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BAE has made their bones doing classic British preamps and EQ units, sparing no expense and detail, offering modern versions of classics. In our April 2017 issue we got to check out their Hot Fuzz Pedal. Now they are back at it again, with their yellow Royaltone Fuzz, and the Crown would be pleased for keeping up their end.
Not all fuzzes are created equal, and the inner workings of this yellow box are pretty impressive, with low noise transistors, and a selection of ceramic, electrolytic and mica capacitors, and staying true to the British fuzzes, its circuit is silicon based. It’s powered via a 9v battery, or using a standard 2.5mm 9v power supply.
The two oxblood colored attack (fuzz) and level knobs cover the fuzz, while the black Bass, Mid and Treble controls handle EQ. Now the cool thing here is the dual footswitches; one engages the fuzz, and the other the EQ section. So, what this gives is an audio articulation, getting the fuzz to sit in the mix of things really well. One things fuzzboxes can do is compress and saturate so much, that they can get lost in the lower frequencies. Having that extra EQ section to get the fuzz to be heard (and felt) is really a great feature. There are individual LEDs to let you know when the fuzz or EQ is engaged.▼ Article continues below ▼
So, where does it sit on the fuzz scale? Think Vox Tone bender. At extreme settings it can get nice and crispy, with that signal decay that dies in such a musical way that the notes just quickly squeeze and trail off at the end. There’s plenty of sustain where it just keeps going, and the low string riffs just blast through. Soften things up a bit with the EQ and you’re in smoother violin territory. In lower gain, it somehow keeps the balance of fuzzy-yet-sweet, compressing very nicely overall, regardless of the frequency range. It’s great for raunchy power rhythm with a lot of cut. The EQ adds in that extra tweakability spice. It’s a bit subtle, but it works just where you want it to, and what’s meant for guitar. One added bonus: is if a player is just looking for an EQ shift or boost, using it on its own without the fuzz yields some really quality results, such as brightening up a dark amp in a clean setting.
We put it through its paces with humbuckers and single coils, and were really happy with the overall results. It can do classic tones, but with the added EQ, it gives a lot more modern functionality for anyone looking to go full “desert rock” while maintaining their sonic space. Now it’s hard to say it’s quiet (it is a fuzz after all), but it’s bringing in the noises you want, not hiss and static.
The only downside is the EQ and Fuzz foot switches are a bit close together, so players with big feet take notice.
classic British fuzz, EQ is very flexible, sounds great!
foot switches might be a bit close for individual use