supply and plug it into the left-hand
power socket for four hours ( 12 hours
the first time) and you’ve got one to two
weeks of power before recharging again.
An LED mounted on the top of the box
helps you monitor the charge capacity.
The company says the cells last about two
years, and replacements can be purchased
at authorized Red Witch dealers.
a boost pedal (check out Sister Lily) if
you’re looking to really cut through a loud
I tested the Ruby Fuzz, Violet Delay, and
Scarlett Overdrive with a Vox Pathfinder,
a ’ 68 Fender Bassman powering a 4x12
with Celestion Vintage 30s, and a Gibson
Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster. And the
Ruby Fuzz was my first up.
The artwork on the Ruby suggests that
she’s the most serene and shy of the Seven
Sisters, but that’s a total put-on. With the
Volume and Fuzz knobs at about 75 percent, I couldn’t help but think of Seattle,
circa 1992 (and Ruby in a pair of Doc
Martin’s and ripped fishnets with some
chipped-up nail polish). Ruby can create a
very thick wall of fuzz and burning sustain
that doesn’t get too raunchy. The general
character is quite close to a Big Muff, but
without the rotund and flabbier qualities that some players associate with that
type of fuzz. Instead, Ruby’s tone is quite
focused and clearer in the midrange.
The Fuzz control is remarkably responsive. Halfway up you can get a very hot
overdrive tone that compliments the
6L6-powered Bassman’s lower clean settings.
Or you can push the Fuzz to its maximum
setting and then roll off your guitar’s volume
for a weighty growl. I found some of my
favorite tones with the Fuzz around 80 percent, which gives the Bassman a very aggressive bite and a capacity for sharp, defined
harmonics—perfectly suited for a rhythm or
lead tone, and particularly with the Les Paul.
You could make a case that the Volume
control could use a little more firepower.
Most of my time with Ruby was spent
with the Volume control in the upper
reaches to achieve unity gain with the
Bassman. This isn’t necessarily a flaw,
depending on how you employ a fuzz box.
And if it makes Ruby less than the best
way to get an aggressive volume bump
on top of your fuzz, it does nothing to
diminish Ruby’s capabilities as a textur-izing tool. You just may need the help of
Violet is a big sounding delay for having
such a dainty frame. There’s 800 ms of
delay available—impressive for an analog
delay, which often maxes out at about
600 ms. It also has a very balanced voice
complete with a touch of analog darkness
and a clarity that keeps things from getting too shadowy.
With Delay turned all the way coun-
terclockwise, you get the full 800 ms
experience. At the lowest Repeat setting,
you’re looking at 6 to 7 repetitions of
your original note. At the highest, repeats
seem almost infinite and will self-oscillate.
As with most analog delays, turning both
the Repeat and Delay in conjunction can
yield some very impressive delay warbles
and washes that are great for experimental
soundscapes and cool intros and outros.
Rockabilly and surf fanatics will find a
very useful slapback setting by dialing the
delay to about 75 percent or higher, and
keeping the Repeat turned down low.