Artec QDD2 Distortion Circuit

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Eric Schmitt
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 10:48 pm
Location: Louisiana

Artec QDD2 Distortion Circuit

Post by Eric Schmitt »

* Price/Purchased from:
Purchased new from eBay for $20.00+ shipping

* Background info:
I've owned this circuit for about 6 years or so. It's installed in one of my custom builds pared with a Seymour Duncan Screamin' Demon(bridge) and '59(neck)

* Features:
The QDD2 is a 5 position onboard distortion circuit that mounts on your guitar. It runs off a 9 volt battery with a claimed 4000 hour battery life. Battery life is really good provided you remember to turn the circuit to bypass and/or unplug the guitar cable. The 5 positions as listed are 1.clean/bypass, 2.clean booster, 3.blues overdrive, 4.rock distortion, 5.heavy metal. The bypass position is true bypass and if the battery dies your guitar will still produce sound. The last major feature is an adjustable output level box mounted on the circuit board. It claims to adjust the distortion level but I find it only boost/cuts the dB level.

The quality is pretty good. All the solder joints are done well, the knob clicks into its 5 positions nicely. It has held up for the 6 or so years I've owned it with no problems and is still going strong.

*Sound Quality/description:
1. Clean/Bypass - In this position it is a true bypass with no modification to the sound of the pickup
2. Clean booster - This gives a slightly dirty sound similar to overdriving a tube amp on the clean channel.
3. Blues overdrive - Slightly more distortion than the clean booster. As it says the distortion level is about that of a blues overdrive pedal.
4. Rock distortion - I would compare the distortion level similar to that od AC/DC, good distortion level but not overbearing.
5. Heavy metal - This position is the most saturated distortion level. Good for hard rock and heavy metal types of distortion but maybe not quite good enough for death metal and the like.

The tone of each position is the same just different levels of distortion. As stated before the clean position is bypass so you get the true tone of your pickups. For the distortions I find the tone to be a little on the harsh/brittle side but not overly bad and still useable. When playing solo something about the sound just doesn't do it for me, but when it's mixed in with the full band it blends in ok.

*Overall Opinion:
Overall for $20 I didn't regret my purchase but I would consider this more of a novelty than anything else. It's fun to play around with and neat to show it off, "hey look what I can do" but there are a lot better options out there for distortion. If there's room to add another switch or being installed on a new build go for it, it's not too hard to wire up and I would say it's worth the $20. If you have an existing guitar and are wanting to replace a tone knob or for a serious player looking for pro quality I wouldn't do it.

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