Bulldog Distortion Review

manufacturer: Vox date: 09/29/2008 category: Guitar Effects
Vox: Bulldog Distortion
With dual channels ? each with its own gain and volume controls ? and growling tube tone, the Vox Bulldog Distortion pedal adds extra bite to your fret burning maneuvers.
 Sound: 8.6
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Reliability & Durability: 9
 Ease of Use: 8.8
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) 6 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.3
Bulldog Distortion Reviewed by: separanets, on july 06, 2006
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Ease of Use: The design is pretty sophisticated. Without a manual I could only guess the purpose of those two channels. If it's a trick to demonstrate that the pedal takes after a genuine preamp, then I find it weird for a pedal of that class. At their website I could find only some marketing things, you know, like "adds extra bite to your fret burning maneuvers" or "you can independently tailor the second channel's hell-raising tone". Two channels with tone crunch and a high gain boost with two Vintage knobs for each one: gain and volume and the Gain 2 channel won't work when the Gain 1 isn't on. The bass and treble controls knobs are understandable, but the voice knob seems to add yet more treble or so. I just kept it at the zero position. Once again for this class of pedals it's a bit too complicated. // 9

Sound: I plug it into my tube amp (clean channel) without any foreign boosters, so it comes first after my Gibson SG Standard and before every other pedal. The clean channel in my amp is slightly boosted. The sound is rather mediocre, kind of boring. It does have a tube color, whatever critics will say. Another advantage is that it is not noisy. I think a sort of denoiser was stipulated. The high gain channel (Gain 2) proved to be something I was indifferent to. I suppose it was merely a transistor booster. Anyhow, it does not improve the Gain 1 channel, but destroys all its tube character and overtakes it with some dark evil distortion. So when you first take this bulldog, you say "great, it's awesome" and you get bored with it very quickly after a while of playing. The crunch channel, however, is more or less, ok. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I think it's ok with it, unless you will have to put down all the positions of your knobs when going on a gig. The batteries seem to run out even when it's resting in a drawer! // 10

Overall Impression: I bought it as I buy many other of pedals, just to listen to it and leave it if I find it's great. I play everything from blues to heavy metal for more than two decades. It's not a good match for my preferences, since I can buy something else for the same price. I have a whole bunch of pedals Vintage or ordinary and for me this one, bulldog, is yet another distortion, so if it were stolen, ok, I'm going to sell it, that's my answer. Once again, the crunch here is fine, the high gain was not very good for me, the "control panel" is complicated. I compared it to Maxon 880, Maxon 881, H&K TubeFactor, and the overdriven channel of my tube amp. All of them beat the bulldog. // 7

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overall: 10
Bulldog Distortion Reviewed by: antou, on october 01, 2005
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 264.6

Purchased from: musicstore

Ease of Use: First inpression was, there were so many knobs (9 all together) so its kind of freaking out! But it is actually simple to use. Gain control and volume for each of the 2 channels, the EQ (bass and treble) and gain 2 voice control, by pass and channel switch. Then when you plug it in, cool things happen, there is a blue light coming out from the tube (it is tube driven) and most importantly, no buzz until you crack it up to the max. dead silence so you can read you menu in optimal environemt! But it is easier to figure it out yourself than reading the menu as there is no good info that you need! Overall this is a good pedal. 2 channels with its own gain and volume control. some may critise the shared Eq but man, this is not a preamp! This is a pedal, what more can you ask for? // 10

Sound: I use a Gibson Les Paul or Fender Tele thru this baby to the Vox AC 30. As mention before, this pedal is deadly silence, no hum or buzz unless you wind it to the bottom, there is a little hint of buzz to remain you that you have loans of distortion on your finger tips! Gain 1 is less distortion channel (still more than plenty, thank you). It's heaven for old school rock 'n' roll and punk type of music. So much clarity and punh at the same time (suppose the amp does help as well). Gain 2 is the flat out approach. With the AC 30 kind of volume you can annoy not just your neighbour, but the whole village! The voice control give extra versitality! Anticlockwise for a warmer, fatter sound and wind it clockwise of deathmetal. On this channel you can easily do any metal stuffs that you want! Sweet. As mention, this is a tube driven pedal, but it doesn't eat battery as the clever circuit! It doesn't run in the "starvation mode" so 4 AA batteries give you sweet harmonic tube sound for 16 hours. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Got this baby new so not sure about the reliability. but it seems solid. The surface looks like metal but it is actually hard plastic. Sure this will do for the gig but ensure you have enough back up battery! // 10

Overall Impression: I play punk stuff like greenday, rock stuff like Guns N' Roses and some alternative like Radiohead and Muse. From my naive guitar experience (1.5 years). This is fantastic. Heard some other pedal like Boss Metal Zone, Tube Screamer and Tube-factor, only the Tube-factor come close the other are just, well, they are not tube driven so not the same league! If I lost this baby, I will definitly get another one, will prob get its brother (Big Ben Overdrive) as well, as they are just fantastic. This is by far the best distortion pedal I have come accross in the market! Good job Vox. // 10

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overall: 8.8
Bulldog Distortion Reviewed by: Eddyripdeal, on april 14, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 252

Purchased from: local musicstore

Ease of Use: Very easy to use. 2 channels. 1 distortion channel (2 knobs gain and volume for the "rythmchannel) - (5knobs gain/volume/bass/treble and voice for the "leadchannel"). To the point manual included. It is tube operated. I recomand an adaptor, it will eat batteries. // 9

