So you acquired yourself a Meathead M-25 (AKA Deluxe), now what? Its got three knobs not one, Wow! that's gotta be good right? Well yes I guess so but maybe a little information or an explanation of what gives is warranted.
The Level does what now?
So those of you familiar with the "Dirt" control on the one knob Meathead will maybe wonder how that relates to this model. Maybe Dirt is Attack? Nope. The control labelled as Level is your Dirt control as you see it on a one knob Meathead.
The Dirt control is a volume/output level control but uses a linear taper. The long and short of this means you acquire unity pretty early on upon its rotation, as soon as say 10 O' clock when using a Stratocaster or similar low output guitar. After Midnight the tone gets more loaded, louder (of course) and alters the higher frequencies that are amplified.
So, the golden rule: The Level is the as the Dirt control on the one knobber. If you want to use the M-25 as the Meathead M-13 set the Attack at full right, Filter set at centre and use the Level as you would the Dirt. Disco.
I have no control
The old guard of the D*A*M's were all born from the same primordial swamp. Tone Bender's and Fuzz Face's were king, they roamed the land devouring all in site. No other viscously saturated beast even came close. The life force and magic contained within could not be matched. The Drag'n'fly, the 1966 and the Deluxe were all intend to operate in this old school way, there is no stun control just kill.
Which brings us to the Filter. Yup that's right it is working correctly. Rule of thumb with the Filter control and also the Attack control, that I'll get to in more detail soon, is that they were both designed to be used in the same manner. Attenuation. Set them at full and inch it back. Don't start at noon. Start at full bore. There is no stun remember.
If you are concerned about slamming the shit out of your lovely little vintage amp do the following:
1) Plug everything in, your instrument to the 'IN' socket, amplifier to the 'OUT'.
2) Set all the controls to zero, all full left, and then activate.
3) Bring up the level control until you reach unity with your clean bypassed tone. Between 10 and 2 O' clock depending on your pick-ups and geetar type.
4) You can now roll up the Attack and the Filter. Like I say, these controls are best used in attenuation. Set them both at full and roll back as you see fit.
Alter the Filter first and notice how the low bass frequencies drop out as you roll towards the left. Around 10 O' clock is good if you desire clarity and like to chug (palm mute) and around 3 O' clock and upwards if you want mucho sludginess.
The Filter is what it is. It will not shape the tone like a Big Muff's tone control will. The tone overall will remain the same though as you add more bass the circuit will clip a little harder. The crudity of this is intentional. As dominating as the Meathead can be its only an ingredient in your signal chain. Its the spice in your Curry.
Attack! There is more at play here than you think. As previously mentioned the idea is about cutting what you have. If you are only interested in high gain tones you only need to think about the small rotation from 3 - 5 O'clock, 5 being maximum. The upper most top end of the gain will cut and fast. You may only need to move the control a wee tiny bit to find that balance from all out war to simmering on the front line.
If you are rolling before noon you'll find the tone darkens a fair bit and the use of the Filter will become more open.
There is a lighter and more dynamic side to the Deluxe if you give it time and explore this lower setting. It helps to have the Level control set high and to be playing your amp at a good volume. This was a pedal designed to handle and to really shine at very high volume so it will sound more alive when used as such. Remember this. Meathead likes it loud.
Lastly, a little noise as you turn the Attack control is normal. I didn't break it.
Recommend Meaty listening
Brant Bjork & the Bros ~ Somera Sol
Conan ~ Battle in the Swamp
Slomatics ~ Kalceanna