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Trifecta VS Swollen Pickle: Fuzz Shootout Today!

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by keto, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. keto

    keto Member

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    I bought a Pickle on impulse the other day. My buddy received his Trifecta in the mail last week. He brought it over today and we did some a/b comparisons.

    Used a PRS Mira, an AVRI '62 Tele and a '69 Custom Shop Strat, all thru an '81 Hiwatt Custom 50 (DR 504) and a Mesa cab with Vintage 30's.

    Short strokes: Pickle by a Way Huge margin.

    Longer version: Well, I sorta thought that both were supposed to be Big Muff Variants. While the Pickle certainly is, the Trifecta doesn't have much Muff in it. Quite frankly, it hardly sounds like a fuzz at all in many settings, more like an overdrive pedal. It can do a decent-but-not-outstanding silicon Bender type tone, but it never gets very edgy. The toggle between the 3 modes is .... well, between left and center neither of us could hear a difference, between center and right maybe a slight boosting of upper mids. All in all, the Trifecta effectively has 1 sound with moderate variations on that one sound. I myself found it to be fairly dead sounding.

    On the other hand, the Pickle can do what the Trifecta does, plus about 6 or 7 very different and usable variations. The 'Scoop' and 'Crunch' controls make ALL the difference, as they each make available a gigantic sweep in tones. Scoop goes from VERY scooped and almost metallic sounding, with lots of compression and more graininess, to wiiiiide open almost mid boosted, depending on where the other controls are set. The crunch again starts far left very compressed and smooth and somewhat dark, to again what I call 'open' and dynamic, with the ability to get quite ratty if you want - again, the graininess or fuzziness increases as you go right but too far right is more a distortion or overdrive type sound.

    All the controls on the Pickle are very interactive, so it takes some getting used to in finding the direction to go to get a particular sound. But experimenting is half the fun right? I got classic Muff sounds ala Pumpkins, smooth Tone Bender type sounds, basic overdriven type sounds, and all the variations inbetween. Can be as (well, almost as) subtle as you want or as hairy and square wave as you can handle - OK not as square wave as my old Roland Bee-Baa but at least in the neighbourhood. Dark and smooth to bright and a bit spitty (not germanium Fuzz Face spitty tho). And quite often it sounded like a damned fuzz, I just wasn't hearing much fuzz out of the Trifecta except in a couple of very specific controls locations.

    The opinion was unanimous, 2-0. His Trifecta is going on the market and a Pickle will be joining buddy's stable/board. This impulse purchase was a win for me.
     
  2. Zero G

    Zero G Member

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    Good review. Would love to know if the Pickle can cut through a band mix for solos...
     
  3. keto

    keto Member

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    I'd worry about the Trifecta, but not the Pickle. Again, the Trifecta was pretty dead - unless treble was maxed. In fact, knobs maxed (treble, fuzz + that bass thing I forget what it's called) was where I thought it sounded best, no room to adjust beyond that. Pickle, with that 'Filter' knob, well let's just say that I can't imagine running it beyond 2 o'clock with any amount of volume, it would be like sticking needles in your eardrums if you didn't have it very compressed. It'll cut, you just have to adjust it to do so - it's definitely in there.
     
  4. keto

    keto Member

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    I should add 1 disclaimer: we didn't have the amp cranked, so it wasn't as bright as it can be by any means, the Hiwatt does get raaather brilliant even on the Normal channel if you let it/want it to be when dialed up. This may have coloured our perceptions somewhat, but I still stand by what I have said above.
     
  5. yellowecho

    yellowecho Member

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    cool review- i really like my pickle so it's nice to hear how it stacks up to others i haven't tried yet.
     
  6. goodhonk

    goodhonk Member

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    the trifecta is far from versatile, but the sound it does make is beautiful. the three way toggle is pretty useless; however, there is a Barber endorsed mod to make it more pronounced. the mid push/pull is the key to some different flavors.
     
  7. Drifting

    Drifting Member

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    The reason you can't hear the differences in the toggle is that Barber made it so the three positions would all be of similar volume. If you do the mod, the volume will be all of over the place, but the difference more drastic.

    I'm interested in getting a Trifecta, but first I want to get/build a nice Germanium.
     

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