“Good things come in small packages.” How about awesome sounds come from small pedals? At least that’s what we hope for when plugging into pretty much any new guitar pedal for the first time. And as pedals get smaller and smaller, is it possible that the sound can get bigger and bigger? That seems to be the case with the El Músico Loco Wee Beaver Fuzz. Combining a modified Fuzz Face with a Big Muff Pi tone stack along with some other mad scientist style tinkering, El Músico Loco have put together a monster of a fuzz in a wee little enclosure that’ll fit on any pedalboard. Is it the best mini fuzz pedal around? You’ll find out in our El Músico Loco Wee Beaver Fuzz review.
Silicon-based modified Fuzz Face with Big Muff Pi tonestack.
High quality components include metal film resistors, Alpha pots, and Neutrik jacks.
Volume control knob sets output level.
Contour control knob adjusts tone response.
True bypass switching for letting your signal pass unaffected when disengaged.
Powered by 9-12VDC power adapter.
Sound & Performance:
Do not be fooled by the Wee Beaver and its miniscule size. This pedal is a loud and unruly little critter. The gain is set full on by default, so kicking on this pedal unleashes an assault of silicon fuzz insanity.
The Wee Beaver is a very dynamic fuzz pedal, so rolling back your guitar’s volume knob cleans it up a bit while leaving the touch sensitivity of the pedal intact. This translates to your guitar output level and playing technique having a great affect on the response of the pedal. With your guitar’s volume turned up and the Wee Beaver’s Volume set to around noon or so, you’ll get a big chaotic fuzz on the verge of breaking up that sounds as if chords are practically exploding from the pedal. But cut your guitar’s volume ever so slightly and the scrambled fuzz clears up a bit for a more articulate fuzz. It sounds almost as if your clean signal and the fuzz are running in parallel, having a cleaner transient attack and an even sustain across all the notes ringing out with some fuzzy fizzle heard behind the notes. There’s a surprising amount of depth in the sounds of the Wee Beaver.
Aside from the range of sounds achieved simply by how you set your guitar’s volume, the key to taming the Wee Beaver lies in the Contour knob. This single control, inspired the tonestack of the Big Muff Pi, has a wide range of sweet spots to dial in. You can hear the frequency shifting dramatically as you sweep the knob through its range. At the far left you have thick, bass heavy tones. As roll it up beyond 9 o’clock, there’s a shift in the midrange. You can achieve all manner of slightly mid-scooped or mid-emphasized tones, depending on what you’re going for. Turning it towards the fully clockwise position reduces the low-end for some lo-fi radio style fuzz tones.
The Wee Beaver also stacks well with other pedals. Reduce the Volume to around 11 or 12 o’clock or lower and kick it on in front of your favorite distortion pedal (or an overdriven amp) for some fuzz-infused lead tones. Leaving the Contour knob somewhere between 9 to 3 o’clock seems to produce the best results, but it’s all relative to the distortion source you’re using it with. As always it’s good to listen and hone in on the best tones. Stacking the pedal with other distortions is one of my favorite ways to use the Wee Beaver, and pedal junkies who like to layer dirt sounds will get a kick out it.
El Músico Loco have made a badass little fuzz with the Wee Beaver. It’s simple to use, sounds great, and saves space. Would more could you want? If you want to use a 9-volt battery, El Músico Loco makes a larger version of the pedal that can be powered with a battery called the Big Battery Wee Beaver. Same epic fuzz with optional battery power. While most guitarists with pedalboards will probably have a dedicated power supply and appreciate the Wee Beaver’s small size, El Músico Loco’s larger version ensures there’s a Wee Beaver for everyone.
A text review doesn’t do it justice. The videos don’t even capture it well enough either. You’ve gotta play this pedal to really get a feel for what it’s all about. The Wee Beaver is one of my favorite mini fuzz pedals.
Update: I love this pedal so much but lowered its overall rating due to the lack of gain knob. It still sounds incredibly good with single notes and chords and cleans up when you cut your guitar’s volume a bit, but I’d like to have seen it revised for more user control.
Update: Okay, I gave this thing 5 stars, then cut it all the way down to 4. I raised it back to 4.5 because it’s just that awesome. Sadly, Chris Bradford passed away before I could talk to him about my ideas to take this circuit to the next level. If you have one, I hope you enjoy this pedal as much as I do. RIP Chris.
The El Músico Loco Wee Beaver Fuzz is full of huge fuzz tones. Thanks to its wide-ranging Contour knob, you’ll be able to find a sweet spot for any occasion. It’s exceptionally dynamic and cleans up very well. And the Wee Beaver plays well with others, stacking with your other distortion pedals for unique drive tones. If you’re looking for the best mini fuzz pedal to squeeze onto your pedalboard, the El Músico Loco Wee Beaver Fuzz deserves an audition.
That concludes our El Músico Loco Wee Beaver Fuzz review. Thanks for reading.
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