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Cheap Distortion Pedal Review: The Danelectro Fab Metal Stompbox

Updated on April 21, 2017
Jesse Drzal profile image

I enjoy all kinds of music gear from vintage to modern. As a guitar player, it is rewarding learning and trying new effects.

Danelectro

With the brand being founded all the way back in the 40's, Danelectro has been designing guitars and music gear for a long time. Probably the most famous Danelectro product was a modified 59 DC used by Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin notably on the song ''Kashmir'' and others.

Today, Danelectro primarily produces guitars, effects, and accessories. The Fab series is a budget line of effects pedals that offers many different options for players.

Along with the Fab Metal pedal, Danelectro also has a full line of other effects units such as delays, chorus, other distortion types and many more. Pictured is my Fab.
Along with the Fab Metal pedal, Danelectro also has a full line of other effects units such as delays, chorus, other distortion types and many more. Pictured is my Fab. | Source

Nice Value for the Money

This pedal retails for around 20 dollars Usd, and as far as music gear and pedals go it just does not get any cheaper than this. I was pretty blown away by the low price, and I purchased mine off eBay, for just under 20 dollars and that included the shipping too. To be honest, I was really hesitant about getting it, for fear of it being a massive piece of junk. But that is not the case at all.

The Pedal

While it is not an all metal build design, The plastic seems pretty tough to me, along with being lightweight. I throw it right in my bag as is, without care of damaging it or anything. And after a few years of some pretty heavy use, it still works great. The screw for the battery cover is made of a cheaper plastic it seems, but it has never stripped or been an issue. Also, has a bright on/off light.

Although a cord was not provided with my Fab, the pedal does have a power jack for a  wall plug outlet in if you want to save on batteries, which is a great option if yours gets a lot of use.
Although a cord was not provided with my Fab, the pedal does have a power jack for a wall plug outlet in if you want to save on batteries, which is a great option if yours gets a lot of use. | Source

Fab Metal in Use

Pretty basic layout function with on the pedal with level, tone, and gain on this. The Fab also has a power input, and although no cord was provided with the unit in the box, I'm alright with that considering the cost. As far as sound, I was really pleasantly surprised with the pedal and did not expect this quality at the price point.

It is not in the league of super high priced distortion pedals as far as tone and versatility, but at this price, one cannot expect these things, so there was no letdown or disappointment when I first tried it. Truth is, this a really effective and useable pedal.

The sustain is very good on this, with lots of crunchy overdrive when maxed out. I like the mid range tones this pedal can produce too. For me, this pedal is every bit as good as some priced at more than double what this cost without a question.

Fab Metal in Action

The Verdict

What's nice about this unit is that if it gets lost or damaged, say for instance it falls victim to flood damage at a friends house or your buddy pawns it for a sandwich, you are not going to cry for days over the loss of this pedal if something happens. That's the great thing for me about using budget stuff.

The truth is, though, for budget equipment this is very useable and has a more than decent sound. I highly recommend this pedal. You get lots of bang for the buck at this price. I also would not worry about the plastic case design as it seems more than durable enough for real use over an extended period of time, as mine is still going strong.

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      Eric Ocampo 6 months ago

      Excellant pedal..above and beyond what i was expecting..worth every sent and more.