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9 of the Best Larger Enclosure Fuzz Pedals Pt I

Beetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzDeath By AudioEarthbound AudioFunction FXFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzProCoRainger FXRatRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzStone Deaf EffectsThorpyFX+-
2018GPXLargerFuzzPedals700V2-min.jpg

I have indicated several times in my posts that I love Compact Enclosure pedals the best, but I also have an affinity for Mini pedals - particularly Mini Boost, Compressors, Fuzz and Overdrive. I never thought it was likely to happen, but for my preferred Klone pedal I went from an original Mini Tumnus up to the Deluxe version, but that slot is now taken by the diminutive Decibelics Golden Horse - which I prefer to both of the Tumni!

 

I have also indicated many times that I’m not a fan of larger enclosures except for Strymon Stryfecta style 3-footswitch Modulation, Delay and Reverb Workstation Pedals. For my 40-pedal ’Year in Fuzz’ overview I stuck entirely to compact pedal enclosures - which kind of includes the slightly larger ThorpyFX Fallout Cloud too.

 

In any case I had largely sworn of larger single effect pedals - with notable exceptions like the Dual-Drive Origin Effects RevivalDrive and the Diezel VH4-2. With fuzz I thought I could entirely dismiss those outsize boxes - and I have a real disliking for those really unnecessarily large vintage enclosures which have tiny circuits in them and just a couple of dials.

 

Yet there are in fact times when larger Fuzz Pedals are easily justified. The new Old Blood Noise Endeavors Alpha Haunt for instance has no less than 12 controls on the pedal - including 3 EQ sliders not always easily visible in the pictures. I do feel OBNE though missed a trick in not outfitting this pedal with a second Boost or Feedback footswitch - in fact my Foxpedal Defector does both of those with dual footswitches - and in a compact enclosure. There are means to accommodate more controls - dual-concentric pots, side toggle-switches etc. But in the case of the Alpha Haunt it is totally understandable why the pedal is this large, and I liked it so much that I acquired.

 

Another slightly over-size pedal I acquired recently was the JHS Modded ProCo Rat - with 3-way voicing switch and swapped OpAmp chip. The first demos I heard of this did not really do it justice - it did not seem to have that raucous nature of the original. Yet I persevered, and this pedal really is tremendous and can indeed get gnarly when cranked - so all good and well.

 

The third large enclosure fuzz that I’ve marked for imminent acquisition is the Dual-Channel Beetronics Royal Jelly - which gives you the most incredible range of overdrive, fuzz, fuzz-drive and fuzzstortion voicings - you can flip and combine your two Channels, you can also hit the middle boost switch for even more searing / soaring tones - just a really great sounding pedal.

 

Another long-standing industry favourite fuzz pedal is the Death by Audio Supersonic Fuzz Gun, much loved by U2’s The Edge and several other pro players. As am obvious Rat fan, I also really like the look of the new V2 Earthbound Audio Iron Big - with its 6 different voicing modes. And the Function F(x) Clusterfuzz is another multi-mode fuzz I’ve had my eye on for a while.

 

Finally the bottom row features 3 of the best British-made larger enclosure Fuzzes - the very photogenic Rainger FX Dr Freakenstein Fuzz, Stone Deaf’s hugely versatile Parametric EQ’d Fig Fumb Muff style circuit, and Thorpy’s Silicon-style Fuzz Face circuit with separate Rangemaster style boost - The Veteran.

 

Turns out I actually really quite like some of the bigger box fuzzes - even though they are significantly more tricky to accommodate within a pedalboard / pedal-chain. In fact it turns out that there are quite a few more big box fuzzes that I like - so there will be at least 1 or 2 more follow-ups to this piece!

 

Pedals listed alphabetically by brand as usual.


Beetronics Royal Jelly - £289

This pedal justifies its size by having 3 footswitches and multiple control dials - the main thing here is how versatile this pedal is, how great it sounds, and how practical it is to deploy. When you think of your typical over-sized fuzz pedal they're rarely doing anything new - this one is just brilliantly conceived and executed from every angle - I do hope more UK dealers pick this one up as it's in very scant supply here at the moment - and even though Andertons are supposed to be a Beetronics dealer - it looks like they may be discontinuing their association as Beetronics no longer comes up on their site search.


Death by Audio Supersonic Fuzz Gun - £265

As most famously used by U2's The Edge on 'Vertigo' and other tracks, it sounds suitably ray-gun like and bitcrushed / gated also, but can be opened out into a more searing fuzz tone. An oscillating fuzz at its heart, this has lots of different tones in it, although it can be hard to come by at times. I had sort of forgotten about my first experience of this pedal and how much I liked it, but now that I hear it again I really want one!


