FX86 Death Metal Distortion Review

manufacturer: DOD date: 08/21/2014 category: Guitar Effects
DOD: FX86 Death Metal Distortion
The FX86 is the premier distortion for the death metal guitarist. There is no way of getting more low end or more distortion in this life. That's why it's called the death metal pedal. Although it creates an unnatural amount of distortion, your solos still cut through with amazing clarity.
 Sound: 8.7
 Overall Impression: 8.4
 Reliability & Durability: 7.9
 Ease of Use: 8.1
 Overall rating:
 7.7 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.3 
 Users rating:
 7.1 
 Votes:
 50 
reviews (10) pictures (2) 20 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
FX86 Death Metal Distortion Recently reviewed by: SteveArmourae, on august 21, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 22

Purchased from: ebay

Ease of Use: Not as easy as some would say. Because of the huge distortion the levels have to adjusted according to the type of guitar, amplifier, distance from the amplifier, how terrified your audience it etc. It's a balancing act getting the huge sound without losing it in a white noise of distortion and feedback; this is achieved by balancing the various levels. Guts, Pain, Scream can be lowered with RIP raised up to get a cleaner sound. Chords are difficult with this as they are prone to internal feebdback in the pedal causing a wall of white noise distortion.  Playing chords of "N.I.B." by Black Sabbath I found that the minor 5th triads descended into indistinguishable distortion. But the solo note line came out clearly with a desirable distorted edge. // 7

Sound: FX86 DOD say in their literature "turned the Gain on this to 10 and yanked it out." No doubt about it its an apt description. Describing the tone and volume knobs as Low (Guts), Middle (Pain), High (Scream), Volume (RIP) may sound like a gimmick until it blows you away. Even on low settings this is a ferocious beast of an effect sounding hell bent on devouring the guitarist and unleashing Hell. In fact the death metal effect is so strong that it's difficult to obtain a low line signal from it. Only by reducing one of the variable resistors i.e. turning a knob down is it possible to obtain a signal suitable for chords.

So soloing: its perfect the aggressive huge sound is more impressive than many metal bands including Death Metal. The pedal immediately puts you in the sound league of Black Sabbath and Slayer live. Playing a solo of a series of single notes comes off great as I've mentioned in my review for my Ibanez Roadstar II.

But playing chords is problematic. The feedback which gives the pedal its massive sustain reduces chords to a wall of feedback white noise to the point that the sound of one chord is indistinguishable from another. Only adjustment of the levels can compensate this and then you risk losing the full overwhelming metal sound. Connected with my DigiTech Blues Screamer pedal and together they produce note sustain well in excess of a minute. Here it can outdo David Gilmour of Pink Floyd fro sustained guitar lines.

To experience the full power of the pedal it does require a high quality guitar and expensive amp. Cheap equipment will be miraculously improved but the performance will suffer from drowning in distortion when playing chords. This effect will make you sound like Black Sabbath live and they are harder and more Death Metal than many so called bands like Cannibal Corpse: lyrics about disembowelment but you can't actually decipher them. And Deicide? Being Satanic and trying to be hard is not the same as living in the industrial steel mills of Birmingham.You really want to play metal then go and work on a heavy industrial site, or an abattoir or go and work in a warzone under fire then buy this pedal. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This pedal is built to withstand stomping but I treat it like a delicate flower. It's too precious to risk damaging. Hands not feet caress this baby. It will last forever. As such it is reliable but playing live there's a delay while adjusting to make sure you won't blow all the amps while releasing the blood thirsty beast from the pedal. It does eat batteries quite quickly and changing on stage will be a nuisance. The battery compartment is not the easiest to open. I found my Boss and Yamaha echo pedal were more solidly made but this DOD is better made than any of the cheaper brands I've tried. // 9

Overall Impression: This is THE pedal that will turn you into a metal god! Not diluted commercial lackluster metal but the metal that will be heard when Chapter 12 of the Book of Revelations come true. A sound that will change your audience forever. It's the pedal to use when dismembering people in a basement. Put with my DigiTech Blues Screamer and I have a huge sustain that is Hendrix like but outdoes Hendrix. Pity my fingers can't do the same. For experimental or noise metal the pedal is able to produce a cavernous growl with a huge sustain so playing on the guitar is to hit a chord then add individual notes or harmonics every few seconds. // 10

