Mixdown's Pedal Special: Distortion, Reverb and Fuzz

Here at Mixdown, we wholeheartedly believe there's a pedal out there for every guitarist. A stompbox soulmate, if you will. Find your perfect match from the realms of distortion, reverb and fuzz pedals right here. You can thank us later.

Fender Full Moon Distortion

Effect: Distortion

Expect To Pay: $299

Distributor: Fender Australia

Recommended For:

All types of metal, rock and punk players.

 

Versatility:

The Full Moon Distortion is Fender’s first take on a high-gain distortion pedal, and is chock-full of powerful sound-shaping options. Complementing the standard three-band EQ is a high-treble control, which allows players to add or remove top-end sizzle as desired. Texture and bite switches enable players to choose between different clipping modes and level of attack gain respectively, while a second footswitch offers up to 12dB of post-gain boost for harmonically rich overtones.   

 

Usability:

Fender’s new line of pedals adds extra functionality without overcomplicating things, and the same applies to the Full Moon Distortion. The controls are intuitive enough for players to get stuck into almost instantly, with a variety of means to experiment with the metric ton of gain available on tap. Unfortunately, the included boost is not independent and can’t be used when the pedal is bypassed. 

 

Construction:

Out of all of Fender’s colourful new offerings, this ranks near the top of the list in terms of aesthetics. The deep blue anodized aluminium body is topped off with a sapphire Fender amp jewel light, and has matching blue LEDs for both the control knobs and boost indicator switch. This pedal is solidly built and looks absolutely stunning.

 

Overall:

The Full Moon Distortion is the jacked up older brother of Fender’s Pugilist Distortion pedal. Aggressive in both sound and demeanour, this no-nonsense distortion pedal should be on every shred-head’s radar. 

 

By Edward Lim

 

Fender Marine Layer

Effect: Reverb

Expect To Pay: $299

Distributor: Fender Australia

Recommended For:

Any guitarist looking to explore murky depths, shimmering highs, and everything in between.

 

Versatility:

This reverb unit has six high quality digital reverb algorithms, based on three main modes with two variations each. Combined with a pre-delay control and a filter toggle to choose between brighter or darker reflections, the Marine Layer can cover some serious sonic ground. A dry kill on/off switch located on the back can even be used for muting the dry signal path in your amp’s effects loop if desired.

 

Usability:

The controls are simple to use and fairly self-explanatory. The LED-backlit knobs are both sensitive and responsive, and make for easy tweaking even on a dark stage.

 

Construction:

Off the bat, the Marine Layer is an absolute stunner with build quality to match. The sea-green anodized aluminium housing is durable yet lightweight, with a gorgeous emerald jewel light in the centre. The easily accessible magnetic battery door allows for hassle-free battery swaps when necessary.

 

Overall:

Almost every guitarist needs a solid reverb pedal in their effects arsenal, and Fender has absolutely hit the nail on the head with the Marine Layer Reverb. With a plethora of extremely usable reverb options at your fingertips, it’s hard to say no to its dashing good looks and versatile capabilities.

 

By Edward Lim

 

Fender The Pelt

Effect: Fuzz

Expect To Pay: $269

Distributor: Fender Australia

Recommended For:

Rock, metal, and punk players.

 

Versatility:

This silicon transistor-based fuzz is able to produce a surprisingly wide range of heavy, woolly tones thanks to its supplementary voicing controls. The ingenious midrange contour switch allows players to cut or boost their midrange EQ, while the thickness switch adds additional low end girth if so desired. The bloom and fuzz controls both add creative outlets for the player looking to truly stand out in the mix. 

 

Usability:

After completely understanding the nuances of the controls, dialling in a variety of tones becomes a walk in the park. The Pelt works wonders as a dirty rhythm tone when rolling back the volume knob, and absolutely melts faces when used as a capstone pedal at the end of a drive chain.

 

Construction:

As with Fender’s entire range of new pedals, The Pelt is built like a tank with a beautiful purple anodized aluminium exterior and eye-catching amethyst Fender amp jewel light. Fender’s exclusive magnetic battery door is another welcome addition to all battery purists out there, and provides unrivalled ease and accessibility when swapping batteries out. 

 

Overall:

With more tone-shaping tools than your average fuzz pedal, The Pelt is geared towards players looking for a fuzz like no other. From creamy, saturated warmth to sputtering distortion, this pedal is definitely one to check out if you’re a fuzz fan.  

 

By Edward Lim

 

Kink Charlie Fuzz

Effect: Fuzz

Expect to Pay: $110

Distributor: Kink Guitar Pedals

Recommended For:

Rock/indie/punk/blues and players who want fuzz, but haven’t got lots of pedalboard space.

 

Versatility:

Can fit into a range of genres, but offers fairly straightforward silicon fuzz tone-wise. An internal bias trimpot lets you tweak to taste, but otherwise it’s plug in and play fuzzy goodness.

 

Usability:

So easy. One big control knob and that’s it. That big knob lets you make adjustments quite easily on the fly by hand (or even by foot).

 

Construction:

Neat and tidy on the inside, the Charlie looks the goods. Bonus points for the light-up eye LEDs.

 

Overall:

A great mini fuzz that pulls some beefy classic tones. Good for fat riffs, splatty chords and fuzzy lead lines, the Charlie can save space and add to your sonic palette.

 

By Nick Brown

 

Positive Grid BIAS Distortion Twin

Effect: Distortion

Expect To Pay: $399

Distributor: Link Audio

Recommended For:

Players looking for a wide range of overdrive/distortion/fuzz effects.

 

Versatility:

The Distortion Twin has ten presets built into the pedal itself. However, with the use of Positive Grid’s BIAS Pedal software, you can make as many different presets as your heart desires and mod them down to the finest of detail.

 

Usability:

The pedal itself is very easy to use. Simply choose the preset you wish to use and from there you can adjust the gain, level, tone and blend to find your sweet spot. There is also a handy boost switch and control for situations where you need a little bit more grunt for solos and leads. The BIAS Pedal software is very easy to get around, and given that the pedal itself has Bluetooth capability, you can easily send presets straight from your iPad to the pedal instantly.

 

Construction:

Honestly, this pedal feels like it would survive a nuclear explosion. The hefty metal casing is built to take a beating and the switches are incredibly robust.

 

Overall:

If you’re looking for a distortion/overdrive pedal that gives you access to endless different tonal possibilities, then you should look no further.

 

By Nicholas Simonsen

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