“Sabbadius Custom Shop Mostro Synthesizer Fuzz Modulator Inspired by Dante Spinetta”. Try saying that mouthful five times fast. If you can tear your mind away for a minute after attempting, allow me to tell you about an incredibly unique offering hailing from Argentina, in the form of a very modern fuzz with a nice helping of vintage character dolloped on. I have never played a fuzz like this, and probably never will again. Let’s try our hand at this strange beast of fuzz, and see what sort of tones we can deal out of this white box.
The Mostro (you won’t catch me trying to say it’s full name again) is a silicon-based synthesizer fuzz modulator. It originally caught my eye because it has three of my favorite words in it; synthesizer, fuzz, and modulator. While it’s not much of a synthesizer (I imagine the translation may have been a little shaky), it remains to be quite a cool fuzz that you would be happy to have in your arsenal. It’s got the typical controls for Output and Fuzz, but the Mostro heaps on the weird with the addition of Bias controls, and the oddly named Synth Control and Wah Wah Trick controls. I had to reach out to Mr. Nicolas Sabbadin himself to get clarification on these controls, and he explained to me that the Wah Wah Trick is meant to help tame wah pedals with the use of the fuzz, and if you’re not using a wah, it can be a sort of “fizziness attenuator”, so you can get the fuzz to act more like an overdrive. The Synth Control knob controls the oscillation of the fuzz when in “Deform” mode. Lost? Allow me to explain. This is a fuzz built for performance. There are two switches on the bottom in addition to the rest of the knobs (which by the way, are handmade by Mr. Sabbadin himself). One is your run of the mill true-bypass switch, while the other is a tappable “deform” switch, which is only engaged while you’re actively pressing the switch; once you let go it goes back to normal. This deform is a sort of self-oscillation for the fuzz, and sends it spitting into faux bit-crushed madness, depending on where the Synth Control is set.
The tone of the fuzz is very much silicon, with a bright and aggressive top end. However, it is a little more subdued then most vintage-inspired pedals I’ve tried, which in the Mostro’s case, is a good thing. I usually like my fuzzes wild and untamed, but the more modern voicing of this fuzz, along with the more unpredictable “synthesizer” effects, may not be incredibly conducive to noise-free musical operation. At the lower gain side of this pedal, I was pleased to find that the fuzz responded well to my pick attack and volume knob, and had a nice high end gnash to it, with just enough body to help it cut through a mix. Playing a couple high gain Radiohead licks, I kicked on the deform at unsuspecting moments to sort of jar myself out of my fuzz-induced reverie, which was quite fun and seemed to match the context of the seminal experimental rock group. It never really turned dark in most of my testing, but the surely twisted “deform” setting will undoubtedly knock both you and your audience out of their comfort zones.
What we like: Tight and bright silicon fuzz with just the right amount of body to stop it from being shrill. Deform setting quite a bit of fun for bringing on the unexpected
Concerns: Can be a little one-dimensional at times. Finding a sweet spot will take some time