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Donner Pedals Owners Thread

Discussion in 'Pedal/Effects Owners Clubs' started by StormJH1, Apr 24, 2015.

  1. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    I love the "Owners Club" threads for some of the import/clone pedal brands, since they don't have the "sexiness" to draw as much attention on the main pedal threads, yet people who have tried one of them often remain pretty loyal to particular brands and end up with several. That was the case with Mooer and Joyo, and now we have Donner pedals.

    Some quick background - all indications are that these are basically budget versions of the leftover Mooer components, re-branded as an even cheaper alternative (generally 30 to 40 dollars through Amazon or DonnerDeal.com). In terms of size and build, they are very similar to Mooer, though I would not be surprised if they had a few cheaper components.

    I purchased the Yellow Fall delay. "Analog" is more of a descriptive term - it is a digital pedal, but it does more of a vintage, ambient delay than the percussive repeats of a digital delay. And it goes from 20ms all the way up to 600ms, which is impressive for a budget pedal. I really enjoy it both for ambient leads or even quick slapback echo - it sounds darn close to a reverb pedal used in the latter way.

    http://www.donnerdeal.com/donneryellow-fall-delay-guitar-effect-pedal.html

    [​IMG]

    Anybody have some of the other ones? I would look at the Tutti Love Chorus or Morpher Distortion (which I believe is another Suhr Riot clone).
     
    Staypuft1652 likes this.

  2. gee.

    gee. Tele-Meister

    254
    Sep 25, 2011
    stl
    I have the jet convolution mistress clone. It's awesome. It replaced a mistress that I had that was too big for my pedalboard and too noisy. It does a pretty convincing Andy summers chorus flange thing. It also has the cool filter switch. But the extra thing it does is the ADA/Paul Gilbert crazy flange that annoys everyone around. Best part was it cost me $26.
     
    Staypuft1652 likes this.

  3. Alonious_Monk

    Alonious_Monk Tele-Meister

    120
    Dec 10, 2014
    Bedford, UK
    Hi Storm, when did you buy your Donner pedals? Just wanted an idea on how they've held up over a certain period of time, I've been tempted by these (especially if the Fuzz is decent) but are curious of their longevity. I know there is still that element of "you get what you pay for".
     

  4. mtjo62

    mtjo62 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    55
    712
    Jul 17, 2008
    StatesVegas, NC
    I have a Morpher Distortion and a Boost Killer on the way. I'll report back when I have a chance to use them. If they are decent, I'll probably get a Tutti Love as well. It has taken Donner almost a week just to ship them, so don't expect Amazon Prime shipping.
     

  5. roosme

    roosme TDPRI Member

    99
    Aug 30, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    I have a Donner tuner and the Stylish Fuzz. The tuner is all right, just a little slow on the response, compared to the built in tuners on my Mustang III and Floor, so I prefer those when available. The Stylish Fuzz is a recent acquisition, and I'm a newb with fuzz, so I'm still feeling my way into it. Don't have enough experience to be able to compare it to other models, but it seems useable at this point. I'll be able to say more when I've spent more time with it. The build quality of both is good. There are pros and cons to mini pedals in general. Obviously they free up space on a board, but they require a little more dexterity than bigger pedals and are easier to miss and dislodge if not well secured on the board.
     

  6. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Wow, loving the number of responses so quickly! I think the Donner stuff has gotten some attention and some good word-of-mouth promotion.

    Just last week, and I don't gig, so I'm not the best judge of durability. On the other hand, I AM arguably the ideal target demographic for this sort of thing - a hobbyist with some money to spend on pedals, but I'm never going to justify $100+ for an analog delay, flanger, chorus, etc. But $30? Sure.

    I will say that with the exception of something like soldering joints, you can get a pretty good sense for what is likely to fail on a pedal just through visual inspection and actually using it. The switches and jacks on these seem pretty solid to me. It's basically a Mooer with a different push on knob and maybe a few different components here or there, and Mooers are actually quite reputable for durability.

