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Malekko Downer and Thicken effects pedals

Malekko Downer and Thicken effects pedals  ·  Source: Malekko

Malekko Heavy has come up with two interesting new pedals named Downer and Thicken, both designed and built in Portland, Oregon. Both provide tools to get your sound to stand out from the crowd, but in different ways.


The Downer effect combines wavefolding/saturation with pitch shifting down to one octave below. Two filters are also provided, one high-pass and one low-pass, so this packs quite a lot into its pink and grey chassis. It sounds almost synth-like in the demo video, with hints of fuzz in there as well!

Cosmic Pitch Shifting

The Preamp control drives the  Saturation or Wavefolding effect, labelled SAT/WF on the pedal. Meanwhile the Blend control adjusts the Dry/Octave balance from completely dry up to 100% octave. The two filters allow you to sculpt the tones even further.

I would seriously suggest that you watch the official demo video below to hear what I mean, as it is a pretty insane effect, but sounds a lot of like fun. Plus, you also get an input on the side for an external expression pedal, which can be assigned to various effects parameters.

The Downer is a pretty ‘out-there’ sounding pitch shifter, with gain that can be set to subtle or heavy gain thrown into the mix as well.

RRP – USD 189


The Malekko Thicken is also a little bit different from your average pedal and stands out from the crowd much like the Downer pedal does. It has two multi-tap delay modes and a chorus effect, which are combined to achieve the ‘Thicken’ sound. Of course, the outcome, as suggested by the name, is to thicken your guitar’s sound and make you sound a lot fuller.

Spread determines the delay times, and increasing the spread effect parameter will exponentially widen the delay times and therefore thicken your sound even more. Again, there is an external expression pedal input on the side of the pedal and so you can assign this to control various control parameters of the effect.

Two Spread Modes

The first Spread time mode allows you to manipulate Exponential, whereas the second mode of Spread will control Random. A built-in Preamp allows you to add some extra gain in as well, and you can dial in the chorus effect to taste using Rate and Depth on top of all this.


Malekko worked with Colin Newman of Wire when designing the Thicken pedal, so a lot of the ideas came from him. The brief, apparently, was to make a pedal to give him ‘bigger, thicker’ guitar sounds from a single guitar. Have they come up with the goods? You be the judge.

RRP – USD 189

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by Jef

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