[review] DingoTone BSD Big Sky Drive (by LordRiffenstein)

LordRiffenstein, all-around tone freak and purveyor of great tone.


The DingoTone name first popped up in 2011, although the team has been carrying out their mission since 2007. They want to build pedals that not only sound good but also feel good to the player. The pedals are built with premium components to a high quality standard. This results in topnotch pedals but they don't come with a high boutique price tag!

Big Sky Drive

The Big Sky Drive is your basic transparent overdrive, it is based on Germanium technology. It comes in an attractive and quality enclosure and has 4 controls. The Level control allows for a nice output boost at the top of its range. Drive gets you anything from a clean signal to a fuzzy overdrive. It doesn't get you in Fuzz-Face territory but has a similar character. The 2 control EQ section has a low and high control allowing for great control over the tone.

DingoTone BSD Big Sky DriveThe pedal in use

Germanium-based pedals are always a mixed bag. Not everybody will like them and they certainly do not work well for all situations. That said, they do have their own thing going. Personally, I dig them in some applications so I was curious to check this one out. I have tried several Germanium-based overdrives and they always sound different. Some work really well as standalone drive, others work best as booster.

I tested the Big Sky Drive with my usual suspects, old Marshall and a couple of guitars. I ran the amp clean at first to see how the pedal behaved as a standalone drive. The Drive control has a nice range, I really liked the lower, mid gain settings. Combined with the EQ-section, I was able to get a great range of nice crunchy tones. The EQ worked perfect to tweak the pedal to fit the guitar I was using. The range of tones was excellent with raunchy, biting crunch tones with a tele up to smooth and sweet sounding lead lines from an ES335. With a LP and the Drive pushed a bit higher, you get excellent raw seventies tones. Anything above 3:00 on the Drive control wasn't my thing, not bad tones but the character didn't seem to work with the clean of the Marshall.

Dialing in the Marshall for a nice crunch tone, I was curious how the Big Sky Drive would do as a booster. There isn't a huge output available but still enough to kick your amp. With the Drive at 0, you get a nice clean boost. The EQ again works well to tailor your tone. In fact, the pedal also worked well the other way around. With the Drive at 0 and the Level below unity, you get a cleaner tone from your amp, switch the pedal off and there's your crunch. But back to boosting and I would say that it does really well until the Drive is about halfway. From that point it depends if you like the Germanium-character because it really starts to come thru.

The Big Sky Drive really performed well, both as a standalone drive and as a boost. The Germanium character won't be for everybody but there are plenty of great tones to be had from this pedal. It's extremely well priced and you have 7-day money-back guarantee, what's not to like about it? Do yourself a favor and check this one out!!

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