    People often ask if you "get what you pay for" with these. Here's what I would say - you get much MORE than you pay for in terms of sound quality and functionality. That's the key difference between something like this and bargain pedals of 20 years ago (Danelectro, etc.). But in terms of reliability, (a) none of us know because nobody in the world has owned a Donner, Joyo, Caline, etc. for more than 5 years; (b) if the idea that a Chinese clone is unreliable is stuck in your head, then nothing I can say will completely alleviate that concern (other than I have yet to have any of them fail under normal home use); and (c) if you're a serious enough musician and you just need things to work, find out what these pedals are cloning and go buy the real thing. The price difference is huge if you just like to buy a lot of pedals, but if you only need a few for a pedal board of 3-8 pedals, is $30 vs. $100 for a new pedal or used boutique that big of a difference. I don't know, probably depends.

    Great! Please let me know! The Boost Killer is supposed to be phenomenal, and I've heard good things about the Morpher, but I already have clones that are kind of similar. The Joyo US Dream is another Suhr Riot clone, and I like it well enough. If both had been an option, though, I'd have done the Morpher first, due to build quality and the mod swtich. The Boost Killer is an Xotic RC boost, I believe, but I have two boosters from Caline that I really like right now (see my other thread), so I'm trying not stockpile the same pedal over and over again.

    Sorry about your shipping experience. One of the nice thing about Donner versus Caline, ENO, and some of the other newer Chinese ones is that I have had luck with Amazon Prime. I actually did the one-day shipping on the Yellow Fall because the total price came to all of $38, and they got it here as promised. Assuming you're in the U.S., Prime should get them to you in 2 days virtually all of the time.

    Amazon.com: Donner Morpher High Degree Distortion Guitar Effects with Dynamic Echo Sound Stable to Solo: Musical Instruments@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/414-kNYTHLL.@@AMEPARAM@@414-kNYTHLL

    Both of my Caline pedals had to come from China, and they came in about 8-15 days, but those are the only two pedals I've ever had shipped from overseas. Not bad at all, but I prefer to order domestically if I can, just so I don't have to worry about checking the tracking and wondering if it got lost.
     
    amateur-builder likes this.

  7. Alonious_Monk

    Alonious_Monk Tele-Meister

    120
    Dec 10, 2014
    Bedford, UK
    Been looking for a Fuzz for a while, I'm a father of twin daughters who works nights so I'm not going to be a gigging guitarist.

    What's £25 in the grand scheme of things?

    Ordered a Stylish Fuzz :D
     

  8. roosme

    roosme TDPRI Member

    99
    Aug 30, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    That's the ticket. Nothing like a bit of fuzz to work out the stress. Have yourself some fun! I just ordered the Morpher. A little reward for finishing another term. Oh, and I'm retiring after 39 years. That deserves a little reward too, don't you think?

    BTW, I'll be in the UK May 14-June 14 leading a group of American students and teaching a course on the Beatles. Can you recommend some guitar shops in London to hang out in?
     

  9. mtjo62

    mtjo62 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    55
    712
    Jul 17, 2008
    StatesVegas, NC
    Donner updated the shipping and it may be here tomorrow. Package originated from Butner, NC which is about 2.5 hrs from me, so they ship from a US warehouse. I usually use Amazon Prime, and I have no idea why I didn't this time. Oh well, I'll update when I get em.
     

  10. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    I should have a Donner Morpher Distortion arriving on Wednesday. I really struggled with which to get between the Morpher or the ENO DS-1 Distortion (red). I was kind of interested more in a Crunch Box clone than another Suhr Riot clone (since I kind of have the latter in the Joyo US Dream already), but I just had a little more trust in the Donner build quality based on what I had read and my positive impression of the Yellow Fall Delay.

    The Morpher is apparently a re-purposed Mooer Solo. But to be honest, I had trouble differentiating the Mooer Cruncher and Mooer Solo - all of them seem to be doing a Marshall JCM thing, but we'll see how well this one does it.

