MD1 Metal Distortion review by DeltaLab

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Ease of Use: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 6.8 Neat
  • Users' score: 3.7 (7 votes)
DeltaLab: MD1 Metal Distortion

Price paid: $ 25

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 6
Overall, the sound quality of this pedal is just "okay". It is undeniably a "metal" sound, but sounds a bit dated, like much of the metal you remember from the 80's and early 90's. Again, if that's what you're after, you could argue that's the whole point of the pedal. I just don't think it does it particularly well. It has some low-end "chug" to it, but unlike a Boss Metal Zone, there's no separate bass control to affect how much of that low-end "cabinet thump" you can simulate. On the plus side, the pedal has TONS of output, which can be a problem with some higher-gain distortion pedals. Unity gain is somewhere near 50%, with plenty of headroom left over. Low output was a big problem with the DeltaLab RD1 Rock Distortion, which is a pedal I otherwise liked much better.

Overall Impression — 6
I fully acknowledge that I'm not a good "metal" player, but that doesn't mean I haven't tried other metal pedals that I've liked better. The MXR Fullbore Metal is intriguing, and at the end of the day, you could probably find a used Boss Metal Zone for about the same price as this pedal. The DeltaLab line is being phased out, after Guitar Center carried it a few years as their "store brand" of sorts. I think the Tube Overdrive and Stereo Chorus are good products, but I just can't strongly recommend this. Still, if you enjoy metal, it's a very affordable option that should last for awhile due to the metal casing and switch.

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Reliability & Durability — 7
I have no significant complaints about overall durability, though I would note that the knobs just "feel" a bit cheap in the way they are finished. Also, I've seen a few of these used where either the knobs were broken, or the audio jacks had started to loosen on their own. Correctable, but that really shouldn't happen. Still, if you like the sound enough, I would feel comfortable using it in a live gig, or other setting where I needed to depend on it. The 9V jack is easily accessible on the top (where I like it), so you wouldn't necessarily have to worry about batteries.

Ease of Use — 8
It only has only three knobs - gain, shape, and level. The "shape" is like a tone control, except that it only really effects the mid level. The knobs are a little on the small side, but easy to access and turn. The pedal is in a heavy metal casing with rubber backing, so it is easy to use the footswitch. If you like what the pedal has to offer, it's not particularly hard to dial in a sound. You would simply adjust the level and then move the "shape" knob to your preference, depending if you want a "scooped sound" or more mids.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Ive had this pedal since Xmas (4 months ago) and Im still kinda on the fence with it .. Im running with a pretty decent pedal set up but s*&TTY amp atm .. and while I can get any and everything outta my BOSS MZ, this pedal i find hard to find anything im stoked about... currently Im running Dominion pickups too so the mid boost is like WHOOOAAAAA..