DJ-5 Tuna Melt Tremolo Review

manufacturer: Danelectro date: 12/10/2008 category: Guitar Effects
Danelectro: DJ-5 Tuna Melt Tremolo
Sounds so real you can feel the heat from your 1956 tube amp. Hard/Soft switch perfectly simulate tremolos from different 50's era amps. Tasty!
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 8.5
 Reliability & Durability: 7.5
 Ease of Use: 10
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reviews (2) pictures (1) 4 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.3
DJ-5 Tuna Melt Tremolo Reviewed by: Mutant Corn, on december 10, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 15

Purchased from: Pawnderosa of Little Rock, AR

Ease of Use: It's very easy to get the sound I want from this, mainly because it's such a simple effect. One knob, "speed", changes the speed at which the effect cycles, the other, "depth", changes how drastic the volume cut is on the low end of the cycle. The Switch toggles between "hard" and "soft" mode. Soft functions like a normal tremolo, altering the volume in a triangle-wave type pattern. Hard mode changes this to a square wave-type. The volume is either fully on, or off completely. The "depth" knob does not have a function in this mode. // 10

Sound: I'm using this with my bass rig and with a guitar. It doesn't seem to be noisy at all. There's really not much to this thing as far as sound... all it does is modify the amplitude of the signal being passed through it. The actual tone of the instrument is completely unaffected. The sound is like any other tremolo... I assume that if another artist used one, I could make this one sound like it. Again, there is no specific tone associated with this effect. I can see no problems with how it functions. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I believe that I can depend on it, but it does seem a bit less durable than most other pedals I've used. The casing is made of thick plastic, as are the knobs, with a metal toggle Switch and a steel plate for the bottom. I wouldn't jump on it or anything, and dropping it onto concrete would probably leave a battle scar or even break a knob, but it seems like it will hold up to "normal" use. I would gig it without a backup. I can't see such a simple circuit failing any time soon, and the battery lasts quite a while. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall it seems like a decent pedal for the price I paid. I play most forms of rock and it's deviants, and some jazz and blues on occasion. I'm mainly a bassist. This is more suited to 50's style music like Les Paul used to play, but I've found some uses for it. I knew pretty much what I was getting when I bought it... no surprises there. I bought this mainly to play with, and because it was being sold at a very low price. If it were lost or stolen, I probably wouldn't buy it again. It's not that it's a bad product, but it's really not very useful to me. My favorite thing about it is that it is so easy to use. The controls are very straightforward and easy to manipulate. What I don't like is that it's somewhat cheaply made. I didn't really compare it to anything when I bought it, because it was the only effect in the pawn shop at the time. True bypass would be nice to have, but the pedal costs $50 new... I'm not complaining. Overall, it's a cheap, simple pedal that does exactly what it's supposed to do. // 9

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overall: 8.3
DJ-5 Tuna Melt Tremolo Reviewed by: ranbat, on march 07, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 39

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: Like most Tremolo pedals, the Danelectro Tuna Melt is a pretty basic pedal. It has one knob for Depth and one for Speed. It also has a Hard/Soft Switch to change from a triangle wave (soft) to a square wave (hard). It's pretty easy to dial in that classic Tremolo sound. This was one of the 'bubble pack' pedals and did not come with a manual. There are a few setting suggestions on the back of the package which may be helpful to those unfamiliar with Tremolo pedals. // 10

Sound: My current main guitar is an old Harmony H80T Strat copy. My main practice amp is an Orange Crush 15. I bought this pedal to get that classic Link Wray/Ventures sound. Those of you into bands like the Cramps and Brian Setzer might find this a handy pedal to have too. This pedal is super easy to use and alot of fun. With the Switch to Hard and by playing with the Rate you can almost mimic an Echo effect. This pedal does exactly what I want it to do and a little more. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I bought this pedal solely for use with my practice amp. If I was gonna play a show, I'd buy a Boss or Carl Martin tremolo pedal. The Tuna Melt may very well be fine in a gigging situation, but it's plastic case and delicate knobs make me think this one is better left in the bedroom. I might use it as a backup at a gig, but not as my main pedal. As a pedal for just jamming, it's solid. I might add that Danelectro has a knob protector that snaps on the pedal. If you installed one of those, it would probably be fine for gigging. // 7

Overall Impression: I play Garage Rock, Surf and Rockabilly. It's a solid pedal for any of that. I've been playing 20+ years and have found the Dano stuff to be a good value for the money. I did some research and the Tuna Melt was highly recommended. Most people I came across said you couldn't find a better Tremolo pedal for the price. If it was lost or stolen I'd definitely get another since I have the Danelectro pedal board it fits in with some of the other mini effects. // 8

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