Even before I plug one in, I immediately love an Emma pedal whose name I verbally trip over. If I had a dollar for every time PGS Andy and I shouted out “Pisdiyauwot!” at each other, I could probably buy the entire unpronounceable Emma line. Twice. The ReezaFRATzitz certainly fits this bill—I’ll be referring to it as Reeza, not just because it’s easier to say but also because I think this is the start of a beautiful relationship, so the nickname stage is kinda necessary (don’t tell me you don’t have a name or nickname for your favorite pieces of gear!). I make friends with every delay pedal I meet, practically, but when it comes to overdrive or (shudder) distortion, I am a lot harder to please. I am always looking for that fine line between too muddy and too brittle—and I might have just found it with Reeza.
So what (or who!) is Reeza? The Reeza is an overdrive/distortion pedal whose aim is to emulate the distortion in a tube amp. That sounds pretty generic, so let me tell you the secret behind Reeza: the circuit has a bias control that allows you to adjust the “amp sound” from Class B to Class A and anywhere in between. Class A amps, as you might know, run hot all the time and seem to just pack this magical punch—imagine your garden variety Vox AC30, Matchless, or in my case, a Laney VC30. There’s something incredibly vibrant and present in a Class A amp, and somehow Emma has figured out how to squeeze that sound and feel into this little red box. They’ve also added some cool tone control by making the Low & High tone controls active—turn them to the left and they cut their respective frequencies; turn them to the right and they boost those frequencies. Between the Bias knob and the two tone controls, you can really tweak the tone of this box to suit your tastes.
I ran the Reeza into my standard HRDx and was blown away by how accurately this pedal produced Class A tones in my Class A/B amp. All the sparkle and compression and bite was right there at my fingertips. The Gain control has a nice sweep to it, but I found I was happiest when I had the gain dimed. I was able to get a passable metal tone out of Reeza by cranking every pot but the volume knob, though it will likely not satisfy the hardest of the hardcore. Tweaking the tone controls and playing with the Gain and Bias controls let you find a really great crunch that is perfect for heavier rock and arena anthems. There’s not much blues to be had in this box; if you get it, be prepared to ROCK.
After running Reeza through my HRDx, I snuck over and plugged it into the clean channel of my buddy’s mystery Marshall that has been modded to death by his father. However awesome the Marshall sounded on its own, adding Reeza to the clean channel gave the Marshall’s dirty channel a serious run for it’s money. The Reeza provided more definition and sparkle than the amp could on its own, making it quite the force to be reckoned with. I’m seriously considering adding this little guy to my permanent board—I fall in love with almost every delay pedal that I meet, but finding a real connection with an OD is a lot tougher and seemingly more rewarding!
What we like: The Bias control provides an amazing replica of Class A tube tone and the tone cut/boost circuitry makes it a cinch to dial in your tone.
Concerns: Awkward name for North American speakers who might want to recommend it or ask for it at their local guitar shoppe!