Death By Audio, the Brooklyn-based madhouse behind such sound manglers as the Apocalypse and Echo Dream 2 Lo-Fi Delay pedals, have again taken fuzz pedal design to new extreme territories. The original Fuzz War has become a modern fuzz classic in its own right. Thee Ffuzz Warr Overload delivers even more fuzz insanity with an added Boost control that changes the treble character response of the pedal. Is it the best fuzz pedal you’ll ever use? I’ll give you the low down in our Death By Audio Thee Ffuzz Warr Overload review.
I’ve been playing a lot of fuzz pedals lately. I know some guitarists yawn at the release a new fuzz, but there’s a damn good reason why after more than 40 years, guitarists are still searching for the perfect fuzz. For years I didn’t even like fuzz pedals. But once you get sucked into that fuzzy web, you’ll find yourself tumbling down the rabbit hole in search of your ideal fuzz pedal. With that being said, Death By Audio have earned a reputation as one of the best makers of warped fuzz manglers around. After spending some time with Thee Ffuzz Warr Overload, I can attest that this is one guitar pedal further solidifies that reputation.
Let’s run down the features real quick and get to it.
Designed in collaboration with John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees.
Limited Edition of only 500 pedals.
Volume control knob for setting the overall output volume of the pedal.
Fuzz control knob for adjusting the drive or gain of the fuzz circuit. It ranges from subtle overdrive boost, to a thick distortion, to an all out fuzz war.
Tone control knob adjusts the specially designed multi-curved shaping filter from super deep bass sludge to screaming highs.
Boost control knob dials in the amount of high treble boost, changing the character of the fuzz sound.
Footswitches for Bypass and Boost activation. Boost may be used independently of fuzz.
Also featured in the video: Death By Audio Apocalypse.
Sound & Performance:
I plugged in to a clean amp setting with the Tone and Volume of Thee Ffuzz Warr Overload set to noon and rolled the gain all the way down. Activating this pedal delivers an immediate surge of authority to your overall sound. There is a thick presence to the sound for an overdrive tone that’s full of girth. Rolling back the Tone to around 9 or 10 o’clock brings out the bottom end and an even crunchier sound. Pushing up the Tone in the range of 1 to 3 o’clock yields some classic rock distortion sounds with a bit of fuzzy sizzle on top.
Pushing to Gain up just a bit to around 8 or 9 o’clock is around the limit of where Thee Ffuzz Warr Overload functions as a more conventional distortion effect. Tone settings at this Gain level will cover all your needs for classic sounding overdrive and distortion. While its versatility in this regard is appreciated, this pedal is meant to be a sonic weapon of mass disruption. It’s time to start cranking it and see what it can do.
When the Gain hits around noon, you’re in unmistakeable fuzz territory. Thee Ffuzz Warr Overload delivers fuzzed out rhythm tones that have complete vibrant clarity whether you’re playing single note lines or full chords. The sound of this fuzz is remarkably well-balanced and colorful.
The Tone knob is completely responsive throughout the range of Gain settings, proving to be an indispensable tool for dialing in the perfect fuzz sound. Even as the Gain is pushed up towards 3 o’clock and beyond, you have complete control over which frequency area you want to accentuate, a boon for decimating audiences with searing fuzz carnage or tastefully blending your sound into the mix.
The Boost function adds an entirely new dimension to this pedal, washing your tone with a musical treble boost. Thee Ffuzz Warr Overload maintains its balance and definition with the Boost engaged and maintains a miraculously clean sound between your playing that doesn’t feedback uncontrollably. That is, unless you max out the Level control to unleash an all-out audio assault.
An interesting design note is that the Boost can be used independently of the fuzz. While you may not want to use the Boost function with a clean tone unless you’re going for a thin and trebly special effect sound, the Boost can be used effectively with a gained out amp or another distortion pedal. I used the Boost function of Thee Ffuzz Warr Overload with Death By Audio’s own Apocalypse pedal with absolutely awesome results. This pedal certainly plays well with others.
This one’s a keeper. Let’s see the final result.
Death By Audio have raised the bar yet again with Thee Ffuzz Warr Overload. The result of a collaboration between Death By Audio and the demanding standards of John Dwyer of Thee Oh Sees, this pedal is the pinnacle of epic Death By Audio fuzz. Whether you want mild overdrive or distortion to the most extreme fuzz, Thee Ffuzz Warr Overload delivers. And the searing Boost function is the icing on the cake, offering a range of fuzz tones you won’t find anywhere else. And the Boost can be used separately for added versatility. Looking for the best fuzz pedal? Try this one, and you may look no further.
That concludes our Death By Audio Thee Ffuzz Warr Overload review. Thanks for reading.
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