DFX5 Digital Turbo Distortion
DFX5 Digital Turbo Distortion from late 1989, with original box
The DFX5 Digital Turbo Distortion was introduced at Winter NAMM 1989 as part of DOD's digital DFX series, although production appears to have been delayed as its instruction manual is dated 11/89. It was advertised with the DFX6 and DFX9 in early 1990, and also appeared in DOD's FX.CAT90A catalog (see below). Conceptually, it is very similar to the DOD FX57 Hard Rock Distortion, except that its delay uses 12-bit digital circuitry instead of analog BBD chips and has a longer delay setting (up to 90 ms). Like DOD's other distortion pedals of the time, its Tone knob boosts low frequencies when turned counterclockwise, high frequencies when turned clockwise, and is neutral at the middle position. Relative to the DFX6 Digital Stereo Chorus (which was advertised but never produced) and the DFX7 Digital Stereo Flanger (which was planned but never advertised), the DFX5 was wildly successful in that we have now seen a dozen different DFX5 pedals on eBay within the last four years. However, it must not have sold well enough to be viable, and the DFX5 was discontinued by mid-1990.
- Controls: Delay, Level, Tone, Distortion
- From the manual: "The DFX5 is a high-gain preamplifier that is overdriven to distort the input signal and sustain the notes longer. This simulates the distortion of a guitar amplifier intentionally turned up so high that it "clips" the signal. In addition to the overdrive effect, there is a digital distortion effect which is mixed with the original distortion effect, but delayed in time to give a thicker distortion. The delay time, ranging from 14 ms to 90 ms, is set by the user. The DFX5 can be used at any amplifier loudness setting while still providing thick distortion and sustain."
- Catalog description: 1990
- Technical info:
- Specifications: Input Impedance = 500 kOhms, Output Impedance = 1 Ohms; Maximum Gain = 1950 V/V; Maximum Output Level 2.8 V peak-peak; Delay Time = 14-90 ms; Digital Processing = 12 bit; Bandwidth = 30 Hz to 20 kHz
- Recommended battery type: The DFX series of pedals initially included a note in their instruction manual, and inside its battery cover, that only alkaline batteries should be used (specifically an Energizer no. 522 9-volt, though any brand will work), as other batteries may not even provide enough power to start up. The DFX5's current draw is unknown, but we recommend always using an AC adapter for any digital effects pedal.
- Notable IC chips: SCX6218WEW digital micro-CMOS gate array chip, socket-mounted KM4164B-12 64k x 1 bit dynamic RAM chip, NE570N compander, TLO62CP op amps
- Internal trim pot: one; however, we do not recommend messing with trim pots
- Component-side circuitboard image: December 1989
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