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overall: 9
FX86 Death Metal Distortion Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 29, 2004
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: some guy who was selling his excess stuff

Ease of Use: One thing I was thankful of before I bought this, was to read ads about it. DOD was right, they turned the Gain on this to 10 and yanked it out. Getting the correct sound was a breeze, as with my DOD Grunge. First time users will be even more confused with the knob labels (hell, I was confused big time with the labels. Again this is a first gen Death Metal Pedal): Rip, Guts, Pain, Scream (in favor of vol., low, mid and high). Again, battery access was placed in a very comfy position (and you could paint the DOD label with paint to let every confused Boss users know what you're using). And again the DC output slot still sucked because it was placed on the side instead of the top of the box. // 8

Sound: I ran this bad fella' through the same super-Strat guitar (though at one point I ran it through an Explorer with the same pickups - DiMarzio Super 2 and PAF at bridge and neck position respectively). If using feedback is an integral part of your music, then this pedal is for you. Feedback at all levels, sizes and shapes. But that's not to say that this pedal is only useful for generating feedback, as the name implies - Death Metal - your Napalm Death dreams of Cannibal Corpse ripping through your skin and bones (geez that was corny!) can be achieved with this fella' here. No questions asked! // 10

Reliability & Durability: Like it's Grunge brother/cousin that I have home, this one is built like a tank. I bought this pedal 7 years ago, and like the Grunge, no repair yet has been done to this. Even the crackle-finish paint is still in pristine condition. Will I use it without a backup? Probably not, this one is vintage (or at least mint old). I'll probably put it in it's original box (yes, mine is still alive) and safely tuck it and then buy a DigiTech version and use it on road. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I've said on my Grunge review, I've already moved away from the extreme heavy stuff and into a more melodic/hard rock sound. This one would definetely be like a a square peg in a circular hole. Would definitely not fit the bill. Even with minimized settings on the knob. For those annoyed with feedback, stay away, "go on, move along, not much here to see." If the Grunge punishes audiences, this one tortures them. I tried using it once on my hard rock outfit and I was immediately shut down. "Too distorted!" "Too rough!" "Too Death Metal!" Anything I played using this pedal, sounded like death creeping. Take heed about the name, that's the only thing this bugger is good foor. // 8

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overall: 8.5
FX86 Death Metal Distortion Reviewed by: fade2black2004, on september 25, 2005
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 30

Purchased from: eBay

Ease of Use: It's a really easy pedal to use it has 4 knobs which are labeled rip, guts, pain, and scream (aka level, low, mid, high). I got mine from ebay so it didnt come with anything else like a manual or something. // 8

Sound: I have a Schecter Omen 6, and a crappy Rogue amp and this pedal makes the amp sound a whole lot better. For a cheap distortion pedal I think it's great, I don't get the real Mudvayne sound that I wanted but it comes really close. // 8

Reliability & Durability: It's built like a rock, drop it all you want - it won't break, it's very reliable in other words. I would definatly gig with it. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mostly metal/nu-metal and this pedal works pretty good for it, not the best but for the price it's great, if your a begginner get it no questions asked, for more experienced I would get a better DigiTech or Boss. If it was stolen from me I would really be pissed but I wouldn't buy another I would save up for a better one. // 8

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overall: 7
FX86 Death Metal Distortion Reviewed by: BlackLacesGP, on october 22, 2003
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 49.99

Purchased from: musician's friend

Ease of Use: The DOD DMD is just like all other distortion pedals. You have to try different things to get the sound you want. It has low, mid, and high knobs so you can control all the distortion. The manual is awful. In reality though you dont need it. The pedal is self-explanatory. // 8

