Silver Dragon Review

manufacturer: Rocktron date: 01/09/2009 category: Guitar Effects
Rocktron: Silver Dragon
Rocktron's Silver Dragon is a unique distortion unit that combines the best of both worlds ? tube and analog solid state distortion! For that tube sound you love, the Silver Dragon rams a 12AX7. Here is where you awaken the beast and drive the tube sound.
 Sound: 9.6
 Overall Impression: 9.4
 Reliability & Durability: 9.1
 Ease of Use: 9.1
 Overall rating:
 8.7 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.3 
 Users rating:
 8.1 
 Votes:
 29 
reviews (7) 28 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.5
Silver Dragon Reviewed by: Just_for_you, on august 15, 2006
5 of 6 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: It's real easy to get a great sound out of this. It has 6 knobs, three on each side. On the left side is the "Awaken" footswitch, which turns on the pedal and the first three knobs, which are "Fire", which controls the initial distortion on the 12AX7 tube, "Shriek", which controls the treble, and "Roar", which controls bass. The other footswitch on the right side, entitled "Slayer", activates the second set of knobs. These knobs are "Intensity", which controls the "character" of the attack properties magnifying string attack, and "Breath", which controls the symmetry off-set of the distortion. Also on the right side is the last knob labeled "Level" which controls the overall output of the pedal, and can be used with either setting. The only thing you need the manual for is to figure out what the names of all the knobs mean, and once you are good on that, this pedal is extremely easy to get a great sound from. // 10

Sound: I use this pedal with a Marshall JCM800 Lead Series amp and an Ibanez X-Series Destroyer. The distotion that this pedal gives is nothing short of awesome. The output is great. You can get just about any sound you want from this pedal. It rarely gives off unwanted noise, and flat out sounds great for rock, hard rock, and especially metal. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This pedal is very reliable and dependable. It uses a 13-volt AC adapter, and it built very well. It is encase in an aluminum chassis, but the outer part of this pedal is definitely very easy to mess up. When I got it, it already had a few scrapes and dings in it, and just from normal wear and tear, the outer casing gets scratched and it's pretty easy to chip and dent, but seems to protect the inner part of it pretty well. // 8

Overall Impression: I play mostly hard rock and metal, and this pedal does the trick perfectly. It gives great distortion and tremendous output. This pedal easily gives you those screeching highs, and is still great for those hardcore metal riffs. It's very easy to control, and can give you just about any sound you're looking for, from Randy Rhoades to Angus Young to Zakk Wylde. I would highly recommend this pedal to all rock and metal players, and if I lost or had this pedal stolen, I would definitely buy another. // 10

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overall: 9.5
Silver Dragon Reviewed by: bucky_2300, on january 05, 2006
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: It's a little difficult adjusting to this distortion pedal at first. For most of my playing with my Boss DS-2, I had the gain past 3:00 most of the time. On this, I have that same sound at about 11:00. The odd naming of the knobs is a bit confusing for the first while, but it becomes easy to understand very quickly. // 9

Sound: Using a modded Epiphone Les Paul Special Edition with a Seymour Duncan JB in the neck into a Fender FM212R, this thing is amazing. It is noisy on Slayer mode when notes are not being played, but that is hardly a problem for me. The first mode (awaken) is purely the tube sound (yeah, this thing has an actual 12AX7 preamp tube in it) and it is great. With the EQ set correctly, it's possible to get a surprisingly good Brian May sound. I'm using it now, in fact. A good rock tone is at your fingertips across the board with this mode. The second mode (slayer) drives the solid-state distortion, and fully saturates the tube. This is a metal sound. I can get excellent Iron Maiden/Metallica sounds, and even a passable Pantera tone. The intensity knob basically adjusts the sensitivity of the pedal to Pick attack, and as it moves from low to high, one can get a Van Halen sound, to an all-out Pantera attack. Great sound. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This thing is a rock. Enough said. I would gig with this without a backup in a nanosecond. // 10

Overall Impression: Playing rock, metal, and punk, this pedal is an amazing all-around tone factory. I give it ten out of ten. It's a bit pricey, but well worth it to the experienced guitarist. // 9

