Damage Control Demonizer
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Damage Control Demonizer

Demonizer, Tube Guitar Preamp from Damage Control.

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content in English
Audiofanzine FR 16/03/2009

Damage Control Demonizer : Recensione di Audiofanzine FR (content in English)

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(Originally written by smarty/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
2-channel preamp pedal with two 12AX7 tubes.

The first channel provides a sound ranging from clean to fat overdrive. The sound of the second channel ranges from overdrive to fat distortion and provides a 18dB boost.

Guitar input, line output with speaker simulation, power amp output.

Input EQ that allows you to boost the selected frequency, fixed EQ on the output, and an additional sweeping EQ for the mids.

Compressor section with only one control.

Everything you need from a distortion pedal.

I give it a 10 as a distortion pedal.

But I give it a 6 as a preamp because I miss low and mid controls.

UTILIZATION

Very easy to use.

When used as a DI in distortion mode and with the speaker simulation, the sound is too highs a mids intensive.

It's almost as if the speaker simulation wouldn't be effective enough.

With a good speaker simulation (like Guitar Rig) you'll get a good sound... But you'll have to EQ the signal in direction injection mode.

To get a clean or a bit dirty sound, I connect it to a Boss VF1 with speaker simulation and I get a thick and warm sound. The compressor produces an even thicker sound. With the compressor control in center position, you get a Fender-like twangy response and a very musical sustain.

The distortion sound is pretty good with a tube amp (Fender or Peavey Classic), it has the perfect color for modern metal. You can also get a nice light crunch or an aggressive heavy metal overdrive. The device always provides a long sustain...

Be careful with the Nuclear channel because it boosts the signal level up to 20 dB, which is good thing for an amp but not for a multi-effects processor.

The grade depends on what you expect from this preamp.

If you use it as a DI box with a mixing console you'll need an additional speaker simulation, so I give it a 6.

Amazingly enough, with my Soldano Hot Rod amp the clean sound is just wonderful: it adds musical high frequencies and the compressor produces a typical Fender attack when set to 2 o'clock!! Stunning!

The distortion sound with an amp is only worth an 8.

SOUNDS

I've already said everything...

As a DI box it gets a bad grade.

Good mark as a preamp with a tube amp.

Good mark for its clean sound with an effect processor and a tube amp.

OVERALL OPINION

I expected this pedal to replace a POD but the distortion disappointed me.

For clean sounds I use the normal output with a Boss multi-effects. I use the tubes to add warmth and the compressor to get typical tube amp attacks. The result is excellent.

For distortion sounds I have to use the speaker simulation of my Boss, bypass its overdrive section, and shape the sound with the EQ. The result doesn't fulfill my expectations.

As a summary: Excellent clean sound in DI mode.

Good dirty crunch sound in DI mode.

The overdriven sound in DI mode has lots of highs and lows.



With a tube amp: Excellent clean sound with a typical Fender attack thanks to the compressor.

Good dirty crunch sound that improves the response of the amp (I use a Peavey Classic or a Fender).

Good heavy metal overdrive but far behind a Rectifier. Obviously...

I didn't test a bunch of products.

Even the sound of a Marshal JMP1 must be improved with a speaker simulation when you use it without a guitar amp.

Same thing with my V-Twin for the overdriven blues sound.

The distortion sound of the POD is too rich and aggressive.

Even the response of a Mesa Recording Preamp can be improved...

All these products require a good EQing and a good speaker simulation.

I wouldn't buy it again.

I find this product is too expensive (like the Mesa Boogie).

I'm still looking for a good DI solution. Perhaps you can recommend me a product... Maybe the new Vox Tonelab LE...

Update from 03/16/09: this Damage Control is much too expensive, just like the Blackstar, but its clean sound is amazing!!! But the distortion is too harsh and aggressive...

Unlike the Blackstar, this product doesn't provide a consistent sound variation from clean to crunch and dirty clean (at least with my setup). This doesn't mean that the Blackstar is perfect but it produces better distortion sounds (musical saturation from dirty clean to heavy metal distortion).