It's no secret that Big Muff Pi is the most copied circuit when it comes to fuzz pedals. The only question is, how well is the job executed? One of the rare pedals that have managed to add some value to this popular platform is the EarthQauker Devices' Hoof Fuzz.
This thing completely pushed the limits of the Big Muff circuitry into something new and exciting. This rather bold move is the main reason why the Hoof Fuzz quickly climbed the ranks of go-to fuzz pedals and reached the very top where the best models are found.
Unlike a fair portion of the fuzz pedals on the market, EarthQuaker Devices Hoof comes in a pretty standard format that is pedalboard friendly and doesn't take much space. The case is a very pretty design that features four large control knobs on the top panel, along with the activation switch. EarthQuaker went with a simplistic but effective graphic design that lets you know exactly what you're dealing with.
One of the best features on the EarthQuaker Devices Hoof is the all analog true bypass. Once that switch is off, there is no residual impact on your signal chain.
The four controls you are presented with are more or less standard, with the exception of one. Tone knob lets you adjust the levels of treble and bass depending on which side you go. The level is your output level, and Fuzz dictates the level of saturation.
With all that said, the Shift knob is where things become interesting. This knob acts like a filter of sorts, allowing you to scoop or boost the mids. Combined with the Fuzz control, you can dial in a wide range of tones in no time.
Anytime there is a fuzz pedal with this type of access, quality of sound becomes the first concern. Thankfully, EarthQuaker Devices Hoof is so well ironed out that no matter what you do, that fine rich fuzz tone is always going to be there. The only thing that does change is how aggressive you want the pedal to be. EarthQuaker Devices managed to squeeze in a lot of performance into a single pedal, all of which is easily harnessed by the controls you have available.
Being so versatile is exactly what brought this pedal into the focus of the community. You rarely find quality fuzz boxes anymore, and this one just wipes the floor with the majority of what you can find on the market.
Just how good EarthQuaker Devices Hoof is can be deduced from the fact that a lot of guitar players put it in front of the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi. Whether or not it is better is a pretty subjective thing, but anyone with any experience with fuzz pedals will tell you it's one of the most potent models on the market. If you have a chance to pick one of these up, you definitely shouldn't skip it. EarthQuaker Devices Hoof is worth the investment, to say the least.