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overall: 8.8
Silver Dragon Reviewed by: scott81787, on october 15, 2005
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 119.99

Purchased from: Musicians Friend

Ease of Use: The pedal is easy to use once you get used to the way the eqs are named. Basically it has atube on one side Awaken and on the other side is the solid state driver Slayer. It comes with a manual but you dont really need it just mess with what you want to find the sound you want. It looks cool to seven knobs to mess with level. Initial distortion highs lows, solid state dis. and kinda like a presence control. Its tube is covered but the plate has holes in it and when it warms up the plate glows red that is one of the coolest indicators on is something working or not. // 9

Sound: Set up is like anyother distortion pedal, find a good clean sound and just go. Or with the dragon you can play into the ditorted channel and nopt have horrible sounds come when you dont play. I play it with a peavy 112 Bandit and a Schecter C1FR or Schecter Omen 6. For some reason the Omen sounds better on it but you can get good metal sound out with any guitar even my Squire Strat sounded good. Forget about Bosses, this gives great bottom end and bright highs the tube ditortion sounds great untill you kick in the solid state side then you won't want to go back to the tubeside. // 9

Reliability & Durability: The pedal is dependable and it comes in an alluminum casing so you can do what you want with it and not do much damage to it. The only problem would be if the Tube 12AX7 goes bad during a song there isn't really a quick way to fix it you would have to pull the pedal apart because the cover that looks cool but doesn't give you enough working room with the tube. If I myself was more of a tube person and not worry about whether it would last opr not I would bring and additional Metal Planet pedal just in case. // 8

Overall Impression: I'm totally into metal and hard rock mostly thrash and older metal like Sabbath, Motorhead. This pedal is great foer metal or any other music needing distortion. I've been playing for 3 or 4 years and used a Arion pedal for like a day then it died that's fine it sucked ass anyways. Then I tried DigiTech and Boss those were alright I guess. If I lost I would definitely buy another one. The plate that covers the tube looks cool when it's light up in the dark. The only down side is you cant change the mids on the pedal that kinda sucks I like have my mids there. This is definitly a pedal you should try out if you like screaming highs and a full bottom end with lotss of distortion whether yo like tubes or solid state. // 9

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overall: 9.8
Silver Dragon Reviewed by: fragydig529, on may 14, 2007
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: It's easy to get pretty much any sound you want, Although the labels make it hard at first. I didn't get a manual with mine since it was used. But I've heard that the manual really isn't even needed. // 9

Sound: I use a bottom-line BC Rich warlock, and an old Peavey Express 112, transtube tech. These sound amazing together, I just wish I had a better guitar. The Silver Dragon is not noisy at all, I thought my Metal Zone was quite, wow, this one is amazing, the metal zone sounds so digital and brittle now. I thought it was heavy, this thing is a beast! The tube has to warm up a little, but that's expected, but that usually doesn't even take over 10 seconds. And the sounds are amazing! Pinch Harmonics are a lot easier with this pedal than they were on my Metal Zone. The sound scope of this thing is massive, the guy at the store was playing blues on it with the "Awaken" button pressed, then pressing the "Slayer" button he had a blues lead sound. He couldn't get a heavy sound out of it, but he said he didn't play that anyways that I could try. So I sat down and messed with the settings and had a Metallica-type distortion in no time, from that I tried to get the Slipknot tone again, and I did. Tried to get a little Overdrive like Bush's Glycerin song, and it was easy. The amazing this about it also is the 2 buttons, you can have a Bush-type distortion playing then press your "Slayer" button and voila, Metallica. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This thing feels like a rock, it's heavy-duty, I would defiantly gig with this without a backup. Nothing is loose on it, it's really tight, and I'm sure it would take a long time for anything to start working it's way loose. // 10

