Boutique pedal maker Dirty Haggard Audio has announced itself with its debut pedal, the DH-2 Death Fuzz. This unit takes after the rare made-in-Japan Shin-ei Companion FY-2, but boasts new and improved designs.
The first feature on the Death Fuzz is an added noise gate that solves the Companion Fuzz’s notoriously loud noise floor. Turning this on eliminates any hissing and the result, as Dirty Haggard Audio claims, is “silence when not playing or during breaks within your riffs”. This will be particularly handy for cleaner recordings. Keeping the noise gate off, however, lends a vintage feel to the fuzz effect.
Another new feature on the Death Fuzz is the redesigned gain circuitry. Where the original pit two out-of-phase transistors against each other – resulting in low output volume issues – the new design prevents out-of-phase signals from clashing. This allows for a much wider range of sounds, from voltage-starved to a full-on brutal assault.
In terms of controls, there are knobs for gain, volume and filter. The latter has an interesting design that shapes the fuzz’s character across the entire frequency spectrum. This stands in contrast to the Companion Fuzz’s hard-wired band-reject filter, which resulted in a permanent midrange scoop. What this means is, with the Death Fuzz you have more tone control, but also the feel of the original.
Wrapping up the new pedal’s feature set are a low-pass filter for DC power supplies and a two-stage RFI/EMI input filter. The former caters for even more noise elimination and the latter prevents any external radio frequencies from bleeding into the fuzz circuit.
Check out the pedal in action here:
Retails at $155. More information at dirtyhaggard.com.