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2 Cool New Extended Range Fuzz Pedals - 3 Leaf Audio Doom 2 and EHX Nano Metal Muff

3Leaf AudioBig Muff Style FuzzElectro-HarmonixFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionModulated FuzzOpAmp FuzzSilicon Fuzz+-
2021GPXEHXNanoMealMuff700.jpg

I do love pedals with 3-Band EQ’s - and fuzz pedals with such a topology are still relatively rare to make this new pair some keen objects of interest.

 

Besides having similar EQ controls these pedals are really quite different in the tones they render and at which price point. Both offer sufficient appeal for me to want to add them to the collection, while the new EHX Nano Metal Muff really ramps up its attractiveness with with a very attractive price-tag - where the 3 Leaf Doom 2 works out as more than 3 times the price of the new EHX Muff.

 

I’m obviously a huge fan of Big Muffs - and I have all the recent EHX compact reissues - meaning that the Nano Metal Muff is a total shoe-in. Brexit issues, and the new VAT ruling in particular makes overseas transactions somewhat tricky - in fact several pedal builders have point-blank refused to ship direct to UK customers - so 2021 will definitely have its challenges. While I presume I will simply be compelled to buy and source things more locally.

 

I feel that both of these are really well executed and sound great - while the pricing and better availability of the EXH variant will mean that is the easier one to get hold of. So the Nano Metal Muff is probably and essential for me, while the Doom 2 is rather a ’nice-to-have’ in accordance with the above stated criteria and conditions.


3 Leaf Audio Doom 2 Fuzz - $249

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The latest iteration of the Doom Fuzz incorporates both Bass/Clean and You're / Your Mode options - besides 3-band EQ, Volume and Gain. The You're and Your options are really two different fuzz voicings - with 'You're' being the Synth style fuzz, and 'Your' the more traditional sounding variant.

 

The Bass and Clean options actually target the 'Bass' knob - and in 'Bass' mode you get an active crossover circuit where the 'Bass' control indeed controls the degree of low end. If you switch to 'Clean' though - the 'Bass' knob becomes a Clean/Dry Mix control.

 

So there's a little bit more to the Doom 2, but within a comparative acquisition exercise it's a little tough to look beyond the higher price point. For sure will be worth it for some players. Because of more limited distribution though it somewhat presents a challenge for us that sit this side of the pond.

 

I will likely look to obtain this more opportunistically versus having this as a priority acquisition. It sounds really great though.


Electro-Harmonix Nano Metal Muff - $72.70

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As a replacement for the Pocket Metal Muff - this is the pedal that always should have been - with full 3-Band Active EQ, and additional really handy Noise Gate. I'm obviously a huge Big Muff fan and have and will snap up all the EHX reissues - typically in modded format.

 

While you really don't need any mods for this full-featured variant of high gain Muff. It has a really satisfying bark to it which is testament to just how well it is calibrated. I of course would have liked the metal knobs from the Pocket edition - never really liked the smooth default EHX knobs - but it's a very minor thing really - and I can always swap out the knobs anyway if I really feel like it.

 

I feel that this variant has been voiced extremely well - and that there's an immediacy in its appeal. I feel that Electro-Harmonic will do really well with this - it seems to be on something of a roll at the moment - considering the last few releases - Pitch Fork+, Mainframe Bitcrusher and Eddy Chorus/Vibrato with Envelope Filtering. At this price point in particular this is a very attractive proposition - and a total no-brainer for me. It's unlikely to oust by current favourite Toneczar OTP - but will make for a suitable satisfying rotation alternative. In any case I'm somewhat of a completist when it comes to EHX Big Muff reissues - and this is one of the easiest decisions I will need to make all year.


Final Thoughts!

It shouldn't be the major decider - but pricing and general availability do tend to be key criteria in considering individual pedal acquisitions. They form a significant part of the pedal purchasing decision process - where more attractively priced examples typically inevitably get elevated above those options which cost twice or thrice as much.

 

There's also the availability and accessibility factor - and currently I can find no active UK Dealer for 3 Leaf Audio. With the recent ridiculous UK VAT rule changes we UK consumers are facing more restrictions than ever before - which has already led to a spike in delivery fees for those few who still deliver. With the currency / exchange rate somewhat turbulent too at the moment - it makes for somewhat volatile times.

 

I feel that proper distribution - probably using those larger scale international intermediaries - is inevitable really. And they will want a significant cut of the action - and so prices will inflate somewhat even more.

 

This means that I will need to rely ever more on the bigger local retailers - like Andertons - who do all the hard work for us really. There will still be some pricing adjustment I feel, but it will likely be the only option for us in many instances.

 

2021 is for sure going to be a more tricky year on the pedal-front. And I am expecting a lot less direct access and less of the the typical discounts I usually get - which will inevitable translate to less activity for me on that front...

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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