Read the full article
This article was originally published in issue #23
To read the article in its entirety, view the digital magazine
EBS ups the stakes with its new FuzzMo bass pedal. Dan Veall has his hair set on fire.
We managed to grab one of the new EBS FuzzMo pedals as soon as we could and what a treat it is! Let me say right from the outset that it's a welcome inclusion to the EBS range and has already become a firm favourite among standalone high gain fuzz effects for me. Honestly, that decision took me about five minutes of knob twiddling!
The pedal itself has just four main controls on the outside panel that are self-explanatory if you've used any kind of distortion pedal before. I'll cover them anyway!
The Gain knob range starts at a very mild grit. I liken it to the kind of clipping you get if you start to push a valve power amplifier towards its limits and the tone starts to go a little mushy. So, the pedal already has another use even before you start unleashing those beast noises!
Advancing the gain control, as I demonstrate in the video, offers up a progressive increase in distortion and fuzz. Maxed out, the gain character is smooth and adds much sustain to the tone. It's the sustain I personally really wanted to hear on the EBS Billy Sheehan pedal, which could be considered a medium-high gain pedal. I find it hard to describe, but I've really wanted a pure distortion pedal that offers that smooth cello-like sustain to notes for bass. This is it.
Next up, the knob named 'Shape' - and it's an interesting one. EBS refers to it in the manual as controlling the “actual shape of the gain engine from triangle to square through a passive tone stack'”. Put simply, it moulds the distorted signal in to those classic fuzz type sounds we all know and love! EBS has really gotten to grips with the fuzz sound and even through the pristine toned EA rig that we used as a monitor for this pedal, it sounded really great. Not brittle or mushy, but rounded and full with little fizz.
The volume control sits next to the blend control. The two together set levels and using the blend control, which I give EBS a massive thumbs up for including, you have the option of mixing in your clean bass signal too. BRILLIANT! I love that there is a really good signal level available to get a boosted level output should you want it too. I used a Yamaha TRBX bass to demonstrate the pedal and found that it was very easy to find the right mix of fuzz and clean bass signal to give me a wide range of effects and to nail that big punchy bass tone even when it was heavily distorted.
Like other pedals from EBS, the FuzzMo is an all-metal construction and is superbly made. The four knobs are slightly inset in the metal chassis but still plenty of protrusion to allow easy adjustment. Input and output jacks are provided each side of the pedal and the power adaptor socket is on the top side as expected. Speaking of power, I also said in the video that this pedal will take 'phantom power'. You'll be pleased to hear that if you use an EBS head, such as one of my favourites, the TD650, or others such as the Gorm, Drome, HD and Classic amps, a 'stereo signal instrument cable' can carry power to the pedal from the amplifier input jack socket. Clever stuff EBS!
So rounding up, this superb sounding and rather cool looking pedal makes for a great flexible tone generator and filth monster.
I've not really anything bad to say about it. You've the usual superb build quality and sound quality in a road worthy pedal box that looks ace. The blend control for us bass players is really important but of course you don't have to have any dry bass in there at all.
Top marks for delivering exactly what it promised.