EarthQuaker Devices Hoof Reaper Octave Fuzz Review – Best Fuzz Pedal?

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EarthQuaker Devices has built a solid reputation for creating some of the most innovate effects pedals around. EQD pedals such as the Arpanoid, Rainbow Machine, Bit Commander, Organizer, and The Depths are expanding the boundaries of effects pedal design into new realms of creativity. And so when EarthQuaker Devices makes a more traditional effect like, say, a fuzz pedal, you better believe it’s going to be created with the same ambitious mentality as their other cutting edge effects. The Hoof Reaper Octave Fuzz is certainly no exception.

EarthQuaker Devices has several noteworthy fuzz pedals in their roster including their flagship pedal, the Hoof, and the Tone Reaper fuzz, both offering interesting twists on classic silicon/germanium fuzz pedal designs. And with these two pedals already being a couple of the most sought-after and reputable modern fuzz pedals around, what better idea could there be than to offer both of these epic fuzzes in one enclosure with the addition of a classic analog octave up feature?

The Hoof Reaper Octave Fuzz is the pinnacle of epic EQD fuzz awesomeness. With such a wide assortment of fuzz tones on tap, this pedal is a force to be reckoned with. Is it the best fuzz pedal out there? We’ll put it to the test in our in-depth EarthQuaker Devices Hoof Reaper Octave Fuzz review. But first, let’s run down the features of the Hoof Reaper before the seismic sonic meltdown.

Features:

Includes EarthQuaker Devices Hoof and Tone Reaper pedals with an old-school analog octave up function.

All 3 options may be used together or separately in the following configurations:

EarthQuaker-Devices-Hoof-Reaper-Octave-Fuzz-Review-Best-Fuzz-Pedal-02Hoof Alone
Tone Reaper Alone
Octave Up Alone
Tone Reaper + Octave Up
Hoof + Octave Up
Hoof + Tone Reaper
Hoof + Tone Reaper + Octave Up

Controls:

Tone Reaper

Fuzz control knob adjusts the sustain and nature of the distortion.

Level control knob adjusts the overall output volume.

Tone control knob adjusts the treble and bass character of the effect, bass to the right and treble to the left.

Hoof

Fuzz control knob adjusts the level of sustain and gain.

Level control knob adjusts the overall output volume.

Tone control knob adjusts the treble and bass character of the effect, bass to the left and treble to the right.

Shift control knobs adjusts the mid frequencies, from more pronounced on the left to more scooped to the right.

Powered via 9VDC power adapter, 100ma or greater.

Visit EarthQuaker Devices for more info about the Hoof Reaper Octave Fuzz.

Sound & Performance:

The Hoof Reaper Octave Fuzz has a lot to offer, but don’t worry, it’s very easy to use and is loaded with an extensive range of fuzz tones. I’ll cover both the Hoof and Tone Reaper sections independently and go over the Octave Up and combined effect options as well. I used the Hoof Reaper primarily with an American Stratocaster and a flat, clean amp channel. This is what ensued.

With the Tone Reaper knobs all set to noon, I hit the right foot-switch to fire up the pedal and was treated to a mild, gritty drive tone. The Tone Reaper side offers exceptional dynamic clarity and makes a great overdrive. The pedal responds to your picking dynamics, so you can really dig in for some extra grit. Rolling back your volume smooth cleans up the sound nicely. Very expressive, mildly distorted tones are abound.

The Tone knob of the Reaper side nas a unique feel compare to most tone controls. Rolling it to the right seems to generally fatten your tone with more low-end. It doesn’t cut the highs so much as it simply beefs up your sound. And the Tone Reaper still retains its definition and tight response at fully clockwise Tone settings. It’s really worth getting familiar with how the various controls of the Hoof Reaper affect your sound as this will help you later when sculpting your perfect Hoof/Reaper combined fuzz tones.

The Fuzz knob of the Tone Reaper will really let you hone in on your preferred drive response. While the range of smooth overdrive extends from the far left all the way past noon, increasing steadily in gain as your turn the knob clockwise, something interesting happens once you hit 3 o’clock. At its most extreme settings, the Reaper Fuzz knob transforms the nature of this pedal, delivering a full-on, blazing fuzz tone. It’s great for fuzzy leads and retains plenty of clarity for rhythm use as well.

Excellent tones all around on the Tone Reaper side. Let’s check out the Hoof.

With the knobs at noon, I activated the Hoof by itself for more fuzz mayhem. The Hoof has more gain than the Tone Reaper at this 12 o’clock setting, and the overall tone has a deep, yet filtered sound. The Shift knob is one of the main highlights of the Hoof fuzz and really works well in tandem with the Tone control for shaping a fuzz sound that will sit perfectly in the mix.

The Tone and Shift knobs of the Hoof yield a range of EQ-shaping control that few other fuzz pedals can contend with, and that’s before combining the Hoof and Tone Reaper. The Shift control dramatically alters the midrange response of the Hoof and can produce deep scooped rhythm sounds and aggressive mid-boosted lead tones. Since EarthQuaker Devices have obviously thrown out the rulebook in designing this pedal, I’d recommend approaching the Hoof Reaper with that same mentality to unearth the most original and inspiring tones.

The Octave Up function is a brilliant little extra touch that adds some icing to the cake. While EQD could have just included the Hoof and Tone Reaper as is, including the great-sounding Octave Up function is an example of how much these folks strive to release the best possible product they can muster up. The Octave Up will produce classic Octavia-style tones and sounds simply fantastic. Using it with the Hoof, Tone Reaper, or both together produces expected awesome results. You can get some searing, violin-like lead tones instantly. I even find using the Octave Up by itself surprisingly interesting for generating bell-like, metallic clean tones. You’ve gotta hear this firsthand to experience how cool it sounds.

This pedal offers an extremely wide range of tone-sculpting power. EarthQuaker Devices really went the extra mile with the Hoof Reaper Octave Fuzz. Let’s see the final result.

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Overall-Rating-5.0

The Hoof Reaper Octave Fuzz by EarthQuaker Devices is one of the most versatile fuzz pedals around. You’ll find just about any fuzz sound you could ever want with this pedal. It features the awesome Tone Reaper and Hoof fuzz pedals and lets you combine them in tandem for some of the most extreme fuzz sounds available in a single enclosure. It even has an octave up function for good measure which you allow you to push the utility of this amazing pedal even further. If you’re looking for the best fuzz pedal around, it doesn’t get much better than the Hoof Reaper Octave Fuzz. Definitely check this one out.

That concludes our EarthQuaker Devices Hoof Reaper Octave Fuzz review. Thanks for reading.

 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Andy Richardson of ZVex Effects has passed away. Andy's generosity and friendship helped make Best Guitar Effects what it is today. Please consider making a contribution to the Memorial for Andrew Richardson to help his family during this difficult time. Thank you. ~ BGFX
 
 
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