all the other standards. And by design.
I’d go as far as saying this is the Danelecto equivalent of Maxon/Ibanez FL-301/FL-301DX. (Edit 20200108 – As Japan Vintage FX noted on the comment section, this may have its origins coming from Maxon/IBanez, but not as the unit i originally wrote, for some reason, thought. CS-505/CS-9 would have been better suspects – and still are. Thanks!) Same box with same design. Just different power supply requirement. And that does affect one thing…
How does it sound?
Great. Fat and lush. Extended headroom and simply beautiful swirls. Definite competitor to Boss CE-2. I do not pull this card out too easily.. But. I think it’s warranted here. Very good sounding chorus that shows dedication to detail from the design crew. I’m fairly certain the world was expecting a lot from Danelectro when these came out in 1996. Sadly, it’s been quite a steep downhill ride from there. But this unit is really top notch. No way around it. Possible the best Danelectro pedal ever.
12 thoughts on “Danelectro DC-1 Cool Cat Chorus”
Noob question, because I have read conflicting things:
Are these analog or digital?
Wow, you weren’t kidding! Thanks for the tip. I have to admit I was slightly skeptical, but you speak the truest of truths on this pedal. I’m kind of mystified people are selling these.
This is one of my all time favourite pedals. I had the 18V version originally, sold it and bought a 9V. A while ago I bought the 18V version too. But I didn’t find that much difference between them…
Have you done a comparison? And what do you think?
Btw it’s great for a keyboard too. With a little overdrive I can get a sound similar to Jon Lord’s distorted hammond (the beast) from my piece of crap 80’s casiotone :D ..not to mention the David Gilmour sounds with a guitar!
A little late to the party/thread… Anyways, I just bought one of these off of ebay but have not received it yet. Looking at the circuit board in your picture there are two trim pots. Do you know what they do?
Those are used to fine tune the clock and BBD for proper function. Tampering with them won’t result in usable tones.
Hello I have the old 18v pedal and I was wondering why that manual says that it is running max 300ma power but what is minimum? Does it work with 100ma?
Surely it does. For some idiotic reason almost all Danelectro pedals have that 300mA requirement printed on them. Honestly, none of them really need anything even remotely that high in terms of current to operate properly. Just ignore it.
The rason for the print could be to ensure users would use proper wall warts. If you take that 300mA out of a 9V battery, it wouldn’t last for more than a minute.
Excellent blog here, a great read.
“I’d go as far as saying this is the Danelecto equivalent of Maxon/Ibanez FL-301/FL-301DX”
Owning both the Cool Cat and the Maxon (Ibanez) CS-505 chorus I can confirm they are 99% identical sound/function wise. The CS-505 was upgraded into the CS-9 at 9v, as of course was the Cool Cat DC-1.
Required listening = The Stone Roses eponymous debut LP, lush Leslie-esque chorus from a CS-9, sounds easily obtainable with the DC-1
I have no idea what i was thinking back then. Anyway, that’s for your note! I’ve added a little update to the post.
I have two of the 18i volt version and I use them for bass. Simply stunning and has loads of headroom. I never had the original power supplies. I use Hewlett-Packard printer power supplies with the power jack wired to suit the pedal.