Cool Cat CD-1 Distortion review by Danelectro

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  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Sound: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 9 (1 vote)
Danelectro: Cool Cat CD-1 Distortion
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Purchased from: Ebay - Used

Ease of Use — 9
Pretty easy to use, just plug it in and play. It takes a 9-volt battery or a 9-volt supply if that's your cup of milk. The manual is short and goofy, but it gets the job done. The dual high/low control on the middle knob is a little interesting to get used to, but I tend to keep them almost maxed out anyway. Just keep the level and gain down pretty low, and you'll be surprised at how civilized it can be. In the end, the Danelectro CD-1 Cool Cat Distortion provides simple, no nonsense grind at an unbelievably affordable price.

Sound — 9
This may sound strange, but this is the main overdrive that I use. It can do anything from a slight purr to crazy, hair raising, saturation. I tend to keep it pretty low on the gain and volume settings because it is LOUD. I run it into a 4 watt Fargen El Bastage combo set near breakup and the way it pushes the amp over the edge is wonderful. Very thick and smooth overdrive, even on the lower settings. Its hard to explain, but for some reason, it just has a satisfying grind when you really dig in. I love it.

Reliability & Durability — 6
Well, this is the pre-lawsuit version that is basically an exact copy of the MI Audio Crunchbox except made with cheaper parts. There have been a few times where it has acted up on me (huge volume drop when engaged/completely cutting signal) but unplugging it and plugging it back in have always fixed the issue. I'm sure that the Crunchbox is more reliable, but for 1/4 the price, what the heck. I've never had a problem with it in a gig, and the case is pretty sturdy, so it should last a while.

Overall Impression — 9
I've been playing guitar for 10 years, everything from prog rock to worship, and this is the best deal in guitar equipment that I've ever seen. A lot of people rave about the DigiTech Bad Monkey as a great cheap distortion, but in my opinion, this cool kitty blows it out of the water. I've played tube screamers, OCDs, Boss pedals etc. And this is my favorite of the bunch. Seriously, if you can find one of these stray CD1s, grab it. There's a reason why Danelectro got sued for making these so cheap.

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