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6 of 6 found the following review helpful:
A hidden gem of a pedal... Aug 25, 2011
By Alex Nennig
I'll cut to the chase:
The Danelectro Cool Cat Metal (CM1) pedal is one of the finest, most versatile distortion pedals I've ever found.
As the box says, "Don't let the name fool you, this is much more than metal!" Fact is, calling this a "Metal" Pedal kinda gives the user a wrong impression. As the instructions explain (read them, very important with this particular pedal) its more of a pre-amp that sits on the floor than a tradtional metal pedal.
In that respect, it really provides a lot of versatility, as it has a knob each for treble, middle, and bass for lots of tone shaping options. These knobs are very responsive, though, again, a lot more amp-like than most pedals. For example, for a time I also owned a Boss Metal Zone (this Dano replaced it, if you're wondering) which also had low, mid, high controls as well as an additional mid-scoop shaping knob, and it was very easy to turn those knobs too much and get really ugly, unusable sounds. I had to be very careful with the controls or the pedal would be off-balance and just sound terrible. No such problems with my Cool Cat, I can dial in whatever tone I want and I've yet to find a setting that turns my sound into a cloudy pile of mush (which was way too easy to achieve with my Metal Zone). So the 3 EQ knobs are extremely versatile and useful.
Also very amp like are the gain and volume knobs. Unlike a traditional metal pedal, its not a distortion of the signal so much as a wide ranged overdrive with a volume limiter after it. So you're overdriving the daylights out of your signal, then adjusting the volume accordingly. And the gain and volume on tap are HUGE! This is probably the loudest pedal I have, and you can really use that capability for a variety of purposes. The gain itself, like I mentioned, is also very wide-ranged. With the gain set to its minimum, its completely clean, so you can use this pedal purely as a volume boost. You can also set the gain very low with the mids boosted and achieve a TubeScreamer quality to the tone. So if you have a big amp that's running pretty dirty already, this pedal is great for pushing it into the sweet spot, or even just running a mild gain into a clean signal for some great blues pickin'.
At medium gain you find a lot of great overdriven "big amp" kinda tones, for me it was easy to dial in a chimey overdrive ala AC/DC or even a dirty Marshall tone reminiscent of early Motorhead.
Push it higher and you realize that the pedal can indeed live up to its Metal namesake, you get great big high gain metal tones out of it as well.
All of this and its true bypass, so no tone loss with the pedal disengaged.
But enough gushing about the tone, how about the construction? Surely a pedal this cheap has to be built cheap, right? This stompbox is sturdy as can be, it has a thick metal shell, a thick metal switch and metal input/output jacks (not plastic). I have no doubts this pedal can take its fair share of abuse, and should be able to hold its own against Boss and the rest in any durability contest.
Its not perfect, however. As good as the sound and construction is, the design isn't exactly user friendly. Danelectro uses the same shape for the whole Cool Cat pedal line, so even though this pedal has 5 control knobs, there's only 3 spaces to fit knobs, so 4 controls are stacked, leaving only the gain knob on its own. This wouldn't be too bad really, except the knobs are fairly stubby and located on the back of the pedal, not on the face. So adjusting the pedal when its on the ground while you're standing over it makes it seem like the controls work backwards.
Again, the instruction booklet provides insight as to how to best change the settings on the knobs, and how to read them, etc. so I encourage anyone picking this up to spend the 3-5 minutes it takes to read the instructions and familiarize yourself with how this pedal works.
Because while this pedal isn't your traditional stomp box, it's really something else, and a no-brainer given the cost.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
I think it's great overall Feb 08, 2013
By common sense
First I should qualify my review in that I'm a beginner and while my playing is ok, my technical knowledge is limited pertaining to guitar electronics and this is my first pedal, so what do I know? I got this pedal based on the review of a guy who really knew his stuff, he reviewed a boss ds1 pedal I was interested in and he listed like 8 of his all time favorites. This was one of them. For the price I'm giving it 5 stars. If it was like double the price I would start knocking it. Here's why:
The good: its heavy solid metal casing held up to the abuse of the post office. The package was destroyed but the pedal was completely intact. The heft and weight of it gives you confidence knowing you can step on this thing and it won't likely break.
The bad: battery hog, if you leave the cables in it, like I did you will learn fast that you must unplug it when you are not using it. I left it over a period of a couple days and killed the battery. Oops! The controls- this is why I would knock stars off it if it was more expensive. The controls are kind of a hassle, having the knobs "stacked". So you must move the bottom knob where you want it, then hold it firm and spin the top where you want it. Sorry if I'm not explaining it right, but it's a hassle that could be avoided with separate knobs.
Conclusion: I love the sound I get out of this thing. It can be anything from hardly noticed to insanely powerful. It has the ability to really amp up the volume too. For the price I think it's great.
A Pretty Fun Pedal Aug 13, 2012
By Doctor Kilganon
I originally bought this to replace the onboard distortion included on my Solid State practice amp. The amp's onboard distortion was essentially unusable, but with this pedal, I was able to get some decent tones. However, once I upgraded to an all tube half stack, this pedal seemed completely useless, since the onboard tube distortion blew this away. After some experimentation, I found that this pedal is PERFECT to use as a sound booster!
Overall a great buy for low-end amp users.
0 of 2 found the following review helpful:
idk about this Jul 19, 2012
Just buy the distortion pedal idk what this pedal does really high gain can get a distorted like sound but I think the distortion pedal just does it better. otherwise the tone/bass on your amp can do the same thing as this pedal (metal).