Noise Boyz Review
The name doesn’t lie, the RD-1 feels like a true classic rock distortion and is a majorly underrated pedal that’s definitely worth checking out.
I picked this pedal up off of craigslist as part of a ‘I’m selling all my pedals’ bundle having never heard of it and thought it would sort of just be another run of the mill distortion pedal (I’m pretty sure it’s actually been discontinued). Instead I found a distortion that’s easy to dial in good tone with and gives a great classic rock tone (particularly 60s and 70s ‘the who’ type distortion) right out of the box. Setting this one to everything at noon gave me a great light crunch type tone that I really liked on chords – this would be a great one to stomp on right when the chorus kicks in from a clean verse to add some crunch without being too in your face/dirty. Below you can hear what it sounds like on some lightly palm muted chords, some power chords, and lead with all settings at the noon position.
Next I wanted to test out how this sounds scooped, so I turned the tone all the way off and set the gain up to about 75. Naturally it sounds a lot less bright and gives a much more low end sound. Turning that same tone back gives it a lot more bite and a more throaty type sound which would probably cut through the mix a bit better on a bass heavy song. You can hear the clear difference in the tone setting between the samples below, with the first sample representing gain at 7 with tone off, and sample 2 representing gain at 7 with tone at 10.
And finally, time to crank the gain to 10 (with tone at 5) to see what happens at its highest gain setting. Below is a sample of tasteless shredding (a Noise Boyz favorite) that I just found incredibly fun to play through this little pedal. I’ve also included some power chords in a second sample (my favorite pedal for power chords right now being the Suhr Riot distortion pedal).
To sum things up, this discontinued and inexpensive pedal is much more than the bargain bin distortion I was expecting. It won’t get you super high gain sounds and maybe sounds a little more washed out than other distortions on this site, but it has a very natural classic rock sound right out of the gate. While it can sound a bit thin in places (especially with the tone turned all the way up) and you’re not going to get ‘Cliffs of Dover’ type high-gain sounds or super squashed metal tones with it (for that we recommend the Diezel VH-4), if you’re looking for that classic rock vibe right out of the box without buying vintage amps which can run you several thousand bucks this is a great place to start (and since it is discontinued, you can generally pick it up for under $50). Or if you want to try it you could just:
1 x 1/4"
1 x 1/4"
How It Works
Choose a Plan
Pick how many pedals you want to try a month, from one to three.
Play Them All
Try every signal-chain you can imagine until you find the tone that’s right for you.
Keep, Swap, or Buy
Keep the pedals you rent for as long as you want. Love them? Buy them. Hate them? Swap them.