lovepedal, karl, and really dynamic fuzzes

rorschah

Member
Messages
540
So I open my mail box and a small box tumbles out and hits the concrete. Thunk.

"Oh," I think. "It's a pedal. I hope it didn't break."

I pick it up. It's the Karl I ordered on sale from the Lovepedal site. Plug it in, grab my strat, hit a chord, and ROAWRR, it sounds like my freakin' amp is about to self destruct. Wowsers.

I crank down the thing and play an arpeggio. The first half is inaudible, the second half is unbelievably super digital and intense. My strat is dying. Everything is in agony. I'm like, "Holy f**k, I did break it!"

I two strings, gentle but not super-gentle. I get a digital squawk and then the weirdest, most unexpected fwub-fwub-fwub, some sort of bizarre unbalanced trem. I hit the strings again. Fwub FWUB fwub fwub FWUB fwub. It reminds me of when a helicopter gets hit in the movies, and it starts to lazily spin out of control.

Four minutes later, I've figured out that it's not broken, but that there's a very distinct cut-off point. Volume going in below which gets put into that very distinct fwub-fwub-fwub down-spiral. It's totally controllable. I'm starting to control it. I feel like a god.

Four hours later, I'm starting to get the hang of it. I e-mail Sean at lovepedal to tell him this is one of the best things ever.

Two days later, I'm ready to sell it, because I think I'm just not good enough to control it. I despair.

Two days after that, it's my favorite pedal. WOooah.

So, yeah, Karl. Woah. It's an incredible pedal. Fuzz. Intense fuzz. FUZZ. There's definitely a learning curve. But once I got through it, woooah. Elemental transistorized fury at my fingertips. SCRAWWWWCK. Shroooom. Yeah.

It's a very sensitive, very dynamic pedal. Sometimes, "dynamic" gets shoved in with "amp-like". This is not amp-like. It responds nothing, nothing, nothing like an amp. It's as sensitive and dynamic to pick attack and all that good stuff as nicely cranked amp, but with a totally different response pattern. It's like, where an amp-like distortion pedal is getting your repressed lover drunk for the first time, the Karl is like importing a new lover. From Russia. With her own leather collection. And she wants to hurt you.

I love Karl.

Karl-Strat is definitely a very different instrument from Strat. Not Strat-plus, or strat-modded. Different beast. Angrier one. Yeah.

The best I can describe it is: sometimes in the movies, when a robot is dying, it gets this transistery screaming thing. Imagine that channeled. The Karl makes my flutey, vocal strat more flutey. But dying-robot flutey. Hard to describe. Very, very musical.

Anyway, I've got a question. What was it? Right. Dynamics. This is an incredibly dynamic pedal. My question was: what other fuzzboxes are this dynamic? Mediocre fuzzboxes just add a fuzz over everything, the good ones do respond to pick attack, but nothing I've played is like *this*, this sensitive. My other fuzz-box is a fulltone '69, which is excellent for crunching things up a little, but it doesn't weep and moan and scream with my guitar like Karl does.

Anyway, yeah. I need another fuzzbox this dynamic but at a less insane level, for those situations in which Karl's madness is not welcome, something in between the '69 and Karl. Something that can explode with crunch when I bear down hard. What is there? The clips for Lovepedal Balance clips on The Gainsters cache sound like this, but it's currently unavailable (and pricey!). McFuzz Hot? Hellbilly? How's the dynamics? Though if nothing else will do, I can save bucks and wait.

Oh, that fwub-fwub-fwub thing is part of your initial specs, isn't it cuz/karl? I remember reading it somewhere. What IS that thing? How does it work? I love it.

-thi
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
Messages
37,501
I am awaiting my first fuzz (from Sean no less!) and have an Analog Man Sun Lion on the way to boot. So I can't answer your question.

But, I have to comment on your post.

That is some great writing man. Entertaining as hell, funny, insightful and well done. This line, "Karl is like importing a new lover. From Russia. With her own leather collection. And she wants to hurt you." just made me fall off my chair laughing. Thanks for that, I needed it today. :D
 

HitTheCity

Member
Messages
53
MI Audio Neo Fuzz could be worth checking out. Hugely dynamic and very tweakable.

