Motherload pays homage to the classic fuzz/distortion pedals that set the benchmark of saturated guitar sound.
At the heart of this pedal, you will find two distinct all analog circuits inspired by the Holy Grail of Big Muff® and RAT® designs.
R circuit goes from a touch of overdrive all the way up to roaring distortion. The filter knob is there to ensure that you will smooth out high frequencies or cut through the mix when needed.
M side is the classic fuzz distortion beast you would expect but with great string separation and rich in harmonics for almost infinite sustain. The tone knob is the classic muff-style knob while the voice knob helps you cycle through the wide spectrum of muff design variations.
Each circuit is independent from the other with its own EQ control(s) until…you hit the LINK EQ button. This is where all the magic happens! Now all the EQ controls are active in both circuits and a whole new sonic palette is revealed.
- toggle switch to select between M or R circuit.
- DRIVE SECTION:
- gain knob controls the amount of saturation.
- volume knob controls the overall output volume.
- EQ SECTION:o filter is the EQ control - variable low pass filter - of the R circuit
- tone is the EQ control – blend between fixed lowpass and highpass filters - of the M circuit.
- voice control sweeps through the mid frequencies’ tonal variations of the different muff circuits throughout the years
- LINK EQ activates all three tone controls (filter, voice, and tone) in both fuzz distortion circuits.Top mounted jacks
- Click-less True Bypass design via high-quality relay
- Power Supply: 9V DC, center negative power supply (not included)
- Current consumption 35mA @ 9V DC
- Dark grey die-cast enclosure with holy grail image
- Made in Greece
Street price: 249 Euro
For more information, please visit crazytubecircuits.com.
MAS Effects Sona Fuzz Review
A fiery high-gain fuzz that stretches convention.
Wide range of hot-to-blazing fuzz sounds. Cleans up remarkably well for a high-gain device. Momentary footswitch enables quick fuzz blasts. Lifetime warranty.
Would be nice to have external access to the internal trimmers
MAS Effects Sona Fuzz
With a very non-traditional Queen of Hearts graphic, sunshine yellow enclosure (one of three available finishes), and gold knobs, the MAS Effects Sona Fuzz is striking. But more important to any guitarist who likes things loud, it’s a high-gain unit that goes beyond traditional buzzy sounds. The Sona Fuzz is the brainchild of pedal builder Mark A. Stratman, a former software engineer who is also the founder of We Build Planes (a community of amateur aircraft builders). Given Startman’s CV, it’s not surprising that the true bypass Sona Fuzz is exceptionally well built. So much so that it comes with a very generous “forever” lifetime warranty that applies even if you bought the pedal secondhand. As well made as it is, though, it’s the sound and its unique place among fuzzes that will find you keeping it around long term.
The Tone Queen Roars
The Sona Fuzz’s layout is straightforward. There are knobs for fuzz, volume, tone, and a “body” toggle switch for the high pass filter, which thins the output or makes it fatter with bottom end. This is particularly useful for tailoring your sound to match single-coils or humbuckers. Under the hood are two internal trimmers. One is a bias control that can be set to achieve a splatty, fractured fuzz. The other is a gain control. As shipped from the factory, it’s set just short of maximum, which MAS Effects deems optimal. This trim pot allows you to get just a little bit more gain, if desired. But as we’ll discover, that’s a little on top of a lot.
I tested the Sona Fuzz using an Ernie Ball/Music Man Axis Sport guitar and a Mesa/Boogie Tremoverb combo. Starting with the fuzz (distortion) control all the way off, the Sona Fuzz was already rumbling, and gain levels sounded equivalent to a typical distortion pedal at about 50 percent gain. Sustain is already excellent at this level, especially with the body switch on. Humbucker-driven power chords, meanwhile, often sounded leaner and sweeter with the body switch off. But even single-coil lead sounds had serious teeth this far south of maximum gain.
This trim pot allows you to get just a little bit more gain, if desired. But as we’ll discover, that’s a little on top of a lot.
Bumping the fuzz control to 11 o’clock changed the character of the pedal, making it more aggressive and generating sustain that pushed solos to screaming. There’s still more aggression to source, though. Maxing the fuzz control makes power chords a wall of doom, and single notes sustain almost endlessly, blossoming into feedback rather than decaying as they do at lower fuzz settings. Putting the body switch in the off position at these high gain settings still offers a cool alternate tonal color. I expected the extra high end to induce less-desirable feedback. But when pushed to these extremes, the Sona Fuzz was still pretty noise-free with nary a squeak or squeal to report. Although, as MAS Effects notes, if you max out the internal gain trim pot, the pedal will get noisy fast.
One of the distinguishing and unexpected features of the Sona Fuzz is that, while it can get downright filthy, the pedal also cleans up when you reduce guitar volume. Even at the maxed-out fuzz setting, when I turned my guitar’s volume down to about 40 percent of full volume the pedal was transformed. Low-register notes got smoother and individual notes in full barre chords were easy to discern. With single-coils I could even get clean enough to play folky triad figures without sounding ridiculous.
The Sona Fuzz is a versatile fuzz pedal that can cover the sonic ground between fuzz and high-gain distortion. Unusual for a fuzz, it uses a soft-touch footswitch that can be operated as a momentary switch, so you seamlessly incorporate the fuzz sound in strategically or rhythmically driven doses, inviting a lot of musical ideas that can take advantage of the ultra-potent fuzz and the major discrepancies between those sounds and clean ones. This is a gain device with a lot of potential.
You could WIN Coheed and Cambria guitarist Claudio Sanchez' BRAND NEW Signature Anna Pedal from Wren and Cuff!
Claudio Sanchez Signature Anna Pedal
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of one of Coheed and Cambria’s most beloved albums, The Second Stage Turbine Blade, Claudio and camp had the idea to make a pedal to mark the occasion. After some thought, it was suggested that Wren and Cuff should help make that stompbox a reality. Several emails, texts, and video chats later, both parties agreed this would be a fun project that would result in an amazing pedal for both Coheed fans, as well as anyone that loves guitar pedals.
So what would it be? They decided on a pedal dedicated to one of Claudio Sanchez’s favorite and most trusted combinations when in the studio and on the stage, his 80’s Boss SD-1 Super Overdrive® feeding his ’78 “op-amp” Big Muff®. With Matt Holl’s (Wren and Cuff owner) reputation for meticulously accurate reproductions of vintage pedals, this collab was a perfect match.
Matt decided to leave the Muff side untouched. Claudio’s ’78 had the “tone bypass” mod the ’78’s are known for, so that of course was included via a toggle switch. For the drive side, however, he decided to have a little fun. A four position rotary switch was added to give the option of changing the clipping section. Along with the stock vintage SD-1 setting, there was an LED clip option (hard edge symmetrical clipping), no clipping diodes (big, loud, open sounding sorta-clean boost), and the TS9 setting (gets in the ballpark of a stock Tube Screamer®). A toggle switch was added to give the option of flipping between the stock setting and an SD-1 on steroids (more gain, thicker tone, more output). When asked which of these mods Claudio wanted to add to the setup, his answer was simply “yes” – all of them would be features of the final pedal. Both pedals can be used independently as well as in series with the SD-1 hitting the Big Muff for sonic chaos. A Swiss Army knife of fuzz and drive is the end result.
•Artwork celebrating Coheed’s 2002 album, The Second Stage Turbine Blade
•True hardwire bypass
•Two effect independent operation