DD-1 FAB Tone Review

manufacturer: Danelectro date: 12/10/2004 category: Guitar Effects
Danelectro: DD-1 FAB Tone
This hot little box delivers the definitive vintage distortion. Its tonality covers a range far superior to most popular distortion units. 2 tone controls offer infinite variation.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9.9
 Ease of Use: 9.4
 Overall rating:
 8.5 
 Reviewer rating:
 9.7 
 Users rating:
 7.3 
 Votes:
 14 
 Views:
 8,125 
reviews (8) 6 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
DD-1 FAB Tone Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 10, 2004
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Purchased from: atlantic traders

Ease of Use: This is one of the simplest peddles out there yet it is unbelievably versatile. // 10

Sound: I use this pedal through my Ibanez TB-15 as well as my gigging amp which is a Crate GTX212. I play a Standard Strat. This pedal can get hundreds of distortion sounds just by tweaking the two tone knowbs, bass and treble. You can get those old 60's rock sounds as well as nu-metal, punk, and hardcore sounds. This pedal is simply amazing. One unique feature, and a dislike to many is the fact that there is no level of distortion to select, there is only volume, bass, treble, and fab which is simply the level of sustain, not distortion. To me, this makes the pedal better. This pedal has even been used on CD recordings for such bands as Creed. I can't stand them though. Ultimately, this pedal was designed to reproduce sounds from early tube amps in the late 40's, but it really is used as more of a metal monster. This pedal rocks. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This pedal is built like a tank. It has a metal casing is is pretty heavy duty. I've dropped it, kicked it, and so on yet it still holds up. I would easily use this without a backup because of its reliablity. I so however recommend you get an adapter for this pedal b/c it eats batteries like a fat kid eats cake. // 10

Overall Impression: I have purchsed many distortion pedals over my 4 years of playing guitar. I have owned two other Danelectro dist. Pedals as well a Boss DS-1, which I paid $60 for and thought it was the shit until I discovered this. I have now given away that pedal. Your search for the ultimate distortion has ended here, trust me on this, I have yet to hear anything better. // 10

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overall: 10
DD-1 FAB Tone Reviewed by: ipdaily, on february 07, 2005
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Price paid: $ 80

Purchased from: taylor music company

Ease of Use: This thing rocks. The sound is incredible. You can get any sound you could possibly want out of this thing. It can put out incredible bass and a shit load of treble. The manual is short and sweet, it gives settings for the exact sound your looking for. Any thing from a dirty ass Grunge sound to a great scooped mid to some insane metal tones. // 10

Sound: I'm running mine through a Brand X25 watt amp and an Epiphone Les Paul and it works together like they were built for each other. It's extremely quiet with the fab off and can handle some savage distortion when turned up. The effects sound beautiful. The Fab Tone makes it incredibly easy to sound like your favorite artists. I play lots of Metallica, Nirvana, Scorpions, stuff like that and it sounds amazingly close to the originals. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This thing has held up through some beatings. It feels very sturdy and well made. I have used it in plenty of gigs and will continue to use it. // 10

Overall Impression: My style of music ranges from very clean fun stuff to Grunge like distortion and very loud. And this thing can handle all of it. I've been playing about a year and its the best pedal I've played. If this beast was stoled I would go straight back to taylors and buy two more. I love everything about it. // 10

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overall: 10
DD-1 FAB Tone Reviewed by: ANGERisaGIFT, on july 30, 2005
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Sound: I am using this with a Strat copy, which under this pedal I have gone from the stock pickups to all new Dimarzios, and it sounded great with both (better with Dimarzios of course). I run this either into a guitar port then into an amp, or straight to the amp. I have used with this a Peavey Rage 158, a Marshall TSL half stack, Crate amps, Line 6 amps, and it has never failed to achieve incredible sound. You can go from a light, '60s sort of fuzz to a fully saturated metal-out-your-ass tone. It doesn't sound digital and weak like other pedals, even with a Rage 158. It sounds much like a fully overdriven tube amp when you crank up the Fab Tone. The bass and treble controls are great as well. The bass isn't muddy at all, and the treble is amazing. I currently get a hum through this pedal no matter what, but it's because I'm using an old Linksys router AC adapter. When I used a different adapter it was perfectly quiet. This thing sounds amazing no matter how you apply it. It works well for The Unseen, The Casualties, even The Ramones but you can still crank it up for some Metallica, Lamb Of God, Avenged Sevenfold, The Gods, whatever metal band you can think of. I have also been able to procure a good Creed-ish modern rock tone. 5 out of 5 for pure awesomeness. // 10

