So last week saw me snap up 2 rare and unusual Germanium Transistor Fuzz Pedals - I’ve covered the Chase Bliss Audio Bliss Factory in detail already, and here we have another highly innovative fuzz - which derives its name from the single Russian Germanium Transistor it employs.
We’ve seen overdrives before with separate OpAmps generating each of High, Middle and Low frequency content - which you then combine and mix together for unique harmonic output. I’m not aware of this methodology being employed particularly in fuzzes before - while I deploy a similar technique for my BYOC Crown Jewel, Chase Bliss Audio Brothers, and Empress Multidrive - in combing together overdrive and fuzz voicings within those pedals - yet obviously not targeted to individual frequency bands as the Spidola does.
The Spidola Fuzz uses a Treble Booster style Germanium Transistor circuit to produce the Higher Frequencies, and an unspecified OpAmp to generate the Lower Frequency content. The below schematic details beautifully how this pedal works and where the 4 controls - Push, Level, Low and High impact the circuit.
I can foresee a whole line of different fuzz pedals - in fact overdrive and distortion pedals too - where you use entirely different tone-generation components and circuits for each frequency cluster.
The Spidola leans for me rather towards what I call 'Fuzzy-Drive' - in that it delivers a very controlled amount of Fuzz which you can apply fairly subtly if you wish. This pedal is the total opposite to the Bliss Factory in temperament - and would totally be the ideal first fuzz pedal for someone - particularly those individuals who say they're not particular fans of fuzzes. The circuit topology here gives you a very elegant means to control and temper your fuzz's output.
Note that I still have the Fulltone Queen Bee Fuzz to land too - another excellent Germanium Fuzz. While I always prioritise more limited and rarer releases first - and Steve produces his pedals in fairly small batches.
There were 4 varieties of Spidola available on the day of launch - 2 slightly rawer solid Metallic Teal and Metallic Red engraved boxes with silver knobs, and then the full liveried box as pictured with standard cream hued plastic knobs at $160, and Gold Knob varieties - like of course the one I snagged, and as pictured - for $175.
It was very much the same kind of scramble as for the Bliss Factory - as all those Spidola's disappeared pretty much instantly - as expected.
This is my first Demedash Pedal for the collection - while I've of course noted that I want to acquire a 112+ Overdrive too - and I'm very keen on the forthcoming T-60 Analog Chorus & Vibrato which looks right up my street. Even though I have a Spaceman Sputnik I and III, I still want a copy of of Steve's long-discontinued dual-footswitch Laika Fuzz - which was a sort of clone of that format. I also hugely admire his T-120 Videotape Echo, particularly in Deluxe format, while I really need my delays to be stereo to fit in with my rig!
Here follow the key Spidola Fuzz Demos from launch-day :