Quick Hit: Rainger FX Dr. Freakenstein Dwarf Bass Review

This mini-but-monstrous bass fuzz and its manipulative assistant make for one dynamic duo.

Say hallo to my leettle fren! I couldn’t not say it—sorry—but more on Igor in a moment. The Dr. Freakenstein Dwarf Bass is a mini-format bass fuzz that dares to be different—I mean really dares to be different. The simple control set looks straight out of a ’60s sci-fi show and consists of a thumbwheel for volume and an oversized knob for governing the pitch of the harmonic overtones. At the front end of the pedal lives the LFO push-button that, when activated, sweeps the overtone up and down in a spaced-out, whoosh-y manner. The mix button to its right takes the pedal from all-out fuzz to about a 3:1 fuzz-to-clean-signal ratio when engaged. Igor is the dual-sensitive (just flip it over) mini-expression pad that manipulates the overtone or sparks a quicker modulation speed when the LFO is engaged.

The Dwarf Bass serves up fire-breathing grit, so look elsewhere if you’re in need of kinder, gentler fuzz. With the overtone dial at 1 o’clock, LFO button out, and the mix button engaged, I created sweet chaos with the help of Igor that likely scared the shit out of anyone within 100 feet of my house. I literally made sounds akin to a robotic troll squelching in terror (or pleasure) atop a smoking, consistent fuzz tone that inspired riffs galore apt for grindcore to alt-metal EDM. While a light dusting of fuzz isn’t available, it’s an impressively musical (albeit extreme) fuzz nonetheless. Take a spin yourself and you, too, may get hooked going down the wild-ride rabbit hole of this little box—and its little friend.

Test gear: Orange O Bass, Gallien-Krueger 800RB head, Orange OBC212 cab, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4
Recorded direct into Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 interface into GarageBand.
Clip 1 - Overtone dial at 1 o’clock, LFO button out, fuzz/clean mix button engaged


Igor. Compact and rugged. Fantastically raucous and weird bass-fuzz tones on tap. Internal passive/active switch. Built-in noise gate.

Can’t really call it a versatile fuzz. Igor can be difficult to manipulate with precise control, especially on varying surfaces. Note: Neither “con” bothered me in the slightest.


Rainger FX Dr. Freakenstein Dwarf Bass


Ease of Use:



Rig Rundown: All That Remains' Mike Martin & Jason Richardson [2022]

Celebrating The Fall of Ideals, Mike Martin upgrades with two smoking PRS Custom 24s, while Jason Richardson unveils two dazzling Music Man Cutlass signatures.

Read More Show less

Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

Read More Show less

A lightweight, portable amp series developed after months of forensic examination of vintage valve amps.

Read More Show less