Price paid: $ 269
Purchased from: www.themadape.com
Sound — 10
Big, slightly crunchy and aggressive are the first words that come to mind. There's not a ton of output on the volume side, and most of the time I just keep it dimed (that's the Howl knob by the way, sorry). The gain knob (Growl) will go from a light-medium crunch that's fairly smooth at 0, to a good and hefty growl (no pun intended) at 5, at 7-8 it maintains that growl but is just slightly more saturated. The last 15% of the gain knob is where the circuit really opens up with gobbs of chewy, crunchy and ever so slightly creamy gain though. It's great for a real 'wall of sound' feel. The hungry and full Switch doesn't change the tonal integrity of the pedal, it simply tightens the low end up a bit on the Hungry setting and lets all the bass loose on the Full setting. The Hungry setting is great if the bass from the pedal is making your amp's bottom end too flubby. Now on to my favorite part of this pedal, the Anger side. If I understand Matt's (the builder and designer) explanation in his demo video it's a self oscilation circuit. And it will have a varrying effect based on where the pedal's Howl and Growl knobs, and your guitar's pickup selector, volume and tone knobs are set. Let's say that you have the your guitar's volume and tone knobs dimed and you're using the bridge pickup. The pedal's Howl and Growl knobs are dimed, the pedal's main circuit is on and the Anger knob is at 50%. Stomping the Anger Switch with those settings will give you a nice screech while you're not playing, and will sort of blend the screech into your sound while you're playing. Turning up the Anger results in the pitch lowering and with the knob dimed you'll get (or at least I get) a huge low pitched sputtering sound (sort of). But I'll stop rambling. Long story short this function (along with manipulating the controls on your guitar and the pedal) will give you some VERY interesting sounds to play with. I'm considering getting a Wah pedal simply to see what kind of madness I can coax out of this thing). I'm giving this catetory a 10 because this thing has a job (to sound crazy) and it does it expertly. Using this pedal with my trusty Classic 30 with a Weber Vintage series speaker and a 12AU7 in V1 so my clean channel stays clean even at higher volume settings. My guitar is a Warmoth Telecaster with a single HighOrder Pickups t-top replica humbucker in the bridge. No volume knob or tone knob, the pickup is wired straight to the output jack.
Overall Impression — 10
I wouldn't try to put this pedal into a 'best for this type of music' category because I just simply don't know where it would go. It's a huge sounding fuzz that also makes funky alien noises, I guess it could be used for whatever you like lol. I don't wish it had anything else because I don't think it needs anything. This pedal is a unique piece of gear and I enjoy it greatly. If you want to hear it you can go to youtube and search for it, there are some great videos (including my own). A 10 simply because I like what it does. Someone else may find it completely useless.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The innards of this pedal are very neat (Matt is a pro at populating a board and making his solder joints tidy). The case is strong and the finish and decals are top knotch as well (the decals are placed over the base finish and then Matt bakes on a clear coat to keep them from coming off). Short of taking a baseball bat to it (even that I'd question) I see no issues. Plus, it comes with a three year warranty against defects and bad parts. I say, a 10.
Ease of Use — 9
Three knobs (Howl, Growl and Anger), two stomp-switches (Find Him and Make Him Mad) and a small two way Switch (Hungry and Full). More on those later. This pedal is 'based' on the old Fuzz Face pedals but with silicon transistors as opposed to the germanium ones used in that design. I can't confirm or deny any tonal resemblance though, as I've never heard one of these pedals myself. I only give this category a 9 because, as I'll explain shortly, there's a small learning curve for the Anger side of the pedal (there are just so many ways you can use it).