By the way, inspiring review of the Karl. I want one bad now!
 

bullet69

Member
Messages
628
the karl rules. l i like to use mine with a dirty amp and keep the drive low a third or less and the volume at unity or a little boost that way it only goes nutty when you really dig in . when you pick softer it has this nice harmonic crunch and singing quality with all day sustain. the trick is finding that balance point so you can control it all with your pick.
 

rorschah

Member
Messages
540
Yup - that's about where I keep it. A third on the intensity and a little above unity volume.

It's a little hard to find unity, actually. It's a loud unit.

-thi
 

Brick

Member
Messages
1,170
Originally posted by JKoeth
The BBB of course.
+1


Save your money and wait for the BBB. Just before Thanksgiving I won mine on ebay from Sean and the tones available are both staggering and inspiring...it sounds sooo good I've yet to combine any other pedal with it. It's a monster. :dude


By the way, great review on the Karl!
 

cuz/karl

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,995
The Black beauty Balance(BBB) is definetly the pedal your looking for.
It stacks amazingly well with other pedals (including he kARL) & is a killer on its own.
They'll be back up before to long & are deffinetly worth the money.

"Oh, that fwub-fwub-fwub thing is part of your initial specs, isn't it cuz/karl? I remember reading it somewhere. What IS that thing? How does it work? I love it."

Great review BTW & once again I have to say I had nothing to do with the build of the kARL.So your guess is as good as mine.
Seans a sick sick man & god bless him for it.I love it too.
 

stratneck

Member
Messages
245
Yup,.... that prety much sumerises it.
Is like a wild horse needing to be TAMED
I just got my yesterday, and I am ready to send it back
Sean explain to me that, is the nature of the beast.
I may have to tweek a little longer
Is fuzz on steroids!!!!!
Stratneck:rolleyes:


PS: I am not getting that long sustain, specialy when the strings are not hit hard?????
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
Messages
37,501
Originally posted by cuz/karl
The Black beauty Balance(BBB) is definetly the pedal your looking for.
It stacks amazingly well with other pedals (including he kARL) & is a killer on its own.
They'll be back up before to long & are deffinetly worth the money.
I have a tweaked BBB coming to me. Due.... today. :D
 

rawkguitarist

Member
Messages
10,982
Originally posted by cuz/karl
p.s.your line6 days are numbered:D
BTW,

I love both Line 6 pedals and Lovepedals!! They are not mutually exclusive, especially for my needs.

OK

Back to fuzz... I've got a BBB and a Karl at my house right now. LOVE (pun intended) both of them!!!! Since I really need to eventually just choose one, It'd be the Karl. I like contrast... the BBB is simply too smooth sometimes. But man is it versatile!! To the guy looking for a smoother controllable fuzz, just order the BBB. You’ll thank us (and Sean)!

The Karl just sits in a cool spot… fat, round and with some ring mod crazyness. But not as crazy as my Fuzz Factory. BTW, if you like the Fuzz Factory for it’s outa-control tones, but wish it’d calm down a bit… get a Karl.
 

rorschah

Member
Messages
540
Yeah, I've tried the Fuzz Factory a bunch of times. I would consider Fuzz Factory "total wackiness" where Karl is "extreme fuzz action". If I were mostly about studio recording, the FF would be all there, but can't imagine tweaking it live. Karl has a smaller range of just totally odd noises, but a majority of them are available at any given point on the dial, with picking technique and such.

What FF needs is a digital memory for its settings, like a graphic EQ.

-thi
 

rawkguitarist

Member
Messages
10,982
BTW,

I talked to Sean about the BBB and he told me that there is a trim pot inside the BBB that can turn it into mayhem. So I’m not going to say it’s “too smooth” yet. I’m going to mess with the trim pot tonight, and get back. Hold the phone, it may just be the most versatile Fuzz ever!!!

***BUT*** notice I didn’t say before that it was a bad thing even the way it is, it’s the best *vintage* style fuzz I’ve heard. Bear in mind, I’ve not heard “all of em”.

Sean is really going to get me in trouble with my wife!!! Just kidding!!! (well kinda)

PS, the Karl is killer. I just found out mine has a 60’s Raytheon germanium transistor instead of the normal silicon ones (sorry guy’s), it freakin smokes!!!!!!!!!!
 




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