#1
CONFUSED ABOUT HOW TO BEST GET THAT METAL SOUND FOR DI? I WAS! READ ON!

Is the SansAmp PSA-1.1 better for metal than the DCD preamp? I dunno.
Is the Mesa/Boogie Recto better for metal than the Mesa/Boogie Triaxis? I dunno.
Is the Triaxis better for metal than the Roctron Prophecy II? I dunno.
Is the Rocktron VooDu Valve better for metal than the Prophecy II, or is it essentially the same unit without the effects? I dunno.

After reading 10 million Harmony Central reviews, and being unable to demo 99% of this stuff, I've come to the conclusion that the Damage Control Demonizer is most likely what's going to fit my needs. It's got a dual-tube, 250V preamp stage, and a (non-tube) power-amp simulator stage, plus the opto-compressor and direct-recording output, which is how I plan to use this device.

For anyone else who has the same questions, I suggest your read through the HC reviewers' comments as well. There's two threads for the DCD. One under "Damage Control Demonizer reviews" and one under "Damage Control Demonizer preamp reviews." There's only one completely contradictory post there about the DCD, where it states, "If you want the [DCD] for metal—this isn't for you." This is 180-degrees opposite of every other post written there. Go f*ckin' figure.

So, I give up! I'm throwing in the towel. I'm through with searching for the ultimate tube-based overdrive metal sound. For $300, and a 30-day return policy, I'm going to order the DCD, sight-unseen, and report the results back here. If it's all they say it is, I'll be returning my Line 6 Uber Metal digital pedal, and throwing my no-tone, Boss Metal Zone fuzz-box away (when I find it).
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 9, 2007,
#2
MORE CONFUSION!

For every device I've mentioned, there will be a number of hugely positive reviews specifically for metal, and there will be one or two completely 180-degree opposed views that say, "It's not good for metal." This, after like 20 other people write something like, "This is the best metal device ever!" I can only guess this is attributable to an unconventional pick-up set-up, and the fact that they may be including their amp in the signal chain as part of the evaluation. Or, even, possibly, these reviews may have been written after only an initial first impression, without auditioning a good "out-of-the-box" tweak first.

Anyway, I'll be ordering my DCD tonight, and should receive it by the end of next week. Rest assured, I'll be posting a dead-honest review of the DCD right here, as soon as I get it.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 9, 2007,
#3
Quote by LEVEL4
For every device I've mentioned, there will be a number of hugely positive reviews specifically for metal, and there will be one or two completely 180-degree opposed views that say, "It's not good for metal." This, after like 20 other people write something like, "This is the best metal device ever!" I can only guess this is attributable to an unconventional pick-up set-up, and the fact that they may be including their amp in the signal chain as part of the evaluation. Or, even, possibly, these reviews may have been written after only an initial first impression, without auditioning a good "out-of-the-box" tweak first.

Anyway, I'll be ordering my DCD tonight, and should receive it by the end of next week. Rest assured, I'll be posting a dead-honest review of the DCD right here, as soon as I get it.



I wouldn't post a review as soon as you get it. Wait a little while. You will be on, what some people refer to around here as a "Gear Honeymoon". Basically you will see it as the most amazing thing in the world. Hey, even after the "Honeymoon" period it could still be the greatest thing in the world. Or it could not be all it was cracked up to be. You need to spend a lot of time with it. Enough to find the good and the bad.
Gear:
Schecter C-1 BlackJack
Peavey 5150 II
Ibanez 25W "Tone Blaster"
Fender Starcaster (Not the vintage kind, the Wal-Mart Value kit kind"

If Dimebag22 was a pie, I would cover him with whipped cream and eat his insides...
#4
KaMiKaZi90:

Good point, KaMiKaZi90! I was like that when I first got my Line 6 Uber Metal pedal home, and plugged it into my Strat for the first time, a couple weeks ago. At first, I LOVED it! Now, I can't stand it! I still think it's better than 90% of the rest of the digital distortion pedals out there, but I just can't take any more flattened-out, digitally-distorted, no-tone guitar sounds any longer!

