SolidGoldFX unleashes the 70s gated fuzz thrills with its new Imperial MKII pedal

SolidGoldFx are skilled hands when it comes to fuzz pedals – its Communication Breakdown , 76 Plus and original Imperial prove it. Now the Canadians are following up the latter in style with the Imperial MK II for a 'ripping, royally raucous' Muff-style Gilmour-esque gated fuzz. 

We're old school in that we love to see slider controls on any pedal – here you get four along with a red and black retro look that means business.


(Image credit: SolidGoldFX)

The Imperial MKII is Inspired by the SGFX favourite, the 1970s JEN Jumbo fuzz – an Italian early gated fuzz that featured three sliders.JEN Elettronica was an Italian made pedals for brands including Vox, Dallas Arbiter and Sound City but the Jumbo Fuzz was their own spin on the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff. JEN added sliders and added a germanium noise gate.


(Image credit: SolidGoldFX)

SolidGoldFX redesigned this noise gate to provide contemporary consistency with the desirable character of the Jumbo. The company uses silicon for the Imperial MKII's and has improved its envelope generator. The result is  "virtually zero noise" but also a sharper attack and singing sustain at higher fuzz levels for a more versatile fuzz, especially for hollow body guitar players. Bass and keyboard players could have a lot of fun here too. 

The Imperial MK II features a high impedance JFET preamp like SGFX's original, to offer enhanced and response that enables players to clean up from the volume control. 

A new Contour slider replaces the original Imperial's mids switch, changing the frequency of the high-pass filter in the tone stack. Players can use it to boost or scoop their mids and explore the territory between those extremes. 

The Imperial MKII also features dual LED indicators (one for bypass and the other for gate status), top jacks and true bypass switching.

The Imperial MKII is priced at £199. For more info visit SolidGoldFX

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.