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September 2014
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DDYNA Music Co Thinman OD Overdrive Pedal Review


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Chunky Rhythm
UNK Standard in bridge position into a modded Epiphone Valve Jr. head and 1x12 cab with Eminence Red Fang. Close mic'd with SM57 and run into a ProSonus Audiobox and Cubase 4
Overdrives seem to be a dime a dozen these days, which is precisely why it’s nice to see a company approaching it in a different way. DDyna Music Company’s Thinman OD looks at first glance like your standard three-knob affair, but introduces some novel concepts to the mix.

It’s the Same... Only Different
Interestingly enough, the Thinman manages to be simultaneously unique and unremarkable. The unit as a whole is well-constructed, featuring 2-layer thru-hole PCBs, Neutrik connectors, true bypass circuitry and a die-cast aluminum enclosure, but the flat gray paint job and simple black graphics give the Thinman a plain- Jane face. The naked pot shafts give the pedal a raw, unfinished vibe—I honestly thought the knobs had been lost in transit upon first opening the box—but once you plug in, radiation green LEDs shine from underneath, lighting up the controls brilliantly. It’s likely one of those love-hate things, but once you get used to twirling the pot shafts sans knobs, it really helps the Thinman stand out next to your other boutique ODs.

Likewise, the Thinman’s controls are initially a little foreign, but after some total immersion, you’ll settle right in and find it to be a tonally complex alternative to those other Volume- Tone-Drive boxes. This is because the Thinman is based around two distinct signal-limited types: a medium-hard signal limiter, adjusted by the Limit knob; and a bias limiter, controlled by the Bias control. These controls work in concert to set the pedal’s limiter thresholds, and each one affects the signal in distinct ways. I found the Limit knob to be the most responsive alone, producing a rounder sound at lower settings and an edgier, electric wire sound at its highest point. But they’re at their best when both knobs are adjusted in concert, creating some delicious textures—think of it as Vietnamese food after a life of fastfood Chinese.

But it Sounds... So... Fat
It should be said that however you set these knobs, the Thinman for the most part stays the same at heart. Described as a “light-medium overdrive,” the pedal probably falls more towards the medium side of the scale. With the help of the Volume knob it can cover a lot of ground, from semi-clean boost to full-on bite, but at its core is a circuit designed for the thickest rock sounds. The Thinman truly excels at creating fat, luscious chords without losing definition—with all the knobs sitting at noon, this pedal became my secret weapon for beefy rhythm tracks. Anyone looking for a straightforward classic rock companion will love this box, and it’ll fit right in on the next Kings of Leon single, too.

Adventurous players and pedal geeks will also be happy to hear that the Thinman is a true team player, acting as the perfect starting point for a stacked overdrive chain (the company also highly recommends this, which is something you don’t always see publicized). I spent hours putting every fuzz and overdrive I had behind the Thinman, and they all sounded better than I ever remembered them. Next time you want to create a wall of thick but distinct chords, start with this pedal.

The Final Mojo
It probably goes without saying that anyone still questing for a single transparent OD will want to stay away from this one—it doesn’t hijack your tone, but it has no problem adding some heft and low-end either—but guitarists jonesing for a rock-oriented OD that does things a little differently should definitely log some time with the Thinman. you’re looking for classic rock in a box, or you dig stacking overdrives.
Buy if...
you're looking for classic rock in a box, or you dig stacking overdrives.
Skip if...
you need a box hat keeps its mitts off your tone completely.
Rating...
4.5 

MSRP $159 - DDyna Music Company - ddynamusic.com