overdrive to a blistering, harmonically rich
wall of sustaining fuzz.
Wave form shifter mode uses two JFET
transistors and is similar to square wave
mode in terms of dynamics and frequency
response. Although it sounds a little less
resonant and harmonically rich than square
wave mode, it has more output and a bit
more distortion, enabling very focused and
cutting sounds that work well for separating
a solo from a busy mix.
Octavious mode serves up a shot of
beautifully balanced, brutal octave-up fuzz.
It’ll hold together for chording without
getting muddy, indistinct, or fractured.
And the octave tone is accompanied by a
blistering, gritty fuzz that hints at the voice
of a Fuzz Face. In typical Death by Audio
form, however, it gives you way more
distortion than a vintage unit. With drive
set high, a humbucker-equipped Gibson
SG sings and sustains at flesh-searing levels without any ugly decay. In short, the
Apocalypse’s octavious mode is simply one
of the best octave-plus-distortion sounds
I’ve ever heard.
Pros: Wide range of amazing fuzz tones.
Simple, powerful controls.
Death by Audio Apocalypse, $270 street, deathbyaudio.net
cons: Somewhat pricey.
Ease of Use
If you’ve moved through all these fuzz
permutations and still haven’t tapped into
enough gain, you might just be a little
twisted. In which case, you’ll love gainiac
mode. Even at low drive settings, it pumps
out full-bore distortion. It also has substan-
tially higher output than any other mode,
making it great for torturing the front end
of a tube amp and mixing its distortion
with the Apocalypse’s. But when you kick
up the drive, that’s when the truly whacked
fun begins—the unit induces gloriously
musical feedback and overtones. Turning
SFE toward the treble-boost range var-
ies the intensity of the feedback. Back off
drive slightly, and the feedback is easier to
control, but the Apocalypse still puts out a
thick, compressed distortion that’s hot as a
crackling skillet of bacon grease.
At $270, the Apocalypse’s price can seem a
bit steep for a fuzz with just a few controls.
But that simplicity belies amazing versatility that yields some of the best fuzz tones
you’ll encounter in any pedal. The octave
fuzz is nothing short of brutally gorgeous.
The Gainiac channel guarantees bleeding ears
if that’s what you crave, but you can access
more conventional, super-thick, and over-tone-rich fuzz tones, too. If you’re a fuzz guru
who needs a multitude of tones in a single,
simple unit, it’s worth giving the Death by
Audio Apocalypse an extended work out.
Contact us for a