El Diablo revives the cult HEQ1 Harmonic Equalizer fuzz

With a much more affordable price tag to boot.

El Diablo HEQ1.2

Image: El Diablo

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El Diablo Amps And Guitars has reissued the HEQ1 Harmonic Equalizer fuzz pedal in the form of the HEQ1.2, a tweaked version of the original pedal.

The HEQ1 was first launched in 2017, and while the new version comes with a few updates it sticks to the formula laid out by the original. The dual-footswitch pedal has two sides: harmonic distortion, and a Baxandall EQ section. The latter of these allows for both boosting and cutting the three bands, as all are in the feedback loop of an op-amp for more balanced impedance. The tech is named after audio engineer Peter Baxandall, who first described a system for “Negative-Feedback Tone Control” in 1952.

The distortion section is controlled by two rather unique knobs: Edges and Expanse. Edges tweaks the envelope behaviour, saturation levels and gating effects, while Expanse controls harmonic complexity, treble response and compression. The resulting sound is a rich, thick fuzz sound that caused the original run to gain a bit of a cult following after it sold out almost instantly.

The main difference between the HEQ1 and the HEQ1.2 is the removal of the internal trim pots, as it’s now been voiced to sound like designer Peter Bregman’s own personal HEQ1. Other changes include the addition reverse- and over-voltage protection and the dimming of the pedal’s LEDs – El Diablo notes that the originals were “blinding.”

The pedal lists for $215, and is available to preorder from eldiabloamps.com, limited to 200 units. The brand notes that “If the hoarding/flipping gets out of hand, we’ll make more!” The first run will arrive in April 2021.

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