Model: Meathead Dark
Power Supply: Yes
Size: 3″ W, 4.5″ L, 2.25″ D (Approx: including Jacks and knobs)
Available from: Vintage and Rare Guitars
From the maker:
For those of you who do not know and haven’t worked it out as yet. This is the Meathead “Dark” Named and brought back to life by teh good Pope and based upon the very early Meathead as used by the handsome fellows of Slomatics. These are heavier than the the bass heavy set of Black ‘n’ Gold Meatheads we sold a while back. These are HEVAY.
Quick history lesson.
The very very early Meatheads were basically a dark Overdrive booster. More closer to the Muff Fuzz than the Fuzz Face, which the present day Meat is obviously related too…though I could say its related to a Tone Bender MKI.5 or even a Vox Distortion Booster but that will confuse matters so I won’t.
It was intended just as simple kick up the asre box for a tube amp and kinda like an intro to D*A*M stuff for folks not wishing to take the gamble on our other gear. This idea didn’t last very long, well as long as it took until I scored a tasty 1970′s hammerite blue DMI Fuzz Face. This thing was a horrid chewy bastard and gated like hell fire but was somewhat endearing to me. I cloned the circuit in this pedal and tweaked it to how I saw fit. Louder, more gain, more focus, less noise. To quote: “Volume! Clarity! bass! We must have bass!” That pretty much sums up where I was taking things. Any ways, The stage was set. The Meathead was born for real. An ugly little purple bastard that would chew of your face, spit it out and then take a piss on it.
I starting selling the things on eBay and a few via the site. People were confused. “Its too loud!, how do I turn it down?, can’t you make one with two knobs?, can I have my money back? and so forth. One of the few guys that actually “got it” was David from Slomatics. This gave me great hope. Wow! This guy actually likes the pedal and digs that it has one knob. Its weird, when you start out in this game as you really only know what you like personally, I like simple pedals. One knob seemed obvious to me but it don’t mean that anyone will buy em.
The confusion gang was kinda out weighing the the getting it crowd so I eventually changed the Meathead to a more mid humped contraption. This was more aggressive than the current standard model and probably made matters worse. I eventually found a middle ground, which wasn’t until say 2007, where the standard became as such. Plenty meat but with enough salad to make it palatable.
So the Dark. A beast from days gone by. This is how the Meathead (proper) was meant to be. No salad, nah fuck it, no dressing or ketchup even, just a huge slab of raw bloody horribleness.
I guess I have just been the divining rod in this affair. This nasty little fucker wants to exist so allow it to be so.
And no you can’t have a switch fitted to switch between the two flavours! That isn’t the point. That pig won’t fly.
I’m a D*A*M whore and this pedal is just another symptom of that condition. It’s the rare pedal that I keep around for the long haul, as I’m fickle. When something isn’t working for me, regardless of its cool factor, it has to go. That has been the case with all of the D*A*M pedals I’ve had since the Ram Head (my precious), but I’ve got high hopes for this little guy.
After my experience with the standard meathead I knew what I was getting into with the minimal form factor. I still don’t like the fact that it doesn’t have an LED, but I think I can get over it. It’s something that will always cause me concern if I was trying to put a pedal board together, but it can be forgiven when grabbing a pedal for practice, recording, or a jam. Fit and finish is top quality, as with all the D*A*M pedals I’ve tried, and the paint job on this particular pedal is something special. I’d like to see the power tap above the jacks (or at the top), but really it’s a minor complaint.
Controlling and cleaning up a dirt pedal with the volume knob is one of those things that may be old hat to guitar players, but frankly I find it kind of foreign as a bass player. Getting it set just right, especially with the dual volume knobs of a jazz bass, takes a bit more finesse than I bring to the table on most days. The sound of the fuzz itself is VERY VERY saturated and compressed when attacked full force, and starts to break up more as you pull the instrument volume away from it. When you really get this bad-boy going it’s a vivid full-force sonic assault that provides a huge volume boost if you want it.
As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment or let me know
Note: A rating of 5 = acceptable and should be considered a ‘good’ basic score