A good sounding distortion, a chorus and delay will get you far and take you through any gig. Earlier this year I did a review of the Red Muck from Jam Pedals and I was eager to try more of their pedals. Here’s my review of the Dyna-ssoR, Rattler and Waterfall.
As we’ve talked about before, classics like the Big Muff, Tube Driver, Colorsound Power Boost etc are all pedals most of us would prioritize for our Gilmour inspired pedal boards. However, they might not be the best choice if you mostly play at home on a smaller amp. In fact, they may cause more frustration than inspiration. Read more about that in this in depth feature. I’ve always been a fan of the RAT distortion. The pedal can easily produce the dirt you need regardless genre or setup – and it covers just about any of David’s tones. A versatile “all purpose” setup may not be the most exciting setup but it will never let you down.
The Dyna-ssoR is, as the name implies, a mix between the MXR Dynacomp and the uber rare Ross Compressor. The Ross was indeed originally inspired by the Dynacomp but it’s considered a bit more transparent and smooth sounding. Like the originals, the Dyna-ssoR feature controls for sustain and volume. The sustain control adds rich sustain with a very mild attack – perhaps a bit too mild if you seek a more defined deep compression. The volume control allows a useful volume boost and it manages to stay pretty silent as well. Personally I prefer just a bit more bite but the Dyna-ssoR nails David’s late 70s clean tones and tightens up a wild Big Muff. I’ve always preferred the ’76 Dynacomp to the Boss CS2 and the Dyna-ssoR is a great option and way better sounding than the current block logo MXR.
The Rattler is a clone of the Rat distortion. The pedal feature controls for gain, tone and volume as well as a toggle switch for selecting two different pre-gain stages – classic Rat with a saturated mid boosted gain and tons of sustain and a custom Rattler+ mode with less gain, which takes the pedal closer to a Tube Screamer. The Rattler also feature the much sought after LM308 chip. Like the Rat the Rattler lack some lower end and it can be a bit noisy when you crank the gain but that’s part of its nature (high gain saturation and boosted mid range adds noise). I also think it sounds a bit dark and hard to open up on smaller amps but it manages to stay smooth on higher volume, whereas the RAT often gets harsh when you crank it. The Rattler is a great option if you want a versatile gain pedal that handles both distortion and overdrive tones. It nails most of David’s lead tones and just about any other musical style as well – and it’s a great substitute for the now so popular Cornish G2.
The Waterfall is a classic analog chorus following the tradition of the Boss CE2 and Electro Harmonix Small Clone. The pedal feature controls for speed and depth as well as a -/+ switch for classic mode and an even deeper chorus and a second switch for choosing between chorus and vibrato. When I first plugged in to this pedal I almost got seasick. With everything cranked and the vibrato mode engaged it sounded just insane. I spent a lot of time figuring out the right setup for that classic CE2 tone – the Waterfall needs to be tamed pretty hard. However, when you find the sweetspot you just want to play for hours. This is an incredibly warm and smooth sounding chorus sounding very organic and rich. Whereas the CE2 can sound a bit hollow and mid boosted the Waterfall is very transparent and handles both cleans and distortions very well. It also does a decent rotary sim although, like most chorus pedals it gets a bit detuned when you turn up the rate. I’m personally no chorus person and I think the extra features are a bit redundant but it depends on what you need and this is indeed one of the sweetest sounding chorus pedals I’ve ever tried. A small minus is that a pedal this sophisticated should have a mix control as well, allowing an even smoother tone. The Waterfall nails those Delicate and PULSE chorus-drenched tones and if you’re into the 80s rock thing, just plug this into a Marshall JCM800 and you’re the next guitar hero.
Waterfall soundclip: Us and Them.
Settings – 1. clean signal, 2. speed 2:00, depth 8:00, 3. speed 2:00, depth 1:00 (all clips with minus switch mode and chorus).
Like all Jam pedals the Dyna-ssoR, Rattler and Waterfall is housed in a MXR sized box with true bypass switching and they run on either 9V battery or power adaptor. Check out Jam Pedals homepage for further details and more clones of vintage effects.
The Dyna-ssoR, Rattler and Waterfall was tested on two different Stratocasters, one with Fender CS69+Duncan SSL5 (bridge) pickups and one with EMG DG20 pickups and two different amps, a Laney Cub12 15w stack and Reeves Custom 50w – both with Weber Thames 80w speakers.