Updated Dec. 29, 2021

Rainger FX DFST-1 Stealth Distortion/Fuzz

Among all pedal builders out there, London’s Rainger FX stands out as a true experimenter: you won’t find a “normal” effect in the company’s roster, and, in most cases, the “abnormality” of its devices is immediately evident from the shape of the cases that host them, like for the new, limited edition DFST-1 Stealth Distortion, an extreme fuzz+filter mini-stompbox.

This pedal represents a new chapter in Rainger FX’s Dr. Freakenstein line, the first one in mini format. The fuzz circuit found in those originals is embedded in a circuit that does new things to it, making it also usable for genres in the electronic music realm (a CV Input makes it Eurorak-friendly, and a Pad switch allows Line-In levels).

There are two modes of operation, selectable through the button near the right wing of the pedal at the bottom:

Envelope Control Mode

In this mode, the pedal works like an envelope fuzz resonant filter, with the Overtone control selecting the pushed frequency and Silence setting the gate’s threshold for sputtery/interrupted tones. The Awareness knob here works together with the Pad switch by the left-wing to adjusts the filter’s sensitivity, while Altitude sets the amount of resonance, i.e. the amount of frequency boost.

Turn the ‘ALTITUDE’ knob up high and the low-end rolls off, creating more synthy squelches. Turn it back down – and with ‘OVERTONE’ low as well, full-range low-voiced thick distortion is available.

Step Modulation Mode

This mode delivers something closer to an auto-wah effect (but not exactly), with the filter being controlled by an LFO rather than the guitar’s dynamics. The filter’s boosted frequency follows a modulation pattern that alternates high and low frequency steps, with the Speed knob controlling the rate, generating techno pulse-like steps.

Check out the crazy fuzz tones delivered by the Rainger FX DFST-1 Stealth Distortion/Fuzz in the videos below:

The DFST-1 (Stealth) is a full-on fuzz pedal, the latest in the line of pedals using our Dr Freakenstein fuzz circuit – but in brand new ways.

This uncompromising stompbox has the same built-in noise gate to keep it ultra silent between notes, but with a ton of volume available. There are two main modes of working; either envelope controlled, or using step modulation, and both of these work on the ‘OVERTONE’ control, which – in conjunction with the ‘ALTITUDE’ knob – have huge effects on the tone… Highly vocal tone stings dive-bombing down to a Geiger Counter crackle, techno pulse-like steps that sequence in time with the music you’re playing with… The DFST-1 (Stealth) is our most extreme distortion pedal ever!

ENVELOPE CONTROLLED MODE

The shape of the incoming signal governs the pedals ‘OVERTONE’ control, resulting in short bursts of high-resonance that zips down to an almost record-stop style halt. Crank up the ‘AWARENESS’ knob and the initial intensity is lengthened into a long searing sustain. There’s a ‘PAD’ switch by the left wing that adjusts the sensitivity of the pedal – so it can adapt to the high output signal levels of synthesizers or active guitars.

Turn the ‘ALTITUDE’ knob up high and the low-end rolls off, creating more synthy squelches. Turn it back down – and with ‘OVERTONE’ low as well, full-range low-voiced thick distortion is available.

STEP MODULATION MODE

The DFST-1 (Stealth) can give slow modulation to the ‘OVERTONE’ control – but with each up and down cycle divided into ten steps. These always start at the beginning of a step (never halfway through), which means that once the ‘RATE’ control is in the right tempo ballpark, the pedal can step through the pattern in time with the track you’re playing along to; it starts cleanly with each new phrase you play.

With the ‘RATE’ knob set low, the pedal has a tone that alters with each new phrase you play. Set it fast and it goes beyond Leslie cabinet speeds into fast oscillation.

This pedal has another custom-designed enclosure. It’s like an expanded Rainger FX mini-pedal, so it’s still surprisingly small – but is probably the world’s first effects pedal to have wings!

There’s a solitary discreet red on/off LED on the main top panel, but when you play, two blue ‘signal present’ LEDs shine out from under the enclosure – silhouetting the pedal in blue light.

All sockets are on the top end panel, including a minijack socket – primarily for use as ‘CV in’ from a modular synth set-up, but this can also be used with a Rainger FX Igor controller pad (not supplied). Inputs here control the ‘OVERTONE’ aspect of the pedal.

NOTE; the DFST-1 (Stealth) is a limited edition Rainger FX pedal (only 240 made)

• FULL-ON FUZZ THAT BRIDGES EXTREME ROCK WITH TECHNO
• CAN MAKE HIGH-RESONANCE SYNTHY SQUELCHES
• CONTINUES THE DR FREAKENSTEIN FUZZ HERITAGE
• HAS A UNIQUE MODULATION PATTERN
• IS OFFICIALLY THE COOLEST LOOKING PEDAL EVER MADE
• REACTS TO SIGNAL LEVELS OF ALL KINDS OF INSTRUMENTS
• CAN BE SET TO CYCLE IN TIME WITH ACCOMPANYING MUSIC
• ANOTHER CUSTOM-MADE RAINGER EFFECTS ENCLOSURE
• ALL THE SOCKETS ARE IN THE TOP END PANEL – NOT ON THE SIDES!