I just recorded a guitar and grand piano piece using the Uber Metal on my HSS Strat. And, it sucks! Only because the guitar has no tone. Zero, zip, zilch. I have to totally re-record all the guitar tracks with a whole other device now (the DCD, later ths week).
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#5
Maybe pedals are like women. After a while, you just want a new one?
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#6
It's a real condition, GAS. Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Most people have it. And I would suggest the rocktron far over the DCD; isn't it made by krank?
Quote by corduroyEW
Cheap amps are "that bad". They suck up your tone like cocaine at Kate Moss' party.


I am Michael!
#7
Quote by tubab0y
It's a real condition, GAS. Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Most people have it. And I would suggest the rocktron far over the DCD; isn't it made by krank?

...um... its made by damage control.....
#8
Ahh, my bad.
Quote by corduroyEW
Cheap amps are "that bad". They suck up your tone like cocaine at Kate Moss' party.


I am Michael!
#9
G.A.S.? I had a severe bout of the G-syndrome about two months ago. Don't ask. It had to do with synthesizers. I'm all better now.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#10
The Triaxis does everything the Recto preamp does, not only better, but is more versatile. Now, to compare the Triaxis to the Rocktron Prophesy...

Triaxis cost about $1,600 new, and doesn't have any effects, but, it has Mesa Boogie's tone from the last 25 years all in a little flat box. We're talking Mesa Boogie here, handwired, US built expensive but high quality stuff. That being said, if you get it used, it's going to be about $1,100, MIDI controller another $200 or so, Power section $400 SS $700+ tube, effects unit (lets go with G-Major) $400.

The prophesy is a high end digital tone factory with not only tones from many amps, but effects, and high levels of adjustability, at a much lower price. $999+ $400-$700 power section, +$200 midi controller.

If you can get a triaxis used, I'd definatly choose that over the Prophesy, if you can't, the prophesy is probably a better buy, save you some money, and still, it's not like it's a loss, it's just not Mesa Boogie's tone.
Major of 7 String Legion 7 > 6

Carvin DC747
Ibanez RG2228
Schecter Avenger Custom Shop
and my baby....
Gibson Explorer Studio
#11
MESAexplorer :

Thanks for that detailed post! A few clarifications:

• My only application for a guitar preamp is for direct-recording.
• I don't need a power amp (unless I intend to buy a speaker-load/cab-sim for it also).
• I don't need a cabinet.
• I was evaluating the Triaxis vs. Prophesy, regardless of the price differential between the two.
• I'm never playing live, only recording at home, so I don't need a MIDI controller.

But, I think I'm going to take the low-cost route for now, and order the Damage Control Demonizer tonight online. I'll still have a 30-day return policy with this vendor, so if I don't like it, I can send it back. Thanks again for your comments!
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 8, 2007,
#12
DONE! [ACTUALLY NOT! BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE! READ ON!]

Just ordered it online! I finally did it. After days of reading endless posts, countless reviews, and watching the same YouTube demos over and over and over . . . I finally did it. I should get my Damage Control Demonizer by the end of this week. Also got a Korg DTR-1000 rackmount guitar tuner while I was at it (no more wedging my stupid handheld tuner between my keyboard's black keys!).

For some reason, zzounds.com no longer sells this product. Also, when I checked with Guitar Center last week, they haven't had the Demonizer as a stocking item for a few months now (it used to be a regularly stocked item—now, it's only special order). It's either being upgraded/replaced, or altogether discontinued!

If I like it, I'll be running to Guitar Center to get my $80 back for my Line 6 Uber Metal pedal. Oh, what do you think I could get for an old Boss Metal Zone on Ebay? I sure hope this thing rocks! Let you guys know how it is when I get it . . .
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 9, 2007,
#14
Quote by tubab0y
It's a real condition, GAS. Gear Acquisition Syndrome. Most people have it. And I would suggest the rocktron far over the DCD; isn't it made by krank?

Yeah, the Rocktron does seem pretty awesome, and my friend swears by it, and highly recommended that I get it (although he's never heard a DCD). But have you actually heard a Demonizer? Few people I've talked to have even heard of it, let alone had a chance to demo one.

