Product Review: Steel Panther “1987” Effects Pedal

The 1987 Pedal – Steel PantherSteel Panther

1987 Delay/Distortion Guitar Effects Pedal

Our score 3.5 out of 5 stars

Behold, the Radness that is the 1987 Delay/Distortion Pedal! Steel Panthers latest and possibly greatest guitar effects pedal harness’s all the hairspray-soaked sounds of the Sunset Strip as the “1987” attacks with the grit of 100 chainsaws and the ability to repeat itself more than that super stoned dude you sat next to in Chemistry Class. The “1987” could just very well be the key to time traveling your tone back to arguably one of the greatest decades ever.

Everyone’s favorite spandex clad rockers Steel Panther are back with, yet another signature guitar effect pedals the “1987”. The dual effect pedal features both delay and distortion effects which can be utilized together or separately. Each effect has its own heavy duty on/off footswitch and LED’s along with separate tone controls (Delay: Level/Feedback/Delay Distortion: Level/Tone/Gain) which operate independent from one another. The “1987” follows the over-the-top aesthetics of its pedal predecessor’s (P#$$y Melter, Butthole Burner, Poontang Boomerang) with a plum-crazy purple w/ black panther striped steel housing which is accentuated by six over the top, day glow green knobs and matching lettering. On the top of the unit are your standard ¼” single input and output jacks as well as the input for a 9v power supply (power supply not included). As a bonus for those who have ordered one of the pedals from the first production run you will also receive a velvet like pedal bag and numbered certificate of authenticity.

From a sound standpoint I found the “1987” to has some pros and cons. I really enjoyed the sound of the delay. Despite the limited control functions, I was able to dial in a nice array of delay’s which ranged from short and slap-backing to long airy droning while touching on all points in between. Letting the guitar ring out while simultaneously twisting the feedback and delay knobs induced some crazy, over the top spaceship like noises which were quite fun to try and harness. Where I found the pedal to be lacking was in the distortion section. While the gain stage was much more akin to an overdrive than that of a full-on distortion pedal the tone comes off thin and rather lackluster. What was even more disheartening is that the overall tone is nearly identical to the previously released “Bunghole Burner”. Adding in the delay did liven things up a little as it does an ok job replicating the tone of the era the pedal is named for however if you are going for that true classic 80’s tone you’re going to need to combine this with a chorus and using the distortion as more of a boost to the front end of your amps gain section as the tone from just from the pedal alone probably won’t cut it.

If you are looking for ways to save space on your pedal board while also wanting to add a little or in this case a lot! Of color to your arsenal then the “1987” has you covered. The great sounding, no frills delay will be a welcome addition to your tonal pallet and with a little work the distortion side of the pedal could be just as equally effective in helping you relive and recreating a by-gone era. For those Fan-thers who have already amassed the previous three pedals then the “1987” is a no brainer. Head over to and grab yours today.

One Reply to “Product Review: Steel Panther “1987” Effects Pedal”

  1. Bought this pedal a year ago. Cannot get any sound from it. In and out connections are not marked and tried both sides. Was told that not all 9v wires work with it but should work if light is on. Light is on and no sound. Disappointing!!

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