Donner Morpher Distortion Pedal Review

Metal trends come and go in the music biz, and that’s just the way it is. The thing is, even passé styles never really disappear. Instead, a new generation of rock fans will rediscover the music that their dads loved, and it’s natural for some of these rock fans to want to produce that same type of music.

If you love the sound of glam rock when you first hear Poison, Bon Jovi, Quiet Riot, and Motley Crue, then you may want to look over this Donner Morpher Distortion Pedal review before you buy your makeup. After all, the music has to come first.

Features of the Donner Morpher Distortion

The Donner Morpher Distortion is among the many affordable distortion pedals you can get to extend the versatility of your guitar. Its tonal quality is reminiscent of 1980s glam rock, so this is what you get when you’re trying to belt out “Living on a Prayer.”

  • This is a very compact pedal, and in fact it’s actually marketed as a mini-pedal. This size makes it suitable for small pedal boards, as it takes up very little space.
  • Despite the price, the enclosure is still made of aluminum alloy.
  • The controls offer you a basic set of knobs to customize your sound. There’s a toggle switch that offers three different modes: Natural, Tight, and Classic. You can then adjust this mode further with the Gain knob along with two smaller knobs for Level and Tone.
  • The sound is focused mainly on the midrange, with a very crisp tone that’s really perfect for hair metal. The notes can easily cut through the mix.
  • This also lets your guitar’s signal pass through a non-electronic bypass line when the fuzz effect is disengaged. This means you can provide your amp with the unchanged direct signal from your guitar whenever you want.
  • This works with a 9V AC adapter, and you may want to check closely to see if it’s part of your purchase. That’s because there’s no option to use batteries instead.

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  • Obviously the quality of your sound will also depend largely on the quality of your amp, but with a nice clean tube amp (I like the Monoprice tube amp myself), this unit rocks.
  • This offers lots of custom options, and it all starts with the Classic, Tight, and Natural mode. What’s great is that you have small LED lights to indicate the mode. You get a blue light for Tight, red for Classic, and no lights for Natural. These modes do sound different if you have the ear for it.
  • The sound can be very versatile, as it can offer a distorted sound that’s nicely thick and warm or a righteous wail at the high end.
  • The aluminum alloy casing is quite solid, so you don’t really have to worry about stomping on it too hard.
  • The small size is also very convenient for smaller pedal boards. For teens with tiny bedrooms, it’s great.
  • The controls are simple to use, yet you do have an extensive set of dials to fiddle with so you can really get the sound right. The three different modes do sound different, and the additional knobs can offer lots of variety.


  • The sound is distinctly suitable for 1980s metal. So if you go for Van Halen and the glam rockers, this is the pedal you need. However, you’re going to need a different option if you want a more modern, grungy sound.
  • You need an adapter, and often this is a separate purchase. Also, there isn’t even an option for batteries.


Who says you need to be a fan of glam rock to want this Donner Morpher Distortion? If you’re a newbie trying to develop your own sound and attempting to recreate various styles, then you should just get this. Like the TC Electronic Dark Matter pedal, it offers a much different sound than other classic distortion pedals that remind you of earlier rock eras in the 1960s and 1970s, which can expand your rock guitar repertoire.

What’s great about this is that you get a lot without too much of an investment. It’s very affordable, and it doesn’t take up a lot of space. Add these benefits to its unique character, and there’s simply no reason not to get one when you’re trying to do some Quiet Riot covers.

So what if the tonal quality doesn’t seem right for the sound you’re going for? Get it anyway, as it’s just too affordable. Who knows? Maybe your taste will change.

What doesn’t change is the need for a distortion pedal that’s easy to use, and this one certainly qualifies. It’s a great beginner’s distortion pedal, and even experienced guitarists keep their Donner Morpher Distortion Pedal Solo Effect Guitar Pedal True Bypass pedals just in case.

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