So, I've had my Magnetar for around twenty days now, rehearsed with it, gigged with it a few times, and put it through it's paces at home. Clearly, now is the time for a review!
I've been looking for a gated fuzz for some time now for a specific song within our set. I haven't had a specific "tone" for it in mind, but know when I hear it if I am either getting closer or further away. I own a Mastotron and Iron Ether Oxide for comparison on the gated fuzz side and have used an Copilotfx Orbit. My home amp is a B15-N and my practice / gig rig is a Mesa 400+. I do not own a solid state rig to check for tones.
Ordering the pedal:
I ordered the pedal on Oct. 22 and received it on Nov. 19 (included a 1-2 business day lag in getting packages sent to me at work). Alan was very good with answering any questions prior to me ordering the pedal and was good during the process.
By now, you have probably seen a Mountainking Pedal on someone's pedalboard. They are rather large sized. For reference - the pedal is around 2x the size of a typical MXR pedal and is 1-2 inches shorter than the source audio pro pedals. The housing is rock solid - it feels like you could hit someone with the pedal and it would still work great after. The finish is nice and smooth and the pedal looks great! The knobs all feel great and move smoothly. My only gripes are that the controls are labeled with stickers and that the knob for notch position was incorrectly positioned, but those are just me nitpicking for the sake of doing so.
Output controls overall volume level post gain (can get crazy loud), Intensity describes the amount of fuzz, Input controls the volume entering the fuzz circuit, Slope acts as a tone knob, Notch seems to be a passive mid cut (100% being full mids, getting lower as the knob is moved to the left), and Notch Select positions the mid cut. All of the controls are very interactive and work great for really dialing in a great fuzz tone.
Holy ****. What initially attracted me to the pedal was how well the low end was preserved in all of excane's demo videos. I did not expect it to be as bassy in person. There is absolutely zero low end loss. When I turned it on first, I was really taken aback by how HUGE this sounds. I have never heard a gated fuzz get anywhere near as massive as the Magnetar and doubt that I ever will. Tonally, it sounds like it lands somewhere between my Mastotron and a good Big Muff. It is smooth, synthy, bassy in all of the right ways. It can get crazy amounts of gain without sounding super harsh. You can also get more of that zippery gated fuzz tone by rolling off the volume on your bass. It cuts well in a band mix and fits pretty well with my rock band. As soon as we get around to recording the song that this is used for, I will post clips. It pairs exceedingly well with both a Xerograph and a MXR BOD.
If you want a massive synthy gated fuzz and don't mind the price and footprint, this is the pedal to get. Seriously. Do it.