[review] D*A*M Grease Box - Solid State Pre-Amplified Germanium Overdrive (by LievenDV)

LievenDV is a reverb nut and enjoys discovering innovating technology. Besides that he's a singer/songwriter; solo and in a band.

David A Main and Linzi Haynes make up D*A*M. I'm sure his own initials made up the brand name but they turned it into "Differential Audio Manifestationz".

More important, they claim to keep us fuzzy and warm with their pedals and that's what matters.

The Greasebox comes with two controls; volume and sustain. Next to an input, output and a switch, that's all there is to it on the outside.

No socket for your power adapters, this baby is only powered by a battery. Typical for fuzz based pedals of course.

D*A*M Grease BoxI started off rather gently; putting sustain low and volume on a level that matched my clean guitar sound when the pedal is deactivated.
The pedal sure adds grease. Actually, grease is an excellent word to describe it. It beefs up your sound with a more rude attitude without going to harsh. Basically, it's the sustain knob that will determine how greasy you'll get and I must say I found it hard to find a real enjoyable setting... until I started turning the volume down on my guitar. It's a silicon based fuzz featuring a re-invented, paired up idea (read all about that on their website).
I suggest you start on very subtle settings. going too far on the sustain and guitar level makes your sound go over the top and beyond. Even so, you can't blame it for being too tame. It remains very stable, even on these brutal settings.

The builders pursue a "responsive and dynamic" sound. That was not a main feature I experienced with my single coiled Strat. It adds articulate dirt but it did not solve my "being tired of one trick ponies" problem (as their ad claims). You know what you have in your hands quite fast. The creators of this box of fun should not be offended with that; my experience was limited in space but the sound is fun and inspiring to try more bashing, double-stops and bend combinations. I fell to playing Jack White stuff quite often and pedals like this need to give me a grin while bashing out the first chords of "dead leaves and the dirty ground". It passes that test with distinction.

I mostly enjoyed while raunching up a slow blues with some faster phrasing, like "Red House". With a bit of delay or reverb it thickens even more and a dirty blues fanatic will be inspired. It isn't a "sophisticated" sound but you can use it in a very subtle settings as well.

Like many other enthusiasts out there, I like to experiment by stacking it with other pedals. putting it before or after a distortion is interesting.
It took the edge of a clear but brittle distortion setting and gave it more growl in the lower-mid. Oh yes, try it on the highest settings for crazy brutality that leaves all table matters behind go wacky with lasting reverb.
You might end up thinking you could actually use it in a song somewhere, somehow.

  • Great for: dirty bluesers, stoner rockers, punk or happy sound stackers looking for a fun base to start from.

  • Not for you when: you like to tweak or you seek slightly instable fuzzes sniffs of sputter and stutters.

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