Unleash the Beast – Raygun FX Beast Master Deluxe

This along with a few of the pedals I reviewed recently has been leant to me courtesy of Northern Stompboxes. First off let me say that I love this pedal.

I don’t think this is going to be a long review. As far as I can tell the circuit inside this is very similar to the Super Fuzz Bender Mk III (also by Raygun FX) and I thoroughly enjoyed trying out both pedals. As I have compared them both together I will happily say that there were no discernible differences between them in terms of the range of snarly old school fuzz you can get from them. But the Beast Master Deluxe edges ahead in a couple of ways.

Why do I like the Beast Master Deluxe so much compared to the Super Fuzz Bender? It is very simple, for two reasons. Firstly the glitch function is a worthy addition to an already fantastic fuzz (especially at this price level) giving you an almost synth like fuzz to play with in a very similar but much more usable way than the Fredric Effects Dresden Synth Fuzz. And in terms of looks it is leaps and bounds ahead of the Super Fuzz Bender. This is one of the newest Raygun FX pedals and the UV printing is much better quality than the older style stickers. Either one of those two things make the Beast Master Deluxe easily worth the £15 extra it will cost you over the Super Fuzz Bender.

I would say that the Beast Master Deluxe plays homage to the Keeley Compressor Pro in looks, which is in no way a bad thing. Both are fantastic looking pedals. The graphics for the BMD no longer look like they were created using Word Art. And it is a bit of a stylistic change from the graphics that Raygun Fx have used in the past. I really like the clean lines on this and hope that Raygun continue to make pedals that look this good. Honestly it is a tempting purchase and I would probably have my hand on my wallet by now had I not already got a Fuzz that I’m happy with on my board.

The insides seem to have also had a overhall, with much neater wiring all around compared to some of the last generation of Raygun pedals, and what seem to be stronger 9v adaptor sockets. All of this on a pedal under £100 is fantastic value for money. Yes maybe you could find a cheaper fuzz, but for what this offers I’m not so sure you’d find better value.

What is the glitch function like you may be asking? It is very bit crusher esq. In a similar fashion to a noise gate or possibly even a kill switch it seems to cut the signal. Not in the way that a tremolo would but in a glitchy fashion. There is a sweet spot with the glitch, too much with single coil pickups and the signal wont make it through. Maybe some active humbuckers would be able to make use of the glitch at its most extreme but I don’t have a guitar with any in that I could use to test this theory. The sweet spot for me with my strat was around the 2 o’clock mark. This gave me quite a musical glitch that gave some movement to a heavy aggressive power chord progression. I was impressed by the glitch portion of the Beast Master Deluxe almost as much as I was by the actual fuzz circuit. It is impressive isn’t limited to just single note runs, as the Dresden Synth fuzz is. It works just as well with chords, but you still have that Synth aspect to the sound.

The fuzz itself isn’t the calmest of beasts, but it is a fuzz, there shouldn’t really be a calm fuzz. It can always be cleaned up with the volume knob of your guitar if needed. It works best in an aggressive loud setting as you would expect and it can go quite raspy when you experiment with the tone knob.

In conclusion:

Pros –

  • Cheap as chips
  • Fantastic fuzz
  • Glitch function is a nice experimental feature
  • Top quality graphics, and construction

Cons –

  • No discernible difference in the fuzz sounds when compared to the Super Fuzz Bender which is £15 less. So if you aren’t interested in the glitch, you could save yourself some money
  • Power adaptor input is on the side, which can be a bit of a pain depending on where your power supply is (I’m being a bit picky now in the interests of fairness)

 

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