AS ANY STOMPBOX FREAK KNOWS, IT’S POSSIBLE to pay $30 or $300 for something as simple as a fuzz, depending on whether the pedal in question is a hand-soldered affair with a boutique pedigree, or a mass-produced model that’s cranked out on an automated assembly line. The cost of populating a board with premium pedals is a major factor that drives many to seek lower cost alternatives by companies such as Boss, Danelecto, DigiTech, and now DeltaLab. For those of you who are old enough to remember, the DeltaLab name probably conjures images of Effectrons and other rack gear from the 1980s. But times have changed, and now Guitar Center is the exclusive distributor of DeltaLab products.
Paying less for a pedal doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re taking a huge hit in the quality department either. All of the Chinese-made DeltaLab Stompboxes on review here—DD1 Digital Delay, MD1 Metal Distortion, RD1 Rock Distortion, SC1 Stereo Chorus, and TO1 Tube Overdrive—feature true-bypass switching, quality pots, and antislip rubber bottoms. They can be powered externally by the ubiquitous 9VDC, 100mA power supply (not included) or internally from a 9-volt battery. Even the housings are made from a tough cast-zinc alloy, although the input and output jacks are mounted on plastic panels that are set into the sides of the case. Time will tell how roadworthy this method proves to be, though the only problems I encountered with these pedals were a couple of battery access doors that just fell off. I tested the pedals through an Egnater Rebel 20 and a brown Fender Deluxe Clone, as well as an early-’80s Yamaha solid-state G50, using Epiphone, Fender, and Reverend guitars.
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