Donner guitar pedals
Donner guitar pedals are super cheap, but are they worth it?

A while back I decided my pedal chain required a little reverb to add some life to a very dry sound, so I took a chance on three Donner guitar pedals off Amazon for a combined £80, if my memory serves. I was super excited at the price of Donners reverb pedal, which was under £30, that I went ahead and bought three in one go. These are by far the cheapest stompboxes I’ve bought as of yet, but were they a good deal, or were the cheap guitar pedals simply a bad impulse buy?

I don’t want to sway you one way or the other too much, but I will do a quick overview and demonstration of each pedal for you to help you make your mind up if you’re considering purchasing any Donner pedals.

The demos are played direct from my Fender Stratocaster through the pedal and into my audio interface which records into Reaper, with no processing of the sound there.

Donner Verb Square reverb effect pedal

I’m a big fan of the Verb Square reverb effect pedal and use it every day. It offers seven settings and allows you to adjust the effect level, the decay length and the tone.

Of the seven settings, I hover around ‘hall’ and ‘church’, occasionally dabbling in ‘room’ and ‘studio’. I find the rest a little underwhelming, but also I find modes such as ‘spring’ reverb and ‘plate’ reverb to be novelties anyways, so I’m happy to use the few I do. But it something I’d consider if I was considering buying another reverb pedal.

To be honest, I’ve never been able to tell what difference the tone knob makes, so I guess that’s where the pedal’s £25ish price really shows, but I adjust my tone in other ways, so it’s not something I’d rely on to a great extent anyways. For adding some life to a dry sounding room, this reverb pedal well worth the money.

Here is a quick demonstration of the pedal:

Donner Tutti Love chorus effect pedal

Donner’s Tutti Love chorus effect pedal doesn’t get much mileage with me, but only because I don’t listen to a lot of music that features a chorus pedal. I bought the pedal on impulse and I figured it was an opportunity to learn a little more about popular effects.

That being said, the knobs work and it delivers the desired effect, which I can’t say the same about its siblings. I’m able to control the amount of effect to my desire which is a positive for something so cheap

Here is a short demonstration of the pedal:

Donner Jet Convolution flange effect pedal

Flange can add so much character to a guitar tone, so it’s always fun to have a flange effect pedal in your arsenal. The Donner Jet Convolution flange pedal gives you the ability to adjust the rate of flange effect, the ‘colour’, which controls the effect’s intensity; and the ‘range’, which controls whether the flange effect is concentrated on the lower frequencies, or in the higher frequencies. There is also flick switch that toggles between normal mode of oscillating flange and filter mode which freezes the effect at a static position, allowing you to filter your sound.

I’ve never gotten the hang of the pedal, but when I feel like adding some flange flavour to my sound, it’s there and it works. Some light reading suggests that this pedal is a budget clone of the EHX Electric Mistress, so if you’re not confident about the budget pedal, probably you can opt for the pedal it’s based on. If flange effect is intrinsic to your sound, do yourself a favour an invest in something whose selling point isn’t it’s cheap price. If you’re after just a bit of flavour, this will do fine.

Here is a demonstration of the pedal:

Of the three budget stompboxes, the Verb Square gets daily use in my pedal chain since reverb is essential to any tone I use; and I find it a convincing reverb effect for the price. The Tutti Love also does its job well, while Jet Convolution also delivers but I feel its knobs are of limited effectiveness. If you need a verdict, it’s that if, like me, you just want to play around with an effect, these are worth the low price point, but if you rely on an effect for your desired tone, rather spend a little more money.