Sunday, August 22, 2010

Deep Trip Land/Lessons in Fuzz Part 2

It's time to bring you guys the next round in the Deep Trip Land saga, just make sure stay in your seats and try not to fall out. For those of you not hip on Deep Trip, pay attention and get ready to be schooled. I am probably the biggest fuzz box addict I know. Meaning I am a sucker for a great sounding fuzz tone. It is the sound of the fuzz that has always drawn me to so many of my favorite tunes. It is also the fuzz that makes the most excited when gigging or recording. A great fuzz box can do for you what no other dirt box can. It can literally rise your tone to rock god status in the blink of an eye. The cats at Deep Trip most definitely share the love and passion I have for fuzz pedals, and I'm sure definitely I suffer from the same bug. In the many years I have been playing music there are only a handful of fuzz pedals I consider timeless champions. You know the pedals of which I speak. They are the ones that give us goosebumps, make us sweat, and drive us mad. These here pedals are amongst those few champions.

Deep Trip

  • Power Consume: 10mA
  • Swiftcraft Jacks
  • Alpha Pots
  • External Battery Drawer
  • 9v (-) DC jack Operation
  • Nos Ger Transistors

  • Volume Knob: Controls overall output
  • Mood Knob: External bias control for one of the Ger transistors
  • Fuzz Knob: Controls dirt, texture, grit, etc...
  • Mode Switch: Adds high impedance cell in front of circuit
  • Voice Switch: Filters out bass frequencies and decreases overall gain


I don't even know where to start with this pedal. The Hellbender is a pedal that has lived on my pedalboard since the day it arrived on my doorstep. The controls on the Hellbender give it the ability to land in both vintage and modern fuzz territories, and everything in between. This alone sets this fuzz box apart from many others on the market today, but it's more than this that makes this pedal so special. Getting a cool sounding fuzz tone from a stompbox is something that isn't all too difficult. It's dialing in a fuzz tone that makes you shiver and drives your speakers into howling beasts that's the challenge. I believe it is a combination of a few things that makes Deep Trip pedals the champs that they are today. #1. The components. Having a keen ear for what makes certain components tick is something that cannot be taught. This is something only a passionate and experienced ear can pick out. Then there's getting a hold of these parts, which isn't always an easy task. #2. You must have the talent the create the sounds that live on your head. I can dream up a thousand cool tones, but bringing them to life is a whole different thing. #3. There must be some kind of mojo, hippness, and mystique to a box to make it legendary. Many of the classic fuzz boxes had this element about them, which is why they are still so hunted down. Deep Trip posses all of these traits, and uses them to create what I think are some of the best pedals out there today. Let's also not forget that Deep Trip pedals also have one of the coolest looks in existence.

This is a pedal I know inside and out. I've used the Hellbender in the last couple bands I've played in and continue to do so to this day. And for those of you thinking "Ok so it's just another Tonebender clone..", uh uh, that it not all it can do. The Hellbender is not all looks and class. Under the hood of this pedal are some of the world's finest components and parts, which give it the ability to produce some of the greatest feeling and sounding fuzz tones out there today. One of the of the things I dig most about the Hellbender is it's ability to blend well with other dirt signals, whether they be tube amp or stompbox grit. This pedal also sounds especially good when being pushed with clean boosters. You can literally set this pedal in either of it's mode or voice settings, dial in a medium fuzz, and get yourself a stunning tone. For recording you can get humongous tones from this baby by pushing it through a medium watt tube amp (22-40 watts) and setting it up slightly dirty. Just throw a decent mic on the cab, and another mic in room for some ambiance, and you're home free. When gigging it's a whole different story. I like to dial in big'n'loud clean tones, then enjoy stacking theHellbender's fuzz tones on top of them. This gives me all of the sparkle and bounce of the clean tone mixed in with the unique and exciting sound of the pedal. The Hellbender works like a true classic champ in this area. I have used a variety of different amps in my time, most if them being Fenders, some Vox, some god knows what they were. The most important thing when using clean tones as my root tone has always been finding dirt pedals that work with the signal and not against it. Our friends over at Deep Trip must have had the same thing on their mind when they created their pedals. The Hellbender most of all works super fantastic through clean tones because of it's fat, warm, and huge sound. It naturally has adds lots of spank, size, and weight to anything it touches. So you can only imagine what this pedal does through a dirty signal. Pickups play a huge roll in how this pedal dishing out tone as well. You can plug in your vintage Strat to get thumping, spanking fuzz tones, plug in a semi-hollow body for a more earthy fuzz tone, P90's to get something super aggressive, or a modern style guitar to get something with some edge. I also found using Jazzmaster and Jaguar style pickups work quite nicely with this pedal. The Hellbender responds to guitars volume controls really well, giving you different takes on the set tone. This is always great for live shows or in those moments when you can't get to your pedal to switch it on or off. There are certain tunes where I will leave the Hellbender on at all times and only use my volume control to go from rhythm and lead tones. The versatility this pedal has is also something that is quite attractive. With it's voice toggle switch and Mood control alone the Hellbender can give you a world of different fuzz flavors to choose from. In it's upper setting the voice switch gives the pedal it's fattest boomiest tone. This will take you to insane QOTSA type fuzz tones, and produce great warm vintage fuzz tones in low fuzz settings. In the middle setting the voice switch gives you it's thinnest tone. This is great for slicing through any mix, for screaming/scorching lead, and for adding some bite to your pickups. The down position of the voice switch gives you somewhere in between the other two setting, with more punchy mids, throatier feel, and tighter reaction. Here you can get just about anything you want. From Black Sabbath tones to Jack White, and Wolfmother to Zeppelin. Then depending on where you have the mood knob set you can get stinging fuzz, splatty fuzz, octa-fuzz, buzzing fuzz, dead battery effects, and so on and so fourth. The mode switch can also come in handy and works great for getting a more sparkling and defined tone. With this switch engaged your dynamics, harmonics, undertones and overtones, all hit the distortion signal much quicker. Giving you a more in-your-face tone. This mode switch is also a great option for playing the Hellbender through a wah. The Hellbender definitely has one of the widest tone palette's out there, and just like all of the Deep trip pedals it is built to last. These will be amongst the few modern stompboxes that will become timeless champions and collectibles. Deep Trip has done their homework to the fullest and knocked out what are some true winners. I cannot wait to see what these cats can do with a distortion or overdrive pedal. ;^)


For more info on Deep Trip pedals go to or click on the direct link in our sidebar. We will be wrapping up our three part article on Deep Trip very soon so make sure to look out for out next feature. The Deep Trip website has a bunch more interesting and cool info on their pedals so make sure to stop by. See ya soon.

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