Overall Impression: Overall this thing is nothing short of amazing, especially considering it's price. I have been playing for 3-4 years, and it has beaten every other pedal I've played. I also have a Boss DS-1 Distortion, and a DigiTech distortion, but this thing blows both of them away in every aspect or genre of music. I have compared it to the distortion tones with my Guitar Port, and seperately the Fab Tone destroys it but pair them together for some wicked tone. I'm really not sure if this pedal is still in production about a year or two ago I saw it in Musician's Friend for about 70-99 dollars, I beleive. If you happen to see one of these in a pawn shop or guitar shop, definitely give it a spin. You won't regret it. // 10

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overall: 9.3
DD-1 FAB Tone Reviewed by: Stimpomatic, on september 23, 2005
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Purchased from: Kentuckiana Music Center

Ease of Use: This beast has 4 knobs; volume (adjusts volume and gain), bass (adjusts bass), treble (adjusts treble), and fab (this adjusts the sustain of the distortion that is played in tandem with what you are playing on your guitar). It takes a bit of getting used to, but the manual helped me to understand it better with examples of different tones. The manual covers about 7 different presets, but adjusting one know just a bit changes the sound so there are hundres of sounds that can be achieved. // 8

Sound: I use this with a Washburn WI64 and a Washburn X10 plugged into a 25W Randall. The sound is very good, but it makes both of my guitars sound pretty much the same when its on. The only difference being is that my WI64 has hotter pickups than my X10 so it gets more feedback. Like I said before, there are hundred of sounds that you can get outta this thing; from blues to Death Metal. This pedal can get very noisy with the fab and/or the treble turned up all of the way, but I rarely do that so I dont worry about it (I found that if I cut the mids on my amp I get very little feedback). It is actually pretty quite in comparison to my Danelectro Black Coffee distortion that I sold to a friend for $9 (I didn't need it since I got this) but it does hum. I can get any kind of distortion that I want out of it; a smooth Overdrive to a nut crushing rythem distortion to screaming leads. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This thing has, I bielive, a cast iron casing and it weighs a atleast 5 pounds. It's extremely durable and I would use it in a gig without a backup no questions asked. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a lot of metal ranging from nu metal and alternative to Death Metal and thrash and occasionally blues and classic rock. Its perfect for my playing style and works very well with the music I play. I have been playing for a little over 2 and a half years and I have been doing music for about 5 and a half years. ALong with this pedal, I own a Washburn WI64, a Washburn X10, a Washburn D10S12, an Indiana Shannondale, an Epiphone Classical, a 25W Randall, and a Danelectro Hashbrowns Flange. If it were stolen, I would go out and buy another one. It was definitely worth the $70 I paid for it. I love all of the sounds that you can achieve by just tweaking a knob. There isn't really anything a hate about it. I did not compare it to other distortion pedals since I'm an impulse buyer sometimes (this being one of them), and I'm very happy with this pedal. And I would like to say if you are looking for a great distortion pedal with awesome versatility, look no further than the Danelectro Fab Tone Distortion. // 10

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overall: 10
DD-1 FAB Tone Reviewed by: Kid Fisto, on july 02, 2007
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Price paid: $ 39.99

Purchased from: Music Maniac

Ease of Use: First of all, I bought it used. So don't freak when you see it for 100 bucks at Guitar Center. Allright, this pedal is simple to use if you use these three steps: plug in your guitar/wah/pre-amp/pre-distortion stuff to the "in" jack, plug in your amp/post-distortion effects to the "out" jack, step on it and rock out. And it's bassically that easy. No matter where the knobs are, it always seems to sound good. The four knobs, volume (obviously, controls volume), bass (boosts your bass), treble (adds scream/fuzz), and fab, which is the Gain knob. On the lowest Fab setting, You get a semi-dirty sound, sort of like a Hendrix fuzz sound, but perhaps on the dirty side. And on the other end, you get a massive wall of Metallica/Pantera/Slayer type distortion. The in-between range is good for pretty much everything, from MCR to RHCP. The bass and treble are there simply to equalize your tone. Turn the bass knob to the top, and your amp will start to literally shake. Turn the treble up, and you'll start to sound like Dimebag on steroids, as far as crispy-scratchy distortion goes. There was no manual (courtesy of used) but I'm sure there's one online somewhere, and no firmware to upgrade. A couple of tips: put all your other effects before this pedal. Some people don't do this, but I find it muddies the sound. Also, harmonics scream on this thing when the distortion is to the top. You want Dime-type harmonic screams? Get this pedal. Fourth fret, fifth, seventh, ninth, even an eleventh fret I found on my D-string. If you can find a harmonic, this thing will boost it to the roof. // 10

