Fredric Effects are based in North London, UK and have just released a trio of new pedals. Each has a different type of fuzz/distortion: the new Verzerrer, Utility Perkolator MkII and Dresden Synth Fuzz MkII. This triumvirate of retro noise can make some pretty wild sounds.
East Germany only really had one distortion effect pedal, the Bohm Trickverzerrer. This is Frederic Effects’ take on that design. It uses the same original stock transistors and diodes of the original. But now you can easily tweak it. The originals were a little idiosyncratic because you had to deal with 5-pin DIN connectors, a plastic enclosure and trim pots which had to be adjusted by using a screwdriver!
This version has trim pots on the outside, an input gain control plus a series of DIP switches inside for further tweaking. That makes it a damn sight more user-friendly than the old East German version.
RRP – GBP 140
Utility Perkolator MkII
Based on the infamous ’70s Interfax Harmonic Percolator, the newUtility Perkolator MkII has a switchable ring modulation circuit. This version uses higher gain, lower leakage Russian Germanium transistors and a low pass filter. This helps to remove the high-end hisses and glitches that we associate with the ’70s originals and should make this version more practical for use with modern setups.
I always associate the originals with Shellac and Steve Albini, but if you have never heard one you can check out the video below. It’s an interesting effect and collectors argue about them online all the time. However, it is one pedal that has been modded many, many times and so it has a bit of a cult following.
This one has that added ring modulation circuit for extra splattery and octave overtones, so purists will probably moan. But I like it.
RRP – GBP 140
Dresden Synth Fuzz MkII
Last up is the Dresden Synth Fuzz MkII. With this pedal, the clue is in the name. Yes, it will do fuzzed out synth-like tones and it is certainly not for the faint-hearted.
The dual octave fuzz runs in parallel, so the sound gets pretty thick. This new ‘Version 2’ has a handy clean blend (dry/wet mix), plus input gain control to reduce or perhaps, if you are so inclined, increase the glitchiness.
You can hear it in action below. I would urge you to do so, as it sounds like a lot of fun.
RRP – GBP 140
I’m really liking the new sloped enclosures that Frederic Effects is using on these three releases! They look really neat and harken back to classic old vintage ’70s style pedals. You can always count on this boutique UK pedal builder to dig out weird and wonderful fuzz and distortion circuits. These three new effects certainly should be on your radar for 2019 and I think the pricing is spot on for such well-designed pedals.