Sound: I'm running my Epi"clone" SG though it and a Jimi Hendrix Crybaby Wah. Into a Fender Frontman 15G (Yes I know bad amp but it still sounds fairly good). All unwanted noise that happens when I play with it is amp related nothing bad noise coming out of the pedal. It sounds much better when you run it into a good tube amp. The low on the pedal is mediocre, the mid on it is fairly good, the high is really good but can be a bit excessive at times. Ive been able with this pedal to fairly replicate the sounds of The Misfits, Slayer, Metallica, Cradle Of Filth, Burzum, and some of Blink 182. It all depends on how you work the knobs to get the desired sound. The Wah as a filter makes it sounds a lot better. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The pedal itself is physical poorly made. It isn't nearly as good as a Boss. After time of use/abuse it will probably get messed up. Mine is fine, but Ive only had it for about 5 months and only use it every now and then. At a gig I would certainly use it without a backup. If your pedal looked really banged up and like it's about to break any second now, then buy a back up or better yet sell it for like 5-10 bucks and buy a new one. They don't cost a lot. // 4

Overall Impression: It's a great match for the music that I play (Melodic Death Metal, Black Metal, and Punk Rock). I've been playing for 13 months now and all I own in the Wah pedal and my little practice amp. If it were to get lost or stolen I would instantly replace it, no questions. I love the sound and tone it produces, especialy with the wah as a filter. I hate the chassis and how hard it is to turn on sometimes. My favorite feature by far are controls, and how it allows you to manipulate your sound how you want to. The only thing I can really ask for is a better chassis. Another thing that would make this pedal better than all other ones( along with a better chassis) would be more EQ controls than 3. 3 is great but if it had say 4-6 it would be just that much better. I feel everone should have one. I feel that it is very versatile and at $50.00 USD its very inexpensive. // 8

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overall: 5.5
FX86 Death Metal Distortion Reviewed by: Demented Leprec, on april 05, 2004
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 79.99

Purchased from: Manny's music, New York

Ease of Use: The DOD Death Metal Distortion Pedal does not deliver a great sound. No doubt, it delivers exactly what it says, Death Metal Distortion. I found it gives alot of feedback though. The manual is good and it gives different settings to put the pedal at. I have got a problem recently, the button on the pedal does not work as well as it should meaning I have to push down the pedal extra hard, several times. // 4

Sound: This pedal is one noisy biatch! I only found that the problem sound-wise was the large amount of feedback it gives. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I would not depend on this pedal without a backup. // 4

Overall Impression: This pedal is certainly not the best pedal I have used and would not buy it again. I also would not recommend this pedal. // 6

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overall: 8.8
FX86 Death Metal Distortion Reviewed by: BlindKoRnKid603, on july 17, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: When it comes to ease, I don't think it gets a whole lot easier. 4 dials, adjust 'till you get a sound you like and away you go! I didn't have a manual since I got it as a gift from my uncle (he already had so many pedals). // 9

Sound: I use an Aria STG-004/7, i.e., a cheap seven string guitar. I gotta tell ya though, this pedal makes my pinch harmonics soar. Recently had a solo gig at my uncle's wedding, where I played a Crazy Train/Master Of Puppets medley. Through my tiny Harmony amp, it sounded better than I expected. It didn't give off too much noise (possibly because of my humbucker pickups). While the tone isn't exact, I can play some good Megadeth with this baby on the right settings. Korn comes out a little wierd, but I prefer to not copy the tones point for point. This is definitly something for the more heavy and sharp stuff you hear from Rammstein. The tone is like a sheet metal slicer; beautiful in its own way. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have to say this thing is rock solid. It can certainly hold its own. Not an easily breakable device. // 10

Overall Impression: For my shit, this rocks. It can do Black Sabbath beautifully. My original stuff is influenced by Sabbath, Korn, John5, Megadeth, Manson. This a good one to have for metal fans. Being a player of 2 1/2 years, I can say I like this one a lot. If it was stolen, I might buy it again, but I haven't experienced the right pedal thats perfect for me yet. This one comes closer than any though. // 8

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overall: 10
FX86 Death Metal Distortion Reviewed by: unregistered, on september 02, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 200

