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December 2014
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Mojo Hand Colossus Pedal Review

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Mojo Hand Colossus Pedal Review
Ever since the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff was first introduced in 1969, it has been a polarizing stompbox. Reviled by some and hailed by others as the Golden God of fuzz, the Big Muff—in its various EHX and Sovtek incarnations—has had a hand in shaping some of the mightiest tones in rock history. Numerous companies now offer clones and DIY kits that replicate the sound of the Big Muff at virtually every stage of its evolution. Mojo Hand FX, however, based its Colossus Fuzz on the Sovtek Big Muffs of the early ’90s, which until recently tended to be regarded as the homely stepsister of the Big Muff family.

More Mojo Control
Unlike an old Sovtek Muff, which has controls for Volume, Sustain, and Tone, the Colossus has four knobs—Tone, Gain, Volume, and a fourth labeled Mid, and each has a considerable impact on the tone. The Colossus will get very bass heavy when the Tone control is turned counterclockwise, but will serve up plenty of treble on the opposite end of the dial. Players who’ve been frustrated by the lack of tonal range in some Big Muffs will be especially excited by the Colossus’ Mid control. Some Muffs— especially the Sovtek versions—can get lost in a band setting, but rolling up some of the Mids on the Colossus finds the pedal cutting like a firebrand through the mix. You won’t be at a loss for level either. At 75-percent full, the Volume provides more than enough output for burning leads.



Apart from the Mid control, the real secret weapon on this fuzz ship is a 3-way voicing switch mounted between the four knobs. Flipped straight up, there’s a hint of bass cut. The middle position emphasizes the mids and seems to give the Mid control itself a little more focus, and the down position gives a kick to the low-mids. This extra control is great if you move between amplifier types or singlecoils and humbuckers, and the switch helps you compensate for low- or high-end emphasis in your rig without sacrificing any of the fuzzy heft in the Colossus’ voice.

Mojo Hand FX took some care in designing this piece, which is evident not only in the psychedelic art and rugged construction, but also under the hood as well. The guts aren’t too cluttered, there’s ample space for the 9V battery (the pedal also has a 9V barrel input), and the jacks are well shielded. This is a totally roadworthy pedal.

I tested the Colossus with a Gibson Les Paul and a Fender ’65 Twin Reverb Reissue. Starting with the toggle switch in the downmost position and a boost in the Mids and Tone, I was treated to a very explosive, classic Russian Muff lead—big across the whole tone spectrum and huge in the bottom end. Pulling down some of the Gain rounds off the tone, which is a little more reminiscent of older Muffs. The Les Paul was perfect for this pedal, with the hot humbuckers jetting the fuzz into desert-rock bliss. Flicking the toggle switch up and adding some extra gain was like taking a trip on Ted Nugent’s tour bus in the late ’70s.

The Verdict
At $149, the Colossus is a great find and a pretty solid deal for anyone on the hunt for Sovtek Muff tone in a sturdier package. But when the EQ toggle and Mid control are used carefully, the Colossus also does a fair job of approximating older Muff tones. It may not quite be the beall, end-all in the quest for vintage Muff replacement as Mojo Hand claims, but it’s much more affordable than vintage units. The Colossus will cough up the goods for everyone from Gilmour fans seeking butter smooth Pulse-era tones to stoner-rock aficionados who jam in basements adorned with black-light posters, making this one very wide-ranging fuzz.
Buy if...
you’re fed up with a shadowy midrange in Muffs.
Skip if...
you like the archaic vibe of vintage Muffs.
Rating...


Street $160 - Mojo Hand FX - mojohandfx.com

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