It’s quite rare to stumble upon a fuzz pedal that’s crazy enough to make it into our article about the Best Crazy, Weird, and Unusual Fuzz Pedals, but the Unsound Circuitry Kato Glitch Fuzz (here’s the link to the Icelandic builder’s page) belongs to that list fairly and squarely.

Presented as “the most violent nine-volt sound mangler in existence,” the Kato is a dual circuit device, with a (exceedingly loud) fuzz on the right and a dual-mode glitch effect with a separate fooswitch on the left.

On the Fuzz side, the Kill knob covers a central role by affecting both volume and frequencies: it can deliver the expected thick fuzz but also other flavors of distortions with octave-up hints, while at lower levels it will kill your signal “for a duration that is dependant on the intensity of your playing” and the Gain and Sens settings.

If the Gain knob does what it’s expected of it, thickening the fuzz at higher levels, the Sens one also affects the input in more subtle ways to allow all signal levels to reach the optimal level before they hit the circuit, from humbuckers to single coil pickups. The resulting tone can be pushed further via the Volume knob situated on the top left and at the end of this part of the circuit.

Speaking of volume, the two circuits are placed in parallel with each other (rather than on feeding the other), so the volume knobs will mix the two resulting sounds.

The Glitch side, activated via the left footswitch but not separately from the fuzz, is where things get weird. It’s at it’s core a PPL circuit that generates a square wave that can be either rather unruly (in Amok mode) or more predictable (in Drone mode).

Things can get rather wild when the Drift knob is turned up clockwise: it sets the speed and accuracy of the glitch effect’s tracking, producing the quirky effects one would expect from an effect of this type. The last 30% of the knob (labeled “Divebomb”) generates crazy lazer-beam sounding glissandos when you mute your strings.

Depth sets the amount of low frequencies going into the glitch side, basically a high pass filter.

We added the Kato to our article about the Best Crazy, Weird, and Unusual Fuzz Pedals.