    I actually did own both a Crunch Box and Joyo Crunch Distortion at times in the past, but flipped them back.
     

  11. roosme

    roosme TDPRI Member

    99
    Aug 30, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    My Morpher Distortion arrived yesterday, and I spent a lot of time A/B-ing it with my Joyo Crunch Distortion. IMO they are very close. The CD may have a tiny bit more bottom, but the Morpher is a bit more versatile with the mode switch. I played my Am Standard Strat and my Agile LP with P90s. Today I hope to try a straight Tele and a humbcker through them. Of course the Morph also wins for its footprint. I'll be interested in your thoughts, Storm.
     

  12. richiek65

    richiek65 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    The Boost Killer makes my Blues Deluxe Reissue sound like it's been upgraded from a four cylinder to a V8...
     
    Treynor likes this.

  13. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    Really?! Well in that case, I'm a bit more excited. I kind of miss my Joyo Crunch - it was super hot and bright, but that was almost two years ago and I now have different amps and other pedal options that could tame a pedal like that.

    The Joyo pedal that the Morpher should line up with most closely is one I have, which is the US Dream. Both are supposed Suhr Riot clones. But the thing of it is: try asking people to explain how a Riot is different than an MI Audio Crunchbox (or how their various clones are different) and it's pretty tough to sort out.

    In fact, this non-English video does an A/B comparison of the Morpher to the US Dream, and they are pretty close:



    Got maybe a little buyer's remorse after seeing that, though I do like the US Dream, so perhaps if the Morpher offers basically that in a smaller (and more durable) package, plus a little flexibility with the mod switch, I'd be happy to just flip the US Dream for whatever I can get for it and be happy with the switch.

    Basically, I'm just looking for a go-to "80's Marshall" pedal whenever I feel like that type of sound. And I've never understood the fascination with the RAT - though I think the preferred use of those is on moderate gain settings into a loud, larger amp.

    I'm glad that Donner (and Caline, also) have emerged as alternatives to Joyo, because as much as I LOVE the first generation Joyo stuff, most of the second generation Joyos (in that tin-can feeling lightweight case) have been a bit disappointing to me. I consider the Donners to be basically a "clearance rack Mooer", and I mean that in a good way.

    I VERY nearly bought that one instead of the Morpher. It's probably inevitable. Only thing is that the Caline Pure Sky is a Timmy clone with that similar clean boosting/EQ boosting capability, and man is it good. Boost Killer is based on the Xotic RC Booster, which is also a clean booster, but I think all of the Xotic pedals (BB Preamp, etc.) can basically function like overdrive pedals if you turn them up. Really hard to go wrong with any of these options.
     

  14. Alonious_Monk

    Alonious_Monk Tele-Meister

    120
    Dec 10, 2014
    Bedford, UK
    Just realized, I'm getting a Stylish Fuzz...but I've just moved house and my Amps and Guitars are in storage.

    That pedal is gonna just sit there, taunting me, wanting to be played :(
     

  15. Alonious_Monk

    Alonious_Monk Tele-Meister

    120
    Dec 10, 2014
    Bedford, UK
    The pedal turned up in the mail today, the build looks pretty solid.

    The only thing that concerned me a little was how tough the switch is to press down if I want to turn my Fuzz on, does this ease up with use? Or am I gonna have to give it a tad harsh tap every time I want to turn it on?
     

  16. roosme

    roosme TDPRI Member

    99
    Aug 30, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    I find that to be true with my Fuzz and Morpher pedals also, as well as my Eno Rat clone. They all have stiff button switches. The only one of my mini pedals not to have a stiff switch is the Donner tuner. All of these are less than two months old, so I can't say if they'll get better with time, but I wouldn't complain if they required a bit less effort. By comparison, my Joyo first run pedals all have nice switches. The Sweet Baby, not so nice. There seems to be a definite difference.
     

