The original '90s DOD Meatbox was a short-lived and misunderstood stomp box widely known for its incredible speaker-bursting synth-bass sound and an array of controls that some found confusing. Thankfully, DOD has reissued this true-bypass Meatbox Subharmonic Synth Pedal to showcase the pedal's classic sonic glory with a much easier-to-navigate control layout. Bassists, guitarists, and synth fanatics: rejoice! It's a perfect tool for filling open space within your mix or beefing up your tracks with some boomingly synthy presence. Here's Nick Jennison to tell us more.
I, like many other guitar players my age, have a massive soft spot for DOD pedals. As a young man, I was fascinated by the ads in the guitar magazines of the day for these colourful, outlandishly named boxes. I had no idea what they sounded like, and no way of finding out, but I knew I wanted them all.
Fast forward to 2023, and after an extended hiatus, DOD are back! With a slew of reissues of vintage classics like the 250 Overdrive/Preamp and more modern designs like the Gunslinger MOSFET Distortion, I was positively spoiled for choice for review subjects… So I chose the one with the funniest name: the Meatbox.
The Meatbox is an octaver and a subharmonic synthesizer, offering a multitude of ways to perform a single task - add a massive low octave to your guitar or bass signal. That's it. No multiband overdrive, no step sequencer, no polyphonic harmoniser, just thick, analogue, occasionally unpredictable low-end girth.
The super simple control layout of" output" "octave", "low" and "sub" invites experimental knob-twiddling more than pre-meditated precision dialling. The "octave" control determines the blend of dry and processed signals, while the "low" and "sub" controls determine the exact makeup of the additional low-end information. Honestly, it's best not to overthink it when it comes to these controls and just get your hands dirty twisting knobs. There is a whole plethora of great low-octave sounds to be had, though, with everything from traditional octave divider tones to uncontrollable walls of sub-noise that make your speakers fart and compress in a delightfully chaotic way. There's even enough output to get a convincing boost, if you just want a characterful way to pulverise your preamp valves.
The DOD Meatbox is everything I hoped it would be - unique, chaotic, and a lot of fun. Whether you have a specific low octave sound in mind, or you just want an "inspiration machine", this is a great pedal to have in your collection.
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