Premier Guitar

Oohlala Synth Mangler Pedal Review

October 15, 2008
Oohlala Synth Mangler
Download example 1
Fuzz 2 engaged, Volume 1 at 11:00, gain set at 50%; the sound of the Soda Meiser fuzz at medium gain.
Download example 2
Fuzz 1 and 2 engaged, Volume 1 at 11:00, Volume 2 at 9:00, gain set at 50% (X and Y axis); the sound of both channels running at once.
Download example 3
Begins the same as example 2, then the C1 and H1 switches, for both channels, are flipped in and out of the signal. The joystick is also rotated.
Recorded with an Ampeg AMG100 and a modified Epiphone Valve Junior stack featuring an Eminence Red Coat 12”, through a Shure SM57 and into a ProSonus Audiobox interface.
A lifetime of slick heist movies has taught me there are four archetypes essential to any good action team. There are the brains, the good-looking one and the obligatory muscle. And then there is the wild card. The wild card is capable of anything. They are uncontrollable and capricious. There is insanity lurking below the surface. But the wild card is also absolutely necessary. They make things happen; they scream the threats and pull the guns, consequences be damned. They are excitement, personified.

So what does this have to do with effects pedals? Simply put, I have never encountered a wild card quite like the Synth Mangler. Designed by Devi Ever and posing meekly as two fuzz circuits in one box (Oohlala’s Soda Meiser fuzzes) the Mangler has the capability of throwing your welldesigned effects team a curveball.

You control the gain level of the two fuzz channels with a mini-joystick, the Y-axis controlling the gain of the first channel and the X-axis controlling the gain of the second. Under the joystick lie two Volume knobs, and under those lie a series of four switches, labeled C1, H1, C2 and H2. These switches are the real mysteries of the Synth Mangler. Each switch “removes a component from the circuit, destabilizing it,” and introduces a new level of chaos. Flipping off the C switch turned everything into a turbulent, fizzed-out wall of bees, reminiscent of an Ampeg Scrambler. Flipping the H switch introduced a droning sound that slowly emerged from the background and then swallowed my signal whole, eventually erupting into a mass of static and feedback. With multiple switches flipped, moving the joystick is an experiment in sound; while it’s nearly impossible to describe it, I can say that you’ve likely never heard a sonic deconstruction this exciting or intense. Long live the wild card. – AM
Buy If...
you have an itching to create some sonic chaos.
Skip If...

your vibe is more Oceans 11 than The A Team.
Rating...

MSRP $315 - Oohlala Manufacturing - oohlalamanufacturing.com