The Deluxe is Skreddy-mastermind Marc Ahlfs’ second attempt at perfecting Gilmour’s Fuzz Face sound. The first Lunar Module was rapturously received by Gilmour fanatics. And like the first Lunar Module, the Deluxe is the result of playing the “Time” solo over and over and tweaking the pedal’s response against it. The Deluxe, however, gives the player even more control over this notoriously hairy circuit with a variable-gain input transistor, as well as a tone control for added brilliance that’s helpful for tailoring the pedal to different guitars and amps.
The sparkly casing of the Lunar Module Deluxe features the three knobs found on the standard version—Volume, Fuzz, and Body, with the latter being a pre-distortion bass control. Below this set of controls are two knobs, labeled Brite (presence) and Range (pre-gain). These two controls were also available on the standard Lunar Module as trim pots. But the ability to tweak these controls on the fly is key to the Deluxe’s performance, flexibility, and effectiveness in a variety of settings.
Taming the Beast
In their original incarnation, Fuzz Faces were finicky and temperamental, and also hard to manufacture consistently. While some units sound unbelievable, others border on awful. Fuzz Faces are also notorious for having impedance issues. Because of the Fuzz Face’s low input impedance, if any other pedals or buffers are placed between it and the guitar, the sound can get very harsh. And with a wah placed inline, the signal can even go into oscillation. Vintage Fuzz Faces were also notoriously susceptible to radio interference. The Skreddy circuit is light years more stable, and an extra input stage (controlled by the Range knob) makes the Lunar Module Deluxe friendlier to other pedals.
Though the Lunar Module Deluxe’s most direct inspiration is clear, that doesn’t mean it won’t do a whole lot more. To explore its capabilities, I tested the Skreddy using a Japanese Fender Strat and a Gibson Les Paul Standard through a vintage Ampeg Gemini II. I also added a Boss DD-2 pedal into the chain to get a little extra Gilmour vibe where appropriate.
Skreddy’s focus onDark Side of the Moontones was not in vain. Copping Gilmour’s simultaneously searing and singing tone was relatively easy with the Stratocaster’s bridge pickup and a little delay, which I added without experiencing any additional noise.
But it’s a killer pedal even if you’re not a Gilmour aficionado, and works equally well with single-coils or humbuckers. Using my Strat, and with the Fuzz knob less than halfway up, Brite at 8 o’clock, and Body at 3 o’clock, I got a smooth overdrive that inspired me to play with a Jimi-meets-Scott Henderson vibe. Just as impressive was how well the guitar cleaned up when I rolled back the volume on either guitar. With a quick flick of my Les Paul’s Volume knob, I transformed a Sabbath-like sludge into a gritty, but articulate clean sound.
While the Skreddy does an admirable job of taming the inherent squirreliness of a Fuzz Face-type circuit, that doesn’t mean it’s all buttery smooth. In loud settings this thing can still get raucous and verge on squealy. Be prepared to use your guitar’s volume knob judiciously.
Demand for the Lunar Module and the Lunar Module Deluxe have, at times, well exceeded supply. And it’s easy to see why. This pedal will help you nail one of the holiest tones in the rock canon, if that’s your obsession. But it’s a lot more than just a ticket to the Dark Side. The Lunar Module Deluxe is a great example of how a much-loved pedal design can evolve and be refined, and still deliver some surprises along the way.
you’re a Pink Floyd fanatic or just want a killer fuzz pedal.
you hate waiting lists.
Street $235 - Skreddy Pedals - skreddypedals.com
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