In a twist on the firm’s original Hymenoptera theme, the new Vezzpa Octave Stinger from Beetronics is more wasp than bee, promising a range of super aggressive and spitty fuzz tones with an upper octave thrown in for good measure. Presumably while hovering around your jam sandwich and somehow managing to always be just behind you…
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Built around opamp circuitry, this diminutive pedal from Beetronics’ Babee Series – about a quarter of the size of the now-legendary Royal Jelly – features two modes. Fuzzzz promises a powerchord-friendly wall of pollen-laden fur while the Stinger mode unleashes a high-octave voicing which Beetronics describes as “harmonics on crack”. Sounds ideal.
At the heart (or possibly thorax) of the Vezzpa is a multi-function footswitch. A single tap turns the pedal on and off, while in bypass mode it operates in momentary mode, delivering killswitch-like functionality. You can toggle between sounds with a double click and, with the pedal engaged, holding down the button gives you a blast of the unit’s other voice until you lift your foot back off it. On paper this all sounds a little convoluted so we’ll be interested to see how it works in practice.
From a tweakability perspective, there’s a brace of top-mounted knobs, one for each voice. And that’s it. As usual with Beetronics the minuscule labelling on the pedal requires compound eyes to see it clearly at a distance but thankfully there are three colour-coded LEDs to guide you: yellow for Fuzzzz, green for Stinger, and red for on/off.
When handed a fuzz pedal whose stated aim is engendering multifaceted vespid velcro violence we feel a duty of care to make sure we run it in front of a tube amp with a full midrange on the edge of breakup. With an old Cornford Hurricane and a Trussart Deluxe Steelcaster in hand we plug in, select the Fuzzzz voice and have some. And it is wonderful.
Beetronics has a knack for stripping down a tone to its quintessence – a sonic alchemy that means you can ride a one-control fuzz pedal into the flames of battle fully confident that it will respond to your touch and hand placement and give you all the sonic versatility you could ask for, from never-ending chainsaw to choked out and stuttering.
Stinger mode unleashes a squall of octave overtones which will neatly mince your sound into small wet cubes and tip it over the grateful upturned faces of your audience. It’s not a whammy effect exactly, more like instant upper-partial feedback which renders harmonics into delicious chaos.
The multi-function footswitch is a particularly stylish touch and using it to add fuzzed-out accents can elevate even a pedestrian riff to stratospheric heights. If your fuzz heroes are Jack White or Annie Clark then look no further. It’s pretty divine.
- PRICE £215
- DESCRIPTION Twin-voice fuzz octave pedal, made in the USA
- CONTROLS Fuzzzz sustain and Stinger high-octave knobs. Smart momentary footswitch
- FEATURES 9V DC power supply only
- DIMENSIONS 106 x 44 x 64mm
- CONTACT face.be, beetronicsfx.com