Sound: Use it on a hot rod deluxe mainly with an epiphone boneyard. No need of further bells and chimes. I like to keep it simple, stupid. It always sounds great from a creamy crunch to tearing metal. I don't try to copy the sound of famous artist, but I think it is possible to copy a lot of artists with the Bulldog. I like the bulldog and don't need anything else. At first I wanted a tonebone classic distortion, which sounded great on a Bassman 59, but for some reason didn't want to be friends with my hotrod, so I kept looking and afte trying several distortions, I was immediately convinced by the soundquality of the Bulldog. The nice look of it doesn't matter to me. It lies on the floor and has to do his job, plain, simple and good. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I can! It follows me everywhere. I take care of it (boxtransport). It's all I ever need. // 8

Overall Impression: Sounds great, easy to use and reliable. What more do you want. I tried about 8 distortion pedals (Tonebone, MX). My first choice swas the tonebone but for some reason it wouldn't match my hotrod. Try the pedals on your own gear! // 9

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overall: 7.8
Bulldog Distortion Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 28, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 214.2

Ease of Use: The pedal is really easy to understand, you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what "gain" or "voice" means. And thank heavens for that, cause the manual is a joke. A really bad joke. Although it sounds great and seem to be easy adjustable at a first glance, you will soon find yourself spending more time turning those knobs by a tiny bit, just to see if it can sound any better. What I realy miss about this pedal is separate eq for each gain channel. // 8

Sound: I bought Bulldog because I got really pissed off with the Overdrive simulations in my Boss GT-8. It wasn't a problem while I had a good tube amp at reach, but now I wanted to have good sound at home too, and I gave up the idea to fit a guitar combo in my tiny flat. So now I usually connect Bulldog in the effects loop of GT-8 which runs through my home studio monitors. And this sound good, I tell you. Almost anything from blues to Ajattara style black/death. Maybe it lacks just a little tiny bit of gain, but this problem is easy eliminated if I boost the send level of the fx loop. One thing you have to keep in mind is that single EQ for both channels (bloody bad idea Vox). When you use second gai channel it sometimes asks for a bit more high tones, and then you switch back to gain 1 and get too much of it! But overall this is a very good and versatyle tube Overdrive for the price. It is also surprisingly guiet! The only time I got noise on it was when using a power adapter. But I guess it was the fault of the cheap adapter, not the pedal. I've heard some people complaining that this pedal has too much highs crap. It has nothing that couldn't be cured with a careful setting of the eq. // 8

Reliability & Durability: The pedal looks quite tough. But there is one but. That silly open grille over the tube. It will eventually become a dust magnet and also could cause trouble on stage with crazy audience. Ok, the glowing tube looks cool, but I go for the sound and durability, not the looks // 7

Overall Impression: I mostly play hard rock and metal and ths pedal does it pretty well for the price. Don't hope that you will get that legendary Boogie sound, not for 170 euros, you won't. But you will get close to it, and you will get a stompbox that is easy and intuitive to use, quiet and great sounding. In the shop I also tried aout Electroharmonix BigMuff, Rocktron Silver Dragon and several other tube and transistor pedals at the same price range, but Vox Bulldog proved to be the most versatyle and most fitting my needs. // 8

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overall: 9.3
Bulldog Distortion Reviewed by: luyano, on september 29, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 154.3

Purchased from: Local Store

Ease of Use: Well, I bought it in a local store in my city (I'm chilean), I'm playing since 1 year and this is my first distortion pedal. It has to channels, the first for rythms and the second for leads. For the channel 1 it has a gain knob, a volume knob, a bass knob and a treble knob, the channel 2 has his gain knob, his volume knob and a "voice" knob that acts like an extra tone knob. it isn't hard to get your sound when you know how to use pedals. I think that one problem is that I use it with 4 AA batteries and the pedal it them in less that one week if you use it constantly, so later I would buy a power suply to this dog. The manual only shows what you got to know to take care of the pedal, you got to find your own sound with this. // 8

Sound: I play with a Squier Strat and a Freeman 15 watt amp, I buy it because the amp distortion wasn't something could make me feel happy. It's a very good pedal if you are the only guitar in your band, you got what you need to crunch and for soloing. It produces a lot of feedback when you got the gain knobs at maximum (like I do), but it is because my pickups are single coils basically. It's very loud when you turn up the volume knobs, my settings are Channel 1: gain (max), volume (12 o'clock), bass (max), treble (2 o'clock). Channel 2: gain (max), volume (1 o'clock). This doesn't give you a exactly Jimmy Page or Van Halen tone but it works very good to play their music and to find your kind of tone. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I played in gigs with it and this pedal didn't dissapointed me. I only got backup batteries because the bulldog it them fast, when I can get a power suply to this, all will be OK. It is bulit in a metal jail, I take care of it like my Holy Grail, but I think that the only way you can break it is if you let it fall from your roof. // 10

Overall Impression: I play music like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Van Halen; Guns N' Roses and this is a really good match for classic rock. I got it since 2 months and love it. I compared it to a Boss DS-1, a Boss DS-2, a Boss MT-2, a Boss SD-1, a Marshall Jackhammer and I choose this because I find my tone with this pedal. I love it, the first channel it's perfect por rythms and the second channel has a middle boost for soloing so it has every thing you can need in a distortion pedal. If it were lost, I would buy another one. // 10

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