Purchased from: audioson

Ease of Use: I'm sorry for my crappy english but I'm from venezuela. So it is really easy to use. I didn't need the manual at all I just played a little bit with the knobs to get a really badass sound. The labels for every knob can confuse you at the beginning but after a while you get used to it, just like everything. // 10

Sound: When I was buying it I've tried another 4 pedals including 2 DigiTech's and those just blows. The other pedal I really liked was the DOD Grunge but it's more soft dist. I have a really crappy set up. A Phil Pro guitar and a Aria pro amp. And this pedal make them sound like heaven to me. This tiny monster gies you a great heavy dist. And a high ammount of feedback and that's what I love of it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This pedal it's more hard than concrete I've made everything to it even jump from 1 meter to switch it and nothing hapened it was like I just steped on it really gently I've dropped it and kick it in the middle of a gig the only detail it the switch. After a while it gets dirty but I cleaned with an electronic stuff cleaner spray and it was like new. // 10

Overall Impression: I just love this. It works great for the music I play (hardcore, metalcore, death & trash) it works great with my guitar and amp. And god knows they are really bad. If it get stolen I would buy another one and track down the bastard Who stoled it and torture him just to make him pay for doing it. it work's perfect to me but hey. It just me. I just can say that everyone Who play's heavy stuff should try it. I even make jealous a guy with a Epiphone SG and a Marshall amp. // 10

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overall: 7.3
FX86 Death Metal Distortion Reviewed by: diamondM, on march 17, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 7.9

Purchased from: P.A Music Centre

Ease of Use: The sound of the DOD deathmetal distortion pedal is easy to use but the Switch after a while of use will stop working cause complication to occur. The all around use is good if you have little money the DOD Death Metal will help you if you have an amp that is low on distorion. // 8

Sound: The sound is amazing, I'm running Gibson Epiphone to a Stage Tg-10 amp it's small with little distortion and turns it all the way up. I play music like Atreyu, Bullet For My Valentine, Slayer, and many more, the pedal reaches the distortion level needed to play the sharp solos of Atreyu and Anthrax and the rhythm of bfmv the effect all around is good. // 7

Reliability & Durability: You can't depend on this item lasting your whole music career or practice time, the switch would fail on you. I would not prefer it to be use in a gig with out a backup, sometimes the pedal will take a while to start up or not start up at all if the battery life is low change them or it wont work. The switch wears out and breaks easily so don't put to much reliabilty into the little box. // 5

Overall Impression: This pedal is good for metal and death metal (obviously) it's very good for people looking to play in the basement. I've been playiing for over four years with a Fender Squire Bullet and a Gibson Epiphone and a Quest Bass with a TG-10 stage amp and and a Traynor bass amp. I really should asked the guy what the life of the switch. If the pedal gets stolen or broken get a new pedal with a longer lifespan. I'm getting a better pedal as soon as possible and will give a new review. I love the sound and distortion it gives to weak amps, I hate the wearing of the switch, my favorite feature is the names under the turning knobs. I wish it had a better more durable switch. // 9

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overall: 9
FX86 Death Metal Distortion Reviewed by: Casval, on september 28, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 100

Purchased from: Central Music SA, TX

Ease of Use: This pedal is extremely easy to use. It's four knobs are pretty easy to understand, and to manipulate. It's good for a series of different tones fairly easily. I never actually read the manual. I would imagine anyone with a little experience with any type of equalizer will be able to under stand it's operation in no time at all. // 10

Sound: I have used this on an assortment of different amps, and guitars. It's clocked many hours through an 70's Marshall Half stack, and a 98 Fender Strat. It made my little single coils much heavier than they could achieve on their own. It's also had many hours on a Les Paul copy, and a Crate G series combo. I think the tones are great. As stated, it is mainly a distortion for heavier Metal music, but I have found it does great of 90's style punk rock as well. My only complaint is it is very noisy. I love the crunchy tones, but the constant buzzing gets to be infuriating coupled with the feedback whenever one has a rest in The Music. Especially when played with single coil pickups! // 8

