NPD x2: BeeBuzz/Double Hotcake (sanitized for TGP censors)

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1,102


I took the really bad words out of these write-ups just for you guys.



I got the Crowther Double Hotcake in a trade - really digging it so far, way more than I thought I would. When you turn both sides on, the "Drive A" controls are disabled, and the white drive knob in the middle adjusts an additional gain stage (in conjunction with the "Drive B" controls). The boost-flavored stuff the Hotcake does is really phenomenal, but the Double has some awesome raunchy drive sounds with both sides engaged.I think the B half is hard-bypass/original Hotcake-flavored, and the A half is buffered/Bluesberry (less buzz), for whatever that's worth.

I have a single Hotcake with an internal XLF (extra low frequency) switch that I intended to use with bass (I use the majority of my gear with guitar), just haven't gotten around to trying that yet. I was messing around with it a bunch on guitar a few weeks ago, finally figured out that the "Presence" control is some kind of midrange thickening knob; I couldn't figure out why **** was so muddy with the drive and presence all the way up. :facepalm Back it off, and you've got some scoop/less mud. Feels good. Things get darker as you increase the drive, and I kind of wish there was a way to add high end content - like a traditional tone control. Not a big deal, though - it's terrific in all its weird dark glory. I thought I'd be selling this soon after I received it, but I don't want to let it go. Damnit.



The Black Cat BeeBuzz is a Roland BeeBaa clone, very recently introduced into their production line, in your choice of (I think) five custom colors. You've got a bypass footswitch (crazy, right?), and a footswitch that toggles between fuzz and boost. The original BeeBaa had a third footswitch that toggled between thin and thick fuzztones - that's been replaced here with a toggle switch (Bee/Buzz, respectively). I've never used an originally BeeBaa, but the Black Cat is definitely more up my alley than the Barge Concepts BB-1 (another BeeBaa clone) I had. The fuzz is nastier with a bit more character, the footprint's smaller, and the enclosure's prettier. Footswitching between the two tones on the Barge was always useless to me because the thin and thick fuzzes interacted with the tone knob differently, so the "downgrade" to toggle makes a lot of sense.

The character of the fuzz is pretty...er, Japanese - imagine a less harsh/lower gain Superfuzz/Shin Ei with no octave (which I guess is similar to a Fuzzrite if you think about it...?). I had a Malekko B:Assmaster that would do some really cool honky/thin lead lines, but I always wished I could dial out the inherent "squish" and octave artifact; the BeeBuzz done did it. :aok I'm wishing that some of the extreme settings were a little more messed-up/out-of-control, but it doesn't seem to be in the nature of the circuit - I should probably qualify that by saying my standards for messed-up/out-of-control are relatively high, and I'm sure this thing will rip enough for most folks. The tone control is pretty sensitive within the first quarter-turn, there's a lot less variation after that - extreme muffle to biting sharp on the Bee side very quickly. On the Buzz side, you still get that extreme muffle at minimum, but it's pretty dark throughout the entire tone range - more of a muff-like rhythm fuzz. It's funny, I thought I'd be way more into the thicker/darker Buzz side, but I'm really digging the thinner Bee with the tone and sustain backed off, especially on leads.

The boost is a full-range boost, lots of mids/low-mids, gets dirty past 2 or 3 o'clock. Which brings me to kind of an important point about the BeeBuzz - this circuit had to have been originally designed to run into a dirty amp. It stacks with overdrive incredibly well, as evidenced by hitting the Double Hotcake with both the boost and fuzz sides - sounded killer. Looking forward to running this in front of some Menatone amp-in-a-can type pedals.



That's it.
 
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gmr1

Member
Messages
35
Nice review! good choice on the "Lime" finish on the Bee Buzz. It's a cool color.
 

lux_interior

Member
Messages
5,376
Well written, thanks... I was mostly interested in the Black Cat fuzz, but I didn't see it on their website. Plus, it only has black pedals with yellow lettering.
 

Bobby D

Member
Messages
11,821
the BeeBuzz is amazing -- LOVE IT!


i have never tried the double HotCake -- but the single version i demoed was amazingly good, the perfect pedal for guys who are sick of toob screemas. ;)
 
Messages
1,102
the BeeBuzz is amazing -- LOVE IT!


i have never tried the double HotCake -- but the single version i demoed was amazingly good, the perfect pedal for guys who are sick of toob screemas. ;)
Your demo actually put me over on picking up the single. :aok
 




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