Duncan reenters the dirt box derby with compact new distortion pedal.
Classic pickups like the ’59, Distortion, and JB have secured Seymour Duncan’s place in the electric guitar’s history books. But while Duncan is best known for their pickups, they’ve produced a fair number of pedals over the years, ranging from the tube-equipped Twin Tube Classic and Twin Tube Mayhem to the tube-less Power Grid. Their new Dirty Deed is another tube-less distortion pedal with a name that pays homage to an AC/DC classic.
Unlike previous Duncan dirt boxes, which were fairly large, the true-bypass Dirty Deed comes in a standard-sized enclosure. Level, drive, bass, and treble controls are stuffed onto the front panel, though curiously, the level and drive controls use standard size knobs while the bass and treble controls use mini knobs.
Still, it seems like much thought went into the pedal’s design, from its shiny red finish to the easy-open battery compartment, which requires just a pinch to access. (While a screw-less battery cover might not sound like an exciting feature, it can actually save a gig. If you’re onstage when your battery dies, lots of luck fishing for a screwdriver to unhinge four corner screws.) For adapter users, Dirty Deed runs on standard nine-volt power, though you can also use 18 volts for more saturation and compression.
I tested the Dirty Deed using a Gibson Les Paul Standard through a Mesa/Boogie Blue Angel. Right off the bat I knew the Dirty Deed was ready to rock. Unity gain starts with the level knob around 9:00, but you have access to a ton of volume between there are the end of the knob’s range. The Dirty Deed is a hard rocker at heart—with both tone knobs at noon and the drive knob all the way off, it had as much dirt as my Tube Screamer pedal with the gain set to noon. For comparison’s sake, I pulled out my Pro Co Rat (a pedal known for blistering gain) and set the drive all the way off. It was a lot cleaner than the Dirty Deed.
If you expect to use the Dirty Deed with the gain off as a boost or subtle tone shaper, well, just bear in mind that it’s a dirty bad boy. (This isn’t to say I'm unhappy with the sounds I got. Its grit is very musical, and it works amazingly well in some situations.)
The Dirty Deed’s pair of cross-connected MOSFET transistors provides a pushed amp-like vibe and gobs of sustain. Moving the drive control closer to noon, changes the pedal’s character from strong overdrive to full-on distortion. By the time I moved the drive to 2:00, things were cooking pretty hot. I added a smidge of treble and got a killer all-purpose rock tone that recalled a hot-rodded Marshall—a tone that can cover most rock or metal gigs, and which is equally useable for rhythm playing and solos. While I found this setting to be “just right,” I maxed the drive to see how much brutality this pedal could unleash.
As expected, the Dirty Deed can get very aggressive. I found it quite commanding at rehearsal, where it easily held its own against a loud drummer. With so much gain, I expected to hear squealing and uncontrolled feedback, but the sound was still easy to control. Even full chords retained mud-free clarity and definition. When I rolled my guitar’s volume knob down to 2 or 3, I still had a lot of volume, but things cleaned up enough so that I could play arpeggiated parts such as the “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” intro with a stylistically appropriate tone.
The active EQ controls are flat at noon and offer +/-12dB boost or cut. Between just 10:00 and 2:00 on the treble control—a relatively narrow field—the difference in output is very noticeable. To get a sense of the full range of these tone-shaping controls, I tried them at both extremes. Keeping the bass knob at noon, I turned the treble fully counterclockwise and got a round lead tone with a warm vocal quality. Going all the way clockwise with the treble knob produced a brash-as-nails tone great for fast power-chord punk and tight, rhythmic riffs. Putting the treble knob to noon and manipulating the bass control had a subtler effect, more pronounced on chords than on single notes.
Duncan might not be the first name that springs to mind when you think of dirt boxes, but the Dirty Deed rivals any pedal in its class. It’s one of the most exciting distortion pedals I’ve come across lately, well suited to everything from classic rock to hair metal, from precise math-metal riffing to slippery legato leads. At $120, it’s not quite dirt-cheap, but it’s a small price for a stompbox with such big balls.
Watch the Review Demo:
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
Players can also challenge themselves by speeding up or slowing the tabs. Like having a full-time guitar teacher, the Gibson App keeps track of all your progress and adjusts lesson plans accordingly. The Gibson App released a “backing track mode” which supports both lesson and song playback without headphones, so users can self-select what works best for their current environment. And that’s not all: the Gibson App also packs in a fully-featured digital tuner for guitar first-timers, there’s even a detailed lesson on how to tune your instrument, a multi-function metronome, players can connect to free one-on-one consultations with Gibson’s Virtual Guitar Tech team, and to direct links to the Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer online stores for easy shopping for guitars, gear, apparel, and accessories.
Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
The Gibson App free version features a few lessons a day; the premium version of the Gibson App offers full access and a 14-day free trial, then costs $19.99/£16.49 monthly or $119.99/£98.99 yearly.
For more information, please visit gibson.com.
This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
Belltone Guitars, as part of their Custom-Select System curated offering of pickups, has partnered McNelly pickups to create a one-of-a-kind retro-vibe P-90 pickup in the standard Filtertron size format. This pickup captures the clear, bell-like single-coil chime of a classic P-90 when played clean and retains the tight mids and articulate low-end vintage growl, and smooth sustain saturation when pushed into overdrive.
The McNelly P-90 Foil-Coil comes housed in a ‘raw’ nickel outer casing with a dull nickel foil face with metal mount screw gromets to complete the ‘new-vintage’ aesthetic, making it a perfect choice for your signature Belltone custom build. Available exclusively through Belltone Guitars.
Check out the Custom-Select System belltoneguitars.com to preview the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons and all our standard and selectable components available to create your own signature Belltone. Then visit the Dream Lab on our website and select either model B-Classic ONE with its top binding or B-Classic TWO with its arm and body contours select your body color from our wide range of offerings, select your neck profile of either standard ‘C’ or thicker ’59 Round Back and either Maple or Rosewood fingerboard followed by your tuners, pickguard, and strings. Finally, review our curated custom-designed, and unique pickup selection to locate the McNelly P-90 Foil-Trons to complete your signature build.
Builds start at just over $2,300.00 with a custom case and shipping included.
For more information, please visit belltoneguitars.com.
McNelly P 90 Foil Tron video Sep27
Belltone P-90 Foil-Tron Pickup
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.