We live in curious times, my friend – in this day and age you can go online and purchase an effects pedal for less money than it would cost you to buy a bottle of wine. Throughout last couple of years, the market has seen a huge wave of affordable stompboxes that are advertised on every platform out there. No matter what you are looking for: a vacuum cleaner or a juicer, they will pop up right there and lure you into their webs immediately. They always sound promising and when you are paying around 30 bucks for something that can actually emit notes, you do not even complain about a thing. After all, you basically have nothing to lose. For that reason, everybody out there is trying out these babies. The pattern they usually have is that they are knock-offs of some legendary pedals and try to emulate the sounds that we all admire so much. Do they succeed, though? Surprisingly, they do and quite frequently. Today our article is dedicated to Donner and their Jet Convolution. This is yet another clone of EHX Electric Mistress and it delivers its performance in a tiny box. If you want to know if this little puppy can withstand a competition with its features and sounds, then keep on reading!
We have seen it all – Mooer creating a pedal that was even named similarly, some other Chinese brands cloning the feel of EHX legend and now Donner is playing the game as well. Jet Convolution is a tiny pedal that most of you will glance at with suspicion – this thing is cheap as hell. But it is not so bad in reality. I know why you have those trust issues but this one is not a crappy unit – rather it is pretty decent. It has simple design per usual: white enclosure is decorated with black Donner logo and tiny stars. There is an LED in the middle to show you when the unit is turned on. The interior is protected with an aluminum alloy chassis that does not seem to be fragile. I am sure this thing will last you quite a while (unless the internal components malfunction which is a risk you take with such units). Jet Convolution offers two modes of operation, just like our beloved Deluxe Electric Mistress. It has a Normal mode which is self-explanatory and Filter that freezes the flange and turns the unit into a metallic filter. This baby allegedly has a true bypass, but if I am being honest, it is not that true. You will still notice some tonal interference when the unit is disengaged. However, at this point I think we are asking too much from such a cheap pedal. It can be powered with a typical power supply so you can probably plug in the one you already have. As far as the application goes, I think Jet Convolution will be better for at home practice. When you pay so little, you are compromising consistency and reliability. Though it seems tough and decently built, you never know when it is going to give up and that is a risk you do not want to take during a live performance.
The controls are exactly the same as with Deluxe Electric Mistress (with slightly different functions). You will find all the knobs that made the original so special. However, since flange cannot be nailed that easily, you will still have to undergo some hassle to create the sounds you desired. But that is not the fault of the pedal – it is more of a price that you pay with the effect itself. Anyway, let’s break down the encoders and check out the duties of each one of them.
Color – acts as a depth control and enables you to be subtler or more intense;
Rate – enables you to mess around the speed of the effect and access the full range of possibilities of flange;
Range – determines the center frequency to which the effect is applied. This way you can control where flange is concentrated: on the lower part or the trebles;
Mode Selector – a tiny toggle that allows you to choose between Normal and Filter modes;
Footswitch – not so true bypass switch that activates or turns off our beloved Jet Convolution.
As you can see, you will not need a manual (which, by the way, you would not understand anyway due to poor translation) with this one. Everything is right there on the display.
Donner Jet Convolution sounds decent for a pedal that costs so little. It does share certain qualities of Deluxe Electric Mistress, but it goes without saying that it’s not an exact replica. It has a warmth to it that rounds up the whole sound and makes it fuller. At lower settings, it has a slow, rotating spins in the frequency that intensify more as you crank them up a notch. It can get quite extreme, but expect some loss in clarity. This baby sounds equally well in Normal and Filter modes. The former does everything I have just described, while the latter acts as a filter matrix that has more metallic feel to it. As I have mentioned above, Jet Convolution is a wonderful practice tool. It can also be a great pedal to purchase if you have never tried out flange before and would like something inexpensive to see if it’s for you or not. Either way, it will deliver quality performance and help you in the process of perfecting yourself.
If you are okay with paying so little for an effects pedal, then Donner Jet Convolution is a perfect match for you. Everything about it is decent: be it build quality or sonic results. It is relatively easy to use but you have to take your time to find the proper settings. Despite some of the flaws, this baby deserves a chance. Try it out and you will see that sometimes less price does not mean lesser sound and quality. Good luck!
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