The following is a guest post by Kevin Ian. If you are interested in guest posting, please contact me!
Hello Kind Readers,
I’m back with some reviews of pedals made by Grumpy Toad FX. As mentioned before, Grumpy Toad is a one-man operation out of Northern California. He specializes in clone and custom effects. If you want it, and it’s hard to find, he’ll build it for you!
When I visited him last, he had made a clone of the Foxx Tone Machine. I have never heard of the original pedal, but I was curious about it. He gave me the pedal to try out and I thought I’d give a review!
The pedal itself is a three knob fuzz with a switch that switches into an octave up fuzz. I like to start with the fuzz and tone knobs completely dimed to see what extremes the pedal is capable of. What I heard was a biting–almost too harsh–saturated fuzz that made my solos sing and stand out. Rolling back the tone on the pedal yielded a far more creamy sound. Not my taste, but I know some people love it! I generally find myself dialing in more treble than most and keeping the fuzz at full blast. It was never too noisy and sung with every phrase I played. For chords, I would definitely roll back the fuzz a bit, but I’m not one to really chord with fuzz pedals.
The octave switch turns this pedal into a completely different monster! Any setting sounded like it was running through a bit crusher. I can see someone getting lost in the band mix if not set properly, as the octave up seriously kills any mids you may have in your tone. Simply making it a bit louder could easily fix this problem.
Playing through humbuckers and single coils, I can tell that the pedal reacts slightly better to single coils. If you use humbuckers, it is completely possible to fall in love with this pedal, I would simply dial in a bit more treble 🙂
Here is a small video I did with my Reverend Club King 290, which is outfitted with p90’s. My amp is a stock Peavey Classic 30. All of the delay is courtesy of an MXR Carbon Copy and any boost comes from a Barber LTD SR set to a slightly dirty boost.
Todd at Grumpy Toad FX is a great individual and he makes quality products. He takes the time to show me the insides of his pedals to show that nothing is loose and everything is securely in place (a form of quality control you just don’t get with some companies!). I highly recommend sending him an e-mail describing what it is you want, and he is very quick to reply with what he can do or find. He is always looking for circuits to build, so he will always have a few pedals on hand.
Grumpy Toad can be found at
Here is the video with the review:
Kevin Ian is a multi-instrumentalist. He is currently the singer/guitarist for The Common Men. They can be found at www.thecommonmen.tk