This fuzz box for bassists takes a pass on the clean and goes all-in on the dirt.
If you aren’t familiar with Rocket Surgeon Labs, chances are you know Nordstrand Pickups—the company behind RSL and its first offering, called the Seratone: Mood Altering Bass Fuzz. The purple and green ray gun adorned pedal is a solid-feeling, pretty straightforward affair with dials for volume, lows, “mood,” and highs. The hand-built Seratone is all about the fuzz, so one thing you won’t find on the pedal is a clean/blend control. RSL contends that a clean blend would buffer the signal, rendering the effect of the fuzz circuit “less organic and engaging.”
Engaging it was. With the three tone-shaping dials set at noon, I was served balanced natural- and alive-sounding grit that wasn’t compressed or thin in the least. The fuzz sounded like it totally surrounded my signal. The three controls play nicely together and through teamwork offer a superb range of flavors. (Try as I might, I couldn’t really make an unusable sound.) Whether I was boosting the lows for a thunderous, dirty dub storm or favoring the upper range of the highs dial for more bite and grind, the mood dial helped shape the, well, mood into the desired sweet spot through its mids manipulation. No matter the settings, the Seratone impressed with its degree of note separation, attack sensitivity, sustain, and smooth decay. (No fizzy fart-outs here.) Warm overtones and fuzz delish are abundant with the pricey but nicey Seratone, so if you have the means, check it out and see what it does to your temperament.
Test gear: Orange O Bass, Gallien-Krueger 800RB, Orange OBC212 cab, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4Recorded direct using Orange O Bass into Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 interface into GarageBand.
Clip 1 - Lows at 2 o'clock, mood dial at noon, highs at 10 o'clock.
Clip 2 - Lows at 10 o'clock, mood at 2 o'clock, highs at 2 o'clock.
Warm fuzz with gobs of sustain that didn't spit or fizz out. Wide range of grit timbres.
No small investment.
Rocket Surgeon Labs Seratone: Mood Altering Fuzz
Ease of Use: