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4ms Duo Distortor Rouge
Overall Rating
Submitted: June 13th, 1998
by Scott-EWlla
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Sound Quality
I use lots of different guitars, but generally I use gibson style things with humbuckers including an Ibanez Artist, a Yamaha SBG3000 and an old SG jr. I play through an Hiwatt DR504 and an older Marshall Super Lead 100 thru two older Marshall 4x12. I have used the pedal with a Tokai Strat and Tele as well as some old wacky Kawais, Hofners and Ekos and The pedal doesn't seem to favor any of them. It has enhanced the distorted sound of most any guitar i have tried. You can probably get almost all the standard fuzz sounds out of it (ie Mudhoney, Blue Cheer, Cynics, Swervedriver and on and on ...) and great od sounds as well (TS-808 on PCP might describe the red channel) It has lots of bottom and plenty of sizzle also.
These things are built real well with high quality components, but i never play anywhere without some sort of backup. Thus far, i have had no problems with the pedal.
General Comments
I would definitely purchase the Duo again. It is extremely useful, especially for recording. To let you know where i am coming from i can tell you that I love music of all sorts. The only stuff i don't really dig is bad Hair-farming Cock-Rock Metal and Classical. I love Blues, Country Blues, Soul (esp. Motown!!), Rock, Punk, Metal, Garage-Retro... You name it I dig it. I play (rarely nowadays w/ the arrival of my son Lukas) in a just-for-laughs-and-beer Band called Nasty Phlegm Build-up. The Idea originally was to only cover only Stiff Little Fingers songs and call ourselves Rigid digits, but We worked about 6 SLF tunes and started branching out. We cover the Damned (neatneatneat), Adverts (gary Gilmores Eyes), The Circle Jerks (Coup d'etat), Misfits (Where eagles dare) and whatever else comes to mind. We try to play incredibly loud and as fast as we possibly can (it is a great way to blow off steam so you don't end up going postal some day). In the band, i usually just use the Duo to boost the same standard old school punk rock sound for solos. The Duo is quite useful for overdrive purposes on the red channel with the Sustain knob around 12:00. It is great for hitting the front end of the super lead for a crunchier rhythm sound or a boosted lead sound. If you crank the sustain knob full on it behaves like a thinner fuzz (Maestro, Ibanez Overdrive etc.) The Duo's green channel compares favourably to most fuzzes i have owned (i have had most), but the green channel IMHO seems to be a cross pollination of the Foxx Tone Machine, the Big Muff and a Roland BEEBAA. It isn't a clone by any length, but it can sound similar to those boxes. I love the fuzz sounds for recording. Dan added what he calls a "mud" knob to mine. It is wicked. Essentially, at lower gain settings of Green channel and all settings of Red channel, turning the mud knob slightly clockwise punchs up the gain slightly. Turning further clockwise gives the effect of a dying battery (which is very cool) until the sound really starts to crap out. On the green fuzz channel, a similar thing happens but at higher gain settings the sound starts to swell (ie the harder you hit the strings, the less sound comes out at first, then the sound swells in). If you tweak it carefully, you can almost get some backwards tape swell effects. There isn't alot that i don't like about the pedal. The stompswitches seem a little weaker than you typical ones but i haven't broke one yet. I understand that Dan uses these switches because the heavy duty ones would drive up the cost of the pedals too high for his liking. Also, I wish i had of got Dan to add an extra Master volume knob so i could match levels between green and red channels Personally, I think the idea of using junction boxes for the pedals is excellent, but any one who buys one of Dan's pedals shouldn't really expect to get a glossy looking DOD or Boss style pedal. If you care more about the sound than the look you will dig the Duo. Regardless of Musical style, Most players would probably find a use for the Duo. Considering the price, I don't think you can lose. Great big bang for your Buck!!!!
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