The following is a guest review by Kevin Ian. If you are interested in writing a guest review, please contact me!
I was contacted by Todd of Grumpy Toad FX recently and he asked if I wanted to try a new build he has been working on. It is a build of The Shoctave, a mix of a Fuzzy Overdrive and Octave down circuit. Todd is the first to say that while it is NOT an original design of his, he does now offer it to people who are interested in the pedal.
Plugging into this pedal, I noticed a few things:
The dirt section of this pedal is peculiar. If it’s a fuzz, it’s a very tame-almost overdrive in character-fuzz. However, if it’s an overdrive, then it’s very fizzy in character. Think Blues Driver with Big Muff tendencies. I really like the sound and it got along with my P90’s perfectly. This pedal might be a bit too dark for humbuckers.
The Gain section brings the dirt from a slightly dirty boost to full on raging fuzz. It stacks decently with other pedals, though I would recommend this pedal first in your chain as with most fuzz. I found the middle gain the most useful, as it was touch-sensitive with enough dirt to make chords interesting and single-note lines sing.
The Mix section is where you can blend between the dirt, the octave down, and any combination in between. Where most pedals with octave down capabilities don’t track well, this one does. It’s not a practical effect for chords, but it works well with single-note runs and some power-chord applications. That being said, those who love a splatty sound will enjoy the gain dimed with some octave mixed in.
I have included a video that shows the range of the pedal. This is a pedal I recommend for people who want to experiment with their sound and have not entered the realm of octave down effects.
Todd at Grumpy Toad is a stand-up guy and his work is always well-done and professional. Even if this pedal is not to your liking, he has other things in his arsenal that will appeal to your tone needs. I own four of his pedals that have taken permanent residence on my board!
Kevin Ian is a multi-instrumentalist who is more known for his work in The
Common Men. You can find their latest album “Let it Burn” via iTunes,
Amazon, CD Baby and Bandcamp. For more information, please visit
http://www.thecommonmen.tk or http://www.facebook.com/thecommonmen
The Common Men. Nor-Cal Post-Punk Vanguards
New Album “Let it Burn” Out NOW! http://thecommonmen.bandcamp.com
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