This fuzz makes some big big claims, does it live up to them?
Sound sample at the bottom of the post.
This fuzz was loaned to me by the very kind Steve Torrie.
The bold claims that the name of this fuzz make I would say are mostly true. It is the filthiest grimiest fuzz I’ve ever used. It is utterly fantastic.
I don’t know if there are any gods (a discussion for another day) and if there are do they play guitar? Let’s assume yes to both of these questions. If they did, and they wanted a filthy fuzz, then I believe they may find their fuzz in this little box.
It looks fantastic, I adore the graphics. They are screen printed and the quality here is excellent.
There are four clipping modes utilised by the knob on the left, and although I am not sure what they are actually doing, I do know that I prefer the middle two. There is a noticeable difference in the fuzzs saturation when switching between the different modes. I can only assume it clips the bass, as furthest left has less treble and furthest right has the most. Whatever it does, it is fantastic.
The other knobs on the Valhalla are labeled slightly differently to what you would expect in a fuzz, but this shouldn’t hinder you turning them until you find something you like. The included hi/lo pot gives you a fair bit of flexibility when you don’t quite want the screaming highs and it helps dial in a grungy grumbling bark.
You may be able to tell that I really like this fuzz. It is the first pedal I’ve used from Sleeping Dog FX, and it sure does impress. The internals are neat and it all looks like a lot of care and attention has gone into the layout. I will say that it has a larger footprint than some pedals and I’m sure the same components could be squeezed into a smaller enclosure. If they were this would make it even better.
The only other thing I noticed worth mentioning is that this isn’t something that you can really boost. I usually have my fuzz after a boost, to give a push if I want it. You can’t really do that with the Valhalla as it’s already loud and in your face. Hitting it with my usual boost did nothing, but I do suppose turning the Golden Eagle up would affect the Valhalla. This is more of an individual thing, not everyone will want to make a fuzz even louder than it is.
The Valhalla came very close to knocking the green russian off of my board. It is a very similar flavour of fuzz but with even more of a growl and more of a spluttery poppy top end. It really is a good fuzz. It’s got me wondering what else Sleeping Dog FX produces, hopefully their other stompboxes don’t disappoint.
The only thing stopping me at the moment is the lack of funds, I’ve spent the remaining money I’d put to one side for pedals in the reverb that will feature in the next few weeks (and trust me when I say that it is worth depleting the pedal fund for)
And I don’t need another fuzz. As I previously mentioned I have used Fredric Effects Golden Eagle to drive the Green Russian to great effect and am more than happy with this. If I ever wanted to downsize my board and have 1 fuzz and no boost, I would certainly be looking at Sleeping Dog FX. Fingers crossed you may hear more from them in the future.
I very nearly forgot to mention another unusual thing about the Valhalla. It sometimes has a swirling modulated side to the effect, I’m not sure I managed to capture it on the sound clip as I could figure out how to control it. It did sound amazing when it would do that, usually when letting an open note or chord ring out, when the effect is trailing off. I’m not sure if this is something that has been designed into the circuitry or if it is a happy little accident, either way it is excellent.
In Conclusion –
- High quality components and construction
- Screen print looks amazing
- The fuzz will blow your socks off!
- £100 new (for the screen printed version) so wont break the bank
- A fairly large footprint (think the same size as an original EHX Big Muff π)
- Limited supply as it’s a boutique hand built effect, they aren’t chruned out in the hundreds (depends on your point of view, could be a pro or con)
- Can’t be boosted (this could be a pro or con depending on your opinion)
- A bit of a hum, especially with this and the broadcast on together, this is to be expected as it’s a dirty angry fuzz