Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: ebay
Sound — 10
I'm using this with my warmoth tele with a single HighOrder pickups A5 t-top replica humbucker in the bridge (no volume or tone knobs, the pickup is wired straight to the output jack and grounded properly) through my Peavey Classic 30 (has a weber speaker which sounds infinitely better than the stock blue marvel and a 12AU7 in the V1 position to make the clean channel actually clean at higher volumes). Now, on to business... This is a thick and chewy, but edgy sounding fuzz. Does a good impression of a buzz saw when coaxed. I couldn't give you a general tonal reference because I have no idea if the circuit is based off anything, but there are a few youtube videos that will steer you in the right direction. The octave/ring mod sounds come in mostly when playing hard and add a wonderful texture that I greatly enjoy. It creates a huge light saber-ish 'clang' when you dig into big chords. Despite this, the fuzz tone itself is incredibly articulate and clear, especially on single note riffs (ie, mess of me by switchfoot, freedom by rage against the machine). Big, punchy. It loves to play loud. I have found that the 'sweet spot' is anywhere from 11 to 1 o'clock on the intense knob though. Any lower and the circuit sounds to starved, any higher and it starts to sound overloaded. But I like set-it-and-forget-it pedals. If you're into straight fuzz sounds this probably isn't your pedal, but personally, I've compared this to several 'excellent' fuzz's and I just keep coming back to the Karl.
Overall Impression — 10
I play whatever strikes my fancy at the time, but mostly rock and metal. I've been experimenting with putting a boost in front of this thing, and I love it so far. The stronger signal makes the octave/ring mod 'sing' more. Karl loves to Drive other pedals (I've run it through a few overdrives and had pretty cool results), but hates to be driven. If I ever lost this pedal I'd beg Sean to make me another one, just in a different color (if you're familiar with the army, check out the 'foliage green' fleece caps, that's the color of my Karl). Again, I've pitted Karl against several other fuzz's and he keeps winning. For me, this has become my go-to fuzz.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've owned many a lovepedal, hand-wired and mass produced. All of them have been just shy of bullet proof. I have no doubt that this one will stand the test of time. Well, maybe the silk-screened letters won't, but other than that it should hold up quite well.
Ease of Use — 10
This is a fuzz pedal with hints of octave and ring mod. It has 2 knobs (there is another version with three, supposedly the two knob is a bit more aggressive sounding) labeled volume and intense. The volume is as labeled, intense controls the gain. Plug, stomp, play.