  17. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    My Morpher Distortion should be here today! I typically dismiss mod switches on the Chinese clones because they tend to either do nothing or do things other than what they advertise (I'm looking at you, Biyang Tri Reverb). But some of the Morpher videos do suggest that the mod switch does a lot to tighten or loosen the low end. We'll see.

    As for the switch, yes it is a little firm, but it at least feels like a legit "MXR"-style mechanism, as opposed to the Joyo Sweet Baby, where the button has a ton of travel seemingly doing nothing, and then there's an abrupt snap. Like I said, some of those are decent sounding pedals, but I don't trust that form factor.

    I think standing with a shoe on, the Donner switch would work just fine. It may just be that it seems harder to press because it's harder to get that leverage on a micro pedal where it is easier to tip over. Some people like the micros for board space, some dislike them because they are unstable and can't take 9V's. I'm more of a "pull out of a box and play" type of player, so it doesn't matter much to me.
     

  18. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    [​IMG]

    Morpher Distortion is AMAZING. I bought this pedal more on "reputation" and "value" than pure need, but it is definitely going to supplant the Joyo US Dream and a few other "Marshall-in-a-box" options. Has a really nice voicing where there's probably a little bit of a bass drop (which you really need in a gainy Marshall pedal for chord clarity), but it really wails in the lower mids, much the way the Joyo Ultimate Drive has a habit of making amps sound "bigger".

    What really amazed was just how clear it remained whether you were hitting huge barre chords with a neck pickup, or singing solos on the high E string. I didn't find the lower gain settings on the US Dream very useful, but they are totally useful on Morpher Distortion. No, it doesn't "morph" and become a JTM/Bluesbreaker tone, but retains good tone from classic rock all the way up to GNR/Metal sounds.

    I had a $60 pedal setup - Guitar -> Morpher Distortion -> Joyo California Sound -> M-Audio BX2 (studio monitor). $30 each for the Donner and the Joyo - all solid state, no tubes, and it just completely rocked. That setup would have completely blown away the practice amps that I grew up with and probably cost MORE than the two pedals combined.

    The mod switch isn't "dramatic" but it is useful. It's basically three different styles of clipping (the Classic one is LED - I can see it flashing inside the casing!) Natural and Classic are somewhat similar with the saggier bottom end, and "Tight" adds a more percussive bottom end.

    That's 2 for 2 with Donner now, which makes the Tutti Love Chorus an inevitable purchase. Amazing value with these things.
     

  19. roosme

    roosme TDPRI Member

    99
    Aug 30, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    I agree, Storm. I've been plugging my Morpher into my Joyo graphic EQ then into the ACTone and getting great tones too. I've also A/B-ed it with the British Sound with the BRit drive at 12 o'clock. The Brit is probably a tad fatter, which may sound better played alone, but I'm betting the Morpher would have more presence in a mix.
    Anyway, the MIAB sounds are pretty similar. I play these through my Fishman Loudbox 100 acoustic amp or through an Alesis interface into my iMac with Fostex monitors, using a variety of guitars. It's all good. Anyway, I'm smiling. With so much affordable tone available, is this a golden age or what?
     

  20. StormJH1

    StormJH1 Tele-Holic

    It really is. The Joyo Sound pedals are outstanding as preamps for clean or low gain tones, and the EQ shaping on those pedals (along with the Voice knob) is very powerful. But if you want more gain, you're better off stacking a MIAB pedal on top of one (like the Morpher), rather than trying to dime the level and gain on the British Sound - they generate a little too much of that hiss/noise.

    I did pull out the Joyo US Dream to do a very non-scientific comparison with the Morpher. The Joyo trends much brighter, and I preferred the overall sounds and versatility of the Morpher. But if you work in the lower tone settings and use higher gain, it's absolutely a nice sounding pedal.

    That's kind of the thing with many of the Chinese clones - many of the tones of the pedals they are based on are in there somewhere, but the controls are a bit less refined/more sensitive. So it isn't like a Wampler Pinnacle where you'd have to work pretty hard to find a setting that sounds bad.
     

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