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DingoTone Fat Dingo Distortion demo


Full disclosure: I am not a professional. This is my first pedal demo. I was given a free pedal from DingoTone along with the opportunity to demo and review it. Here is my unvarnished opinion.

Fairly new to the market is the The Fat Dingo Distortion from DingoTone (www.dingotone.com MADE IN NORTH AMERICA). It comes in a simple but elegant deep blue enclosure. With four knobs to control your tone, there is a lot of variation available at your fingertips. The pedal has a Volume, Gain, and active Treble and Bass knobs. The Volume sweeps from no output to unity to a nice boost. The Gain travels from basic distortion (no clean boost available) to full on super high gain distortion.

I found that with the Gain at minimum, dropping my guitar volume allowed me to get close to a cleaned up tone, but not fully. As the Gain increased, so did the saturation. Here is where the Active Treble and Bass come into play. At higher volumes, you may need to adjust the tone controls to suit the style of music or your taste.

The Treble control allows for a nice roll off of highs for a darker, woman-ish tone. Boosting the Treble gets you a very crisp snarl. I was able to find a little of that Brian May nasal tone with a boost to the Treble and roll off of the Bass. The Bass knob works much the same, though I noticed a huge increase in the thump factor when adding Bass. Both my Fender '63 Vibroverb Reissue and 1970 Fender Twin (all original) got much closer to the sealed cabinet Marshall stack chunka chunk sound when the Bass was increased, without getting flabby.

My favorite setting was with the Gain at about 2 o'clock, the Treble at 1 and the Bass at 1. Volume was set as needed for the total output level desired. At this setting, I was able to turn my guitar volume down to almost off and get a fantastic Neil Young-like distortion. Great for rocking open rhythm chords (think Down By The Water live or Rockin' In The Free World). With just a roll of the knob I could then surge into lead territory. And there was a LOT of territory as the volume swept up and drove the Gain. You could easily have 2 or three levels of solo gain as you swept the volume knob up to full.

I personally found the bridge pickups to sound the best on both guitars tested. I used a Gretsch 6120 Brian Setzer Nashville SSLVO with TVJones Classics and an old Epiphone Les Paul modded with Gibson Burstbuckers (and upgraded electronics) and Bigsby B7. These guitars sound great through any amp I play them into and I felt they gave me a good foundation for demoing this pedal. I did not use any single coil guitars at this time. I played through a Fender '63 Vibroverb Reissue connected to an early 70s 2x15 Fender Bassman cab. Not a typical setup, but as you'll hear in the clean tone part of the demo, a very nice combo. The 15s give nice low end and still have great high end and midrange, without shrillness. The amp is a dual 6V6 at 30-40 watts. I ran the volume at about 3.5 (before any amp overdrive was present).

I also used the pedal in a band rehearsal last week. Two guitars, drums and bass. The FDD stood out from the other guitarist's tone and gave the band a different overall sound. Comments where in the "whoa!" and "wow!" category.

While I found the FDD didn't suit my particular taste, it was mainly because I don't play a style that uses this much gain. I could see using it for specific projects, but not on my board for my current band. Back in the 90s and my alternative days, I could see how this pedal would be a great tone shaper for loudquietloud type stuff (I found some Smashing Pumpkins tones in there!).

Lately, I play Americana/alt.country-type stuff which calls for a more chimey overdriven sound (think tweed or Vox). I did find a cool sound that I liked by running the Gain high and lowering the guitar volume. I definitely found a sweet spot and had a lot of fun there. While this pedal is in no way designed to get a 5E3 tweed tone, I found it with the High Gain and low guitar volume and liked how I could go from tweed-y distortion to a more metal/high gain/and-even-violin tone in a sweep of the guitar volume knob. If I were a better lead player, I would be utilizing that a lot.

If you like BIG, FAT, HIGH GAIN DISTORTION, then the FDD is a great choice! It is an "in your face" distortion with lots of tone control to suit your needs. If you are looking for a slight overdrive or boost, then try the DingoTone Big Sky Drive instead. The FDD is not for the tame of heart!

Equipment used in YouTube demo:
2008 Gretsch 6120 Brian Setzer Nashville SSLVO (TV Classic pickups)
1994 Epiphone Les Paul Standard with Gibson Burstbuckers and Bigsby B7
1990 Fender '63 Vibroverb Reissue into a 1972 Fender 2x15 cab

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