Thursday, 1 October 2009

Danelectro Cool Cat guitar pedals.
Phatfish guitarist Ben Hall talks about a couple of overdrive pedals...

Our friends at Danelectro were kind enough to give me two of their new range of guitar pedals, the Cool Cat 'Drive' and 'Transparent Overdrive'.
There's been a bit of a kerfuffle about these pedals, with people claiming that Danelectro straight-up copied the insides of other boutique pedals and just put their name on them. I think they pretty much did. The 'Transparent Overdrive' is inspired by the 'Timmy' overdrive, and the 'Drive', by the Fultone OCD. There's loads of vids on youtube comparing them, but I presently own both these so thought i'd dial up the Danelectro pedals alongside their boutique role models.

So first, the 'Transparent Overdrive vs Paul Coltraine's 'Timmy':
The timmy is famous for transparent nature of its overdrive (hence the name for Dano's version). Sonically, they are very similar, which isn't suprising considering they're pretty much the same inside. The range of the dano (like the timmy) is anywhere from a clean boost to chunky, fat overdrive tones. Both pedals won't give you mental distortion, that's just not what they were made for, but they'l do pretty much everything else. I must say, you do get a really nice sound from the Timmy straight off the bat, where the dano needs a bit more time spent fiddling with the tone controls in order to get the sound you're after. Despite their fundamental similarities in sonic nature, they do sound different. The dano is very close to the timmy, and some might not notice the difference, but there's a definite sloshy hi-mid aspect to the dano that shows up when played next to the Timmy. This diminishes some of the clarity that the Timmy excels in. But to be honest the Timmy is 3x as expensive as the Dano which is a steal at £30. Part of me thinks, If you've only got that much to spend on a pedal, you're already a third of the way to affording a Timmy. BUT, The transparent overdrive is pretty sweet for 30 quid, so I'd suggest you get one if you can't wait for a Timmy. For more info visit

So now for the Denelectro 'Drive' vs the Fultone OCD:
I was a lot more impressed with the drive compared to the transparent overdrive. Both the 'Drive' and 'OCD' boast a lot more overdrive than the previous pedals, and give more saturation of your signal and more of a 'full on' sound. The 'Drive' is ridiculously similar to the OCD (in HP mode). In fact, so close that there's not too much to say. The drive is a little smoother than the OCD (which is a pretty aggressive pedal). The OCD sounds like it has a greater compression ratio, which makes the single notes and palm muted notes more articulated, punchy, and clear. The OCD is a better pedal and I'd say get one if you can, but that said, they're pretty similar. And what else can you get for £25?... A couple McDonalds? I say, make sandwiches till you save enough and spend it on one of these bad boys, you won't regret it. For more info visit or