Copenhagen-based stompbox specialists Reuss Effects has developed a signature distortion and fuzz pedal with Mogwai guitarist Stuart Braithwaite. The Plasmatron has a dual-circuit design, jamming fuzz on one side and distortion on the other, with a mix knob to blend to taste.
Both of the flavours of dirt will be familiar to fans of Braithwaite's electric guitar tone, with the fuzz side of the pedal replicating an op-amp-driven Big Muff with the distortion a clone of a 1990s Danelectro Fab Tone – Braithwaite's go-to distortion pedal.
The Danelectro Fab Tone might at first seem an obscure choice for most guitar player's pedalboards but perhaps that is the retro enclosure that is doing it few favours, when in fact it has an uncompromising tone profile, ideal for the sort of maximalist approach to overdriven texture and dynamics that shape Mogwai's sound.
As for the fuzz, Braithwaite has taken a leaf out of Billy Corgan's playbook and favoured a 70s-style op-amp Big Muff circuit. It is the sort of fuzz that cascades out of the speaker – for readers of a certain vintage, there's a Creamola Foam quality to its effervescent fuzz sound that should work gangbusters with the Fab Tone circuit.
You'll notice from the pictures above that the Plasmatron has a single footswitch; this is where it differs from a typical dual-drive stompbox.
Reuss is running these two effects in parallel, with that Mix knob on hand to select if you want full Fab Tone at the dial's counterclockwise extreme, full op-amp Muff fuzz at its clockwise extreme, or to investigate the uncharted hinterland between the two, blending in a mix of both.
Other tweaks to the design include a switchable option to run a more full-range version of the Fab Tone, with usable tones all the way from break-up to saturation, and there is also an internal Tight switch that tames some of the bottom end of the fuzz.
Finally, Reuss and Braithwaite enlisted the help of Arab Strap's Aidan Moffat to design the enclosure's graphics. The Plasmatron is not limited edition per se but is being hand-built in batches by small teams, and the initial run of 100 units is expected to ship in October, priced €199.95.
See Reuss Effects for more information and to place an order.