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Danelectro, a company which has been in the business of making guitars and accessories for almost 70 years now.
Their guitars didn’t get them too far, but their pedals are definitely what put them on the map. It’s arguable whether or not this company is to be placed among the elites in the effects pedal world. Some will say they have a rightful place next to the legendary brands in this industry, while others have a different opinion. Whatever the case may be, it’s a fact that Danelectro had an impact on the way guitar effects pedals are perceived.
Aside from their performance, which is usually great, there is one more thing that defines this brand. If you ever see a guitar effects pedal that looks more like a small ornament than a piece of tech, it’s probably going to be a Danelectro model. Seriously, their pedals have the weirdest designs.
You would think that a simple rectangular form factor which is pretty much the standard today, would be sufficient for every pedal manufacturer. No, Danelectro has an ideology of their own. Danelectro Chicken Salad vibrato pedal we are reviewing today is the exhibit number one.
Aside from rather weird design choices, and equally as weird names, Danelectro guitar effects pedals are known for their quality. Not only that, but this company has been known to deliver some pretty awesome guitar effects pedal for a price that was hard to believe.
As we mentioned before, and as you probably know if you ever seen a single Danelectro pedal, this thing looks unusual to say the least. The case is made of metal, and has the shape which is hard to describe. You could say it has a weird strawberry shape. That would probably be the closest we can get to a definitive description.
The color is bright red, and there are not many noticeable design elements which need to be mentioned aside from a vintage looking ‘D’ badge. Speaking of which, it looks like something you would find on the grille of a 50’s Chevy. With that said, it’s looks pretty basic.
This basic appearance extends to the controls as well. What you get are two knobs and a stomp switch. The knobs allow you to adjust the intensity and speed of the vibrato effect. The stomp switch is not your usual design, but it works rather well.
This is where things get interesting. You will see many places describing this pedal as the vintage swirly psychedelic type of vibrato. That is not really the case. It’s more of a uni-vibe type pedal that offers the most basic type of this effect.
Considering the price, that’s pretty much what you could expect. Does that mean it’s a bad pedal? Not at all, but you need to be aware of what type of effect it brings. Finding a cheap pedal that brings a true vibrato effect is borderline impossible. People pay good money for that sort of stuff.
The sound you get, aside from the uni-vibe effect, is pretty good. For what is essentially an emulator pedal, Danelectro Chicken Salad sounds rather good. It doesn’t have that artificial vibe many cheapo vibrato pedals tend to have. Instead, it offers a convincing tone with a decent uni-vibe effect.
In practical terms, there are some issues that need to be addressed. The pedal’s weird shape might be a problem when you decide to mount this thing on a pedal board. It’s not too much wider than your usual stomp box, but it just has that impractical shape. The other thing that definitely needs to be mentioned is the power usage.
If you want to run this pedal on batteries, you will be in for a surprise. Danelectro Chicken Salad goes through batteries like nothing. The only reliable way to use it is to have a power adapter with you at all times.
What we like
No matter how impractical it is to use, this pedal has that weird appearance which makes it attractive in an odd way. The effect itself is quite decent, and you would be hard pressed to find something similar for the price you are asked to pay. It’s not something we would recommend to those who are looking for a high quality vibrato effect. However, it’s definitely a great pedal for those who need this type of effect from time to time.
What we don’t like
Aside from the false advertising that’s going on, one thing that Danelectro really needs to sort out is the power consumption. There aren’t many pedals which can eat up a single battery in an hour. That type of performance is useless to say the least. We can forgive all the shortcomings in terms of design or tone, but stuff like this is hard to overlook.
Danelectro Chicken Salad is definitely a weird pedal. We have probably stated this one time too many. It’s not the superb type of vibrato you would want to use if you’re a serious performer, but it still has its place in the grand scheme of things. It’s a cheap guitar effect that does a decent job.
As long as you don’t expect more than that, you will have no issues with this pedal. With that said, we were honestly surprised to learn about this pedal’s power usage. It’s too thirsty. Hopefully, it’s not something Danelectro will allow themselves to overlook in their future designs.
So at this point you’re probably wondering what’s the verdict on this thing. Well, we will give it a passing grade, just because of its price and the type of performance it offers. It’s the kind of pedal you would want to ave on your pedal board, especially if you are on a tight budget.