Fender Pugilist Distortion Pedal
- Dual gain engines
- Discrete tone controls per channel
- Led backlit knobs
- Fender amp Jewel LED
- Magnetically latched hinged 9V battery door
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From the manufacturer
Pugilist Distortion Features
Dual Gain Engines
Dual gain engines-with independent tone controls for each-make it easy for you to dial in your sound. A Series/Blend switch lets you stack engines for brutal tone.
The Pugilist Distortion's Blend control mixes your dry and effected signals to taste, bringing out your pick attack to create complex, articulate tone with lively transients.
The versatile per-channel tone controls not only let you shape your sound exactly, they also make it easy to use this pedal with any amp-even one with a Bright switch.
LED-illuminated knobs show your control settings at a glance-even on dark stages.
Magnetic Battery Door
The exclusive, 'patent applied for', magnetically latched 9V battery door makes it quick and easy to swap batteries.
Every Fender effects pedal is crafted from lightweight, durable anodized aluminum-they'll easily withstand the rigors of touring.
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|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Amazon Warehouse||Quantum Networks||Quantum Networks||Alto Music||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||5.45 x 4.85 x 3.25 inches||4.00 x 6.00 x 3.00 inches||5.13 x 2.90 x 2.40 inches||4.80 x 4.50 x 3.30 inches||5.30 x 3.00 x 2.40 inches||4.50 x 6.00 x 2.75 inches|
Fiery sounding and flexible, The pugilist distortion is ready to add some heavyweight gain to your rig. This original design features dual gain engines-with independent tone controls for each-letting you select multiple variations of distortion, ensuring this pedal will play well with any rig. Series/blend switch lets you stack channels for thick, cascading distortion, while the bass boost switch fattens up your tone. The blend control mixes the two channels to get the best of both worlds, crafting a sound just for you.
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Sound-wise, The Pelt has been very satisfying, but not necessarily in the ways I expected from watching review videos prior to purchase. Many of the reviews emphasize a splatty, gated style of fuzz. This actually appealed to me as it seemed similar to a couple of my other favorite fuzz pedals: the DOD Carcosa Fuzz and Earthquaker Devices Dirt Transmitter. However, the reality is that The Pelt offers a nuanced approach to fuzz, and with different control settings, you can use for applications you would never even think to use, say, a Big Muff or Fuzz Face. You can get those splatty, velcro-type fuzz tones, but only to a certain degree, and only with the fuzz knob turned most of the way up. Unlike the Earthquaker pedal, which can be placed at such extreme settings that it becomes borderline unusable, this Fender offering is well-tuned and offers usable, musical tones across virtually all knob settings.
Which is all the more impressive given the number of control variables impacting its settings. There are three knobs (Volume, Tone, and Fuzz) that you would expect to find on just about any drive pedal. Where The Pelt shines is in those additional controls that allow you to shape the style of gain and match it to both your equipment and personal preferences.
The "Bloom" control basically controls attack. Some fuzzes will clip aggressively and duck out if you hit them aggressively, resulting in a gated effect. You can do this with higher Bloom settings, or roll it off for a more subtle attack, better suited for chords and swells.
There are also two mod switches. One of them simply adds additional thickness/low end. The other one is a three-way switch allowing you to sculpt the mids (boost, flat, cut). This is arguably the most important feature of The Pelt, because it can be a dark and borderline muddy pedal on some settings, but the mids boost really allows it to jump out of the mix.
I found myself playing classic rock riffs and solos with The Pelt that I wouldn't even necessarily associate with "fuzz" tones. Some of my favorite tones were using it almost like a Tubescreamer with the Level set at 3:00 and gain at 9:00. This versatility really adds to the value of the pedal - it's good to know that you could throw this on a live pedalboard and get more than one niche sound out of it. If you're looking for a wacky, extreme fuzz sound unlike anything you've ever heard, The Pelt really isn't that. Instead, Fender made a well-tuned, versatile drive pedal that can cover a lot of different music styles and sounds good almost no matter how you set it up.
