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TAFM vs Iron Ether - Oxide

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by melodiaopus, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I know that I have seen the reviews of these two pedals, but I can't quite figure out which fuzz pedal to go with. I'm not using going to use the pedal alone, but with either a envelope filter or low - pass filter. I'm looking for a synth sound that I'd like to use with it. I had a MarkBass Super Synth, and found myself only using one preset.

    I'm leaning more towards the Oxide, since it works really well with the Xerograph LPF. I've checked out some videos of the LPF and the Oxide together and it sounds pretty awesome. Then I saw a clip with the TAFM, 3Leaf Wonderlove, IE Polytope, and that sounded bad ass too. I just wanted to get some feedback on these two fuzz pedals
  2. Phagor


    Mar 26, 2002
    London, UK
    I've been using an Oxide for synth sounds, while my Super Synth is off the pedal board at the moment.

    The Oxide does the super tight gated fuzz sound that I wanted, a bit like a Wooly Mammoth or Mastotron, but with more control.

    The clips I've heard of the TAFM are that it's a great all round fuzz, but that it doesn't gate tightly like the Oxide - there's always a bit of 'bloom' to the fuzz. Maybe Smallsound Bigsound can mod it with a gate for you.

    The TAFM is probably more flexible than the Oxide to get a wide range of fuzz sounds. I don't use the 'Brassmaster' side of the Oxide very much.

    Maybe MSterling will be along shortly with his opinion - he probably played those clips that turned you onto the Oxide and TAFM.
  3. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    I've had both and still have my TAFM. If you're mainly looking for synthy sounds I think the Oxide might be a better choice- its fuzz has alot more upper harmonic content that works well pushing a LPF, and the Gating effect is super tweakable to get a nice clean sounding synth bass. The TAFM does have gating on the newer versions, but the gating is just on or off and how well it works for synth-esque tones is a little more dependant on what you feed it in my experience. The tone of the TAFM is also generally a little more full-bodied and more Big Muff inspired to my ears than the Oxide- which is fantastic for rock tones by itself, and it is super tweakable within that range. I could see a great use for both pedals on the same pedalboard honestly since they are so different, but if I had to chose one specifically for synthy tones it would be the Oxide (the TAFM CAN do that, but it is definitely not its strong suit)...
  4. NoxNoctus

    NoxNoctus The Crushinator

    May 9, 2004
    Annapolis, MD
    I love the Oxide but its range is from sharp fuzz to VERY sharp fuzz. One of these days when I get a second board I'm getting a Swollen Pickle again I think.
  5. nad

    nad 60 Cycle Humdinger Commercial User

    Sep 22, 2005
    Not Mars
    The Overlord of Nordstrand Pickups
    Both are fantastic. They are very different fuzzes.

    Oxide and Xerograph belong together. PURE SEX.
  6. EskimoBassist


    Nov 2, 2007
    Leeds, UK
    I bought my Oxide just to cram it with my Xerograph, my TAFM is my bread and butter. Take from that what you will, but for me its an easy choice if I could only have one.
  7. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I'm looking for a fat low end synth sound, but also a sound that will relic my Super Synth. The tracking was quite bad on the super synth, which is why I bought a EHX Pog. I don't want super treble fuzz, something with some girth that'll really make the room sound like a synth board is being utilized.
  8. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Both of these pedals are perfect for what you want. Here's my take on what they offer:

    -As mentioned, the Oxide has a much more variable gate. The more the morph knob is turned ccw, the "tighter" the action of the gate. This great for envelope controlled filters because it gives it some percussiveness. However, for low pass filter sweeps, the gate can have a negative effect on your sustain.

    -The TAFM, when gated, is a sustain monster. I find myself using this for my longer LPF sweeps, because the note seems to never end. The gating is not as tight as the Oxide and it is either off or on, with no variability.

    -The other thing is the gate on the TAFM maxes the input gain, resulting in a huge volume jump when it is engaged. The coolest part of the Oxide, for me, is the ability to balance the tightness of the gate with the drive control. Doing this with an envelope filter has gotten me the synthiest envelope funk ever. But, once again, not great for sweeps because the note sputters pretty quickly when the gate is tight combined with a lower drive setting. This isnt a fault of the pedal, it is just a testament the infinite tweakability of all IE pedals.

    The fact is, this choice is 100% a toss up, and almost impossible without trying each to determine which you prefer. You would be happy and, most likely, none the wiser with either. What it comes down to is the preference in fuzz tone. Muffish vs. mammothish/brassish.
  9. I was in the same boat. Having to choose between those 2 pedals. I went with TAFM (pre-gate) and I'm not regretting it. I still want an Oxide, though and I will eventually get one.
  10. bludog


    Apr 3, 2012
    Brooklyn 11217
    ^This is the gentleman who made that Wonderlove demo w/ OC-2, TAFM & Polytope. If you've checked out Marc's stuff you'd probably agree that he's a good resource for this info.

    FWIW... I tend to agree with his input above. Good luck with your quest. Worth A/B'ing if you can aquire them relatively cheaply in the classifieds. I'd start with the TAFM, it's more versatile IMO.

