Seymour Duncan Diamondhead Multistage Distortion Review (July 2024)


Last updated on July 22, 2024 9:00 pm Details


In this review post we’re going to be discussing the Seymour Duncan Diamondhead Multistage Distortion + Boost Pedal, including an overview of its unique features.

Product Description

Across genres and generations, the sound of a half stack pushed hard with drive and boost has become a standard for rock tones. No genre or era of players has been more heavily defined by these iconic sounds than the classic metal and hard rock pioneers of the late seventies and eighties. Think Judas Priest, RATT, Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Ozzy – their combination of tube heads and drive pedals resulted in some of the most iconic guitar tones of all time.

Diamondhead captures the power and versatility of that era-defining rig in a package that will find a space on any pedalboard. Whether you’re running it into a clean pedal platform amp or into the frontend of an overdriven tube amp, the Diamondhead provides the flexibility and tonal clarity to authentically capture the sound that defined an era.

It all starts with the drive – from breathy and raw medium gain sounds to screaming high-gain harmonics, Diamondhead is deep and three-dimensional, with clarity and touch response.

Three powerful active EQ controls maximize the potential of the gain section. A tightly defined bass control boosts and cuts at 80 Hz, with surgical precision – making the low end huge, but never muddy. A broader mid-range control set right at 800 Hz allows for massive scooped chunk, hyper-aggressive modern attack, and everything in between. And the Treble control, set at 6 kHz, adds sizzle, cut, and attack.

The SAT Switch (based on our 805 Overdrive) adds a 24dB pre-gain boost that tightens up the low end for the more aggressive and defined attack. Subtly rolling off lows and highs, it allows the mid-range to cut through, creating chewy, harmonic saturation.

Independent from the Drive section, the Boost (activated with the left footswitch) offers 0 to 15 dB of available gain and can be used as a lead boost or to push an amp on the edge into overdrive. Try using it with a slightly dirty amp as the first gain stage and adding the Drive section for your highest gain sounds.

Diamondhead also shines as a pre-amp. By running it into the effects return of your tube amp, or in front of our PowerStage power amps you’ll be rewarded with a hot-rodded high gain amp tone with body, bite, and character.

If you’ve gone through a pile of overdrives, distortions, and boost pedals searching for that quintessential 80s metal or hard rock tone and haven’t been satisfied, make Diamondhead the heart of your rig – versatile enough to handle any covers set, precise enough to surgically dial in your own tone – it captures the rock n roll spirit of a high gain head pushed to the edge.

Product Features

  • Status LEDs
  • True bypass
  • Metal housing
  • Weight: 408 g
  • Boost footswitch
  • Distortion footswitch
  • 6.3 mm Mono input/output jacks
  • Controls: Bass, Mid, Treble, Boost, Level, Gain
  • Authentic sound of a half stack pushed hard
  • Operates: optional 9-18 V DC power supply
  • Dimensions (L * W * H): 119.4 * 88.9 * 40.6 mm
  • Active 3-band EQ with +/- 13 dB cut/boost in each band
  • SAT-activated toggle switch adds a 24 dB pre-gain boost
  • Current consumption: 130 mA @ 9 V / 65 mA @ 18 V
  • The distortion and boost sections can be used separately

Pros & Cons


  • Worth the price
  • Solid build quality
  • Extremely trustworthy
  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Ideal for live performances and recording


  • Quite Pricey

Seymour Duncan Diamondhead Multistage Distortion Demo

Our Verdict

Overall, a fantastic effort by Seymour Duncan, and a far more appealing form factor for me than, for example, their Palladium. When I initially saw the teasers, I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I immediately thought of the Mad Professor Loud N’Proud, which has a similar form factor but is based much more on the Plexi and Hendrix side of things rather than the New Wave of British Heavy Metal! I’m sure I’ll receive one at some point, however, when remains to be seen!

Finally, aside from ‘chewy mids,’ the most generally cited phrase in the reviews is ‘center-detent,’ as each of the EQ dials beautifully snaps into place in the midpoint, as is often the case with higher quality pedals.

Where to Buy

The best place to buy this product has to be Amazon, due to their competitive pricing and fantastic customer service.

Seymour Duncan Diamondhead Multistage Distortion + Boost Pedal

as of July 12, 2024 5:42 pm

Pricing History

Price History for Seymour Duncan Diamondhead Multistage Distortion + Boost Pedal


Current Price $229.00 July 12, 2024
Highest Price $229.00 September 27, 2023
Lowest Price $229.00 September 27, 2023
Since September 27, 2023

Last price changes

$229.00 September 27, 2023

Last updated on July 12, 2024 5:42 pm

Buyers Guides This Product Is Featured In

Best Boost Pedals

Additional information

Item Weight

1.1 pounds

Product Dimensions

7.87 x 5.91 x 1.97 inches

Item model number


Date First Available

October 16, 2019


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