Korg 104ds Hyper Distortion
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Korg 104ds Hyper Distortion
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MGR/Anonymous 06/30/2001

Korg 104ds Hyper Distortion : MGR/Anonymous's user review

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I bought it at a sale for 600 sek (swedish), roughly 60$ i think. I belive it's oop (out of production) now though, it had costed more than twice that earlier and this was probably the last pedals left in stock.

It sounds great, as the name "hyper distortion" states, this is not the pedal for warm, tubelike overdrive sounds, it's more of a hard edged distortion, but still it sounds quite clean and not as dirty as some other fuzzboxes.
It is programmable, which means it can store two settings in memory, you use one footswitch to select program 1 or 2 and the other to bypass the box. Its almost as having two pedals in one, and without the complex editing of multifx's.
And the tone controls are the best I have seen on a pedal like this yet. It has low/high combined with a parametric midband, so a wide variety of sounds can be made.
Further, it's not very noisy, something which probably has to do with the internal gate. The gate threshold also seems to be linked to the gain control, so turning up the gain means the threshold is set higher. It also has a high/low gain switch for humbuckers/singlecoil guitars.
It also has a "cabinet resonator" which is supposed to simulate different speaker cabinets, sounds ok but I rarely use it. However you can make it sound as your marshall stack is a 2-inch multimedia speaker is you set size to a minimum. And you get cool results if you sweep the size knob in realtime.
There is also an amp/line switch that makes that makes the sounds sharper and the cabinet resonator more pronounced, somewhat like a crude speakersimulation.

The only real flaw is that the switches aren't that reliable, I've only had problems with the bypass switch, sometimes the volume drops quite alot when you enable the effect and you have to hit the footswitch hard to keep this from happening and sometimes it does anyway.
I've heard this is a common problem with these units, worth to check if you are buying a used one. I think the only ways around this would be to either change the switch itself or build a separate bypassbox preferrably one with an electronic bypass. people with some electronics knowhow look here http://www.ee.washington.edu/circuit_archive/circuits/guitar.html

Other than the switches it's ok, built like a tank really, steel and aluminium casing.

It's too bad that such a great sounding peice of gear should be let down by just a mechanical fault. If its only for studio or home use i would definitely recommend it. As for taking it on the road it's a bit risky, I'm doing it cause I don't have any alternatives and cause it sounds so good and it hasn't failed on me on stage yet. but there are more reliable pedals but they don't sound as good, and the ability to store settins is really cool

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com