Aimed at heavy rock and nu-metal thrashers, the MD1 ($79 retail/$39 street) is the highest-gain pedal in DeltaLab’s Stompbox series. In fact, the MD1 is so metal that its case isn’t even painted, and it packs enough distortion and low-end chunk to make a Tele player sound like Dimebag Darrell. Along with the Gain and Level control, the MD1 features a powerful midrange Shape control that lets you dial in everything from from Van Halenstyle brown sound to Cannibal Corpse death-rock scoop. When the Shape knob is turned beyond the three o’clock position, the sound starts to get pretty skritchy, and if you max out the Gain control in this mode, the MD1 can also deliver some very freakish fuzz effects. The landscape between those settings, however, is a cornucopia of cocked-wah tones more reminiscent of Michael Schenker than Metallica. And even with the Gain and Shape knobs dimed, the MD1 is surprisingly quiet.
KUDOS Excellent range of rock and metal tones. Highly effective Shape control.
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