Dawner Prince Effects is a small company from Croatia that is largely the work and vision of one Mr. Zoran Kraljevic. The recently released and widely lauded Starla Tremolo comes from Dawner Prince Effects and we can look forward to a mid-year release of their Viberator Stereo Vibe which, I believe, is nearly sold-out just on speculation alone.
That said, the RedRox carries a fair degree of expectation. I’m pleased to say it lives up to those expectations.
What we have here, folks, is a largely Marshall-esque distortion pedal capable of doing clean to “grease melting” mean. The RedRox is not of the Recto-esque variety, i.e. Wampler’s Triple Wreck or MI Effects’ Megalith Delta. Rather, it leans more towards classic rock tones but offers more gain than you might find on the types of amps commonly associated with ‘70s and ‘80s rock and metal.
A word from Zoran Kraljevic: “The RedRox isn't just a distortion pedal. It reacts just as an amp would with its preamp and poweramp sections. Leaving the Preamp on minimum will result in no distortion in the signal; only output from the poweramp section (Master Volume) which is active. This makes the pedal an excellent platform for stacking with other pedals. The Contour knob completely changes the character of the pedal while the Tone control is precisely tuned so that in the last 50% of the turn it only affects the high cut (and in the first 50% a treble frequency can be more drastically tamed.)”
My testing platform was a PRS Studio and Palir T-Style [see: The Apple Tree review in a previous TRW issue] into the clean channel of a Laney VH-100R and matching Greenback loaded 4x12.
I found Zoran’s claims to be mainly true. However, with the Preamp at minimum there was still a tiny hint of distortion (with a PRS Studio) and the Contour and Tone knobs did have an influence on the tone at noon settings, mainly in the bottom end as compared to the pedal in bypass (more bottom end).
But let’s remember that the RedRox is labeled as a distortion pedal, not as a clean boost. It works very well as a distortion. I was able to coax JTM-style slam out of it at lower preamp settings, through to hot-rodded Plexi-style grandeur at higher settings. There is a good amount of compression quality in the signal making soloing a breeze but the pedal still cleaned up reasonably well when I rolled my guitar’s volume knob back. The Contour knob allows a slightly scooped tone at minimum settings and adds some serious nasal mids (in a good way) at higher settings. Think of Warren DeMartini’s solo tones for the latter example. Rock!
The RedRox is a very capable and mid-centric distortion pedal that effortlessly blasts out classic tones with extra gain if need be. It should be approached as such. It is solidly built and it will take 9-18V DC from your power supply. More voltage usually equals more headroom and increased dynamics. I found this to be true in the case of the RedRox although there is nothing said to this effect on the builder’s site.
You wanna rock? Try the RedRox.
Street price: $219.95 from the site.
What we like:
Very solid build, great classic rock tones with wide gain range and highly useful tone-stack.
At $219 it is up there in the pricier options.