Vertex Dynamic Distortion Effects Pedal Review


While Vertex might not be as well known as some of the bigger names in the effects pedal business, they are responsible for some pretty incredible pieces of gear used by pros and amateurs alike. Handcrafted in Oakland, California, these American-made pedals often take tried and true effects and take them to the next level. Which brings us to the Vertex Dynamic Distortion, a dirt pedal designed with combining two of the most iconic high-gain sounds in rock history -- the '60s Germanium Fuzz and the Ibanez TS Overdrive.

The Features

At first glance, the Dynamic Distortion might seem like your typical distortion or OD pedal, consisting of three knobs -- Volume, Tone, and Gain. While Volume works as expected, it's not until you start messing with the other two settings that the real unique qualities of the Dynamic Distortion start to shine. Unlike your typical OD pedal, the Tone control works like a hi-pass filter, increasing the high-end as you turn it up. The Gain is where you get the bulk of the pedal's character. At lower settings, it acts like a subtle boost, inching your sound towards overdrive. As you get closer to its mid-point, you get that signature TS-style growl, with the midrange bump firmly intact. At max settings, you get a good amount of classic fuzz.

As far as build is concerned, this is one solid pedal. While there is nothing wrong with many mass produced pedals, there's just something about a hand-built stompbox that can't be replicated so easily, and it really shows on the Dynamic Distortion. First off, there’s a nice bit of weight to it, giving it a good premium feel. The knobs and footswitch work with the feel of high-end gear. And finally, it just feels tough. Overall, this pedal should easily get through the wear and tear of constant gigging for years.

vertex_dynamic_distortion_1Vertex Dynamic Distortion @ $199.99

The Dynamic Distortion is a sonic hybrid of the two most iconic distortion pedals in Rock 'n Roll history, the Germanium Fuzz of the 60's and the TS Overdrive of the 80's. This legendary combo provides unmatched touch sensitivity and clean-up with your guitar volume knob from sparkley cleans, to overdrive, to fuzz, while providing the mid-range cut of a classic TS pedal and the full-bodied woolliness of a vintage Fuzz.


The Sound

If you're a fan of TS-style overdrive and that signature midrange emphasis or have a soft for classic '60s Germanium Fuzz, then this pedal was made for you. As advertised, the Dynamic Distortion is able to deliver both iconic sounds in a single package. But it's more than just a simple two-in-one hybrid. Better yet, it manages to combine both of the famous sounds while eliminating a few infamous drawbacks. For example, fuzz pedals are known to lose their clarity at higher levels, often getting lost in the mix. A germanium fuzz pedal is no exception. With the Dynamic Distortion, the fuzz remains articulate, able to stand strong on its own with a good amount of string-to-string clarity.

Final Thoughts ...

All in all, I can't recommend this pedal enough. Not only does the Dynamic Distortion pack two iconic sounds it one, it actually improves on them. Combine that with the premium quality that only hand-built pedals can deliver, you have a stompbox that any player would love to have on their board. If you're even remotely interested in a TS style OD or germanium fuzz, you definitely have to give this pedal a try.