Tone Report Weekly Issue 115 - Page 56

MODTONE CLASSIC VALVE DISTORTION REVIEW BY FLETCHER STEWART STREET PRICE $59.95 LESS IS MORE WITH A THROATY ROAR What’s little, yellow and packs more ‘80s crunch than a pack of Pop Rocks? No, it’s not an old MXR Distortion+ or a vintage DOD 250. Unlike those classic dirt boxes that were meant to be paired with a cooking Marshall stack, the new ModTone MT-CD crams the whole driven stack experience into a no-frills three-knob package. To my ears, this little inexpensive yellow stomper starts off in late-‘70s classic crunch territory. The tone of a fire-breathing, early master volume-endowed JMP comes to mind in the 56 GEAR REVIEW // first half of the gain dial. It’s open and throaty, yet defined and tight in the low end, like a good pair of close-fitting leather trousers. If I had a bullet belt and a B.C. Rich, I would go Mick Mars on it with a riff from Too Fast for Love—an album I love unapologetically and the first tape that I ever acquired. Going past the noon marker on the Gain dial takes us from proto-thrash to fullon JMP-1 rack preamp meltdown and modded Marshall madness. To reference the tonal shift of saturation, think Killersera Iron Maiden to Slayer’s ModTone Classic Valve Distortion Seasons in the Abyss. Though it has gobs of gain on tap, chords ring clear and detailed with searing sparkle showers of harmonics shearing off the metal edge. Staccato palmmuted blitzkriegs remain chunky and articulate, like a Dave Mustaine machinegun firing squad. Since we are boiling the hipster guitar bible in a pool of blood, brown Telecasters and beard hair, I will reveal another forbidden technique from the metal days of yore at which this pedal excels: the longprohibited pinch harmonic. Yes, if one feels the need to show their scarred