Just a couple of weeks ago PLBR Effects launched without fanfare a really elegant confection of bitcrusher and fuzz pedal with a further glitchy ’Pizza’ modulation stage on top which processes the bitcrushed ’Crush’ signal in three ways - as indicated by the 3 Modes in my visual above. My pedal arrived this last Monday and I’ve been having fun with it since. The pedal brings to mind another of my well-loved and more leftfield fuzz-type pedals - Dr Scientist’s excellent BitQuest multi-effects pedals which also has a clean/fuzz voicing at its core - but with 8 very specific modulations alongside 3 changeable parameter dials and 3 more fixed function dials.
I can immediately think of one instant upgrade to this pedal - the ability to circulate between modes by stepping on both footswitches simultaneously would be cool - and would mean very little hands-on tweaking required. In fact compared to the BitQuest, the Pizzacrusher is a delightfully simple and easy-fun pedal to use (no need for a manual) - possibly we could have done with one further knob to get some more extreme sounds out of the pedal (I’m thinking a Pizza Depth or Accent control) - but so far I’m really liking it.
This is another great flavour of fuzz as far as I’m concerned and this pedal offers something sufficiently different to make it worthwhile acquiring. I already have around 100 different fuzz pedals so it takes something pretty special to merit consideration and inclusion. I am naturally drawn to fuzz-tones - but am actually increasingly enjoying the ’clean’ side too - although I would kind of like something a little extra here for me - to make it a touch more gnarly.
The core fuzz tone on its own is really satisfying - and you can play it fairly vanilla if you need to, but all the fun is to be had getting extra textures out of this by degrading the signal purity and introducing satisfying glitches for even more texture and variety. I tend to have the Crush and Sample dials around the 3 o’clock mark. Essentially you introduce more bit degradation/reduction as you rotate the dials clockwise.
This pedal may not displace your favourite NKT275 fuzz or more feature rich bitcrusher pedal, but it's a handy addition for us more adventurous players and an excellent extension to the ever-growing fuzz arsenal for me. Much like with the BitQuest, I don't really use the clean mode so much - I prefer playing around with the more interesting textures generally - but others will surely gravitate towards the clean side. It's kind of ironic that Darko actually added the fuzz option as an afterthought - and I'm really glad he did, as it totally makes more sense to me to have more of a gnarly signal to get destructive with.
I feel the players this appeals to will instantly and instinctively know when they see the demos (also those BitQuesters I would suppose) - I doubt this is an everyman choice - but I'm going to keep this one in my chain for a while - it's one of those pedals that encourages new and different styles of playing - so if you're stuck in a creative rut - this may be just the tonic you need.
This is my second PLBR Effects pedal - from master-builder Croatian-based Darko Vajda - I also have his compact Narwhal fuzz - while I have further designs on his other two pedals - the 3 x 6-way clipping Muff-style Maritimus Fuzz, and 8-way Clipping super Tubescreamer style Floral Green pedal - all excellent.
I'm looking to do a more in-depth feature with Darko soon where I aim to impart quite a few more details about each of his pedals, what he looks for in pedals himself, and what motivates him. Note that currently the Floral Green and Maritimus are out of stock and will be until mid-summer as Darko is focusing on new pedals right now - including the Pizzacrusher and a couple of others still in the works.