Sound: I use this with my B\.C\. Rich Mockingbird Evil Edge and Dean Palomino, the former more than the latter. The reason for that is feedback (read my Palomino review FMI). My amp is a Kustom Arrow 16 DFX. Noise. I've never been quite able to figure out why, but whenever I'm closer than 10 feet from my amp and have distortion on, the amp buzzes when I'm not playing. I don't find it a problem, but some people have wanted to stab my amp with a dagger when they were playing on it. With the amp's distortion, it doesn't do it so bad, but with this pedal, it sounds like a hive of angry bees. But on the low end of the distortion, it is silent. The distortion, as I've said, is solid as a brick wall. Depending on what you're trying to play, it can sound great or like crap. If it's Metallica, Pantera, Black Sabbath, Zakk Wylde, or any other type of metal/rock, this pedal can probably do it. I love all those bands and this pedal makes it simple. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This thing is built like a tank. It's used, and even though it's got some paint chipping off, it plays like the day it was born. Seriously, this thing fell off the top of my car when I was driving off (I forgot I put it up there), and I was freaking because I thought I'd killed it. Not a dent. If the military ever needs better tank armor, they should contract Danelectro. I'm fairly sure I could use it without a backup. // 10

Overall Impression: I play everything from Metallica to Jazz to RHCP. It's an excellent match for everything, even jazz (a couple songs sound good with a light crunch). I've been playing for a little more than a year, and in addition to this pedal, I've got the guitars I already mentioned, a Dime-wah, and a couple other Dan-o pedals. If it were lost or stolen, I would go grab another one instantly. No contest there. The only thing I wish it had was a midrange knob. I'm not sure why it doesn't but whatever. I love everything except the buzz amplification. And the fact that it eats 9 Volts for breakfast, lunch, dinner and a midnight snack. If you're going to get this pedal, get the adapter. End of story. I compared it to a Boss and an Ibanez Tubescreamer. I chose this one because it was a third of the price of the others, and sounded the same. // 10

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overall: 9
DD-1 FAB Tone Reviewed by: TeddyRamone, on july 02, 2007
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Ease of Use: Ease of use? well, a pedal with only 3 knobs, you tell me how easy it is to use. The 3 knobs are O.D., Tone and Level. That's about it. Manual? There's only this small piece of paper explaining the knobs that's all. Nothing much to elaborate here. My unit hasn't been upgraded, pretty much the same since the 1st day I bought it, though now I use adapter cables for all my effects. // 8

Sound: I'm using a Yamaha Pacifica 112 > Danelectro Grilled Cheese Distortion > Danelectro Fab Metal > Fab Overdrive > Fab Echo > TGM BF-3 Flanger > Yamaha F-20 practice amp. It's not noisy, even with all the knobs at full turn. It isn't the best Overdrive there is in the market, but it sure owns over the crappy overdrive you get with small practice amps. I can get something like from a soft rock kinda feeling, to a blues sound. Not too crunchy. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Well, I've had it for 2 years, and hasn't gone down on me even once. I would definitely use it in a gig without a backup because I don't go around jumping on my pedals and; it's made of fairly tough plastic. And yes, like any other effects pedals in the market, the little dude has a rubber surface on the bottom, so rest assured your partner in guitar warfare won't move an inch. // 10

Overall Impression: I actually play main hard rock, Grunge, punk rock, thrash metal and Death Metal but I occasionally play soft rock and blues. I rarely use the Overdrive unless playing lovey-dovey love songs. I've been playing for 5 years and I own all the other gear in the Sound section. If it was stolen or lost, I won't buy it again though. I'd get a better Overdrive pedal, like the Maxon OD-9 Pro+ or something. // 9

