Posted by
Paolo De Gregorio
Dec 18, 2020

Boutique pedal builders Haunted Labs & Dirty Haggard (respectively from Charlotte, NC and Portland, OR) just unveiled a very original take on the fuzz + delay pedal, called the Hell Horse.

The fuzz circuit is extremely aggressive, and the delay is powered by the ubiquitous PT2399 chip, often used for creative tape-style echo pedals, but what stands out in this device is the unique EQ section, which works in a smart way we’ve never seen before.

This works on two frequency bands rather than one: one in the high end and one in the low end.

Here’s what the two EQ knobs do:

  • Shift: selects the distance between the two affected frequencies: further apart if rotated clockwise, or closer together if rotated counter-clockwise.
  • Tone: boosts or cuts those frequencies simultaneously up to +/- 15dB. At 12 O’clock, the EQ is flat.

Of course, this configuration is great both for mid-scooped tones and for pushing the mids (two of the most popular EQ settings for fuzz guitar), but also opens up a variety of EQ possibilities and fine-tuning options.

The other controls are rather self-explanatory, with the delay offering a time lag going from 50mS to 460mS.

Check out the sounds created by the Hell Horse in the videos below. We added this pedal to our list of Creative Delay Pedals based on the PT2399 chip.

The Hell Horse brandishes a wickedly potent fuzz circuit and delay powered by a PT2399 integrated chip. The
“degraded” delay offers a savory, sinister analog-style echo of up to 460 milliseconds.

Adding to the Hell Horse’s versatility, an innovative EQ circuit offers highly flexible tone shaping by manipulating
two separate frequency peaks: one in the bass frequencies, one in the treble. The entire circuit is controlled by
two knobs:

(1) The “Tone” knob (more accurately described as an “EQ boost/cut” ) knobs allows you to boost or cut
both of these EQ peaks simultaneously up to +/- 15dB. Note: The center position of this knob equals flat
EQ, which effectively removes the “Shift” control (described below) from circuit and causes it to have no
effect on the sound.

(2) “Shift”: This control shifts the EQ peaks controlled by the tone knob further apart if rotated clockwise, or
closer together if rotated counter-clockwise.

The Hell Horse’s four other knobs provide familiar, essential control of these parameters:

• Volume: Allows you to attenuate or boost the output amplitude of the pedal. Unity gain is at
approximately the 3 o’clock position as tested with single coil pickups.
• Delay Mix: This allows you to control how much of the delayed signal you would like to mix in with your
normal signal. All the way left = no added delay signal. All the way right = full volume delay/fully
saturated sound.
• Delay time: This allows you to control how long the delay time is. All the way left is the longest delay
time, approx. 460mS. All the way right is slowest delay time (slapback delay) at approx. 50 mS. The
number of repeats is hard-set and not user adjustable.
• Fuzz: This is an input attenuator arrangement. The input signal is either allowed to pass fully for
maximum fuzz distortion, or attenuated by turning the control counter clockwise.

The Hell Horse offers true bypass switching, completely designed in the USA using the highest quality parts

• Six knobs: Fuzz, Delay Time, Delay Mix, Tone, Shift and Volume
• Engineered and manufactured in the USA
• Manufactured with the highest quality components
• Dimensions are
• 9V standard DC operation (power supply not included) – no battery compartment
• True bypass