DOD FX56 American Metal

DOD FX56 American Metal

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FX56 American Metal, Distortion from DOD.

3 user reviews
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DOD FX56 American Metal tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: DOD
  • Model: FX56 American Metal
  • Category: Distortions
  • Added in our database on: 04/19/2004

The FX56 American Metal debuted in late 1984 as the 13th pedal in DOD's FX series, and was arguably DOD's first "modern" distortion pedal. With published maximum gain and output levels of 1000 V/V and 7V peak-to-peak, respectively, the FX56 was certainly DOD's loudest pedal at the time of its release. Its saturated distortion was voiced to compete with other "metal" pedals available at the time, such as the Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal (released in 1983). The FX56 also featured a Presence tone control, a "dual EQ circuit for enhanced bass and treble response" that was likely inspired by the Presence circuit in the DOD FX85 Harmonic Enhancer. By 1986, the purple-painted FX56 American Metal had become the de facto flagship of DOD's "America's Pedal" advertising campaign. In late 1989, the FX58 Metal Maniac and FX59 Thrash Metal pedals were launched, both based on the FX56's circuit but with different component values. The FX56 was produced until mid-1990, when it was replaced by the 4-knob FX56-B Super American Metal.

  • Controls: Level, Presence, Distortion
  • From the 1986 DOD catalog: "The DOD FX56 American Metal features extra high gain and extended distorton range to give any guitar the punch needed for playing heavy metal music. With the specially designed presence control, the FX56 can produce brilliant highs and fat lows, turning any amplifier into a heavy metal stack."
  • Suggested list price (September 1986): $79.95
  • Technical info:


  • Specifications (1984): Input impedance = 1 M Ohms, Output impedance = 1 k Ohms; Gain = 1000 V/V; Maximum Output Level 7V P-P
  • Official schematic provided with pedal by DOD (dated 10-15-84)
  • Notable IC chips: initially, three TL022CP op amps (1984); then two 1458-type op-amps and one TLO22CP (circa late 1986/early 1987); then three 1458-type op amps (by 1989)
  • Component-side circuitboard images: September 1984 April 1987 January 1989
  • Related circuits: FX58, FX59


  • FX heritage: FX56 FX56B

DOD FX56 American Metal user reviews

Average Score:4.3( 4.3/5 based on 3 reviews )
 1 user review33 %
 2 reviews67 %

moosers's review

DOD FX56 American Metal
The DOD FX56 American Metal is a distortion pedal designed for use with electric guitar but suitable with any electronic instrument.  Since I've only used the pedal with electric guitar, this review will focus on use with guitar rather than any other instrument.  The pedal is an analog one that has a single 1/4 inch input and output and can be powered by either a nine volt battery or power supply.  It isn't rack mountable as it is a stomp box.


The make up of the DOD FX56 American Metal is extremely easy to follow as it only has a few parameters to work with.  The pedal has knobs for level, presence (which is like tone), and distortion.  Even if you don't have much experience with distortion pedals, this is as simple as it gets and I don't think that users will have much trouble figuring out how to use it.  Because of this simple configuration, I don't think a manual is necessary although I haven't seen it so I can't say too much about it.


The sound quality of the DOD FX56 American Metal is pretty average.  It isn't anything to write home about, but it does have a decent tone that is suitable in certain situations.  While I can't say that I would use the pedal for recording, this would get the job done for practicing or even for live shows depending on the sound that you are going for.  I usually use the pedal with a Gibson SG and a '76 Fender Twin Reverb, so I'm getting an accurate portrayal of what the pedal sounds like.  While this isn't by far my favorite distortion pedal, it does have a decent sound that will get the job done more times than not.


I've been using the DOD FX65 American Metal for about ten years, as it was one of the first distortion pedals that I used when I first started playing guitar.  While I wouldn't recommend the DOD FX56 American Metal to professionals, for those looking for a cheap option for some distortion, this will get the job done.  DOD doesn't make the most well made pedals, but the FX65 should last as mine has as long as you treat it properly.  All in all, the DOD FX65 is a serviceable distortion pedal that is good for those looking for a cheap distortion pedal.

victhebig's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

DOD FX56 American Metal
Analog distortion
Knobs: level, presence, distortion


editing sounds? Ben is already in the metal, distortion to the max!!
No need for manual, you just play with the presence knob and with the settings of the amp, happiness guaranteed!


Frankly it's a pretty versatile pedal,
edgy blues to metal (solos).

The grave is obtained by turning the knob ... it's the presence of Black Sabbath and Melvins.


Its crunch makes it very hot, not noisy at all (no feedback galore)

It is not made for metal or for another style, attention
It's like a very well controlled fuzz ... but how fucking mature sonic!

barakimou's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)

DOD FX56 American Metal
Metal type distortion pedal analog. Metal box that inspires strength.


Set up is a breeze, a Knob level, a presence and a distortion, no need and no more need to have done studies to make it sound.


Used alone, the sound is clearly typed transistor, the palette of sound is obtained by the single button 'presence' is impressive, from fuzz distortion to the strident sound barrier quite serious. The downsides, however, it sounds definitely transistor and the sustain is far from satisfactory.

Now, when I crunch the couple with a rather dirty and full of bass my peavey bandit 112,, it becomes overpowering, one forgets what's typed transistor to obtain its énaurme (either a humbucker or a single coil). It sounds kind of approximate time smashing pumpkins siamese dreams and we can also achieve sounds typed sepultura / soulfly.


I use this pedal for 15 years. Used alone, it's pretty average, but included in a loop other effects, it reveals its full potential for those who enjoy big sounds not invested in specially dedicated to metal gear. No regrets, I love this pedal.

DOD FX56 American Metal images

  • DOD FX56 American Metal
  • DOD FX56 American Metal
  • DOD FX56 American Metal
  • DOD FX56 American Metal

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