Does the world really need another distortion pedal?
Another distortion pedal by Earthquaker Devices?
In this case the answer is a very affirmative YES!
WHAT IS IT?
There is an impressive story about how this pedal came into being. Visit the Earthquaker Devices web site if you want that.
In a nutshell the Hizumitas is another off shoot from the classic Big Mufff Pi family tree. I’m a big fan of the Big Muff but I had no idea that is the heritage of the Hizumitas pedal until after I bought it and began working with it.
There is an extensive review/shootout between the JHS Muffetta (6 different Big Muff’s in one box) and one of the latest big box Big Muff Pi by Electro-Harmonix on High on Technology and you can read it here.
HOW DOES IT SOUND?
If you like BIG, really BIG distortion tones that hang on and sustain for a long time, this is it.
If you like a tone control knob that has some serious “oink” to it you’ll love this pedal (what's oink?). If you like a powerful pedal output with supreme amounts of level available to push the input of your amp this pedal delivers it. If you like wicked David Gilmour style lead tones you’ll love the Hizumitas.
In fact I can save you from reading the rest of this review and just say; “Buy the Hizumitas”.
There are a lot of buzzy, sustain laden distortion pedals on the market and with a $150 street price the Hizumitas is not an inexpensive model but it has unique and amazing tonal output for fuzz freaks. The fatness of the tone is the reason for my excitement over this distortion.
On the surface the Hizumitas looks like a normal enough Big Muff clone with knobs for Volume, Sustain and Tone. The Tone knob is where things get real interesting. Where other pedal builders spend lots of time talking about their nos germanium parts, Earthquaker has just gone and put the good stuff in there and delivered an outrageously good sounding distortion in the process.
|Volume, Sustain, Tone controls|
I love looking inside pedals to see how they’re built and what they’re built out of but this pedal just sounds so good, I don’t care what’s inside. I can run it into a little solid state Marshall practice amp in the kitchen and it sounds fantastic. I can plug it into a Mesa Mini Rectifier with a 4x12 and it sounds great. I can plug it into the Fender Super Sonic and it sounds great. Keep in mind, I like fuzz leads with lots of echo added, I also like BIG distortion lead guitar sounds reproduced through massive piles of speakers, it’s why I have four 4x12 Marshall cabinets in my recording room.
I keep coming back to the Tone control on this pedal. Unlike so many fuzz pedals where the Tone control simply rolls-off the high frequencies, the Hizumitas Tone control twists the distortion roar inside out. The character of the sound changes as you twist the Tone knob, it can be bright and thin or huge and fat or that sweet spot between two extremes for the moment you're in. The tone knob is highly interactive with the Sustain knob and between the two controls exists an infinite number of distortion colors. This pedal inspires creativity no matter what amp you use it with but it is really fun to crank it through a big loud 4x12.
I liked the Hizumitas through the Mesa Mini Rectifier (clean channel) driving a Marshall 4x12. The Hizumitas complimented any Marshall amp I plugged it into. With this pedal in your tone toolbox you don’t need a lead channel or distortion built into your amp, this is THE distortion. Running the Hizumitas into an already raging Boogie results in some interesting sounds but too much distortion and blur for my taste. The Hizumitas plugged into a big clean sounding amp can result in some awesome articulate notes amid the smashing distortion effects. This is a wicked good sounding distortion pedal. My GF really likes the bunnies in the artwork.
Soft footswitch, electronic switching
Marshall style knobs
Sounds good on a variety of amplifier types
Bunnies in the artwork
Only 10mA current draw
No internal battery power option
The Hizumitas is one of the most exciting fuzz boxes I’ve tried in years. There are so many strange and quirky sonic colors available through the ‘tone” control knob. The three knobs are a gateway to fuzz tones I haven’t experienced since the early 1970’s. The knobs are highly interactive and it’s like a paintbox for fuzz that is super musical.
Plug the Hizumitas into an Avalanche Run (also from EQD) and prepare to experience a time warp where your life just disappears into a world of swirling, singing echoes.
Good Music To You!
©2022 by Mark King for High on Technology. It’s not ok to copy or quote without written permission. Thanks for reading High on Technology.