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Intensity at noon, Speed at 11:00, Mix at 11:00.
It was obvious that Danelectro could do dirt, but I wondered if they could do modulation. I played around with some of the other entries in the Cool Cat series, but was left a little wanting with items like the Chorus and the Trem (both respectable as value picks, but nothing that would wow experienced players). Then I stumbled across the Cool Cat Vibe, which surprised me with a versatile range and a mess of tasty sounds. I should note before going any further for players looking for a Univibe sound – or the uniquely off-kilter Univibe impression done by the superb Danelectro Chicken Salad – that this probably isn’t going to fit the bill. The Cool Cat Vibe is more of a vibrato, with the manual calling it akin to “a prehistoric chorus that has emerged from a swamp.” Take that as you will. Featuring Mix, Speed and Intensity knobs across the top, the Cool Cat makes it simple to dial in a number of really smooth vibe sounds, from deep, organic swooshes to fast rotating speaker sounds. There were even some pseudo-chorus sounds to be found with the right settings. If you’re a true tweaker, or just like really overdone effects, there is also a trimpot located inside the unit which controls the overall intensity (although it should be said that in the stock position the Intensity knob has more than enough range) although this isn’t advertised by the company in the manual. Sonically, the Cool Cat Vibe sounds great, and could hang with vibe boxes twice the price. There’s a little bit of a high-end roll off, which helps keep everything smooth and fluid, along with a slight volume boost. The volume boost is perhaps one of the more controversial design decisions here, and it’ll either escape your perception or drive you absolutely nuts. If your rig if carefully calibrated from beginning to end, this pedal may be disqualified immediately by adding in saturation; likewise, players with hot pickups or a heavy hand will be able to make the Vibe breakup. That said, if you’re playing a grungy Hendrix cover, it only adds to the pedal’s aura. Regardless, a simple Volume control could have been a nice addition to enable players to control the level, and resulting tone, themselves. .
you’ve been looking for a solid, organic vibe on the cheap
you can’t deal with the slight signal boost
MSRP $69 - Danelectro- danelectro.com
In the end, the Cool Cat series from Danelectro is a solid collection of effects available for a fraction of the price of the boutique stuff. And while these mass produced pedals may not have all of the nuances or responsiveness of high-end effects, they certainly do one hell of a job. Add in the fact that they’ve been well updated with solid metal cases, sturdy footswitches and jacks and true bypass wiring, and you cannot go wrong. Even if you pick one up and don’t dig it, you can always give it away as a holiday gift. And isn’t that truly gearhead peace of mind?