There are tons of guitar pedals available, and so many in the distortion/overdrive category that selecting just one to use is almost overwhelming. That said, you have to take notice when a high-end pro audio manufacturer like BAE Audio introduces one. The company’s Hot Fuzz isn’t your typical distortion pedal though, and that’s exactly what I’d expect from a company like BAE.
Hot Fuzz actually combines two pedals – a treble booster and a fuzz tone, which can be operated separately or together as each has its own true-bypass foot switch. Like everything that BAE makes, Hot Fuzz is genetically British in nature, with the fuzz having a distinct Tone Bender sound and the Hi-Frequency Boost along the lines of the revered but so hard to find Rangemaster. There are controls for Hi-Freq Boost Gain, Fuzz Gain, Bass, Treble, and a mysterious one labeled “Juice. ” Juice controls the amount of distortion and compression for the Fuzz, and while it might have been called by various names in the past, it’s the heart and soul of every 60’s-style fuzz pedal.
The unit features solid-state design with 4 bipolar, low noise transistors, and selected film, ceramic, mica, and electrolytic capacitors to shape the tone. It’s built like a tank and can be operated either from a single 9V battery, or from an external power supply. The pedal powers on when input is connected, whether any of the LEDs are on or off, so you have to remember to remove your plug from the input jack in order to conserve battery power.
At $225, the BAE Hot Fuzz is on the higher end of pedal price range, but considering that’s it’s actually 2 pedals in one and is likely to be used for years, it’s a reasonable price. I think it’s also the perfect pedal for just about any studio to have around just to help dial in those guitar sounds that just don’t seem to have enough of that something extra that we’re always looking for.