Let me just add a quick disclaimer here that I have been playing through a VOX Tonelab for about 15 years. Loved it, but I have been getting more and more dissatisfied with and wanted to build a board with separate pedals and get out of that "all in one" thing. So with that I don't have a lot of experience with the different pedals out there.
I would really like to see somebody actually compare the two. I decided on the MTG because from the videos it seemed to be the exact thing I wanted from a distortion pedal and I really liked the fact that you can set the boost with separate knobs for level and gain. This allows the pedal to be used by itself and have a rhythm setting and boost for the lead. Or, you can use the separate boost pedal and just use this to have 2 different levels of distortion for different songs which saves the effort of readjusting a pedal mid-set or buying 2.
As far as the effect itself, it is absolutely beautiful and completely transparent. Meaning it doesn't sound like a pedal. Very natural sounding and does everything you could want it to do. The eq section is great. The tightness control seems a little subtle to me, but that could just be my setup. I haven't used a lot of different pedals, but I can't imagine a tube overdrive better sounding than this.
The case is very well built, I really like the led lit knobs. I also like that you can switch the unit to let the effect trail or cut off dry when the unit is turned off.
My only issue I have is that the lewel light is so bright, that it makes it hard to see not only the other knobs on this pedal, but also the other pedals on my board. Couple that with having the Fender delay pedal next to it, and you start having a hard time seeing anything but blue and green light coming off the pedal board.
I am going to rig something up dampen the light.
Top international reviews
As a compressor, however, this is great. It's the blend control that does it for me. Being able to add back some of the uncompressed original keeps tone and performance alive and well. Cranking the drive knob adds a bit of hair into the signal, but not so much as to overdrive it. I have it after my overdrive/fuzz and before eq and the noise suppressor loop. Sometimes there is a wah in there after the dirt pedals but I haven't tried that with this compressor in the chain. It certainly tames my Big Muff without losing it's thick goodness and it works brilliantly on clean tones as well. I don't do much fingerpicking but the little I do just sounds better.
Appearance-wise, other than that centre LED, it is solidly built and finished really attractively. The one saving grace of that LED, by the way, is that it shows you when the compressor is working harder (it turns pink) so it's a good visual cue to help setting it up. Wear sunglasses, though . . . it's that overpowering! I'm going to have to cover that with something,
I'm using this in the studio only and it's replacing an effective(ish) Marshall ED-1. I've started trying to find the tone I like and commit that when recording, rather than endless post-recording tweaking in the DAW with amp sims, good as they are these days. This is how we used to do it, and it feels much more 'real'! I also have to think harder about what I'm trying to achieve before I hit record, and that's a good thing. As part of this process I am replacing many of my pedals, which previously were only there for noodling around and never got recorded.
Overall, I recommend The Bends compressor to anyone looking for a fairly transparent, well built tool. If you want something more obvious then the MXR Dyna Comp would seem to be the way to go in a similar price range. If I'd been in a bad mood I would have knocked a star off for that LED issue, but I am in a good mood, so I won't. Let's say 4.5/5*.
The gold finish is stylish and appealing to the eye and fits easily on my Pedal Train Nano, while I've had no issues with adhesion. This is an easy to use and set up item, which sounds good with little tweaking.
I would have liked this to include a tuner but then how else would I spend my money if this gave me everything I need at such a good price - 8/10.
The only negative is that the big LED in the middle of the pedal is _way_ too bright and dazzles even in daylight. I have stuck a couple of bits of masking tape over it to tone it down a bit. There's an LED on/off button but it only affects the LEDs on the top two knobs and not the crazy one in the middle.
Gorgeous casing which is sturdy and seems reasonably durable. And with the added LED lights it’s just a stand out visually on any pedal board, instantly recognisable!
Didn’t seem to work with just a 9v battery, worked perfectly fine with a 9v DC line however.
At its core it’s a good looking Reverb pedal that delivers something more; I like it!
I leave it on constantly as it works well with my distortion and fuzz pedals.
My second fender pedal purchase and I’m happy with it.
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