Reliability & Durability: This is the most solidly built effects pedal I've ever owned. Nothing has every broken or chipped due to it's extremely Solid Metal housing. It's been shoved in back packs, gig bags, thrown in equipment boxes, dropped more times than I can remember, stomped on way harder than I had intended many times, and it is still in perfect working order. If it weren't for the feed back I'd use it with out a back up. Nothing to do at all with it's design or durability. // 10

Overall Impression: I play mainly a Progressive Metal variant. But I write, and play, just about everything when the mood strikes. This pedal was very good years ago when it was just myself, and some friends, jamming for fun in the garage. As I moved on to playing Live, and the venues got bigger, I had to part ways with it. The feedback it produces gets to be too much when it echoing through out a larger area. I have replaced it with a DigiTech Grunge pedal for now. It seems to give me all the tones I need, whether it be heavy for rhythm, or lighter for lead. All in all, it's a great pedal. I wish they would come put with a version with a lot less feedback. I would use it as a main distortion if that were the case! // 8

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overall: 8.8
FX86 Death Metal Distortion Reviewed by: Darndez, on april 21, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 30

Purchased from: Yahoo Auctions Hong Kong

Ease of Use: Okay. It wasn't too hard to figure. As long as you know that there is NO distortion knob. Its just: Low (Guts), Middle (Pain), High (Scream). Along with the Volume/Level (RIP). You're on your way to metal heaven. Manual can be found online easily, however that is for the FX86B (the one in the picture above). Despite the extra 'B' it doesn't make any difference whatsoever setting up the pedal, as both have the same control knobs. So don't sweat if you have the Original (like me!) // 9

Sound: As I said before. I have the original: Made in USA. Now I have heard rumors that the newer version (B) that is made in China has a significant difference in sound when compared with the original. I can't vouch for that, as tone is a matter of personal taste; so you might prefer the MIC over the MIA. However, personally I strongly recommend the MIA. Here is why: The distortion, despite no knob for it. IS IMMENSELY HUGE AND AGGRESSIVE. Is unbelievable, and simply thick and...well not exactly "smooth" but it definitely flows. Turning up the High knob literally makes it scream with feedback. The sustain is so long. Turning up the Bass just makes it extra thick. Tweak the middle to get variation for tone. Its just so heavy. So metal. I can go on and on. But it wouldn't matter. Its a brilliant metal pedal. You need to try it to know. It makes my Squier sound like a monster. Too good to be true. Try it! // 10

Reliability & Durability: Well. The usual DOD backlashes. Battery cover was poor. Ancient 3.5mm power input. What can I say? ...other than once you hear that thundering sound coming out of your amp. You'll forget everything that is bad about it. Its an old pedal. C'mon, what do you expect? However if you are one of those people who really care about cosmetics and would cry if a speck of dust is on your guitar pick. This pedal may not be for you...well unless you can find one that is in mint condition. (Which is rare) A backup wouldn't be necessary. But its always to be safe than sorry! // 7

Overall Impression: Metal, Metal and more Metal! Sure, I play Pink Floyd and Fountains of Wayne. Its not metal. BUT. This is such a versatile pedal. With a twist of the knob(s). I can get tube Overdrive sounds quite easily. Coupled with my chorus (also DOD), I can still play pop rock. Matched with the phase 90; singing lead tones as well. HOWEVER. What I cannot do with my other distortion pedals, is to rip the distortion knob clean off... ...and with the FX86; there is no dist knob! And trust me, you can't get another tone from any pedal out there with that immensely distorted, fat low ended sound. No pedal. You don't need the blooming dist knob. Its designed to make you ears bleed. The only thing I hate is the battery cover. I hate it. But I love the rest of it. Best of the best so far! Okay quick comparison. I'm so sure there will be people who will use the infamous DigiTech Death Metal to compare. Digitech acquired DOD's design for their present Death Metal. It is simply an updated version. By all means, its a very decent and economically friendly pedal with a better battery compartment and power supply input. However. FX86 is still the Original and personally; I prefer something that was made to last forever, over today's built quality. But please. Give it a try. Its worth it! // 9

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