Tuesday, February 20, 2018

OVERDRIVE-GUYATONE Mighty Micro HDm5 Hot Drive Distortion ...it must be good lol


With a name like this it just has to be good!!! LOL
The $130.00 USD doesn't hurt either.

Guyatone are a Japanese guitar company that started in 1933. They got into electric guitars in the 50's. By the late 50's they were selling under the Kent name in the U.S. The first Ibanez guitars were Guyatones.
By the '70s they were into pedals. The pedals have always sold very well in Japan. They have never made serious inroads into the U.S market. They have had a healthy following in Europe.

The HDm5 is a medium gain pedal.
First released in 2009.
First about the MICRO bit. ...it is really a standard 'B' size box
like most of the MXR pedals come in. It is just as wide but it is
almost an inch shorter.

It has an input control pot.
I can only guess it is to match up any level from high           
output active pickups down to a low output Lipstick Tube.
(more on this later)
There is a 3 position 'voicing ' switch '
  Mode1- Bright Drive a silky bright tone
  Mode2- Edge Drive a little raw
  Mode3- Deep Drive it cuts the highs it is dark and balzy
Finally the usual level, tone and gain.
It is not another Brit pedal. It has a sound of it's own.
It has a hollow resonance that fattens the tone but does not overly thicken the tone ..instead you have a very open and airy sound. (more on this later too)
It also has a nasty and wonderful growl. (even more on this later)
This pedal is aggressive and punchy yet still has some great tone and a lot of personality.
This pedal has really been under the radar. There are a hell of a lot of brand names selling for double this that can't touch it!

Oh my ...here I go again. Another gotta have...lol

So I resisted for 3 weeks...yep...I ordered one!!!
Well my spending is not so bad this week the only other thing I ordered was a Marshall lol

They refunded my money!!! They are out of stock ...no word when and if they will have more.
Bought a used one on eBay from Japan $114.00 USD ...free shipping.
The pic of it looks good but the store has 3 of them ???
If it looks as good as the pic...I have got one nice pedal for a steal.

SHIPPED MAR.10/18 ...Japanese mail is very fast so I should have it in a week.

Well the delivery took exactly 10 days.
This used pedal had some very minor scuffs near the base of one side. Sitting on my board it will look new.
It came with the orginal box some little rubber feet and an instruction sheet (In Japanese LOL)

So I quickly set it up playing my Guild/ DeArmond Bluesbird in effect a Les Paul Custom.
Well the best I could get out of it was a very modest, generic & bland OD sound. So I had recalled that the manual had 3 diagrams that looked very much like sample settings.
I tried 2 of them ...nothing special ...but the 3rd had the input level control full open and the patch was labeled FUZZ.
It wasn't anything I wanted from the pedsal but it got me tinkering with the input control.
Oh my... the statement  that it was an input control was vague on the vid that I heard and unfortunately I took this statement for granted. In fact all the time I was trying to get a good sound I had that control turned off.
Well in a half a minute I was getting some half decent noises from the thing.

So what's up?
I am sure this knob controls an Op Amp... they are used to give a dirt pedal a fuzz like tone. If the pedal also uses FET's the combination can be very cool. A lot of builders feel the whole sound should be made with FET's only. Well if you want to copy a real amp sound like a Marshall ...yes they ARE right.
But if you want a raw and aggressive sound and a Fuzz is overkill an OP AMP can be dead cool!
There is another thing that I feel is important. In the first vid what I loved was the great resonance tone. Well that was not quite all from the pedal. It was from the middle PU of the guy's Strat.


The pedal does have a damn good tone but for Strat players.
It uses the Strat sound to it's advantage ...in short it will not make your Strat sound like you are playing a cheap and thin sounding hummie.
It may also sound great on a Tele but I will have to try it that on the weekend as my Tele is in the city.
So one thumb up. LOL

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