With a classic Rat-style distortion circuit on one side and a Big Muff-style fuzz on the other, and the capacity for using them together in imaginative ways, it presents a new take on two of the most loved distortion and fuzz pedals of all time; pedals that Crazy Tube Circuit credits with setting the “the benchmark of saturated guitar sound”.
For Christos Ntaifotis, founder and designer of Crazy Tube Circuits, this was a labour of love, but one that came with a certain pressure. These sounds are well known and well loved and CTC is not the first company to design a pedal inspired by them.
“I wanted to create a pedal inspired by two of the most recorded fuzz distortion pedals in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s and put them in a single box sharing the same controls,” says Ntaifotis. “I knew that the RAT and Big Muff have seen quite a few different versions throughout these decades and a million clones, so I had to design a pedal versatile enough to capture the full saturated sonic palette.”
Key to this versitility are the controls. The Motherload is a compact stompbox, with top-mounted jacks and a five-knob design. Across the top you have controls for Volume and Gain, between which there is a mini-toggle for selecting the Muff-style circuit (M) or the Rat-style circuit (R).
The M circuit has Tone and Voice controls, with Tone acting as you would expect between fixed low and high-pass filters, and Voice allowing you to dial in different Muff sounds over the years by changing the mids.
The R circuit, meanwhile, has a Filter control that operates as a variable low pass filter. But at the touch of a button you can link all three of these EQ controls and apply them to both distortion and fuzz. Playing around with this EQ section promises to yield some interesting results.
“I am fascinated by pedals containing two or more related circuits that you can select with a twist of a knob or a switch,” continued Ntaifotis. “Whether they are direct clones or just inspired by sonic landmarks. It’s not something new as it has been done by many pedal companies that I admire and love, but I think there’s always some new/old ground to be covered.”