The EFE SKUA - Project XIV. This is a very small limited run of 16 pieces, from a very limited run series of EFE pedals.
Are you ready to (Kraut)rock! A reimagining of the brutally psychedelic Schaller Verzerrer. I like BC109's, so needless to say it's based upon the ancient German monster that contained said silicon enhancements.
If you've never experienced the Verzerrer, you should. The circuit is the textbook voltage feedback amplifier (AKA Vox Tone Bender V828, Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face et al.) but operating at technical engineering level #11. The Schaller masterminds that tweaked and refined their germanium Verzerrer into the silicon brute were very smart gentlemen indeed. There are things that exist within the circuit design that don't appear in any other commercial iteration of the voltage feedback amplifier. In comparison to the DA Fuzz Face, the Verzerrer is very stable in operation with no self-oscillation and an excellent signal-to-noise ratio. The frequency response on a Fuzz Face is pretty damn huge, the Verzerrer is the moon falling into the Atlantic Ocean huge. But I stress, it is not a muddy narrow bandwidth kinda thing. It's not fat and dark, the end, thanks, goodbye, that's all you get. It's barn doors wide open, full frequency range shimmering glistening treble with a mighty low-end rumble emitting from the centre of the earth.
The Verzerrer was an excellently designed pedal and in equal excellence in its sonic performance. Capable of a mild driven break-up to a full-blown savage roar.
The SKUA* takes the aforementioned and makes out like it's 1983. Modern day features, reliability, longevity and performance, yo! High-end hardware used through-out, from tasty names within the industry such as Cliff UK, Omeg, Piher. Housed in the beefy Hammond 1590XX (yes, it's actually called that) enclosure and installed with the super handy and mega cool Bulgin BX0023 battery drawer, and in grey too (w00t!)
The same mixture of 70s/80s feels within the componentry as the TYGR and the rest of this limited run EFE Spirit Animal Series (it's actually called that? Nope. But if it catches on, yes.) The amplification devices are modern high quality CDIL (Continental Devices India Limited) BC109C's. Yes, they are made in India. Some of today's finest modern semiconductors are. These are a gain matched and selected pair that deliver goods tenfold with excellent tonal execution.
Additional user controllability and a bonus prize. The Fuzz control in the SKUA's instance is wired in reverse, which transforms the chosen taper of logarithmic to one of reverse logarithmic. All commercially made vintage voltage feedback amplifier distortion circuits utilize a linear taper distortion control, which is perfectly well suited, but it does place all the juicy higher gain flavours in the final quarter of the rotation. With the hot wiring in the SKUA you have a broad even spread of fuzz and distortion increase as the control is turned, only the minium and maximum positions are changed from the norm. Hard right - minimum, hard left - maximum.
Once the distortion reaches its full power (hard left) the pot can switch over and bring in a new experience of the Verzerrer. When active, the switch pot function drastically shifts the circuit bias, giving much greater sustain and intensity of available distortion.
The Pre-Gain control further adds a modern twist, helping to shape and tighten up string attack and string definition. Especially useful at high gain settings.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the EFE SKUA. Primal psychedelic fuzz tones brought to you by Wonder Bread He-Man.
*SKUA? S.K.U.A!? Supernatural Kingdom of Universal Atoms? er, no. For the non-bird watchers among us, a Skua, is a bird. Simply put, it's kinda like an angry sea-gull that makes its living by generally fucking shit up. Pretty sure that's how David Attenborough would describe it.