El Diablo Amps & Guitars has announced a new run of its HEQ1 Harmonic Equalizer fuzz. It’s based on a short run of only 40 units from 2017 which were only available at the FUZZAPALOOZA event. That box has since become a little bit of a cult classic. The updated version is called the HEQ1.2 and is available at a much more attractive price than its predecessor.
HEQ1.2 Harmonic Equalizer fuzz
Launched in 2017, the original HEQ1 Harmonic Equalizer fuzz pedal was designed by the Minneapolis-based audio engineer Peter Bregman. It was featured in the Pedal Crush book of effects, a sign that some stompbox collectors have a high opinion of this effect. This new version has been tweaked slightly and now comes in white with ’80s-style graphics (the previous run of 40 units were black and had ’70s styling). El Diablo Amps & Guitars has refined the circuit a little to make it easier to build, removing the internal trim pots recalibrating V1.2 to sound exactly like Peter’s own personal HEQ1.
The control set on the HEQ1.2 includes Edges, used to affect the envelope behaviour, saturation levels and gating effects, as well as Expanse, which controls harmonic complexity, treble response and compression. A Volume control sets the overall output of the pedal. This Harmonic Equalizer fuzz pedal has a lot going on under the hood, yet makes it accessible through an interface that’s easy to use.
This new HEQ1.2 Harmonic Equalizer fuzz has a Baxandall EQ, a three-band active tone control and based on the published work of Peter Baxandall in 1952. This means that all three bands are in the feedback path of an operational amplifier, which allows for optimised impedance balancing and make-up gain. The three EQ knobs are labelled Bass, Mid, and Treble and should be easy to use while giving wide control of the frequencies.
Among the cosmetic updates on the new version are the pots, as the ones used on the 2017 version are now out of production. Some of the caps/resistors in V1.2 are sourced from different brands, too. The new unit has dimmer LEDs; apparently the LEDs on the original were blindingly bright. Reverse and over-voltage protection is now built in, as well.
You can pre-order the HEQ1.2 Harmonic Equalizer fuzz now from the link below. I love that El Diablo has managed to drop the price down from the original $399 in 2017 version down to a much more wallet friendly $215. That’s reasonable for a hand-wired, US-built effects pedal. El Diablo estimates the initial production run will total 200 units worldwide, but states it could make more, if flipping for profit becomes an issue.
On paper, this pedal looks very attractive. This is my kind of effect! I’m hoping to hear this pedal in action soon, as it could be a pretty powerful harmonic EQ fuzz. I’ve added a video of the previous version below so you can get an idea of what to expect from V1.2 Shipping is slated for April.
RRP – USD 215