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One of the rising stars in the boutique pedal business, EarthQuaker Devices’ stompboxes are known for their high build quality and vintage flavor. The Hoof is one of EQD’s more popular products, and after hearing enough buzz, I decided to pick up the fuzz.
The Hoof Fuzz is based on the universally beloved green Sovtek muff. Pretty hard to go wrong, right? But what impressed me about the Hoof from the get-go is not the similarity it bears to its Russian ancestor, but rather its individual character. Unlike Sovtek muffs, the Hoof’s circuit is a silicon/germanimum hybrids. The result is a combination of the best that both transistors have to offer: smooth warmth on one end, and gritty punchiness on the other.
And there’s plenty of tweakability to go along with that lovely sound. In addition to the standard level, tone, and fuzz knobs, the Hoof features a shift pot that scoops or enhances your mids. This allows for a little extra kick or a touch more smoothness when you need it.
Unlike some hyper-tweakable fuzzboxes, though, the EarthQuaker is surprisingly easy to dial in. You can pretty much randomly assign the controls and come up with a usable tone. Throw the tone knob all the way back and crank the fuzz, and behold as your guitar rocks the very foundations of the universe. Or, for a subtler sound, put the fuzz around 6 o’clock, dial back the level a bit, and enjoy the woolly textures added to your signal.
[rating:5] 5 – Build Quality
[rating: 5] 5 – Sound Quality
[rating: 4] 4 – Features
[rating:5] 5 – Ease of Use
[rating: overall] 4.75
Regardless of what you’re looking for in a fuzz pedal, chances are the Hoof will deliver. Its versatility is probably its biggest strength, but there’s plenty of tone to back that up. EQD nailed the vintage Russian muff tone while sprucing it up a bit with some modern features. Fans of Sovtek muffs: look no further for your next fuzzbox!