FX56 American Metal

Three FX56 American Metal effects pedals:
original series, 1984 (left) and 1987 (center); second series, early 1989 (right)

The FX56 American Metal debuted in late 1984 as the 13th pedal in DOD's FX series, and was arguably DOD's first "modern" distortion pedal. With published maximum gain and output levels of 1000 V/V and 7V peak-to-peak, respectively, the FX56 was certainly DOD's loudest pedal at the time of its release. Its saturated distortion was voiced to compete with other "metal" pedals available at the time, such as the Boss HM-2 Heavy Metal pedal (released in 1983). The FX56 also featured a Presence tone control, a "dual EQ circuit for enhanced bass and treble response" that was likely inspired by the Presence circuit in the DOD FX85 Harmonic Enhancer. By 1986, the purple-painted FX56 American Metal had become the de facto flagship of DOD's "America's Pedal" advertising campaign. In late 1989, the FX58 Metal Maniac and FX59 Thrash Metal pedals were launched, both based on the FX56's circuit but with different component values. The FX56 was produced until mid-1990, when it was replaced by the 4-knob FX56-B Super American Metal.

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