Look . . . 98% of what I want out of a preamp/effects box is a good lead metal sound. And I'm only using it for direct-recording. So, no amp, no cabinet, no mic. If the DCD delivers a good lead metal sound, and ONLY that, I'll have 98% of my needs taken care of, for less than a third the price of the Roctron. Sure, the Rocktron does much, much more, but I'm looking for a very narrow catalog of sounds, and I think the DCD really specializes in those.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#15
Thanks, Horlicks! I'll have to look up the original thread that I started here somewhere, to find the person who first mentioned the Demonizer to me (was it you?) . . . in a few days, I hope to be typing a big "thank you" to that person!

Just checked . . . it was TehJermie! Thanks, man!
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#17
If you dont get on with the Demonizer i can wholeheartedly recommend the Engl E530. Its more expensive and is rack mount but its just great. The cleans are frankly amazing concidering its primarily a high gain affair and the high gain stuff really shines. For me it lacks a bit of bottom end but thats probably due to the 1x12 im using but is easily rectified with a nice eq pedal so its a minor concern
ESP M-1 - Dimarzio Super3
Ibanez RG3270 ToneZone/Blue Velvet/Paf Pro
Ibanez RG1527
PRS CE22
Mercer Blackmachine Replica

Diezel Herbert
Diezel Einstein Combo
TC GMajor

Gain Wh0re and Diezel Mafioso
#18
CANCELLED!

halikus:

JUST in the nick of time! So, I just got off the phone with the dealer and was able to cancel my order. My friend first recommended the Engl, but I thought that was like $2,000 for some reason. It's only $500! So, I cancelled my Demonizer order, and I'm probably going to order the (non-returnable) Engle E530. Thanks, halikus!

IT AIN'T OVER YET!
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 9, 2007,
#19
halikus:

Have you ever had a chance to hear a Demonizer? My friend has both an Engl preamp and a Roctron Prophesy II. He likes both, but said he prefers the Engl's sound. I think he likes the Prophecy's effects, I dunno. Since you're actually one of the few people I've talked to that actually owns an Engl, could you tell me how it is for metal, compared with the rest of the preamps out there that you may have tried? I mean, would you say it's the best preamp for metal out there?

Unfortunately, I'm probably never going to find anyone that's ever heard BOTH, a Demonizer and an Engl. My friend has both the Prophesy and the Engl, yet has never heard a Demonizer.

Can the Engl do that warm, fat, rich distortion? I mean I know it's all about tone, but does the Engl do that full-out, fuzzed-out, distortion-box style too? Thanks for any comments on your Engl unit . . .
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 8, 2007,
#20
if this is strictly for direct recording, I think you'll be happier with something that has good cabinet sims. You miss a lot not of the real tone not mic'ing an actual cabinet. A good cab sim can go a long way to help that out. Don't get me wrong, the ENGL is probably a great preamp, but you would want to run it into a poweramp andf mic a cab for best results. I had the recto preamp, and I hated the thing direct recording. Even though it's supposed to have a cab sim, it was pretty dreadful ime. Just didn't have the punch, and the gain just got fizzy on recordings. It sounded MUCH better going thru a real poweramp, in particular the Mesa 2:100, and using a real mic'd cab. Another option is a Palmer cab sim, which are great imo, but now you're talking adding quite a bit more money. I've never used the E530 to have an idea of what it can do, but I would specifically ask about it's direct recording capabilities.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
amp clips
amp vids
#21
Erock503:

Yeah, I totally get ya! I've been thinking about cabinet sims, too. And, I do plan to use the Engl preamp EXCLUSIVELY as a DI-only device. But, since I don't need the speaker-load part (like in both the Palmer or the Motherload speaker-load/cab-sim rackmount units), I'm not sure which product specifically suits this purpose.

