Mooer Triangle Buff Fuzz – Pedal Review

 

Fuzz – one of the ‘Grandfather’ effects of the guitar pedal scene. Fuzz pedals have been around in one form or another since the early 1960s, inspiring countless musicians over the years, from the 1960s up to the present day. Early fuzz pedals paved the way for more distorted guitar riffs in music, changing the landscape of rock and roll at the time, and leading to the creation of other ‘dirty’ pedals such as overdrive and distortion.

Popular users of muff pedals include Muse’s Chris Wolstenholme, Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour (that Comfortably Numb solo anyone?), The White Stripes’ Jack White, U2’s The Edge, and The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach (an interesting side note, most if not all of those mentioned use an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi or Big Muff variant to provide fuzz tone – cool huh?!).

“There’s something about a Gucci loafer kicking on a fuzz pedal” – Alex Turner.

Released relatively recently compared to other mainstay big-brand name pedals like the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi or the Dunlop Fuzz Face, the Triangle Buff fuzz is Chinese-based musical equipment company Mooer’s shot at recreating those warm fuzzy tones from the early rock and roll period of the 1960s.

 

Images sourced from Thomann.de.

Design & Appearance

The Mooer uses a compact ‘mini’ footprint casing (dimensions of 93.5mm x 42mm x 52mm), which is particularly useful for those who happen to find themselves running out of space often on their pedal board (we’re all guilty of it from time to time!) or those who find themselves on the move a lot so need to travel light. The casing is fully metal, meaning it can take a fall or two and survive to play another day.

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The silver metallic casing of the Mooer contrasts well with the black control knob markings that are printed in an easy-to-read font onto the pedal, meaning you’ll be able to quickly adjust tone, volume, or sustain levels on a whim without misreading the knob labelling.

A handy status LED in the centre of the pedal lets you know at a glance if the pedal is on or off, which can be useful for those who find themselves too carried away with solos to remember to turn their pedals on or off!

Both the input and output jacks are handily labelled for a quick plug-in setup, and having a jack on either side of the pedal means it can comfortably into both large and smaller pedal boards through the use of daisy chains.

The light weight of the pedal (160g), along with the ‘mini’ style casing size, also adds to its attraction for on-the-move players; simply unplug the pedal and slip it into your pocket, and away you go!

Buy the Mooer Triangle Buff fuzz pedal now at Amazon.com!

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Features & Controls

The Mooer follows similar design principles to most ‘mini’ and standard-sized pedals alike; a three knob control system with individual knobs to control volume, tone, and sustain.

7The volume knob controls the volume of the effect produced, with greater volume suiting rocky performances and quieter volume suiting a more mellow setting.

The tone knob allows for adjusting of the tone colour, with a higher level of tone adding presence to the sound. Experimenting with the tone knob can create some amazing muddy or crisper sounding riffs.

The sustain knob increases or decreases the amount of sustain on the fuzz effect – a higher sustain on the Mooer gives a wonderfully bright sound, whereas dialling back provides a muddier bassy feel.

As previously mentioned, the Mooer uses a small red status LED to let you know if the pedal is active or not. This can prove useful for dimly lit gig locations, as you can tell with a glance if the pedal is active by checking the LED light.

A small metal stomp switch is used on the Mooer as a switch for turning the pedal on or off – the solid metal used for the stomp switch means it can take countless presses without giving in to wear and tear.

The pedal is true bypass, and its small form factor means there is no available room to fit a 9V battery, so a DC 9V adapter is required – power supply to the pedal can be easily incorporated into a pedal board through use of power chains however. It has a current draw of 3mA.

Sound Quality

In terms of sound, the Mooer provides a beautiful range of bright and dark fuzzy tones, all achieved through mastery of the tone and sustain knobs. The rich and creamy, almost violin-like sound, created by the pedal fits in nicely with rock and roll genres as well as heavier rock a la Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd.

Ramping up the sustain achieves a lovely bright sound, and adding plenty of high tone makes for a sound full of presence, creating a wall of crisp fuzz. Lowering tone and keeping sustain high removes some of that high-end and maintains fuzz, creating a muddier sound perfect for heavier chord progressions.

Dial back sustain and keeping a high tone provides a less fuzzy but full sound providing a David Gilmour-esque lead sound perfect for soloing. A whole manner of sounds can be gained from the Mooer with a little mastery over the controls and some time to experiment.

Check out the video below for an in-depth test of the Mooer Triangle Buff tone.

Video sourced from Prymaxe.

Overall Result

In conclusion, the Mooer is a fabulous little pedal for its price, proving to be quite a handful for its compact size! The range of sounds provided by the Mooer almost rivals the bigger-named fuzz brands such as the Big Muff Pi or the Boss FZ-5.

