Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pedal Review - Danelectro French Toast

This pedal hates you. It wants your ears to bleed and it wants to completely mask the tone of your guitar. It has zero interest in “cleaning up” when you roll off your guitar’s volume. And this is all good.

Transparent this pedal is not. Thick, crazy, noisy, atonal if you do the wrong (or right) thing it is.

Based on the Foxx Tone Machine, the French Toast combines a thick yet cutting fuzz circuit with a classic frequency doubler octave up. For added versatility, you can flick a switch to bypass the octave circuit.

To my ears, the fuzz is reminiscent of a Big Muff but offers a lot more treble content and more mids. The octave tracks very well for single notes and works best on the neck pickup. Give the French Toast any thing more than a single note and it goes crazy. If you play a three string major or minor triad on the G, B, and E strings it makes a sound that would be very cool for starting or ending a song especially as the notes decay and the pedal bounces around trying to figure out what to do.

Another fun trick with the French Toast is doing simulated 8-bit video game sounds. With the gain backed off, the octave on, and the tone up above 2 o’clock, playing staccato notes on the E, A, and D strings a cross between a ring mod and a synth. Very cool.

The only concern I have with the pedal is the plastic box and cheapy knobs and jacks. I wouldn’t plan to gig much with this pedal but as a recording tool, it’s great. And for the price, you can’t go wrong.

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