Tone Freq's TONE TIP: Pedals for Cheap Bastards!
Anything by Dan’O is good. Okay the housing is made of plastic, but the sounds can be pretty amazing – especially for the price. The FAB line of pedals is pretty limited tonally BUT you can get them on the street for around $15 USD! Their standard “DJ” line of pedals also use plastic housings and are a bit more sonically complex. They can be found for around $30 USD each! On line you can even find Dan’O pedal boards consisting of five DJ pedals, cables and plastic pedalboard all for $150. This would make a great b-day gift or stocking stuffer. Granted these pedals were designed for the casual player and not people like me who tend to lay pretty hard on their gear. However, I have used the DJ-14 Fish & Chips EQ pedal for over 6 years and have taken it on countless tours and gigs. It is always on and never gets stomped on. I even used it in our World’s Largest Pedalboard! Bottom line – these are great pedals if you are on a budget, but if you are looking for something that will take a stomping you might want to look elsewhere.
Tone Freq recommends: DJ-14 Fish & Chips EQ ($29), D-3 FAB Metal ($15), Danelectro Trip L Wah ($50)
Good ole orange! This damn pedal just can’t go away – and for good reason. By far it’s one of the most road worthy pedals in terms of sound and construction of all time! Sure there have been mods to it BUT the overall value and price can’t be beat ($39). Several years ago when I was touring in Turkey my multi-effects processor went down in a big way. As our sound guy Big Steve and I went on a search for a decent distortion pedal. We found this hole-in-the-wall music store with a DS-1! Thank heaven we found it. I was surprised when the clerk told me it would be $90 USD. I said, “You’ve got to be kidding me. I can find this pedal for $40 in the states.” He replied, “You’re not in the states.” Thanks douchebag! I ended up buying the damn thing – I really needed it to finish the tour. You can’t go wrong with one of these in your line up.
Are you surprised to see something from E-H on this list? Don’t be. With the advent of the Nano line last year E-H is taking over with affordable effects that won’t break the bank. The Electro-Harmonix Nano LPB-1 Power Booster ($40) is a spot-on reissue of the original LPB-1 circuit that introduced overdrive in 1968. Put this little monster in line before any effect to provide boost and definition. It’s housed in a compact, die-cast box with rounded corners to save valuable pedalboard space. Good times!
ROCKTRON CLASSIC WAH
Nuff said. ($50)
DIGITECH BAD MONKEY TUBE OVERDRIVE
Pound for pound one of the best pedals you can by for the money. This pedal has been around for years and has just the right amount of color, overdrive and distortion for that classic Texas style sound. There is even an added value of a cabinet simulator out so you can rock out direct to the board if your tube amp goes south. Exceptional for the price ($50)!
This is just a sample of pedals for you cheap skates out there - nothing wrong with that. In the end it’s all about finding your voice. If your voice can be found for $50 and under more power to you! When you consider how much video games cost nowadays you can’t go wrong adding some of these bargains to your collection of killer stompboxes. Happy hunting!
“Tone Freq” Aljon Go is considered to be a “pedal junkie” by his peers often asked for advice when building pedal boards. He toured the world with his award winning band Mink and was the artist relations/marketing pro for a musical accessory company. He currently spends his time bringing new and exciting tones to regional acts Jaux King, JonesWorld and Mister Happy. He is also host of the long running “Local Buzz” radio show in Nashville and product specialist for a leading guitar company. Freq’n out? E-mail Aljon: tonefreq(at)gmail(dot)com.