RF- 2 REEZAFRATZITZ
By Steve Ouimette
Even by the wacky standards of stompbox makers, Emma Electronic
of Denmark is not afraid of a left-field name. The RF- 2 ReezaFRATzitz
plainly demonstrates this. But cumbersome monikers have been no
impediment success for this distortion/overdrive. This newest version of the pedal is the second generation ReezaFRATzitz and now
includes a Low and High frequency control that significantly extends
the pedal’s tonal range.
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that turning down the EQ and bringing up the Level adds more mids.
It’s an ingenious design for a pedal that doesn’t include an actual
mid knob. The Bias knob shifts the circuit from class B (left) to class A
(right), and changes the harmonic structure from aggressive to open.
Complex and Nasty
I tested out the RF- 2 with my ’ 74 Les Paul Custom driving the blackface
channel of a 3rd Power American Dream. Using the Emma’s prescribed
“Rock” setting (where all controls are midway up), I was treated to a
seriously thick and saturated tone. Although there was plenty of gain, I
experienced no loss of tonal clarity, which enabled me to play relatively
complex chord voicings that would have become a blur when processed with other distortion circuits.
Next, I tried Emma’s hilariously named “Fat Fred” recipe, which entails
setting the Bias fully counterclockwise, Low all the way up, High just
over halfway, and Gain at 2 o’clock. I expected a super bassy and muted
sound, and while the tone was thicker than with the rock setting, the RF- 2
yielded more harmonic complexity than I anticipated. “Fat Fred” is more
than a little evocative of “No One Knows” by Queens of the Stone Age.
Backing down the Low and High controls all the way generated enough
midrange to please any Marshall fanatic, and the notes exploded off
my pick like the amp was about to blow. I found you have to be careful
not to use the Level too aggressively, as it can create a huge imbalance
between clean and dirty volume.
The RF- 2 is full of piss and vinegar. It likes to feed back, cause trouble,
and get in your face, yet it sacrifices none of the musicality you want
from an overdrive designed to enhance a tube amp’s essential voice.
Best of both worlds indeed.
you want a versatile and badass overdrive/distortion pedal.
you need a dedicated midrange control
in your gain pedal.
The RF- 2 comes in a nearly square aluminum box with a gorgeous red
top adorned with filigree etching, and its control set consists of Level,
Low, High, Bias, and Gain knobs. Power supply and input and output
jacks are arrayed across the narrow rear section of the casing. Held down
with four Phillips machine screws, the battery hatch is located on the
back of the pedal.
160 PREMIER GUITAR NOVEMBER 2010
There is a lot going on under the hood in the RF- 2, starting with the
tone controls. Both the Low and High are active circuits with cut to the
left and boost to the right of 12 o’clock. Level controls the output of
the pedal, but it also works in conjunction with the Low and High, so