Lovers of crazy fuzz pedals may want to pay attention to this classy-looking fuzz by Wrought Iron Effects, named H-1 Germanium Carrier Rocket and inspired by the soviet moon rocket that exploded 100 meters off the launch pad, “causing one of the largest artificial non-nuclear explosions in human history.” This, by the way, explains why that “H” in “H-1” is actually pronounced as an “n,” since in the Russian alphabet (aka Cyrillic) that’s how you write “n.”
To meet the expectations brought by the name reference, the folks at Wrought Iron Effects married a fuzz (driven by four low-gain, Russian-made Germanium transistors) with a crazy oscillation circuit called “Pogo Oscillation,” activated by the footswitch on the right.
The latter, in a way, emulates the chaotic result of that rocket’s failed launch by sending the circuit into self-oscillation, with results ranging from the catastrophic to the… inspiring:
You can manipulate the oscillation sound with your guitar volume and tone controls for lots of weird sounds that will totally turn your audience off. Or…if you manage the amount of Thrust and the amount of Oscillation (side knob), you can actually add just the right amount of positive feedback to your signal to get an amazingly harmonically rich drive sound. But that’s for people who have “self-discipline”. For the rest of us, the H-1 is designed to be used with the Thrust full on and the Lift full on. It’s the way The Party would want it.
Time to hear what the Wrought Iron Effects H-1 Germanium Carrier Rocket Fuzz can do, in the video below – we added it to our article about the Best Crazy, Weird and Unusual Fuzz Pedals.
The H-1 (pronounced “en one”) is a 4 Stage Germanium transistor Fuzz with a crazy oscillation switch. It feature NOS Soviet Transistors and ammeter with acid-etched graphics on a lightly weathered Cold War Red powder coated enclosure.
Unbiased opinion: the H-1 freaking RIPS!
Due to the extreme hand built nature of the H-1 Germanium Carrier Rocket pedal, I need a little extra time to complete this limited run. Orders will begin shipping immediately after labor day (Sep 07). This will be a very limited run, *possibly* followed by an even shorter 2nd run later in the fall. Please be aware that the pedal will not ship immediately.
international buyers please note, choosing international shipping adds $30 to the price to account for shipping cost differences.
The Soviets rushed the H-1 moon rocket, with its 30 separate nk-15 rocket engines!! onto the launch pad as the Americans were preparing for the manned Saturn V launch. They hadn’t had the time to even test the individual stages of the rocket. They just built the whole thing and launched it. And due to “pogo oscillation”, it exploded 100 meters off the launch pad. Back to the drawing board for some rushed modifications, supervisors silencing engineers’ concerns, and another hurried launch attempt. This launch led to the biggest man-made non-nuclear explosion in world history! After 4 failed launch attempts, the N-1 program was eventually disbanded.
In the tradition of its namesake, the H-1 Germanium Signal Carrier uses an array of vintage (NOS) low gain, Soviet-built, germanium transistors to power its fuzz tone. The American Fuzz Face used 2 med to high gain germanium transistors? Then the H-1 will use 4 low gain Russian-made ones! And we arrange them in Darlington fashion to multiply their gain! “We will bury you!!” With single coil guitars you have access to everything from a really great medium gain overdrive to a classic fuzz sound. Put some humbuckers, or, heaven help us, P-90s in front of the H-1, and now you’re into some heavy, saggy, fuzz tones.
“So, what’s the “Pogo Oscillation” switch do?” Thanks for asking: just like its namesake, it sends the circuit into chaotic oscillation. You can manipulate the oscillation sound with your guitar volume and tone controls for lots of weird sounds that will totally turn your audience off. Or…if you manage the amount of Thrust and the amount of Oscillation (side knob), you can actually add just the right amount of positive feedback to your signal to get an amazingly harmonically rich drive sound. But that’s for people who have “self-discipline”. For the rest of us, the H-1 is designed to be used with the Thrust full on and the Lift full on. It’s the way The Party would want it.
The NOS ammeter on the face of the pedal, like the transistors, is also Russian built. But here is where we leave the Cold war theme and use a top of the line DeMont smooth-click footswitch for the main switch, Taiway miniature switch for the oscillation switch, US made PCB, original design aluminum enclosures laser cut in Minneapolis, MN and folded in the Wrought Iron shop. The graphics are all acid etched and the finish is powdercoated with some vintage wear in “Cold War Red”.
The H-1 carries the Wrought Iron Satisfaction Guarantee: contact us with any issues and we will make it right.
1. Does the H-1 use Germanium clipping diodes or N1 Carbon tunneling device?
NO! It doesn’t use any clipping diodes or devices!!!! Just 4 Germanium transistors in 2 pairs of Darlington configuration smashing into each other and everything around them.
2. Does the meter do anything or is it just for looks?
The NOS Soviet meter indicates signal strength. The more you turn up the Thrust the harder it drives the meter.
3. Does it need to be first in my signal chain before any buffers?
Yes, unless the sound you are looking for is a hideous raspy gated terrible sound. If that’s the case, put it anywhere.
4. Are you a communist?
Nope. This pedal does not intend pay homage to Communism or the Soviet Union, it is merely
a snapshot in history: a study of technology, not a monument. The rocket it is named after was a failure of tremendous proportions.