Gearified: Seymour Duncan’s Dirty Deed Distortion Pedal

**Matt Olivo is the founding guitarist of extreme metal trailblazers Repulsion, whose Horrified LP ranks as Decibel’s #1 grindcore album of all time. Because we know that every reader ever plays guitar, we brought his print column to the Deciblog. In issue #118 Matt gave his feedback on Seymour Duncan’s Dirty Deed Distortion Pedal, which “brings the high voltage TNT.”

Gearified has always been a staunch believer in a pure signal path to achieve true heavy tone. However, we are reminded on a daily basis that today’s metal artists are recording and performing with a variety of different signal configurations. In the end, we reckon all that matters is that you achieve mountain-shattering, face-destroying tone. So, it’s with this open-minded attitude that we approach this month’s review of Seymour Duncan’s Dirty Deed Distortion Pedal.

First, we cleaned up our Marshall JCM 800 half-stack, all-tube preamp stage. Then, using baby steps, we gradually applied Level and Drive with very exciting results. With the Drive down and the Level up, we got a utility gain boost that didn’t alter much of the rig’s original tone. The compressed signal and dynamics instantly made our amp 100 percent more sexy-sounding. Super sensitive, punchy tones—with a hint of naturally occurring Marshall dirt—sounded cool as fuck.

We then added more Drive and less Level to get some solid classic rock crunch going. Our Gibson Flying V with Lace Drop and Gain pups was tuned to B, so naturally, a tone boner was born. Dirty Deed’s Bass and Treble knobs come in quite handy when pushing the limits of your heavy tone. If the distortion becomes too thick, just back down the Bass; and likewise, if it’s a bit dull or needs some extreme trimmings, the Treble boost is right there.

Utilizing both Level and Drive knobs was where we found the bloodiest meat. While there are many combinations to discover, we went right for the heavy-duty, cock-punching fare. With the Level at 1/3 and the Drive at 2/3 (Bass 1/3, Treble 2/3), we revisited early High on Fire offerings. You know, the kind of riffs that make churchgoing folk fall to their knees and pray for baby Jesus? The EQ knobs once again shined, as we were able to scoop or punch up midrange via subtractive dialing.

Next up, we added our amp’s natural distortion into the mix. Here’s where we were able to find the appropriate face-ripping grind, thrash, death and other extreme metal tonal ilk. Dirty Deed’s sensitive control features once again proved worthy, as we were quickly and intuitively able to fine-tune a highly coherent crunch, chug and scream tone palette. Another consideration for this burly beast is to exclusively use a lead boost, as the Drive uncovers a deep well of sustaining harmonic distortion—perfect for adding sheen and scream for metal and rock lead meditations.

In your search for crushing tone, you couldn’t go wrong incorporating this superbly constructed, true-bypass pedal. It works quite well with boosted clean tones, rock crunch and metal balls, not to mention as screaming lead boost.


For this and other fine Seymour Duncan products check out:

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