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Sound Quality

The Supra is my main distortion pedal in my Twiggy & Frollywog stage setup: Lotus str@t>Supra>DOD Stereo Flanger>Cry Baby>Dan-Echo>Laney HC50. Why, I don't know...technically it's not a particularly good distortion pedal, but somehow it has the BITE I need. Our style is mainly a kind of jangle-pop that keeps breaking out into alternative fuzz-happiness, and my other pedals just don't seem to do the trick (DS-1=too thick and '70s-hard-rock, DOD Classic Fuzz=nice just not right for our sound), but this one just sort of adds dirt to the guitar sound in a way that somehow WORKS in that context, without drawing attention to itself. Especially with the Dan-Echo to thicken up the texture...it can then sound much closer to a NICE pedal. On its own, it's not exactly great. It leans more towards fuzz than distortion, but compared with the Classic Fuzz (with which, as I mentioned before, it shares the same PC board and 99% of its components) it sounds like a fuzz that somehow isn't working quite right...it's hard to describe. It's a rough kind of fuzz, and definitely not the smooth kind of singing distortion you get in a DS-1 or a Big Muff. It's also quite heavy on the treble, not a lot of bottom end. It's tempting to crank the gain all the way up, but I've found that my preferred setting is with the gain and tone both about 9:00, and the Lotus on its middle pickup. Bottom line: the Supra is an effective signal-crud-upper, but not a source of great tone on its own. But sometimes, faceless but grungy distortion is just what you need.

Reliability/Durability

Hasn't failed on me yet, and I've had it for probably 10 years. I do worry about that patented DOD stomp pad (I can't bring myself to call it a footswitch), which has failed on my Classic Fuzz, but so far it still switches the thing in and out of the circuit. And of course DOD pedals are all-metal compromised with regrettable use of plastic pieces: those knob-pointer-inserts that keep falling off and getting lost (fortunately the slots in the pot shafts roughly correspond to the pointer positions); the battery cover, which if it gets lost (likely)and you dare to leave the battery hanging out, you WILL eventually break the wires on the battery connector; and that "footswitch." But poor design aside, DOD pedals are pretty solidly built overall, as everyone knows.

General Comments

Tone snobs look elsewhere. Metal distortion fans look elsewhere. The Supra is a very mediocre pedal any way you look at it...not necessarily BAD, mind you, but it's probably not what most guitarists who have progressed past the garage are searching for. It's amazing that for a design so close to a verifiably excellent pedal (the Classic Fuzz) it sounds so colorless. But it DOES dirty up your sound. And in a small club, when you just want the guitar fuzzed out for the solo or chorus, or whatever, and you're not looking to emulate <insert guitar hero here>'s tone, this pedal will inexpensively perform the function of dirtying your guitar. And it CAN sound decent with the right setup and settings. Best to experiment, try before you buy, bla bla.

 

www.floorian.com

www.twiggyandfrollywog.com




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