Recently, I got my hands on a new pedal from Danelectro called the Pride of Texas. It’s part of a new line of pedals called the Billionaire series.
The name “Pride of Texas” suggests the pedal is going to be some sort of overdrive. Most likely in the arena of tones of Stevie Ray Vaughan. I’m pretty sure most guitarists have a clear association with those guitar tones from Texas.
The Pride of Texas is worth checking out. Danelectro has raised the bar with affordable pedals. The Billionaire
Series pedals are true bypass and come in a die cast case. All for under $100! The Pride of Texas sells for $79 street.
More to the Party
I have pretty (un)healthy pedal collection. I have duplicates of every flavor. It is a carefully curated collection, though. I use them all and choose accordingly for the gig/session.
I must admit that my first thoughts were “does the world need another Tube Screamer-style pedal?” On further consideration, a few things came to mind. For one, there are few really great-sounding TS pedals for under $100 that don’t feel like they’ll break.
Secondly, it does sound great! I compared it to a couple of other TS-style pedals. Some three times the price of the Danelectro. A lot of times, I actually preferred the Pride of Texas. Yup, that’s right. A $79 pedal beat a $350 pedal.
This doesn’t mean I’m throwing out my other TS pedals, so don’t even think of waiting outside my apartment on garbage night. Not happening.
Step On This
I have long liked the tones of Dano pedals. The issue in the past has been build quality. The older pedals were plastic and were not so great with road wear. That didn’t mean I didn’t keep a few around for the studio. They definitely had a cool flavor.
The construction on the Billionaire Series is much more rugged. These pedals can be used in gigs. That said, I’ve only had one for a few weeks. But I have ripped it on and off several pedalboards and taken it on gigs. I don’t have any doubts it will last unless you abuse your gear.
I find the Pride of Texas to be less compressed then a Maxon OD-9 or other TS9 circuits. This is a good thing. I prefer a little less compression in an OD. Immediately, this makes the Pride more usable than others.
Most TS pedals have one tone control. Danelectro has given you a knob each for treble and bass. They’re not just there for looks, either. They give a pretty broad range of EQ options, allowing you to shape the OD nicely. In fact, I’m using the EQ on this pedal more than on most. I really like the way it shifts its personality. Makes it a lot more functional for playing with varying backline amps.
Blow the Roof Off
The volume knob on the Pride of Texas gives you lots of output gain. A lot of guitarists really like to use their TS-style pedals as a boost to slam the front end of the amp. Often, they barely have any overdrive working on the pedal. Or they have the lowest gain setting possible, maxing out only the output (volume) knob.
There is so much output gain on this pedal, you have to be careful. It doesn’t take much to get at unity gain. I recommend you mark where the knob is best set and check it before you fire up your amp or you might just make your grandma jump three feet in the air. And I don’t mean like she’s reliving her favorite Anthrax show back in the day.
It’s a great pedal if you like to use your TS as a boost. Consider hitting a Marshall JCM800 really hard with it. Classic tone!
Proof Is in the Pudding
Let’s listen to a few examples. Here, I used a Les Paul Standard with 500k pots and ‘50s wiring with Florance PAFs. I ran this into the Pride of Texas, then into a mid-’90s Vox AC15TBX. Great-sounding amp. This proved to be a very happy combination.
Usually when I play with a TS-style pedal, I don’t have my amp set perfectly clean. I tend to think of it as cascading gain. This is also the secret to a lot of classic guitar tones. Gain pedals were rarely used into perfectly clean amps. I’ve seen many a player plug a TS pedal into a Twin Reverb on 1.5 only to be disappointed with the results.
I’m not saying that OD pedals don’t sound good through clean amps, but for a lot of classic sounds, a little hair on the amp helps quite a bit.
Clean: Guitar Straight to Amp
Dirty: Guitar, Pride of Texas, Amp
You can hear lots of lovely mids. Everything you would want from a TS style pedal. Here is a video of me experimenting with the Danelectro Pride of Texas Overdrive.