Sort of a fuzz. Sort of a transistor overdrive. Totally an overfuzz. (Yeah, that’s a word now.)
The legendary Harmonic Percolator is an oddball in the fuzz world. It creates a pleasing, fuzzy overdrive sound drenched in even-order harmonics, unlike any Tone Bender or Fuzz Face variants before it or after it. At home in shoegazer, rock, punk, garage, and just about any genre you throw at it, the Bleepcakes Overfuzz carries on this tradition.
The vintage Percolator used PNP germanium and NPN silicon transistors to produce its signature throaty, harmonic overtones. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry: there will not be a test. Just know the Bleepcakes Overfuzz updates this configuration and uses modern silicon transistors to bring stability to the circuit and a tone that is identifiably Percolator-based, yet with a flavor all its own. It also boasts stock and modern clipping options, a FAT control to thicken up your pre-fuzz signal, as well as a LIFT control that allows you to blend between transistor overdrive tones and that iconic harmonic fuzz.
No Percolator conversation is complete without talking about the “Albini” version. In a nutshell, producer Steve Albini famously has a Percolator with mysteriously different values from most other vintage units. Some (including us) say the sound is smoother and more tame, and the circuit is quieter. The Bleepcakes is loosely-based on “Albini-esque” specs, with additional changes to accommodate the all-silicon design.
- LEVEL: Sets the overall output level of the pedal. Clockwise for more output; counter-clockwise for less.
- HARMONICS: Controls the input level of the effect. Not exactly a gain control, but it affects the gain the same way using your guitar’s volume control might.
- LIFT: Blends between the clipping diodes being in the circuit, and those same diodes being out or “lifted” (removing the diodes completely, making the pedal louder, more open, and less compressed). Being able to blend between the storied Percolator sound and a sweet transistor distortion sound is the Bleepcake’s secret weapon.
- FAT: Cuts or adds bass content allowed to enter the circuit, allowing more low end to pass through as it is adjusted clockwise. This thickens the tone and has the effect of changing the intensity and character of the fuzz. Extreme clockwise settings can create a pleasing, splatty, compressed fuzz tone not found in original units, while turning the control counterclockwise can help you be heard in the mix.
– | +: Toggles between two clipping diode options:
- – is the vintage asymmetrical silicon clipping configuration.
- + is a modern symmetrical silicon configuration.
NOTE: when the LIFT control is fully counterclockwise, there are no clipping diodes in the circuit. So, the – | + switch has virtually no audible effect.
True-bypass switching. Top-mounted audio and DC power jacks. No battery snap provided. The pedal is industry-standard 125B in size.
Bleepcakes Overfuzz Nerd Notes
- Rugged powder-coated and UV-printed enclosure
- Awesome solid aluminum knobs
- Genuine Fairchild silicon transistors
- 1% Royal Ohm metal film resistors
- Alpha potentiometers
- Neutrik audio jacks
- Kobiconn power connector
- GØRVA Mechano 3PDT soft-touch latching footswitch
- WIMA and Kemet film capacitors
- Nichicon and Panasonic electrolytic capacitors
- MLCC C0G capacitors in the audio path (for the hardcore tone nerds out there)
The Cleveland Music Co. Bleepcakes Overfuzz is handmade in limited runs in Cleveland, Ohio.