Price paid: $ 165
Purchased from: EarthquakerDevices.com
Ease of Use: This fuzz has very simple controls: A tone, shift, level, and fuzz. Honestly, I don't know what the difference is between the tone knob and the shift. I just think of it having two tone knobs and leave it at that. They respond very well with each other, making it a surprisingly versatile pedal with just those two knobs alone. EarthQuaker Devices has a very zero BS attitude with their pedals. It didn't even come with a manual, just a cool cloth bag to keep it in, and an EarthQuaker Devices sticker.
Apparently, EarthQuaker changes the paintjob on the pedal every year. Their newest one is white, which is the one I have. I like watching all these different demos of the pedal and seeing all of the past finishes. EarthQuaker Devices stresses that despite the cosmetic changes, the circuit within is identical. // 7
Sound: I'm currently using this pedal with a humbucking guitar, and I'm itching to hear this pedal through a legit Telecaster. I'm playing through a Blackstar HT-5, a great little practice amp.
The amp is pretty loud. If all of the knobs are pointed at noon, you better lower the volume on your amp because this pedal provides quite the boost. If you're alternating between a clean sound and the fuzz, I suggest lowering the Level knob on the pedal unless you want to break a few wine glass (and I mean, ideally, we all want to, but no ones laughing when your barefeet step in the shards).
I use the pedal on the dirty channel on my amp as well. I have the amp gain very low, just to get enough twang in there (I use the word twang loosly because, as mentioned before, I don't have a telecaster). Any fans of The Black Keys out there? This pedal oozes Thickfreakness. Engage the pedal on the dirty channel on your amp for tectonic shifting tones, then disengage it and use the the dirty channel on your amp for the verse. It's really a thing of beauty. As I understand it, Dan from The Black Keys owns one of these pedals. TBK has a wide range of sounds, so don't expect to play their whole discography with a Hoof, but it serves it's purpose.
This is a germanium/silicon bases pedal, which gives it it's versatility. "Broken speaker" tones like The Black Keys? Got it. Huge muff tones ala The Smashing Pumpkins' album "Siamese Dream"? Got it. Dirty grit of Queens Of The Stone Age? Got it. Fizzy high gain for doom metal bands like Weedeater or Electric Wizard? Got it. Obviously, if you want a Muff sound, get a muff. But this pedal can get it, and then some. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This pedal has never left the bedroom, so I cannot vouch for it's durability on the road. The pedal is surprisingly light, mostly likely due to the metal casing. In comparison to Boss and MXR pedals, which are built like tanks, it would seem like the Hoof would dent a lot more easily. Then again, this is a damn guitar pedal, so unless you plan on hurling it over skyscrapers any time soon, you're good to go. // 7
Overall Impression: I primarily got this fuzz for it's Black Keys tones, but I was pleasantly surprised with its versatility. If I would to point out it's cons, I would say that the massive volume boost could be pretty annoying if you aren't prepared for it. Then again, this is my first fuzz, so this could be a common feature among them.
I do have to stress, however, that, as a proper self loathing gear head, this pedal will not due. A great pedal, but for the love of all fuzz, you aren't going to get everything you want in one pedal. Besides, where's the fun in that? Make each purchase count, and appreciate their unique voice. The EarthQuaker Devices Hoof is fantastic. That said, my eye is still on the prow for other fuzzes in grave danger of the bottom of my boot. // 8