Mad Professor Fire Red Fuzz review

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Eskimo_Joe, Jan 5, 2008.


  1. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,724
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Hi everybody, I had posted this review on another forum and thought some people here might find it useful.

    I. Gear used

    Nash strat w/ maple neck, fatback neck, one-piece body, Van Zandts
    Germino Club 40 (plexi)
    BJF SBEQ

    II. Circumstances

    Played it at bedroom levels intially for a couple hrs, then today at "loud as I can stand it" levels for about an hr+

    III. General thoughts on the Fire Red

    I love this pedal in a major way. It is huge sounding and more modern sounding than any of my other fuzzes.

    IV. Evaluation of functionality

    The Fire Red has three knobs - Volume, Tone, and Fuzz. All of them are very straight forward, no tricks or hidden Bjorn magic. Volume takes you from a whisper to louder the he!!. There's plenty of gain on tap. Tone at counter clockwise is dark and at clockwise it is thinner and brighter. Bjorn has done an excellent job on this one -- I found that I could use the tone set all across the dial, even at the extremes. Fuzz - like the tone knob, I found that I could get very tasty sounds from one extreme to the other. Fuzz fully counter clockwise gives some nice texture that would be great for softer songs or some restrained rock. As soon as you get a 9 o'clock, you're moving into rock your face off power chord ecstasy. From there it just gets progressively more in your face with saturated modern sounding fuzz.

    As I played with the knobs, putting tone fully counter clockwise and vice versa, usuable tones are found at all positions. There's quite a variety on tap. It all sounds like degrees of the Fire Red though, as opposed to sounding like multiple pedals, if that makes sense. The only problem area was fuzz and tone both fully clockwise --- this resulted in instant feedback and squealing etc, but I think that is probably expected for most fuzz pedals???

    Overall, the knobs provide a very wide range of very usuable fuzz. No tricks here, just a great pedal.

    V Stacking

    I stacked the Fire Red briefly with my wah (Supa Quack), a phaser (Purple Plum), and a delay (DBD). The Fire Red played very well with all the others. The Supa Quack likes it more than many of my other fuzz pedals.

    VI Comparisons to other BJF pedals

    The Fire Red carves out some distinct territory from the other BJF fuzzes. To me, it is much more modern sounding and quite possibly, the most ballsy, in your face pedal that Bjorn has made so far (arguably).

    To compare the BJF fuzzes, I put all the knobs on every pedal at 12 oclock to get a base sound.

    Folk Fuzz - at those setting the Folk Fuzz is not even fuzzy. It doesn't make it's presence known in fuzz terms until you get the fuzz knob to 3 oclock. The Fire Red has much, much more edge and anger than the Folk Fuzz. It also sounds much bigger than the other BJF fuzzes if that makes sense. The Germino sounds big to begin with and when I click on the Fire Red, it feels huge.

    Pink Purple - at those settings the Pink Purple is well into it's fuzzyness. The Fire Red is a bit louder at 12 oclock and has more edge, anger, and fuzz. It's more compressed and saturated than the PPF. The PPF sounds more vintage compared to the Fire Red.

    Candy Apple - the CAF may be a touch louder than the Fire Red at those settings. I adjusted the tone away from 12 oclock since it is octave-ish there. Anyway, the CAF is a more raucous, disagreeable pedal. It has more grit and spite. The Fire Red seems more focused if that makes sense. Arguably, the Fire Red is just as angry and edgy, but in a different, more usable way.

    Overall, the Fire Red seems more modern and angry than the other BJF fuzzes. As awesome as all the BJF fuzzes are, I think they are situational pedals. In other words, I don't think you can turn them on at the beginning of a gig and keep 'em on all night as a base sound. With the Fire Red though, I think it could be your base sound, especially if you are in a modern rock band.

    VII Situations / kind of music can you see using the pedal for?

    Modern rock! It does not feel vintage at all. You can probably squeeze some blues tones out of it with the fuzz fully counterclockwise, but the bread and butter of the Fire Red is in your face power chord rock n roll and searing solos.

    Like most BJF designed pedals, it is equally usuable for rhythm and for lead. Leads jump out the amp and are piercing.

    In terms of context, I can see artists like Jet, Buckcherry, The Hives, The Donnas, possibly The White Stripes etc using this type of pedal. Very powerful, very usuable sound!

    VII Suggested improvements

    None that I can think of.

    VIII The Bottom line --- is it a keeper? What does it knock off the board?

    I'm a fanatic so take everything with a grain of salt, but the Fire Red is a keeper for sure. The Fire Red is distinct from my other fuzzes so it's more of an apples and oranges type of call when deciding what spot it would occupy on the board. I would say I would favor it over my other fuzzes for modern rock, which in that case, it would knock off the PPF and my Lovetone Big Cheese, but again, all three pedals offer something different, so it's kind of hard to say. In any case, it is definitely a keeper. In terms of the MP line, it could be the best or tied for the best with the Deep Blue Delay.

    Hope that helps!
     
  2. Jack

    Jack Member

    Messages:
    668
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    New Mexico
    Great review. Can this pedal add some real heavy bass, or just about the amount of the original signal?
     
  3. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,724
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Good question Jack. Technically speaking, I'm not sure if it adds bass or not. But to the ear, the Fire Red does not lack for bass and if you roll the tone knob counter-clockwise, the bass is definitely accentuated. Unless you have some odd circumstances, I would think the bass response and versatility you get with the Fire Red would satisfy. Hope that helps!
     
  4. nibus

    nibus Supporting Member

    Messages:
    2,991
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Location:
    Utah
    Is it available yet? Where can I get one?

    Does Bjorn plan on releasing a BJF Fuzz meant for the same applications? (basically a Fire Red on steroids)
     
  5. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,724
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Location:
    St. Louis
    Yes, they are available in some places. I got mine from Custom Sounds. Check out www.mpamp.com for more dealers. From what I understand, going forward, there will be no overlap between the BJF and MP pedal lines. BJF pedals will be the pedals Bjorn has to do some personal tweaking and tuning to...the MP line will be less complex pedals that other qualified folks can build. Hope that helps!
     
  6. mesfigas

    mesfigas Member

    Messages:
    238
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007
    Yes i bought it today. it is not a vintage FUZZ but rules !!!
    You can hear the audio samples there : http://www.thesegoto11.se/

    The guy who play the samples compares 4 Fuzz pedals including Fire red fuzz
    and analogman sun face

    Go now and hear it is the best modern fuzz !!!!!!!
     
  7. Steven

    Steven Member

    Messages:
    2,240
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2004
    Location:
    Sweden
    Does it clean up with the volume pot on the guitar?
     
  8. mesfigas

    mesfigas Member

    Messages:
    238
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2007

    Yes you can use the volume down to clean the sound
    "The fat sound of this pedal"
     
  9. SunnyRollins

    SunnyRollins Member

    Messages:
    532
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    the lone star country
    i heard the samples...oh my god!
    how can it be ordered?
     
  10. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,724
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Location:
    St. Louis
    try custom sounds, they are great!
     
  11. the-tone

    the-tone Member

    Messages:
    1,360
    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2005
    Location:
    Austin, TX

Share This Page