Darkglass Duality Dual Fuzz Engine review

  • £190
  • €235
  • $299.95

Getting downright dirty with a double dose of fuzz

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Our Verdict

A real winner from Darkglass, impressively simple to use but very effective. We're impressed!

For

  • Easy to use, quality tones, very impressive sounding.

Against

  • A little pricey, but listen to the tonal quality.
Buying options

The Duality Dual Fuzz from Darkglass Electronics offers not one but two distinct fuzz circuits, which can be blended any way you choose with your clean signal, therefore creating a whole range of fuzztone filth.

Classily presented in a brushed silver matte finish with a mirror chromed top facing, the four black controls all turn reassuringly smoothly while the stomp button is solid and firmly operated: the whole pedal is evidently built to last.

The Blend control ranges from a clean signal when turned fully left to a positively dripping fuzztone when panned fully right, although it is possible to hear both the clean and effected signals simultaneously. Level adds grit and distortion, while the Filter control increases the resonance, top end clarity and definition.

The sustain, quality of tone and harmonic richness are big plus points in the Duality's favour.

The Duality control is the defining control; panned fully left, it initiates the gated saw-tooth circuit, a thick, classic sounding fuzz that gradually makes way for a more modern, high-gain sounding fuzz as the control is panned right, with various mixes of the two available across the full pan from left to right.

Impressively, articulation is never lost with this pedal, although if
 you prefer to lessen the high-end characteristics (we're after fuzz, not fizz, after all), roll off the Filter control to your preference as any dodgy fretting or mistakes will stand out like a sore thumb. Warm and rich, just as a great fuzz pedal should be, the power and aggression which this pedal is able to conjure up is mightily impressive.

Experimentation is important, as with any effect pedal, but it is at the player's discretion whether to make the fuzztones part of your regular playing, or whether it's an effect to employ sporadically for maximum impact. You may find adding a little to spice up your main clean bass tone adds a little something to fill out your frequency spectrum.

Plectrum players beware: precise picking and good playing technique are advisable, as the pedal processes every nuance of your touch and how you attack, damp and manipulate the strings, all of which are conveyed. The sustain, quality of tone and harmonic richness are big plus points in the Duality's favour: try as we might, we couldn't find any settings that sounded plainly extreme or unusable, a rare thing when it comes to fuzz pedals.

With so many fuzzes and distortions out there, it can be very easy to get swamped in choosing one from another. But be under no illusion, this is the real deal; harmonics sing, there is no loss of bottom end and the pedal works well with both passive and active basses. If you want to bask in rich, fuzzy overtones, search out this little number.