[review] Dimehead PLL (by LievenDV)

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

It's impossible to ignore the Dimehead PLL clone because of the many knobs and switches.
He who wants raw synth sounds without having to buy and learn a complete synthesizer set, should check out this intriguing pedal.
You wonder, what does it do? In short; it adds a harmonized multiplied and divided frequency to your sound. On top of that, you can throw in a greasy sawtooth synth tone. Don't expect to get a useable setting the first few minutes though.

Basically, you can create chords out of a note by adding the correct intervals above and below the original note.

It took me a while to get  hang of the controls and their effect because their layout is a bit erratic. Be warned, this is no plug n' play pedal like a typical Boss stompbox; approach this unit with patience and attention.
You will be rewarded for your investment of time though.

Dimehead PLLThe blending is a general strongpoint of this pedal. Adding the divided, multiplied and square wave to your tone gives you a sound of your chosen character, without sounding like several tones "next to eachother". I tried to tweak the square wave with the wave shape knob and to my surprise, most of the settings result in usable sounds.

Ok, it all depends on what you call "usable" but this pedal is aimed at sonic experimenters and ambient artists. It's great for adding a brooding undertone to their chordwork or a sci-fi laden melody that might even remind you of the works of Muse or even Hendrix.
Yes, dialing down the multiplier and divider, turning up the square wave and playing with the preamp button, you might place this pedal somewhere between an octaver and a fuzz factory on a loose stability setting….but with a lot more options.
For soundscaping and darker genres, this pedal works best in combination with a wet reverb or delay sound. I like to combine the lag time, loopback and trigger knobs with a long and wet reverb for long and wobbly sound effects.Dimehead PLL

You will notice that you need to remain concentrated when dialing in and testing certain settings.
Because of the chaotic button placements and cryptic "1-2-3" labeling on switches, you easily get lost; you might even want to log your tests on paper.  Doing some research on the original PLL; the "1-2-3" stands for loop "speed", the "+/-"  under loop track is the multiplier phase and the "+/-" below is the divider phase. I wouldn't have guessed these switches were linked to the multiplier or divider. In my opinion; the builder is a straight A student in the technical aspect but failed Usability class.

I found the "divider" sound a bit harder to distinct and you get your sound messed up more easily with it. The multiplier gets an "on top of your sound" feeling too on certain settings but this seemed to vary from pitch to pitch.

Dimehead PLLI haven't mentioned the solid construction and fun to use knobs. The multiplier and divider are stepped knobs, nicely configured to make the frequencies fit. This isn't a limitation but clearly a plus when it comes to usability. Try using other instruments; even percussion based things or samplers. If your budget allows it; this tool will give you tons of options for sound creation but it will especially appeal lovers of experimental, heavy, or electronic genres. You can use it on quite clean settings but this pedal begs for dirt and time based effects.

Bottom line

Very fun to use once you get the hang of it. It has its uses on both subtle and extreme settings and it's very inspiring.

I never tried the original but this is a high quality pedal, both in construction and tone.

It is quite expensive but an investment worth the consideration if you're into the genres I mentioned before.

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