Dophix is a pedalbuilder based in Florence, Italy. Their David Overdistortion is a unique drive pedal unlike anything on your board.
I received a David on loan for a few months from Dophix – thanks Dophix! – and I’ve been dithering for a while on how to write it up, because it is extremely distinct from other drives. I often find drive pedals to be derivative and unoriginal; they’re usually a builder’s interpretation of another circuit with a handful of tweaks (think of how many Tube Screamer style pedals are out there, or “Marshall-in-a-Box” pedals, or Klones like the Electro-Harmonix Soul Food). When I try a drive pedal, I think of it in terms of what it reminds me of, because usually the inspirations are extremely obvious. Stereotyping a pedal fits into makes it easier to decide how to use it, but this is not an option with the David; it is completely its own animal.
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This evening at Casa del Var, I’m enjoying this David Overdistortion on loan from @dophix.it. There’s a lot more to say about it than fits into an Instagram post, but here’s my initial impression: it rocks. It really seems to like my Strat’s single coils, especially the neck. It has a crazy amount of range, from crunchy to fuzzy, and it gets super loud. It’s a seriously high quality pedal, hand built in Italy, and it glows BRIGHT RED, even when it’s off, so all my other pedals are afraid of it. Thank you @dophix.it!
How to use it
My observation of the Dophix David Overdistortion is that there are four main ways to use it, and they depend how you set the “Gas” (gain) knob.
- At low Gas settings, the David acts as a mostly-clean boost. It gets incredibly loud without really impacting your signal’s EQ, so you can use it to saturate the next drive section in front of it – great if you have a cranked tube amp.
- As you turn the Gas knob to halfway, the signal starts to clip in a really sweet way, so you get a nice edge-of-breakup sound.
- With Gas between noon and ~3 o clock, the David gets progressively more saturated, extremely fat and full throughout the frequency spectrum.
- With Gas at maximum, the incoming signal is clipped almost into a square-wave – so, if you don’t have a fuzz available, this will cover you.
I recorded a short video of myself playing the Dophix David, where I try a few different combinations of settings. This ought to give you a sense of the pedal’s versatility.
Better yet, one of the best pedal demonstraters on YouTube Mike Hermans has his own demonstration of the David.
The main “con” with the Dophix David Overdistortion, which is not really a problem, is that it requires a decent amount of creativity to use. You’re not going to plug it in and think, “now I can emulate famous guitarist‘s sound on legendary record“. In order to get the most out of the David, you have to be patient enough to decide how you’re going to use it.
Also, the LED is too bright, so you might want to put some masking tape over it to tame the brightness.
If you’re uninspired by cookie-cutter distortion pedals and are looking for something new, you should seriously consider the Dophix David Overdistortion. It’s loud, proud, and lots of fun. Buy one for yourself at dophix.it.