Bigfoot Engineering Octo Puss Prime

Bigfoot Engineering Octo Puss Prime

This is the latest pedal to come out of Bigfoot Engineering, a UK based pedal manufacturer with a penchant for creating great analogue fuzz and distortion pedals. Like the Thunder Pup, the Octo Puss Prime is another quality pedal, and though we realize that this is the second time in as many weeks that we’ve reviewed a new Bigfoot Pedal, we just couldn’t resist the pull of this new addition to their line up.

First things first, this is a GREAT-looking stompbox, which your pedal board is sure to be proud of. Whilst it may be larger than other pedals of the same type, we appreciate the quirky octagonal design with an orange paint job and the creative license that has gone into its naming; if you haven’t got the Transformers reference as of yet, you should really consider going to the cinema more often!

Like with most of their pedals, Bigfoot have opted for simplicity without compromising on the sound. The Octo Puss Prime has only volume and gain controls, which to be honest is all you need from a fuzz pedal, and with only these two variables you get a whole range of different tones and levels of distortion.

It’s geared-up to create a classic blues-fuzz tone, so think Jack White, The Black Keys, Band of Skulls etc. if you’re trying to visualize what sort of sound it would suit. The fuzz is of a quintessentially vintage variety and sort of reminds me of the classic Ibanez Standard Fuzz of the 1970s, which Dan Auerbach used on the early Black Keys albums. In short, it sounds great, especially on lower strings; I’ve got a Fender Jaguar with .13 strings and the Prime sounds out-of-this-world when I’m chugging along on the fat ‘lower-E’ string.

Roll down to lower gain levels, the Octo-Puss Prime omits more of a purr than a roar, but this is great if you’re looking to add a bit of bite to an authentic ‘60s blues tone. Obviously as you turn up the heat it gets more and more boisterous. Wacked up to full gain, the fuzz is as dirty as it gets, but doesn't lose too much clarity - as ‘Octo’ would suggest this fuzz also adds an extra octave, and the addition of a higher register allows the note to come through above the raunchy fuzz below. But don’t worry, this doesn’t sound as if someone is doubling your part an octave above, it’s more a nuanced harmonic within the wider tonal spectrum.

Overall, we don’t really have anything bad to say about the Octo Puss Prime. We realize £149 RRP isn’t cheap for any type of pedal, but unfortunately this is how most people are prepared to pay for top-level fuzz; Ibanez’s top-level Tube Screamer is currently retailing at well-over this price and buying vintage fuzz pedals can take you above £200. Considering, this is a quality option and you’re not going to find a better sounding pedal for blues rock playing. 

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