Earthbound Audio Iron Pig - $190 (EarthboundAudio.bigcartel.com)

Dennis Kayzer has introduced me to so many cool noise-makers over the year - it was on this channel I first heard my long-time favourite Dr Scientist Frazz Dazzler. The Iron Pig is in a similar ballpark - using a Rat-style 308 series OpAmp - this has 6 different voicing / clipping modes to deliver you all the different flavours of Rat you might need. This is a suitably doomy grungy pedal which should be loved by all who like their fuzzes to sound fierce! Currently only available on the official EA site, and in fact sold out on current batch.


Function F(X) Clusterfuzz - £199

I've touched on this pedal once or twice on this site before - a 5-voicing mode pedal with several clipping options, high frequency filter and gated / 8-bit sweep. This is another really versatile fuzz which does something quite a bit out of the ordinary. This for me is the whole point of using a larger enclosure - to fit in extra functions and additional voicing and tone controls. There is also a Jr version of this pedal which removes the filter and reduces the voicings and 8-Bit dials to 2-way toggles - a touch too much reduction for me! The original though is still really cool.


Old Blood Noise Endeavors Alpha Haunt - £180 (Reverb.com)

I've now mentioned this one several times on my blog - a really cool extended version of their signature Haunt Pedal - now with 12 controls and 3-Band EQ Sliders. I've winged a touch about the looseness of feel on some of those controls, and the use of slightly cheap feeling plastics and potentiometers - but this pedal sounds phenomenal and does everything you would imagine an extended Haunt would do. I still feel they missed a trick by not including a second footswitch for Boost or Feedback function - if you're going to go with the larger real estate you may as well use it fully. In any case I snapped one of these up as soon as I heard it.


ProCo Rat JHS Rat Pack Mod - £135

Some of the earlier demos I heard of this pedal made it sound like a somewhat neutered Rat - in that the JHS replaced OpAmp was missing that classic raucous Rat ingredient - it sounded somehow throttled and too refined. Yet I have discovered that it just needs some diligent tweaking and cranking to get close to the original, and you have 3 versatile voicings here that allow you to do much more with this version of the pedal than the original. If you want a really gnarly sort of Rat sound - I recommend you rather go with the Dr Scientist Frazz Dazzler, or latest version of Iron Pig featured above.


Rainger FX Dr Freakenstein Fuzz DRFF-3 - £209

I've featured this pedal several times on this site, and it's the first of 3 classic British pedals here. A highly unusual Fuzz in look and execution - and accompanied by a diminutive pressure pad expression pedal. There's obviously a touch of gimmick here by way of the Frankenstein lever, but this is no style over substance - the fuzz sound really cool. I personally don't really like the standard white version which is readily available, I much prefer the limited edition Orange (pictured) and Black. There are however no remaining ones of those in the wild. I keep my eyes peeled on Reverb.com in case one comes up, otherwise I'm just waiting around for David Rainger to release another custom limited edition!


Stone Deaf Fig Fumb Parametric Fuzz - £162

This great sounding Muff-style parametric Fuzz with an enormous range of tones was long riding high on my wishlist. I then decided that I would really prefer this pedal in a somewhat more compact enclosure. In fact the two most recent Stone Deaf pedals - the Tremotron Tremolo which I have and love, and the Syncopy Delay are in a significantly more compact enclosure, so I'm hoping that Luke Hilton will update his older pedals to that enclosure size in the near future.


ThorpyFX The Veteran - £224

I actually have a version of this in my significantly more compact Crazy Tube Circuits Constellation pedal, but not tweakable in the same manner! The Veteran is your classic Silicon Fuzz Face style Fuzz with an additional Switchable / Controllable Treble Boost / Rangemaster style circuit. This is quite a hefty pedal really - and I would appreciate if Adrian squeezed it a little more at some stage in the future. It's for sure a really great pedal, and a follow-up to the limited edition Germanium version of this pedal. It's not the uppermost on my Thorpy hitlist - I still need to get the rest of the Thorpy trifecta - Gunshot and Warthog, which may take me into next year - depending on what happens with current and forthcoming pedal releases - as I've allocated budgets in advance to pedals like Empress Effects' Zoia - which now looks delayed though!


Final Thoughts

So I've really swung 180 degrees on my original feelings on larger enclosure pedals - the truth still holds obviously that you cannot accommodate that many of these - so you would need to sacrifice the real estate of up to 3 compact pedals to make room for some of these - which isn't particularly a good ratio.

 

I will almost definitely just deploy one of these at a time, and I would need to figure out what I was willing to sacrifice to slot one of these in. The Rat is barely one and a half, but the others here are at least 2 or 3 pedals worth of footprint.

 

I like all of these and may acquire some or most eventually - depending on prevailing whims and contemporaneous influences. It's always weird how rapidly your decision making can change from day-to-day. That said the one pedal here that I'm definitely getting in the pretty near future is the Beetronics Royal Jelly - I just need to figure out where to get it from - as none of the officially listed stockists seems to have any in stock currently!

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
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