Submitted by Sander from Lakewood, CA (46 points) on Mar 25, 2006
HomeBrew Electronics has quietly established themselves as luminaries in the boutique pedal arena. With road-worthy construction, top-notch componants, and a pro fit and finish, their pedals stand up well in any comparison.
I had the opportunity to A/B a number of Fuzz pedals, some built by hand and others mass produced. The UFO stood out.
It is dead quiet when off, and adds no noticable noise when on, even when powered by an external power supply. Its effect can range from subtle to searing, and it has tons of gain. The vintage setting provides the rich warm classic sound that one thinks of when Fuzz is mentioned. The modern setting is brighter, more edgy, and more intense. The tone control helps to soften some of the rough edges that can come from fuzz.
The Octave feature works best on high frequencies. It creates a 'double' of the fundamental that sounds higher in pitch. This is great if one wants to jump out to the front of the mix. It can be unsettling, however.
Additionally, HBE's sole proprieter is responsive and willing to do cosmetic and electronic customizations. (I paid $35 for a Safety Orange Sparkle paint job.)
In my set-up, the HBE UFO is first in my effects chain. I run it in its modern setting, and feed it into an Analog Man Sun Face (NKT275 with Sun Dial mod). Each, alone, is fantastic but together they soar.
Good Points: Solid Construction
Bad Points: It is pricy, but you get what you pay for.