The cool set-up might be to play through the Engl preamp, then send its signal through a smaller power amp (not a EVH 5150, but something perhaps a more manageable, but still with good tone), in conjunction with a Palmer or Motherload. But that's starting to get into some real money. I found that Hughes & Kettner Red Box Pro thing. It also has a speaker load built-in (which I don't need), but I think you can bypass it. It has only two cab-sims. Maybe I can even drive it (with the speaker load input) with the Engle's x2 1.5W power amp stage. I dunno if that works, or if that's simply too little Wattage to pump through the load circuit in the Red Box.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 9, 2007,
#22
DI photos moved below.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 9, 2007,
#23
well, if that doesn't work, the palmer "The Junction" box will take a preamp signal. It has no load box though, and it's $165. I do like it quite a bit though, it has the same filters as their PDI-03, just no load box built in. I did a little clip messing around with it and my head last week, it's Krank clip 2 in my profile. I do like the idea of a built in load though, I already had a hotplate, so it was a no brainer for me.
"The fool doth think he is wise, but the wiseman knows himself to be a fool." - W.S.
amp clips
amp vids
#24
Erock503:

Thanks! Well, that beats the $860 PGA-05! (basically a stereo (two-channel) version of the PGA-04, without the speaker-load.) Clearly, this is much more affordable! Thanks for the gear tip!

So any preamp plugged into this little thing, will add cab-sim to my signal, huh? I guess it does the same thing as the H&K without the speaker-load. Thanks again!
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#25
Rocktron Prophecy II vs. Engl E530 for METAL: The Final Verdict

Well, my friend really came through for me . . . I just read his e-mail comparing his Engl to his Rocktron Prophesy II (he owns both). He basically said, if I want a one-trick pony, but best tube-metal sound available, get the Engl. 'Nuff f*ckin' said. That's all I've ever wanted in a tube preamp—the best-sounding, tube-metal, extreme-distortion-with-good-tonal-character device there is—and nothing more. Buying the Engl to-f*ckin-morrow. Done deal . . . FINALLY!

Now . . . on to cabinet simulators!
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 9, 2007,
#26
DI Boxes:


Hughes & Kettner Red Box Pro w/speaker-load $129


Palmer PDI-09 Junction Box $165
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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#27
ENGL E530 ALREADY HAS BUILT-IN 4X12 EMULATOR:

Well, the Engl E530 already has a "frequency-compensated" pair of line-outs, which "simulate the response of a 4x12 cabinet." So, it already has speaker emulation, built-in! Woo hoo! Can't wait to get it! Remember, this has the blessing of one of my oldest guitar-playing friends (friends since high school), and when he says it does metal "best," I believe him! He was the lead guitarist in a gigging metal band in L.A. for years, so I trust really his judgement.
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 9, 2007,
#28
GAME F*CKING OVER . . . AGAIN!

Okay, sent my order in . . . can't f*cking wait. Heavy metal bliss awaits . . . Hopefully. I'll get it by this Friday (if it's even in stock). But I just can't f*cking wait. The sweet sound of all-tube distortion in a DI device (well, not all-tube—I think the 1.5W power amp section is opamps or whatnot)! Finally, a distortion device with actual TONAL coloration from my guitar! FINALLY! After all the Metal Zone this, Uber that, Pod, Rat, Muff, Digitech digital buzzsaw boxes and rack units, I'll finally have that Holy Grail of metal guitar sounds! True, natural, tube-driven overdrive!

I really can't believe this was this f*ckin' hard to figure out. After querying and reading many, many amp posts here, I soon found that valve amp XXX, or valve amp YYY, "didn't quite get to metal," out of the box. You needed more gain. You needed a TubeScreamer. You needed an attenuator. You always f*ckin' needed SOMETHING else to "make it do" metal. I'm not talking about an EVH 5150 with a 4x12 cab that you can play at '11' to get that metal sound. I'm talking, normal-people-budget stuff that live in normal-people neighborhoods.

Like I said, I'm sick of this "almost metal" sh*t. And I bet many of you are too. I still think the Damage Control Solid Metal pedal or Damage Control Demonizer preamp, is probably as good, or possibly even better, at getting "that" metal sound, as the Engl E530 is. So, if you're disatisfied with your amp's "max" overdrive, try one of those. For only $200 USD, you get full-on, dual-tube metal with the DC Solid Metal. If you want a high quality, rack-mount unit, you can have the Holy Grail of metal preamps for just over $500 USD. Game f*cking over!
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American HM Strat | LP Studio
Soldano Avenger w/DeYoung OT | Mark IV rackmount | DC-3 rackmount | Single-Recto

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Last edited by LEVEL4 at Oct 9, 2007,