Valco FX, a subsidiary of Canadian eccentric guitar builder Eastwood Guitars, unveiled their second pedal after the Bloodbuzz (which we covered here a few months ago): it’s a very tweakable fuzz bearing a rather disquieting name: KGB.
Designed to work with both instrument and line inputs (read: it works well also with synths and audio interfaces), the KGB is a peculiar tone-sculpting device that simultaneously affects the signal’s color and dynamics in interesting and complex ways even when the fuzz circuit is off, thanks to its Impedance knob, labeled with the Greek letter Omega.
While lower Impedance settings yield the best results for guitar and bass with softer dynamics and transients resulting in a ‘rounded/vintage’ feel and tone, higher ones deliver sharper highs frequency and a more aggressive transient, for a cleaner and more “in your face” tone.
Interestingly, changing the pedal’s Impedance will also affect pedals placed after the KGB, which opens up a whole universe of possibilities. However, to allow players to bypass this issue, the KGB comes with a Dry Output as well.
The Tone knob allows for extra tweaking, while the Blend fader allows reintroducing some of the clean signal, which can be useful when the fuzz is engaged (the latter has its own knob and has a muff quality to it).
The KGB also features a Voice knob that offers four different voicings (three active and one-off) settings that offer a useful variety of pre-defined options with different mid-range content.
Hear the sounds of the Valco FX KGB Fuzz in the videos below.
The Valco KGB Fuzz is a multi-function/tone-sculpting fuzz machine, designed to work within a sound-creation chain or as a regular standalone fuzz pedal (and everything in between!).
The KGB is designed specifically to work with K (keys, synths), G (guitar) and B (bass). The Variable Input Impedance works best with passive instruments (guitar/bass) and allows tone-sculpting with or without the fuzz circuit engaged. Lower settings yield softer dynamics/transients with a notable ‘rounded/vintage’ feel and tone. Higher settings gives a sharper high frequency response with a more direct/aggressive transient feel and more perceived gain. This makes for a great ’shaping’ control, where you can tune the pedal for its best response to the pickups you are using and how you want them to react/feel.