Rocktron’s Metal Planet is another pedal that promises face melting distortion and has metal in its name. If that’s what you’re after, you’ll be pleased to know that this things is among the most capable distortion pedals you can get for metal. Today we’re going to take a closer look.
Long gone are the days when metal oriented pedals came in the standard format. The new trend seems to be a wide chassis that features a black finish. Rocktron followed this layout almost completely. The only real difference between this pedal and others like it, is the profile of the chassis. With that said, Metal Planet does inspire a lot of confidence when you start handling it. It feels robust, durable and capable of withstanding the standard abuse that comes with your average stage performance. Inputs and outputs are located on the sides of the pedal, making it somewhat easy to daisy chain on a pedal board. In terms of power, you can either use a DC adapter or a 9V battery. As a matter of fact, accessing the battery compartment is made super easy, which makes Metal Planet a pretty practical pedal to use.
When we get to controls, you will notice a few things that stand out. For starters, there is no top boost which appears to be popular these days. Instead, all of the gain potential is in that Distortion knob. Aside from the Level and bypass foot switch, you also get a four-band EQ. That’s right, on top of the regular Treble, Mid and Bass controls, you also get a Mid Frequency control. This one serves almost as a filter of sorts, dictating that Mids EQ. Rocktron offers all of these controls in an unusual format. Instead of blasting the control panel with numerous knobs, they have packaged everything in a set of two dual purpose knobs. While it is absolutely more practical on paper, this type of layout could lead to some confusion if you need to make quick adjustments in a dark, stage environment.
Performance wise, there is a lot of interesting things to mention about this pedal. The very first impression we got was that of a raw package that doesn’t really make much sense. Gain was almost excessive right off the bat, and it felt overpowering. However, after a few minutes of playing with the controls, everything started to fall into place. Once you grasp how this pedal works, it is very easy to handle that massive gain and low end in a way that makes perfect sense. It doesn’t take much to figure out why they avoided adding additional boost, although it would probably make the entire pedal a lot more orderly. This way, the entire curve of gain is available straight away, which takes some finesse to master. At the end of the day, you can dial in a variety of awesome metal tones with ease.
Rocktron Metal Planet definitely comes across as barbaric once you first use it. However,once you spend some time with it, the whole thing starts to make more sense. With its massive low end, plenty of gain and extended EQ section, this pedal proves to be a real force multiplier.