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Gain at 1:00, Volume at 12:30, Bass on 1:00, Treble at noon
Fresh off the high of the Cool Cat Fuzz, I plugged in Danelectro’s Transparent Overdrive for a little more traditional crunch. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about the company’s decision to include the word “transparent” in the name of the effect – it has become such an lazy buzzword that I cringe hearing it these days – but thankfully it seems that Danelectro has some tone to back up that name. The Cool Cat Transparent OD is surprisingly clean and clear for such an inexpensive design; in lower to medium gain situations, the pedal retained my guitars’ fundamental (a Telecaster and LP) without smothering my tone or noticeably compressing the signal. At higher gain levels, the sound squishes more and the signal loses some of that original clarity, but at all points you can tell the Transparent OD is doing its best job at adding gain and little else. If you’re not particularly concerned about coloration or compression you’ll be wowed by the sheer amount of crunch on tap – try out the “Woman Tone” setting in the manual if you have a sturdy amp and a stout disposition. The Treble and Bass knobs – set up in that infernal “stacked” configuration – give you some minor tone shaping options (cut and boost), but this pedal really excels at taking your existing signal/tone and beefing it up. Of course, if you were to put this box up against a high-end boutique OD, the Danelectro probably wouldn’t be the smoothest or most invisible of effects, but that’s missing the point entirely. This pedal provides a lot of gain and a lot of clarity for very little. The fact that it can function effectively in a variety of roles, from a barely-there boost for lead lines to a bludgeon for the front end of your amp, is even more impressive. If you’re looking at overdrives twice or even three times the cost of the Cool Cat Transparent OD, make sure to give this one a try – you just might save some serious cash.
you want a great sounding OD at a fraction of the price
your fingers can’t handle the stacked knobs
MSRP $49 - Danelectro - danelectro.com
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