Although the pedal’s design could be a little more colourful (although that’s a purely aesthetic opinion), with a little mastery of the controls the Mooer Triangle Buff provides maximum bang for minimum bucks.

The Mooer Triangle Buff gets a well earned 4 stars from us.

 

4.0

 

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Boss DS-1 Distortion – Pedal Review

 

Boss is a prolific name in the musical community. With a pedal catering for every effect you could dream of and a whole raft of famous musicians spanning multiple decades using their products across many genres, they well and truly deliver when it comes to musical equipment, in particular effects pedals. One of their more famous pedals produced is the Boss DS-1 distortion pedal; in production since 1978, the Boss DS-1 has been used by rock, metal and punk bands primarily for decades to define an era of music.

The DS-1 is a staple of professional musicians, with notable users including Kurt Cobain, Glenn Frey, Doug Aldrich, and Joe Satriani. Its popularity among guitarists has lead to whole slew of successors including the DS-1X, DS-2, and MD-2, and and even a limited edition 40th Anniversary model being manufactured by Boss.

But how does their DS-1 distortion pedal stack up when under the reviewer’s microscope? Below, we’ve reviewed the pedal’s design and appearance, features and controls, and sound quality.

Images sourced from Thomann.de.

Design & Appearance

The Boss DS-1 uses the classic rugged ‘blocky’ pedal chassis with a bright orange paint job (which means it won’t be lost in a hurry!). Beneath the sturdy stomp pedal itself is a 9 volt battery that powers the pedal when not plugged in, accessible through unscrewing the screw to the front of the pedal.

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A simple control interface containing tone, level, and distortion knobs allow you to easily tailor the tone to your liking without needing to read any instructions – it is simply plug in and play. An input jack is found on the right-hand side of the pedal’s body, and the output jack is found on the left hand-side.

The DS-1’s classic blocky enclosure shape means it can be easily slotted into both the Boss BCB-30 Compact and Boss BCB-60 Deluxe pedal board cases as well as other pedal board cases, for easy transport and use when gigging or practicing away from home.

The Boss DS-1 Distortion pedal can be powered via either a 9 volt battery or a 9 volt power adaptor, and can be chained to other effects pedals through the use of a standard instrument cable or daisy chain cable.

Buy the Boss DS-1 distortion pedal now at Amazon.com!

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Features & Controls

The DS-1 is pretty much ready to go once out of the box, with an intuitive easily configurable control interface at the top of the pedal providing a multitude of tone options; simply plug in a battery or external adapter, find your sweet spot by twisting the three control knobs, and play away!

5The control interface is made up of three knobs, each controlling an aspect of the output sound. The tone knob allows you to brighten or darken the output sound. The distortion knob allows you to increase or decrease the amount of distortion in the output sound. The level knob allows you to increase or reduce the volume of the effect in the output sound.

Although the DS-1 a relatively simple model of pedal with a sole function of providing a tasty distortion effect, the musical community has found multitudes of  ways to mod the pedal, breathing new life into the decades-old DS-1 model.

Just a few of the wide range of available modifications for the DS-1 include the switching out of stock circuitry components to alter the sound output, to changing LED colours, and even frankenstein-ing the case with new custom control knobs and casings. With the immense range of modifications available, it’s very difficult to be bored with a DS-1 as the possibilities for change are near endless.


Sound Quality

The DS-1 is marketed as a distortion pedal, and doesn’t disappoint in results.

Combined with an overdriven amp, the DS-1 provides a deliciously gritty output that mimics a typical hard rock tone. In addition, although marketed as a distortion pedal, it can also achieve overdrive effects if you’ve got the time and experience to experiment with finding the right balance of tone and distortion.

Experimenting with the distortion knob cranked to 6/7 and the tone knob at around 1/2, a muddy and gritty sound can be achieved that suits a thick bar chord strum. With the distortion set to 6/7 and tone turned up to 5/6, a brighter and more cutting sound can be achieved to make soloing stand out.

See the below video for an in-depth DS-1 pedal demonstration.

Video sourced from SweetwaterSound.


Overall Result

Overall, the Boss DS-1 is a fantastic budget pedal that is still used by professional musicians worldwide and deserves a spot at the top for being a pedal that defined (and still continues to define) decades of music.

It is an essential pedal for aspiring musicians to try, even as a springboard on the way to more complex and expensive pedals such as the Pro Co RAT2 or the MXR M116 Fullbore Metal.

With its low price and defining tone, it is well within the beginner’s budget range whether you’re just starting, or creating your first pedal board (especially if you’re aiming for that quintessential classic rocky tone).

The Boss DS-1 distortion pedal gets a well deserved 4.5 stars from us.

4.5

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