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Metal Pedals’ Raw Hide, Hard Core XXX

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RAWHIDE_XXX_01

Metal Pedals’ Raw Hide, Hard Core XXX
Price: $175 (Raw Hide); $230 (Hard Core XXX)
Info: www.metalpedals.com
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For many discerning players, Dave Pantaleone at Metal Pedals is a well-known stompbox builder. His latest offerings are two distinctly different animals that offer pro-level sound and carry on with his established M.O. of solid construction, die-cast aluminum housings, top-notch attention to detail, and artwork depicting sexy pinup girls.

The Raw Hide is a straightforward overdrive, with controls for Volume, Tone, and Gain, and a mini-toggle that engages what Pantaleone calls “Kick,” which takes the pedal from a low-gain overdrive to a grittier distortion. Its design is basic – mono input and output jacks, Switchcraft footswitch, 9-volt barrel jack for the power supply, and its functionality is utilitarian and user-friendly.

In live and studio settings, the Raw Hide exhibited a nicely pronounced breakup and plenty of warmth in most settings. The voicing of its Tone knob was a welcome surprise – no matter where set, its sounds are musical and very usable. This relatively simple box is versatile enough that players from nearly any genre will find likeable tones.

The Hard Core XXX is the “evil twin” to the Raw Hide. Not about subtlety or being nice, it’s designed to rock, with plentiful gain and distortion at the ready. Its Gain control is voiced to suggest multiple gain stages and can go from raucous to searing in short order. With that kind of horsepower on tap, the Volume control is a big help in tailoring the crunch.

Two features set the Hard Core XXX apart from the crowd – a five-band EQ and a two-way Noise Reduction switch. Each knob in the EQ stack is voiced with guitarists in mind (though the pedal works surprisingly well on bass, too), but anyone who plays in notoriously muddy drop-D and drop-C tunings should check out the Hard Core, as it will greatly aid in fine-tuning low frequencies that can get away from you (heads up, you seven- and eight-string players!). With such a high degree of EQ control, the Hardcore’s tone is always musical, and does not detract from the guitar’s natural sonic properties.

We were impressed by both Metal Pedals offerings. In the often-pricey realm of boutique overdrives, they are reasonable, and provide mountains of tone.


This article originally appeared in VG January 2013 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.


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