Malaise Forever Vicious Bastard

Uncompromising fuzzheads might find a friend in the Malaise Forever Vicious Bastard, an unforgivingly loud and angry two-stage fuzz inspired by the classic D*A*M* Meathead circuit.

The tone of this beast is heavy in the mid-low frequencies with a light mid-scoop, and enough high-end to cut through the mix. A secondary gate footswitch engages a heavy gate, which will – to say it with the builder – “trash up your tone significantly and satisfyingly.”

This new V1.5 slightly tweaks the circuit’s specs – nerds among you can find the details in the description under the videos.

Malaise Forever Vicious Bastard, Builder’s Notes

One knob. Two switches. Three good.

VICIOUS BASTARD is a loud, angry one-knob fuzz. There’s a good amount of bass but it’s still punchy with lots of lower mids, and a slight higher mid scoop. The treble is still intact so it’s friendly to lead guitar as well.

Vicious Bastard is based on the classic D*A*M* Meathead circuit and is hard clipped in two stages: first with asymmetrical silicon/Schottky diodes; then with blue LEDs after a final dirty boost stage for a uniquely raunchy quality to the note decay.

Also unique to the Vicious Bastard is the secondary gate foot switch which engages a heavy gate. Use this to trash up your tone significantly and satisfyingly.

Version 1.5 is a slight tweaking of the specs for the circuit, which I feel optimizes it.

The following is a list of changes from v1:

– Adjusted bias and impedance of second stage to reduce noise/feedback when not gated. This change also slightly improves the low end response of the circuit, further optimizing it for bass or baritone. Additionally, this change allows for the circuit to clean up better with the instrument’s volume knob.
– Adjusted tone filtering to allow for more high end to pass into the second stage, giving it a bit more sizzle and a little less of a slightly muffled sound.
– Changed clipping diodes in stage one to asymmetrical silicone/Schottky diodes. This gives a more aggressive and textured character to the clipping.
– Latching gate switch instead of momentary so that the full effect of the gate can be utilized without having to stand on the pedal for too long of a time.
– Update to BC550C transistors from BC550B. This may seem like nothing but the BC550C has more gain on tap and this allows for a slightly raunchier gated sound with a slightly longer decay time, which I think is neat.

Unity volume is around noon. If you are using a tube amp, or an amp that can be pushed into overdriven territory, it can create some wonderfully blown out sounds. An excellent selection for doomy guitar or for punchier (but still full) bass fuzz. Also features top-mounted Lumberg audio jacks and accepts a 2.1 mm center negative 9VDC power supply. Bludgeon your amp with VICIOUS BASTARD!



Knob: Controls output volume
Right Switch: Effect on/off
Left Switch: Gate on/off

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