Overall Impression: I play pretty much any kind of rock, and this pedal can do any type of distortion/overdrive you want, it's perfect for me. If I lost this pedal I would buy a new one as soon as I possibly could. I love everything about it except the odd labels, Fire, Shriek, Roar, Intensity, Breathe, and Level. Fire is a distortion controller for the "Awaken" mode, Shriek and Roar are a little EQ, Shriek being the treble, and Roar being the bass. Intensity and Breathe only have an effect while in the "Slayer" mode, Intensity controls the level of distortion from the circuit. And breathe is suppose to shape the tone somehow, But I can't really notice a difference in sound when it's turned, just a slight one, kind of like the "Power %" knob on my amp. And level, obvious, controls the level of the output. But this pedal is so loud, that if your just playing at home in your room, your not want to turn it up past about 9 o'clock. // 10

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overall: 9.5
Silver Dragon Reviewed by: CreepinDeath101, on october 19, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: I had heard the soundclip for this unit on Musicians Friend I believe and it was the tone I was looking for. So I ordered it via ebay. Out of the box it was straight forword, just added it to my chain of effects. The controls were kind of wierd at first, but it explains the names in the manual which I was familiar with fairly quick. Once you know the knob meanings, it was real easy to find a good tone. // 9

Sound: I currently run a Epiphone Zakk Wylde Buzzsaw w/ EMG-HZ (passive P.U.'s. Currently waiting for my guitar to come back, upgrading to EMG 81's & 85's), down to my Silver Dragon, DOD 7-band EQ, Seymour Duncan pickup Booster (For solo's), and a Zakk Wylde Signature Wah pedal then to my 50W Marshall MG series DFX (Solid State). The manual said to adjust my amp to get the best 'clean' sound, and then adjust the knobs on the Silver Dragon once it is engaged. I used the DOD EQ to take the tone moulding a little further to tweak it. With or without this EQ this pedal sounds like the clip does. I've had a DOD supra distortion and a few other distortion but they sounded way to thin or flat. But this pedal sound full and warm, to insane over the top distortion. I noticed that it'll tend to squeel with feedback once the 'Awaken' Drive is at max, and with the 'Slayer' mode engaged and the 'Intensity' level at around 2 or 3 o'clock. 'Awaken' is the tube running by itself, with the 'Fire' being the gain level for the tube. And 'Slayer' mode is the solid state distortion mode (which can only be engaged once the 'Awaken' Drive is on) and the 'Intensity' is the gain for the 'Slayer' mode. That is the only problem that I had encountered with this. There is a slight hiss (As with other distortion pedals I've tried) when you mute the strings with both the 'Awaken' & 'Slayer'. The unit runs off of a 13V AC adapter only (No batteries) for this so the power will not fade or thin out on you. And I was able to emulate the tone of bands such as: Metallica, Slayer, System Of A Down, Hellyeah. There are more bands that it can sound like other than what I have mentioned above. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This pedal is totally reliable and I would (and have) definately use this on gigs w/o a backup. Not too sure how much abuse the tube can take, but the durability of the housing keeps on performing for me every time I plug it in. This unit proudly displays it's 12AX7 pre-amp tube on the center of the unit. It even glows a cool orangish red color to let you know the the dragon is breathing fire. Probably the best power indicator light that I had seen on any effect pedal I've owned. // 10

Overall Impression: I mainly play Metallica and Hellyeah tunes. And this is a pretty damn good match for these styles. I've had this pedal for a 6 months now and has been my main distortion ever since then. My search for a versatile distortion pedal is over!! I had bought the Rocktron Zombie Rectified distortion not realizing that it was meant for a tube amp. I have a solid valve state amp (I think), and it sounded nothing like it did on the sound clips. Way too thin sounding, just a trebly sound. If I had asked a question about the Silver Dragon unit, it would have been: "Can the 'Awaken' mode and the 'Slayer' mode be played independantly and simultaniously?" And: "Does this pedal sound like it does on the Sound Clip?" No, the 'Awaken' mode is like a pre-gain stage, and the 'Slayer' is like a post-gain stage. The 'Awaken' has to be engaged in order to get the 'Slayer' pumping. And this pedal does sound like the soundclip, even better on my current setup. It is a no brainer that if this was lost or stolen would I replace it - "In a heartbeat!!" I love the tone from this pedal, I was after a tone like 'Slipknot' and 'Hellyeah' and this pedal does those tones really well. I just wish I can review this pedal on a bigger amp and with active EMG's but I think most people reading this probably (No offence intended here)have a small amp like mine, this will make your amp growl. I wouldn't say that I hate this pedal, but it would be awesome if they can manufacture a pedal that had a 12AX7 pre-gain, and a EL34 post-gain pedal. That would be my dream pedal, cause I can't afford a big tube amp. // 9

