52 pedals, week 11—BIG EAR n.y.c. CHAKA

This week I thought I’d revisit my 2015 Winter NAMM experiences. Mostly because I don’t see myself actually revisiting the NAMM event anytime soon. Granted nobody else has heard this story before, so the revisiting is only for me. For all other readers, this is a fresh and exciting new story. I’ve probably oversold that.

Hopefully the BIG EAR n.y.c. CHAKA octave fuzz isn’t oversold though. People need to be able to buy this pedal. It’s awesome.

Back to my revisiting though. One of the highlights of NAMM for me was seeing guitar gear and people that I’ve encountered online through the wonders of social media. When this happens I often have wonders of my own. Mostly they are of the “I wonder if these people know who Scarebear is?” variety. To my delight, when I met Grant from BIG EAR n.y.c. the answer was along the lines of “Hey I know who you are!”

For an insignificant blogger such as me, that’s pretty cool. Nowhere near as cool as finally experiencing the BIG EAR n.y.c. pedal range in person though. Not even close.

I’ve been following BIG EAR n.y.c. on social media—initially on Instagram when they first announced the LOAF pedal—for quite some time now. Every time they release a new pedal I say to myself “Damn it! Now I want that!” Having played all of the pedals they had on display at the 2015 Winter NAMM, I now find myself saying that more. But I digress like a professional digressor who gets distracted by shiny things are really nice especially on pedals.

Of the pedals I tried—have I mentioned I went to NAMM this year?—the CHAKA octave fuzz was the one that really caught my attention. There are videos online that showcase what the pedal does, but none (that I’ve seen at least) do the pedal any true justice. If you get the opportunity to try this pedal out, you really should. The fuzz is pretty damn impressive on its own. But the octave footswitch takes this pedal to another dimension.

That dimension may be called Dimension O. But I’m not certain of that.

I love the dirty tones this fuzz pedal kicks out. As I mentioned, there are videos. Look (and listen).

Simple. Awesome. Fuzzy. I love it. It’s a brutal little pedal. I could really picture myself having some 70s style fun with this pedal—I’m referring to the guitar tones of this era and nothing else. In my opinion you can hear more of that 70s tone  in the following Premier Guitar video (from the 2014 Summer NAMM).

Again, that fuzz is brutal. If you want classic fuzz that sounds like the clean channel has enough dirty in it to make your Mum think the sound is still acceptable, this is not your pedal. Well it could be, but who wants that?! Not this parental defiance unit. Actually, kids, don’t defy your parents. Especially my kids. Do what you’re told damn it!

You seriously need to try this pedal. It’s different and it is a whole bunch of fun. Amazingly, it manages all of that with three simple knobs—fuzz, volume and tone—and two footswitches—fuzz and octave. Dial in your tone, stomp and play. Simple. Awesome. Fuzzy. I simply had to say that again.

I’ll continue to watch BIG EAR n.y.c. to see what they come up with next. I know there’s more awesome to come.

Disclaimer: I have played this guitar pedal. I have experienced first-hand the sound or effects of this guitar pedal. That does matter. It looks awesome, it’s obviously played by winners and I want one.

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