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Review

Danelectro Billionaire Cash Cow OD Pedal

Issue #57

Danelectro has now filled that gap with the ‘Cash Cow’ overdrive pedal, an addition to their small footprint Billionaire series, based on 70’s style rock sounds but with a surprising amount of versatility on tap.
Tom Quayle

 PROS


Excellent build quality and packaging

Great classic rock and blues tones

Superb tonal flexibility

Top mounted power and jack sockets

Classy good looks


Cons


A mid control would be nice, but that is seriously nitpicking!


SPECS


Volume/Gain/Treble/Bass controls

True bypass

Metal housing

Powered by 9V DC power adapter

Guitar Interactive star rating:  4.5 stars

Danelectro Billionaire Cash Cow OD Pedal

MSRP £TBC (UK)  $79 (US)


Danelectro Billionaire Cash Cow OD Pedal

Following on from Tom Quayle's review of four of Danelectro's Billionaire pedals back in issue 55 of Guitar Interactive Magazine, Tom takes a look at the latest addition to the ultra-affordable stompboxes range; the Danelectro Billionaire Cash Cow.

Two issues ago, we checked out a selection of Danelectro’s Billionaire pedals and found them to be excellent value for money with some great sounds on offer. The only thing missing from the package was a drive pedal with a higher level of gain on tap. The ‘Pride of Texas’ is a superb drive pedal, but doesn’t offer enough gain to satisfy rock and heavier players who rely entirely on a pedal for their drive sounds.

Danelectro has now filled that gap with the ‘Cash Cow’ overdrive pedal, an addition to their small footprint Billionaire series, based on 70’s style rock sounds but with a surprising amount of versatility on tap.

As with all the Billionaire pedals, the Cash Cow impresses immediately thanks to its build quality and size. The pedal is housed in a curvaceous, all-metal shell that is based on classic American car designs and the pedal is about 2/3rds the size of your standard drive pedal, so you save on pedal board real estate too. The quality construction continues into the controls with a solid feel throughout and textured grips for ease of use. The knobs are of the standard drive pedal affair with Volume and Gain, plus Treble and Bass controls for more tonal control than the average pedal. Danelectro have used a non-latching footswitch with a quality sprung feel and the same Illuminated ‘B’ logo to show when the pedal is engaged. Top mounted jack sockets and DC power input complete the package for a very attractive design, blending classy vintage looks with modern convenience and control.

The quality feel is further enhanced by the addition of nice packaging touches such as the small, string pull bag that the pedal is housed in inside the box. These little additions are essential at the higher, boutique price point, but having them in a budget-minded pedal range is an excellent and much-appreciated touch that adds an air of class to your purchase.

Plugging into our studio clean amp, the pedal is very quiet when switched on, even at higher gain settings and there are none of the pops and clicks that can plague cheaper pedals as they are engaged and bypassed. Used as a clean boost with the gain set to minimum, there is enough tone colouration and additional gain that this is definitely not in the transparent boost category, but rather a tone colouring tool. For transparent boost, the Billion Dollar Boost is a better choice, but for adding some grit and colour to a clean tone, the Cash Cow does an excellent job at its lowest gain setting.

Increasing the gain to about a third brings in a lot more colour and harmonic information to your tone with plenty of grit that responds wonderfully to pick dynamics and volume control changes. At this point, power chords are breaking up nicely, and you can get a convincing lower gain rhythm sound that will clean up well with less pick attack. Moving the gain control over halfway takes you into full drive territory with ample breakup for rockier rhythm tones and crunchy blues playing. At full tilt, you are into sustaining lead territory, and heavier rhythm tones that can be sculpted very well using the Treble and Bass controls to suit different guitars and amps.

This is definitely not fully saturated, screaming lead territory (though it could be with a boost pedal in front) when played in front of a clean amp. But, the pedal can be used very successfully to drive a dirtier amp into that zone if desired and the additional EQ controls come in very useful for taming or enhancing the high and low end as required. The lack of a mid-control makes this pedal-less attractive to the heavier gain players who might need to scoop out some of those mids, but for anyone into more classic rock tones and dirtier blues sound than are provided by the ‘Pride of Texas’ pedal, the Cash Cow is an excellent little performer.

Throw the impressively low asking price into the equation, and you’ve got something of a bargain on your hands here for fans of classic rock lead and rhythm tones. Danelectro seems to have turned quite a few heads with this range, and the Cash Cow is an excellent addition that is well worth checking out, even against the much more expensive competition.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE VISIT:

billionairetone.com

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Issue #59

Lzzy Hale

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