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4ms Duo Distortor
Overall Rating
Submitted: August 31st, 2004
by Ryan Kendall
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Sound Quality
I currently use a very wide variety of guitars and amps, for ease of understanding, I will base this review on the use of two guitars one with a humbucker (les paul) and one single coil (strat)and a clean sounding amp (fender) First the green channel - sort of sounds like a tube screamer with a little more grit! I really like turning the volume knob up and the fuzz knob down - gives a great overdrive - I like to roll the volume off on my guitars just a bit - this seems to clean up the distortion a touch - think early billy Gibbons tone (ZZ TOP) if you turn up the fuzz it start to get a little thick - great classic rock and blues sounds out of the green channel. I like to have the low power mods and the mud knobs set around the 12 o'clock to 1'oclock positions. the red channel is more of a muff fuzz sounding distortion - kinda like a bigg muff but a lot better with more sound options and controls - I was able to get some cool Smashing Pumpkins sustain out of this channel - You have to keep the sustain and volume knobs turned down a bit - maxed out is to much - Choking muff fuzz - back it off and get some great sustaining distortion. Just a note about the 4ms pedals - the knobs and controls seem a little different than a typical distortion box - each knob seems to have several different sweet spots, especially the "low" and "mud" options, the sightest movement of the knob can yield very drastic (and rewarding) results - so the units are a little touchy as far as dialing the sound you like - the positive about this is that you will find several different settings that sound good instead of just one or two spots that sound right like on a tube screamer or other typical distortion pedal. The tone controls seem to have a wide range - i would have liked a little bit more range on the bottom end - this unit sounds a little brittle with maybe to much high end tone - I'm sure this could be easily changed upon request. So overall I'm giving it a "9" on sound quality - I think it has several very useful settings! A cherished addition to my tone locker!!!
Reliability/Durability
I have only had this thing for about one week - this is the second pedal i have received from Dann at 4ms pedals. So far no problems, the thing is built like a tank and has a lifetime, no questions asked guarantee to the original owner - I don't expect to have any problems with this unit.
Price/Value
General Comments
Overall rating is a 10 - I know I probably seems a little optimistic but - why not?! Dann at 4ms was super to work with, the pedal sounds great and is useful to me and my "tone" I've been playing for 15 years and have tried just about everything, this pedals seems to cover a lot of ground. I would definitely get another if lost or stolen. I really like the green channel - cool blues and rock vibes coming out of this thing. I also like the custom vibe you get with the 4ms pedals - this thing is hand wired and hand painted by Dann himself- It really has a lot of "mojo" - very unique. I would like it if he could weld some eyelets on at the bottom corners of the pedals, that way you could mount this to a board, right now I'm looking a velcro - which I hate. (the 4ms pedals have a top removable plate instead of on the bottom, like most effect pedals) Definitely go to 4mspedals.com and check out what they have to offer. my duo is the red/gold/brown paint color. I also like the fact that Dann will mount the knobs in any particular fashion that you like - each one is laid out differently. Overall - this thing helps me get some good tones - which makes it easier to play and be creative - This adds to the music experience instead of getting in the way. It's also a pleasnt change to actually converse with the person builing the effect pedal, instead of plugging in to something that was made overseas, probably by someone(s) that don't even play guitar. The "Homegrown" vibe with 4ms just can't be beat!
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