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|Recorded through a Fender '60s Stratocaster. Amp: Peavey JSX clean channel with 2X12 Vintage 30 speakers, recorded with Garage Band, Sennheiser MD 735 mic, off center. Touch of Holy Grail Reverb and room ambiance.|
The Black Cat OD-Fuzz basically takes the Black Cat OD-1 and a silicon Fuzz Face and puts them into one convenient little package. The button on the left selects the Drive channel, which is basically the OD-1 sound. The button on the right unleashes traditional fuzz. These sounds can work independently or be combined. The Drive channel has Drive and Volume knobs, while the Fuzz channel has Fuzz and Volume knobs. When both channels are engaged, the Volume knob on the Drive channel acts as a master volume. Separate LEDs let you know what’s on or off.
The Drive channel sounds more fuzz-like than a tight, metal-style distortion or overdrive. Cork sniffers can debate semantics and the technical differences between distortion, fuzz, and overdrive, but the OD-1 is closer to AC/DC than Symphony X. The Fuzz channel nails that old-school fuzz sound in the best way possible. So, essentially, you get two different types of fuzz tones in one box—and you get the ability to mix them together.
The Fuzz channel is everything one could want. I found all the warm, craggy, muscular Eric Johnson sounds and time traveled back to Woodstock just in time for the Hendrix set. It’s one of the most authentic-sounding fuzz pedals I’ve ever had the pleasure to play. When you engage both channels, massive tonal thickness ensues. There can be mayhem, but the havoc can be easily tamed and bent to your sonic will. I liked its overall smoothness and adjustability. And I’m sure that using a dimed Black Cat OD-Fuzz with a slightly dirty amp could yield wonderful things at your next earthy rock gig.
fuzz tones are a way of life for you.
you don’t need the ability to wreak extreme havoc.
Street $210 - Black Cat Pedals - blackcatpedals.com
The Final Mojo
Fuzz tones aren’t for everybody. But for guitarists who like to live in that world, Black Cat gets a big thumbs up for making some great-sounding, reasonably affordable pedals. They sound expensive, look great, but won’t send you to the poorhouse. What these pedals have in common is a lushness, articulation, and sonic detail that you would assume are available only to rich, first-call session cats. It’s no wonder guys like Michael Landau, Trey Anastasio, and Steve Lukather use Black Cat stomps.