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overall: 9.8
Silver Dragon Reviewed by: Southernlyman, on february 23, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: This pedal is one of the most straight foward pedals that I've owned. It's got a pre-gain knob, treble, bass, post-intensity, wave morpher (slightly confusing), and a level knob. Once you figure out where that sweet spot is for your style of music, this thing rocks. As for the buttons, push one to turn on a heavy overdrive and push the other one to Drive the tubes into a heavy distortion. // 9

Sound: I use this with an Ibanez RG370DX on a little Peavey or Drive practice amp. Other times I use it through a Line 6 Guitar Port and in a PA. All of that stuff is solid-state, and this is the only tube driven device in my set-up, but it makes my cheap amps sound like overdriven Fenders or Voxes. Whenever I crank it up to 10 on every setting I get some noise, but a noise suppressor kills that easily. I play mostly metal, and this will get there with chunks on the Awaken stage and solos on the Slayer stage. Sometimes I even put an overdrive pedal in front of it to Drive the tube into insane territory. But I also play a little blues and classic rock too, and by turning down the gain a little and peaking the highs, it works perfect for that, too. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Half of my pedal board is made up of plastic pedals, but this is probably the most indestructable one of them all. I wouldn't suggest standing on it, but go ahead and stomp on it all you want. It wouldn't suprise me if one of the knobs broke off, but that's because I use my feet to turn them. Otherwise I couldn't imagine breaking this beast. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said, I mostly play metal, but sometimes play a little blues. This pedal is versatile enough to cover them and everything in between. The cool thing is the solid-state distortion that goes into the tube on a seperate button, so I can hit that and a Xciter pedal and I've got the best solo tone I've ever heard. I've got a DigiTech Grunge, a Danelectro Black Coffee, and a DigiTech Screamin' Blues, and this pedal makes the best sounding distortion of them all. It may not make quite as much, but because it's tube driven, it sounds fuller and crispier. I would say this pedal is the best buy I've made so far, even over my Whammy pedal. // 10

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overall: 8.5
Silver Dragon Reviewed by: Thurisaz, on january 09, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 120

Purchased from: Music123

Ease of Use: The first Switch gets a nice tube Overdrive going, and the second footswitch blows it up, and makes for a nice lead tone. The manual gives a good place to start, and then I worked the knobs a bit to get the tone I wanted. I can easily get great tones from this pedal. Very usable for Metal. Very easy to use. // 9

Sound: As with all Rocktron distortion pedals, they are good for metal, and sound best on tube amps. It can get noisy when you have the second Switch on and the boost's Overdrive is set too high. The full sweep of the controls aren't functional, but the 50-60% that is, works great [the controls work the full 100%, but not much is needed past 50%, and is kinda outrageous if you do go past that. I hear it's because of the high gain tube]. I get a nice 5150-esque tone, but it's not spot on, and that's what I wanted. Works great for that. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I could depend on this, because all Rocktron pedals are solid. I'd gig it without a backup because I wouldn't have it where it could get kicked around and I also think the pedals can get a bit of a beating before they'll die out on you. Reliable and durable. // 8

Overall Impression: Perfect for metal, I'd buy it again, and I also wish that Rocktron would do this sorta thing with the Rampage, Metal Planet [especially the Metal Planet, it seems kinda stale and sterile without one], and Zombie. My favorite feature is the tube and 2 channels even though the tube just filters the sound from what I have been told. I get enough from my preamp tubes, that with this and the little power amp saturation I can muster in my bedroom on my head, it sounds great. // 9

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