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The 1970s are back, in full effect. Fuzz pedals have been around for decades, and started off as a low-tech device. BAE Audio has now brought their experience in high-end audio processors to this classic effects box in the form of their new Hot Fuzz pedal.
It’s slightly larger than a standard size pedal, but thankfully can be run off a 9v battery or standard negative center pin power supply. One interesting thing is the input and output jacks are the opposite of what’s the norm on pedals these days. This may require some creative connections when placed on a pedal board.▼ Article continues below ▼
Sound-wise, it really captures that classic fuzz tone, and with the EQ, it’s very sculpt-able to fit well into a mix. It really captures that fuzzy sustain well, without losing definition on the low end of the spectrum. It’s a lot more controllable than a standard fuzz, with the on-board bass and treble EQ settings. It doesn’t go into hyper sludgy territory like some fuzzes, but that low-end presence can be felt, with plenty of clarity. Rhythm chords have chunky goodness, and the leads can still have plenty of fuzz while not overwhelming the notes or getting thin and brittle. Fuzz is a kind of gloriously unpredictable effect, and that feel and response is still there, but with a lot more control that a lot of other fuzzes seem to lack, and in some case, need.
There is a high-frequency boost with its own gain control that’s foot switchable. Adding this into the signal really makes this sing with more than enough top end when combined with the fuzz. Using this function on its own isn’t a problem, but depending on the amplifier and guitar, there might be a bit too much on the high-end frequencies at certain volumes. So, dial in accordingly.
Each footswitch is true bypass, but they are a little too close together for our taste, which may make accidentally kicking on (or off) an unintended switch an issue.
With a street price of $225, it’s not cheap, but the reason it sounds so good is the hand built, handpicked selection of components such as four low-noise transistors. It can get crazy, but it’s much more controllable than a vintage fuzz without all the background noise and hiss that normally comes with this type of effect. We dig it; we think you will, too.
modern version of classic fuzz, very low signal to noise ratio.
foot switches are a little close together.