[review] El Musico Loco Wee Beaver Fuzz (by LordRiffenstein)

LordRiffenstein, all-around tone freak and purveyor of great tone.

El Musico Loco

El Musico Loco is a 1-man operation. Chris Bradford is a US ex-pat living in Spain. He is hand-building a small but expanding range of pedals. He hand builds the pedals himself so there’s some lead time when you order. You do get great build quality in return though. El Musico Loco are expanding their range of pedals and have some cool stuff happening!

Wee Beaver

As usual with the El Musico Loco pedals, the Wee Beaver comes in a very attractive package. The non-painted but etched enclosures look stunning. The Wee Beaver really is a wee pedal, very small box, it's amazing they were able to get the circuit in there. The build is up to the typical high standards from El Musico Loco. The pedal is a modified fuzz face to which they added a Big Muff tone stack. The pedal has only 2 controls, Tone/Contour and Volume. There's no Fuzz or Gain control because it's always on at full tilt. You can power it with 12V to get more headroom and more hair *insert hairy beaver joke*.

The pedal in use

Let me tell you, this is not a pedal for the faint of heart, it packs a serious punch! With the fuzz circuit always being maxed out, this is not a pedal for the most subtle situation. However, it responds REALLY well to your playing and guitar controls so you can get a lot of mileage out of this small box.

I tried the Wee Beaver with a couple of guitars and amps and I was always amazed at the amount of great tones you can dial in with it. The tone control really works well and has a big range. With the control in the lower range, you get big fat tones, an over-the-top bluesy sound, dialing back the volume control doesn’t thin out the sound but really cleans it up.  Turning the tone up will make the Wee Beaver more fizzy sounding, the overlap from smooth to fizzy is good so you can fine tune it for your needs. I loved the lower setting for ZZ Top style stuff with humbuckers or straight-up rocking out with single coils.  The higher settings were a bit too bright for my taste with single coils but really opened things up with humbuckers.  And you’re still not done because at the last quarter of the Tone control, the pedal will add some mid range bark to your tone, yet a whole other set of tones.

With all the wild tones happening, I almost forgot to mention that the Wee Beaver has a lot of output, oh yes, it doesn’t only have plenty of gain but the output level is sufficient to kick any amp in the ass for extra drive. It’s amazing that with the amount of output and the amount of gain, the Wee Beaver is still a very dynamic pedal. It doesn’t muddy up or schmear your tone unless you want it to.

Looking for that small pedal to fill the last available pedalboard real estate? Or just looking for a very versatile fuzz pedal? The El Musico Loco Wee Beaver is capable of a lot more than its size would suggest, it rocks hard and has a stunning amount of killer tones available in a great design!

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