FX86 Death Metal
FX86 Death Metal (1995) with original box
DOD released the FX86 Death Metal by early 1994, probably at the same time as the FX33 Buzz Box. Designed for use with guitar or bass, the FX86 was painted solid black with a blood-red splatter finish befitting its name. The FX86 was unique among DOD's distortion pedals in that it featured three bands of eq but no distortion gain control, resulting in a somewhat limited pallette of distorted sounds (but perfect for extreme metal). DOD's self-imposed limit of four control knobs became readily apparent with the FX86, and made it clear that no DOD pedal would ever feature concentric pots (which Boss began using in three different pedals released in 1991, including their MT-2 Metal Zone). The FX86 Death Metal sold well but was ultimately replaced by the final-series FX86B Death Metal Distortion in 1998.
- Controls: R.I.P. (level), Guts (low eq), Pain (mid eq), Scream (high eq)
- From the manual: "The FX86 creates a grinding wall of noise perfect for harmonic corruption of the highest order. The FX86 emulates the death metal and grindcore sounds of Napalm Death, Carcass, Brutal Truth, Pungent Stench, and others. One advantage of the FX86 is that it will oscillate when the R.I.P. control is turned up, allowing oscillation at any amp volume. There is no distortion control. We just turned it up and ripped it off!"
- Sample settings (scanned from the user manual)
- Historical context: The musical genre of "death metal" began in the mid-1980s as an offshoot of thrash metal, and arguably reached the peak of its popularity in the early 1990s, which probably led to the development of the FX86. While bands such as Napalm Death and Brutal Truth would probably be better classified as "grindcore" rather than death metal, labels such as Earache Records would release albums by both death metal and grindcore bands, and the two subgenres clearly had much in common. Finally, the Death Metal's FX-series number was probably derived from the use of "86" as slang to nix or forbid something, which subsequently became a slang term for death or murder.
- Technical info:
- Notable IC chips: two 4558-type op-amps
- Component-side circuitboard image: Jan. 1995
- FX heritage: FX86 FX86B
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