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overall: 10
DD-1 FAB Tone Reviewed by: unregistered, on august 29, 2007
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Price paid: $ 50

Ease of Use: This thing is simple to use. You have 4 knobs, 1 button, and unlimited overdrive/crunch. I looked through the tiny manual a couple of times, but you really don't need it to get the tone you want, if you want facemelting crunch, this is it. // 10

Sound: I have an Epiphone goth sg, an Ibanez RG220 w/ emg 81's, and I had a '61 Gibson sg re-issue. I play them through a Line 6/Spider III with 2X12 Celestion speakers. I had to upgrade my amp because it kept ruining my smaller ones. I've yet to see how this one holds up. I've lost a Peavey Studio Pro 1X12, a cheap ass Crate (nothing against them I like Crate but this one was a small cruddy one), and a small Marshall through this pedal. I like to play Heavy Ass Metal with as much CRUNCH as I can get into my rhythms with a screaming lead. This pedal certainly does it. I just wish I had an amp that I KNOW will be able to hang with this and not blow. I hope the Line 6 will do it for me. It has always given my amps an annoying hum, very very annoying, but still, this pedal is ruthless. I have never used another pedal with this much crunch. I love it. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I've never had a problem with it other than too much power for my earlier amps. They didn't blow right off the bat, just a drawn out process with the humming. I don't think anything would ever happen to it if it were dropped or anything, it's like a tank. I would use it without a backup with no questions asked. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a lot of Hard Rock and Metal. You won't find a better pedal for this type of music. I've been playing for about 12 years and still haven't found anything like it. I was originally given this pedal about 8-10 years ago as a present, then quit playing for about a year or so and I sold it along with the rest of my equipment. When I started playing again, I went and bought another for 50 bucks. It may look cheesy, like a buick from the fifty's, but it definately screams. I don't like how I had to go through so many amps b/c of it, but the sound is amazing. // 10

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overall: 9
DD-1 FAB Tone Reviewed by: Cobalt Blue, on april 11, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Ebay

Ease of Use: It's a very simple pedal, two imputes (in and out) a space for your 9V battery, and a spot to plug in a DC power source. There's four knobs: Level (for the effects volume), Low and High (for frequency changing), aswell as 'Fab' ('for amount of distortion). So just plug your guitar to the In your amp to the Out, with the press of a button and a few minutes of tinkering with the knobs you can find your sound and be playing to your hearts content. // 10

Sound: My setup is My guitar (Ibanez Road Star, or Gibson Flying V) -> VHT Valulator I -> Fab Tone -> Cry Baby -> Amp (Behringer AC112). The Fab Tone is definitely a Metal/Hard Rock maybe Grunge pedal. It doesn't have a gigantic range in amount of distortion, in fact the Fab knob doesn't seem to do much other than make the effect noisy, most of the time I have the Fab rolled almost to zero. The two tone knobs give you a lot of variety though, I can get a good Metallica sound, and most other metal or hard rock bands. The pedal is a little bit noisy when your not playing though, some may want to use a noise gate, it's not enough to bother me though. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I'd say it's a pretty durable pedal, I haven't dropped it or anything yet, but it's made out of metal and hard plastic, it should be able to take quite a beating. If anything on it were to go it may be the button, it's plastic I believe, and it doesn't click like other pedals, I'm not saying it will wear out, but I think it would be the most likely part of the pedal to experience wear and tear. I'm not sure about the battery life because I run it off a power source, but I've been told by friends that they tend to last a good amount of time. I would definitely gig with the pedal in it's current condition, I couldn't see it crapping out on me. // 9

Overall Impression: This is a very good pedal at a good price, I've played much more expensive pedals and this one can stand up to them. I used to play through a Fuzz Face quite often but I haven't bothered since I got the Fab. If your looking for metal or hard rock, give this pedal a try, I haven't been able to test it personally, but a friend of mine Who owns both says it's just as good as a Boss Metal Zone, for a better price. If you want a pedal with a range in the amount of distortion you use, look elsewhere this pedal is pretty much all or nothing. If it were lost or stolen I'd definitely get a new one. my only real problem with the pedal is I wish you could scale back the distortion a bit for other genres but for what I payed I could not be happier. // 9

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