juliet collective

Can this distortion/fuzz chameleon deliver the larger-than-life sounds of Cream-era Clapton?

The influence of Eric Clapton’s Disraeli Gears-era tones spans generations. Weeping, soaring, and oh-so emotive, those sounds combine fluid B.B. and Albert King phrasing with raging SG, Marshall, Fuzz Face, and Cry Baby wah. Getting Clapton’s tones without that gear isn’t easy, and playing loud tends to be an essential part of the formula. Most gearheads would tell you to get a good fuzz and a stack, but the Juliet Collective believes they have another answer: a distortion called the Orangecream, which uses two parallel clipping stages—a hard-clipping fuzz section and a softer distortion stage—to approximate Clapton’s Fuzz Face-and-Marshall blend.

A Steel Keg
The Orangecream’s cylindrical enclosure evokes the flying-saucer-shaped Fuzz Face, a welcome throwback to the days when effects pedals didn’t all have the same rectangular shape. The footprint doesn’t differ much from that of the Dunlop’s recent Fuzz Face Mini, though the pedal is taller. You can power it with a 9V battery or a standard power supply, though you need a 3/32" allen wrench to open the enclosure and replace batteries. Inside, a PC board housing 2N2222 transistors is mounted to the enclosure.
Attack is quick and precise with a top-end fizz that complements a Les Paul’s naturally bassy character.

Two knobs control the output. The left-hand one adjusts the crunch range, with higher settings tightening the bottom end and yielding a spikier attack. The right-hand knob smoothes the output when turned clockwise while acting as a master volume.

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Can an entry-level modeler hang with the big dogs?

Excellent interface. Very portable. Nice modulation tones.

Some subpar low-gain dirt sounds. Could be a little more rugged.

$399

HeadRush MX5
headrushfx.com

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4.5

The allure of portability and sonic consistency has become too much to ignore for some guitarists, making smaller digital modelers more appealing than ever.

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The signature Kasper Jalily guitar features a chambered Alder body, stainless steel frets, and roasted maple neck & fretboard.

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