DJ-13 French Toast Octave Distortion Review

manufacturer: Danelectro date: 03/29/2008 category: Guitar Effects
Danelectro: DJ-13 French Toast Octave Distortion
It faithfully re-creates the Foxx Tone Machine from the early '70s, the best 'octave up' effect of all time. For piercing, shrieking, scalp-searing solos, you NEED this machine.
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Ease of Use: 8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) user comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.3
DJ-13 French Toast Octave Distortion Reviewed by: alex_hnatiuk, on march 29, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Classified Ads

Ease of Use: Simple aesthetics, attractive surf-green plastic housing, and compact design. There are EQ, level, and distortion knobs, as well as an Octave toggle Switch. When flipped down, a higher octave is produced (in addition to the original signal). The EQ knob affects the overall tone (position "1" / 7:00 is a very bassy / muddy tone, while 5:00 is a trebley, shrill kind of tone). The level is simply the output volume, and the Distortion knob controls the amount of gain being applied to the signal; at the lowest position, there is still a lot of gain in the signal. The pedal would much more accurately called a Fuzz pedal. That being said, it's got a lot of charm. Unfortunately, the tone shaping is fairly minimal, especially compared to higher end pedals. // 6

Sound: This pedal is a one-trick pony; that being said, it's a very neat trick, and well worth the cost. As stated, the pedal adds a lot of gain even with the distortion knob set to the lowest, so only approach this pedal if high-gain is what you're after. Without Octave on, it's a passable fuzz / biting distortion; nothing spectacular but a reasonable sound none the less. With octave on, the potentials open right up. The knobs definitely produce a much greater range of tone with the octave on; you can produce a tight, electrical searing tone, or a swooshy, spacey sounding fuzz (which sounds great before a delay). I typically set the pedal for trebley, biting solo tone, but it can be used with a rhythm guitar for some.. interesting effects. The tracking the octaver uses is very basic, but this is part of the pedal's charm; playing two notes at once produces an unpredictable (though learnable) tone which it somehow derives through the Harmony. Which is to say, playing two notes will produce the "wrong note", but you can learn how to play this to your advantage. Power chords sound lush and electrical with the octaver on. The bypass is quite clean depending on the power supply you use. With a battery or a Danelectro power supply, I recieved no noticeable noise, but with a slightly over-rated (voltage wise) Radioshack adapter I got a constant hum. A minor inconvenience; follow voltage reccomendations always. // 8

Reliability & Durability: One of the biggest concerns you could have with this pedal relates to the plastic housing. It's by no means frail, but I would not expect it to last too long if dropped on hard surfaces. There are plenty of options for rehousing the unit, such as with a BYOC metal frame, or any metal container of your choosing. If the tone is what you're looking for, have no shame in using it on your pedal board; just be aware that it's a cheap and limited pedal. // 6

Overall Impression: This pedal will work if you make it work; I'd say it fits best in any kind of rock environment (any sub-genres included), but it's up to the musician to make it a necessary, integral part of their sound. The unpredictable behaviour is very interesting and lends itself well to experimentation and improv, so be aware (it's a double edged sword). I wouldn't choose this as my only gain pedal, as it's limited and quite specific in it's use, but it's definitely got a lot of charm and for the price, ridiculous. Baby it, or re-house it (or buy a new one if it's broken or stolen); it's worth it. // 9

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
DJ-13 French Toast Octave Distortion Reviewed by: Zach Dunn, on may 01, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 12

Purchased from: UG's Very Own Entrant_21

Ease of Use: Didn't recieve the box OR manuel but was really easy to get the grips of. Just plug, plug and play! (But make sure you plug in your AC adapter or atleast have a 9V battery in it!). Quick Details: 3 Knobs 1 Switch (Level, Distortion, EQ, Octave) Foot Button Thing DC 9V IN OUT Made In China Battery Power on when cord is in IN jack. Adapter: 9 volt, 300 mA max Now I'll stop copying what it says on the back. // 10

Sound: I tested in on a Squier SP-10 (Borrowed as mines at my mothers house) but it still sounded really nice. I had the settings: Level @ 2.00, Dist @ 12, Octave UP and EQ @ 1.00 and I managed to create a heavy, in your face metal sound (which then influenced to write this metally song I'm written at the moment!). Entrant_21 has apparently tweeked it so it sounds smoother, so the same settings and sounds may not occur on your device, but still, it's worth a mess around of iff you search some settings on google! // 10

Reliability & Durability: It's heavily build and the knobs would not move atall with the slightest touch (unless you full on booted it then possibly). Also you'd never be able to kick the octave Switch up or down too (as the size is incredibly tiny!) but readable. The outercasing is made of a heavy, thick durable plastic that should hold some wear and tear. I would deffinatly use this at a gig with probably more pedals (for more sounds without having to Switch the settings for every other song). // 10

Overall Impression: I play metal, rock, alt-rock, post Grunge etc and this is great for those sort of genres (especially more of the metal stuff, this thing makes your guitar rip heads of a thousand bats!). So I deffinatly recommend this pedal for those metal-heads out there Who don't exactly have the worlds biggest budgets or want something different. This is my first pedal but I've messed around with Boss' and Digitechs so if I did lose this or someone stole it, I would buy it again, but probably invest in something like the Boss MT or anyother distortion pedal (if funds are the problem then back to the French Toast!). // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear