Beetronics Vezzpa Octave Stinger: What is it?
The good people of Beetronics know how to put together a great octave fuzz pedal. This is something of a speciality for a brand whose off-kilter creations present adventurous guitar players with something quite distinctive each time.
Pedals such as the Whoctahell have just the right amount of bonkers in their circuit to keep them interesting, to give your tone a sense of danger. But where the Whoctahell offered players a sub-octave effect of one or two octaves down – and, boy, was it good – the Vezzpa Octave Stinger is making a play for the high frequencies, with Beetronics reaching out to the wasps, particularly those in a jar, for inspiration.
The Vezzpa is typically well-designed, with solid construction. It has top-mounted control knobs for volume and sustain, with a single footswitch to activate its two modes – Fuzzzz and Stinger. Fuzzzz is a straight-up op-amp fuzz, while the Stinger mode has an attention-grabbing octave-up effect.
Beetronics Vezzpa Octave Stinger: Performance and verdict
The Vezzpa belongs to Beetronics' Babee series, which makes it a little more considerate to your pedalboard space.
This smaller form means that the footswitch is pulling double-shifts, allowing you to switch the effect on or bypass it, and to select between Fuzzzz and Stinger modes. When on, simply double-tap the footswitch to toggle modes, or hold down the footswitch to momentarily swap modes. Lazy Bee mode makes this smart footswitch responsive to slower reactions.
The sounds are quite something. The Fuzzzz mode does not hold back. It’s a spluttery, coughing fit of dirt that doesn’t lack width or sustain for squirrelly violining lead guitar, but has a gate that kicks in at lower volumes, so that coughing fit gets more extreme as you roll back the guitar’s volume.
That is always an acquired taste, but there is plenty of range in this mode where you’ll find a lot of inspiring tones for skronky garage rock and noise.
The Stinger mode is similarly interactive with your guitar’s volume, only this time you can go from aping Jack White on the Fuzzzz mode to sounding a little like Ravi Shanker on the Stinger mode, simply roll back your volume and that sitar-esque quality shines through.
There is plenty of scope for aggressive, in your face (and inner ear) tones, and once you get the hang of the smart footswitch you’ve got yourself a fine tool for set-pieces in your performance.
MusicRadar verdict: Once more, all the buzz about the new Beetronics fuzz is well deserved, with the Vezzpa Octave Stinger combining a most aggro op-amp fuzz sound with an octave-up fuzz that's full of harmonic drama. Great fun.
Beetronics Vezzpa Octave Stinger: The web says
"Fuzzzz mode gives you sputtery gated fuzz – it’s fat and sustain-y, but the gate cuts in more quickly at lower levels of the sustain knob and with lower guitar volume. This means you can roll your volume knob back for more staccato notes and sputter to a point that sounds like the pedal is about to die on you."
Beetronics Vezzpa Octave Stinger: Hands-on demos
R. J. Ronquillo
Beetronics Vezzpa Octave Stinger: Specifications
- ORIGIN: USA
- TYPE: Octave fuzz pedal
- FEATURES: True Bypass, 2x modes, smart footswitch, Lazy Bee and Fast Bee options for footswitching sharpness
- CONTROLS: Volume, Sustain, Bypass footswitch
- CONNECTIONS: Standard input, standard output
- POWER: 9V DC adaptor (not supplied) 36mA
- DIMENSIONS: 57 (w) x 114 (d) x 57mm (h)
- CONTACT: Beetronics