The Danelectro Metal distortion pedal is a very cheap pedal that produces surprisingly half decent tones for it’s price. I got mine for less than twenty bucks! The pedal is marketed under the Fab sub-brand name which pretty much means that it was made in China.
Picture of the Danelectro Metal Distortion Pedal
History of the Danelectro Metal Distortion Pedal
The Danelectro Metal distortion pedal was launched in 2005 along with the Fab Distortion pedal (which is actually even cheaper than the Fab Metal version!) Danelectro itself is a American company founded in 1947 that got its start manufacturing department store instruments.
Features of the Danelectro Metal
The Danelectro Fab Metal has 3 knobs: level, tone and gain. It has a sleek (cheap) plastic molded case and a small switch near the bottom. It also has a ac adapter plug. Inside, the pedal has 2 printed circuit boards. The first circuit board has the input jack, output jack, 9v ac adapter plug and switch soldered onto the board which is unlike a Boss where those components are typically wired to the board. The second circuit board is nearer to the top of the case and has the 3 knobs soldered to that board along with the associated circuitry.
Having all of the distortion pedal’s components soldered onto the board will make future repairs harder because the component has to fit closely to the original in order to match the case. I have thought about potentially mounting new components in a new metal case and making a totally new custom look to the pedal. I will post an article about it when I do that customization.
The pedal is obviously cheaper to manufacture and distribute than a typical Boss due to the lighter molded plastic case and integrated knobs and jacks. When I use this pedal, I am usually reminded of how cheap it is made and how lucky I am that it hasn’t completely shattered yet. I am thinking about ways to heavily mod this distortion pedal so if you have some ideas, feel free to leave a comment.
Sound Quality of the Danelectro Metal Distortion Pedal
I have often been impressed with the quality of this distortion pedal’s sound. I wouldn’t say it is a great sounding pedal, but for the price I paid, I think it was a great value. It has a definite scooped sound and it seems to provide a lot of gain. Turning down the gain still makes it heavily distorted so it is definitely for people who love to play heavy metal, industrial and highly distorted music.
I have used it with a Peavey Valveking 100 head and a 4×12″ cabinet and the pedal sounds great when run through the Peavey’s clean channel. For people first starting out and the extreme budget conscious, the pedal is a great price. For more experienced players, the Danelectro Metal can be a novelty pedal that’s fun to play around with but probably wouldn’t get much use next to your trusty Boss Turbo.