death by audio

A well-ordered and intuitive means to octave fuzz disorder, in many shapes and colors.

Great basic, focused fuzz tone. Intuitive if you’re open-minded. Lots of surprises. Nice design. High-quality construction.

None

$225

Death By Audio Octave Clang
deathbyaudio.com

5
4.5
4.5
4

Every instrument is a tool for expressing feeling. But when you have to convey a certain range of emotions spanning anguish, the rush of sonic anarchy, and the exhilaration of total liberation, octave fuzzes are tops. Generally speaking, octave fuzz isn’t an effect you use casually.

Read MoreShow less

Pretty sounds live alongside freakish modulations in a phaser, flanger, and filter combo with super-impressive range.

Fantastic range of phase, flange, and filter tones that span conventional and radical sounds. Cool, practical, and functional trip switch. Beautiful design.

Some tones tend toward metallic, which might put off classicists.

$250

Death By Audio Disturbance
deathbyaudio.com

5
4.5
4
4.5

Somehow I sense that the Death By Audio team would appreciate that I wrote the review for their new Disturbance on the day I got a root canal. Dental drills whirring, bright lights, and flying spittle—this is the stuff of many DBA products. Yet the ominously named Disturbance—which manages to be a phaser, flanger, auto wah, and a sort of cocked-wah filter all in one—is actually capable of sounds that fall squarely in the category of beautiful. And like almost all DBA effects, it’s also capable of radical and jarring tones. Its ability to span these extremes is the Disturbance’s strength.

Read MoreShow less

A clever triple-delay offers infinite avenues to echo bliss.

Mysterious, hazy, and uncommon echo colors. A cool break from the same-old-delay blues. Streamlined design.

Clock noise could turn off some users. Limited numbers available—so far.

$225

Death By Audio Exploding Head
deathbyaudio.com

4.5
4.5
4
4.5

If you don’t follow the many-splendored musical world of noisy psychedelia, you might be surprised to know that Oliver Ackermann, co-founder of the sometimes psychotic but often thrilling stompbox concern Death By Audio, also helms the equally psychotic and thrilling band A Place to Bury Strangers. If you’ve seen APTBS live, you’ll understand much about what makes Death By Audio pedals unconventional. APTBS is generally a sensory overload experience. They are loud, sonically confrontational, and capable of oscillating between chaos and dark beauty. Last year marked the 13th anniversary of the band’s breakthrough LP, Exploding Head, and,in typically perverse fashion, Ackermann elected to celebrate that most unlucky of anniversaries with a triple delay named in the LP’s honor.

Read MoreShow less