30 Pedals in 30 Days 2015: ZVEX Woolly Mammoth Fuzz



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As loathe as many guitars may be to admit, bass players often do have very cool tricks up their sleeves. We’ve already talked about Cliff Burton’s impact on both the bass and guitar worlds, and now we’re ready to go even further into our bass-playing buddies’ bag of tricks with the ZVEX Woolly Mammoth fuzz.

Like many of ZVEX’s unique creations, the Woolly Mammoth is now available in the Vexter format, which foregoes that brilliant, eye-catching hand-painted artwork ZVEX is known for with simpler but no less attractive silk-screened graphics. Both versions use the same internal design, so there’s no compromise in tone. That’s a big deal to us here at TheToneKing.com, and we’re sure its a big deal to you, dear reader.

While guitar is the ruler of midrange frequencies, we guitar players never been shy about stealing a little thunder (literally) from our low-end brethren. Dropping a ton of beef into an electric guitar signal is pretty damn fun and satisfying, and the Wooly Mammoth has more of that than a Brazilian steakhouse. Remember the closing credits of The Flintstones when Fred picks up a nice, juicy rack of brontosaurus ribs and his stoneage car tips over? The Woolly Mammoth will do that to boring tone (and any bottles you have sitting on your amp when you click it on).

Clearly, if your taste in fuzz runs away from brash and wiry and towards fat and saucy, this is the pedal for you. The huge low-end response pumps notes in a sultry, dynamic way that gives them serious lift instead of disappearing in the mix like some fuzzes that are heavy on the lows tend to do. That’s because the Woolly Mammoth’s EQ, Pinch, and Wool controls are expertly voiced to add just the right sprinkling of harmonic content to keep all the low-end intact but provide enough upper-end support to help your tones sit nicely in a live or recorded mix. In particular, the Wool control, which substitutes for a typical “Fuzz” control, has a very cool, unique grind going on that helps your guitar further distance itself from the typical fuzz tone.

For creative, out-of-left-field tones and gear concepts, it’s hard to find any company more on the ball than ZVEX. And with the Vexter series of effects, Zachary Vex’s Wonka-esque work is now finding itself in more rigs than ever before. This writer owns both hand-painted and Vexter series ZVEX pedals, and they really are game changers, no matter what my musical intentions happen to be at any given moment. The ZVEX Woolly Mammoth shows us that thinking beyond our instruments can pay off in major ways.




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