    Also, if you want that big synthy bottom, you're probably going to need to add an octave pedal in front of it... OC-2 is my first choice.
  11. M Sterling

    M Sterling Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2010
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Agreed and fixed!!!

    Good luck OP!!!
  12. Floyd Eye

    Floyd Eye Banned

    Feb 21, 2010
    St. Louis
    My TAFM has a gate mod. I can't speak for the Oxide, but I love my TAFM.
    Dilbert likes this.
  13. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Thanks for all input you guys. I bought a EHX POG to get me the octave effect. From what I have read of the reviews the POG has the best tracking possible right now. The OC-2 does not track well or at 5th fret (A) on the E-String. From what I have seen on YouTube the POG tracks like a beast.

    Though I don't have any personal experience with either. So, we'll see.
  14. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    The OC-2 isn't really known for its tracking, but its tone can't really be beat for thick synthy lines (and how often do you need to hit a note below a low A?). The POG series definitely track better than an analog octave, but comparatively I find the tone to be kinda thin and metallic- more like a digital organ than a synth. The Copilot Cubic is another octave in the same tonal universe of the OC-2, but capable of even more fatness and has a built in fuzz/drive section that sounds great for fat synthy lines even without an additional fuzz or filter.
  15. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I have never owned a fuzz pedal in my life. This is definitely a first time pedal setup. I have owned the Super Synth for less than a month, a couple of Moog pedals to find a sweet funk/synth sound, but all have failed. The Super Synth had an awesome preset that I really liked, but I felt that I could do more with a combination of pedals then just one. Especially since you had to have it connected to the computer to adjust, rather than do it on the fly.

    Muffish vs. mammothish/brassish is definitely a sound I have not heard before. I am going with my gut and maybe just going to get the Oxide and Wonderlove to go with my EHX Micro POG. hopefully this setup will give me the options to get that tone I'm looking for. The Polytope, just seems like a nice accessory not a must have for the synth sound. I'll have to wait and see, since the Wonderlove is not going to hit the streets again until mid to late March. The IE stuff isn't coming out soon either, through bassefx.com
  16. DeltaPhoenix

    DeltaPhoenix Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2011
    I sometimes use 5-6 pedals at a time for synth sounds. I wouldn't discount the Super Synth yet. I run mine through a Xero DLX, a Strymon Mobius, Eventide Pitchfactor,& a super secret delay/gate pedal.
    If I am doing the octave down, OC-2. I use MoutainKing Electronics Megalith as my main fuzz and rotate others in and out. I also have a Behringer BSY600 in true bypass loop for my oscillator/synth base sound.
    As far as TAFM or Oxide, man that is tough. Marc pretty much said it all. The one advantage about the TAFM w/gate (footswitch version) is that having the gate footswichable is like having two fuzz pedals in one. Stomp the Gate switch for a big chorus or something, FUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ OUT.
  17. Lebowsky

    Lebowsky Effects Forum Resident

    Mar 18, 2007
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    Seems to be, reading your last post, you're more looking for synth versatility than a fuzz pedal you could also use a fuzz by itself, so I'd go with Oxide + Xero if I were you.
  18. Rob Fossil

    Rob Fossil

    Jul 24, 2011
    Northeast, USA
    Out of the two pedals I'd go for the Oxide. I had a TAFM, it was a good pedal, but I flipped it when I got a Dwarfcraft Baby Thundaa. Both the TAFM and Baby Thundaa are Muff-ish, but the BT can get a more synthy quality to it. You may also want to look into the Zvex Mastotron, a lot of people on here like it for synth sounds.

    That being said, I think an octave pedal is an absolute must for getting synth-like sounds. Analog octave pedals work best and the Boss OC-2 is a good choice. I use a FoxRox Octron because you can blend octave up and octave down in a single analog pedal. IMO, a compressor is required to get the most out of an octave pedal and smooth out the tracking.

    After Compression> Octave> Fuzz, any filter or modulation will add to the synthy quality of the sound. I made a quick video demonstrating how combining effects can lead to synthy goodness. Enjoy!

  19. mikeythekid


    Aug 24, 2011
    Endorsing Artist: Ashdown Engineering
    Haven't used the oxide but I've been rocking my TAFM as a staple on my board for years. I always loved the tone for it full bodies grit and versatility.

    While on my last tour it happened to have a problem (probably from my abuse and overuse) and I emailed Brian and he immediately sent a new one out to me on the road and just asked me to send back mine when I got a chance. Truly awesome customer service!

    Since I've gotten the new one I find the additions he's made have really improved and added to the original awesome design-
    - the separate gate button adds sustain and punch for days.
    - the mid switch has a QOTSA vibe which I'm looking for a spot to add to my sets
    - I've found the tone is even more present than before (if you want it) and the blend know makes sure you never lose the low end

    From my experience I say get this pedal!
  20. alec


    Feb 13, 2000
    Perth, Australia
    I've got both and the Oxide is better for synthy tones. It has a thick, processed quality whereas the TAFM is better for gutsy blown-speaker kind of fuzz. The TAFM does more tones than the Oxide but Oxide into Xero is a match made in heaven for pants-staining madness.

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