I'm familiar with Pigtronix, but the Disnortion Micro is the first of the company’s pedals that I've played; it won't be the last. As its name suggests, the Micro is a smaller take on Pigtronix's standard Disnortion, which is a very big box with a lot of features. Despite its name, the Micro offers an astonishing variety of tones, too.
There's a lot going on in the Micro, which probably explains why the little pedal is so heavy. For starters, it offers both overdrive and fuzz: the "Gain" knob controls the amount of dirt and fuzz simultaneously, and the small switch above the footswitch determines if the overdrive and fuzz run in sequence or parallel. When both gain engines are run in sequence, the Micro offers rip-roaring distortion; in the first quarter of the Gain knob's travel there's wonderfully amp-like sustain and compression. Advancing the knob moves the sound further into distortion. After about 2:00, you're in fuzz land. With the fuzz and overdrive running in parallel, the tone is more open and, the first half of the Gain range, you can really maximize the pedal's touch sensitivity.
The character of the fuzz effect is greatly affected by the "Fuzz Shape" control. This is a six-way rotary with settings for flat EQ, a mid boost, two different low-pass filters, a treble boost and a mid-cut. The "Drive Tone" control is a low-pass filter, too—applied to the Drive engine—and, working in conjunction with the Fuzz Shape, it enables this pedal to cop almost any gain character you might need.
Broadly, I loved the Micro—it's articulate, present without being harsh, dynamic, and incredibly versatile. The Flat EQ curve and mid-cut settings were both great with the neck pick up. The mid boost, despite the manual indicating it's reminiscent of a TS808, seemed to boost the lower mids rather than the more focused upper mids of a Tube Screamer; between this, the generous low end and more open top end, the Micro doesn't really do what a Tube Screamer does, but it does a great job of fattening up bridge pickups. The first bass boost (called "Santana") was a little dark but, with enough gain and the Drive Tone cranked it offered thick, responsive sustain. The Treble boost setting is subtitled "A.M. Radio," and it does have a cool band-pass effect that's reminiscent of a lo-fi transistor radio, but what it really reminded me of was the mid-‘60s hits that introduced the world to fuzz. Depending on where I set the Gain and Drive Tone I was able to get great Fuzzrite, Fuzz Face and Tone Bender (MKI and II) tones. The mid-scoop setting is subtitled "Muff," and it gets the EQ just right. That said, I had to max out the Gain to approximate Muff-like levels of sustain but it was doable.
The only setting that didn't seem obviously useful was the second bass boost setting; it was too dark at any setting, with any pickup, but maybe I'm just an old fuddy duddy; regardless, I had five other settings that were all useful. So, to recap: dynamic overdrive, articulate distortion, old-school fuzztones, and EQ options for virtually any rig, all in a teeny tiny package—next time you have a dirt need, may I suggest you check out the Disnortion Micro?
What We Like: So flexible, so dynamic, so articulate, so small, so inexpensive!
Concerns: Not a one.