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Hello Sailor Effects – Double Doll Face Review

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Hello Sailor Effects – Double Doll Face Review

This review was submitted by Guitar Jar contributor: Gordon Norman

I found this pedal on eBay and was intrigued enough to bid for it. I did not know that I wanted it until I won the pedal (I paid £29.50). I had not heard of Hello Sailor Effects before, but I now have a further 3 pedals, more of which to be reviewed later. The pedal was described as a “Double Doll Drive: an Overdrive/Fuzz Booster”. I’m now a fan.

…I feel I’ve a bought unique handmade pedal that will only add to the grin factor when I next use it in a live environment…

Features:

Hello Sailor Effects - Double Doll FaceThe pedal is hand painted in a butterscotch beige colour and has a large Americana style transfer of a pretty 1940’s sweetheart and is run on a power supply only and no provision for a battery.

The unit houses two stages of distortion and is controlled by 3 beige chicken head knobs, labelled from left to right volume, drive and fuzz.

There are two footswitches below the controls; the one on the left kicks in the overdrive section that is controlled by the volume and drive chicken head knobs, and the right side footswitch kicks in the fuzz section controlled by just the fuzz knob. Both sections when engaged heavily cascade into each other causing masses of gain and fuzz with attitude and general mayhem.

The overdrive section reminds me of a Boss SD1 (a good thing), although with a more open voicing, and the fuzz is quite a lot smoother than a Fuzz Face. There’s a trim pot on the circuit board that I turned down a little in order to make it more manageable and quieter in my studio at normal levels.

This unit was originally set with the trim pot full on for live environments and would work well on a stage in this setting. This pedal will cut through well in a live environment and would be heard loud and clear.

I am using it all the time now and although it’s a true bypass pedal, when switched out of circuit it seems to give my guitar signal a brighter edge in general. If this is boutique special, then I’m sold.

Ease of use:

Once the trim pot was reset to my requirements, setting up usable sounds was very intuitive and there’s a lot of colour in the use of the controls and switching options which offers even more. With the double gain stages cascading into each other, the possibilities are endless.

Sound Quality:

After trimming the gain pot on the circuit, the pedal is quiet enough for the bedroom environment, although this unit is meant to be used live and loud. In the live environment, this is not a problem. The sound quality is excellent and has a wide range of usable sounds.

Reliability:

The unit is well made using the standard grade of metal body and parts that can handle heavy stomping no problem. This unit has not been in use long enough for me to give an honest opinion as to its reliability at this time.

Overall Rating:

I feel I’ve a bought unique handmade pedal that will only add to the grin factor when I next use it in a live environment and hopefully get some positive feedback. A great pedal; cool looks and unique sounds.

This review was submitted by Guitar Jar contributor: Gordon Norman

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