Effects pedal review.Jim Dunlops MXR EI grande Fuzz pedal.
MXR was established a year later than EHX, but production is now under the Jim Dunlop umbrella. The El Grande Bass Fuzz is housed in a solid aluminium case much like the Big Muff’s, but it’s half the size. As with the Muff there’s Volume and Tone, which adjusts the fuzz bias towards bass or treble, plus a handy Deep switch (and small blue ‘on’ LED) in the top left-hand corner designed to reclaim lost width. You can actually set it up using an internal switch and trim pot to cut or boost up to 15dB at either 87Hz or 113Hz; the unit is factory-set at the latter on full boost. The Fuzz control increases the level of dirty nastiness and a further blue LED alerts us to the unit’s active status.
The MXR’s brand of destruction is more all-enveloping than the Big Muff’s. With minimal Fuzz and a bassy Tone setting it comes over like a well-mannered chainsaw; set the Tone treblier and you’ll discover a fine ’70s fuzz in the vein of the theme from Rhubarb. Hitting the Deep switch imbues this with extra stature. Nudging Fuzz to halfway gives a soupy rasp on bassy settings that becomes room-shakingly threatening if you depress Deep and allows you to simulate a hard-accelerating F1 car on the treble side, or one with a rather large engine when you boost the bass end. On extreme Fuzz and trebly Tone settings the MXR is darker than the Big Muff, but it still needs the help of Deep for bass-playing purposes. In truth there’s a little too much white noise for everyday practicality, but if you just want to widdle, it’s perfect.
Controls: Volume, Tone, Drive and Deep switch. True bypass, battery or optional 9V power supply operation
Both the EHX and the MXR are solid and deliver the sort of mayhem youre looking for. The MXR is the slightly duller-sounding one; it also offers the densest fuzz. The EHX scores heavily with the Dry toggle setting as your clean tone is still audible, no matter how fuzzed-up the tone. Its also much cheaper and comes with a power supply as standard, which saves on both hassle and battery outlay. For these reasons, its our top pick.