Weighing in at a modest five ounces and at the size of a standard micro guitar pedal, the Amptweaker DeFizzerator Passive EQ is a subtle yet significant addition to any rig. With but a single three-way switch and solo nob for fine-tuning, the DeFizzerator offers up a surprising spectrum of well-crafted frequency cuts and can be positioned in a setup in a surprising number of ways.
As a passive EQ box, the DeFizzerator is in the business of scaling back frequencies at the fringes that may be harsh on the high-end. To use Amptweaker’s lingo, the little black box has the effect of rolling of that “sizzle” of extremely high frequencies that is often part of the profile of certain amps with high doses of presence or a favorite distortion pedal with spiky high ranges. Like pruning a mohawk, the DeFizzerator allows you to retain the characteristic edge of high gain sounds without making them unnecessarily aggressive.
On the face of the DeFizzerator you’ll find a switch that selects between three frequency ranges to cut, ranges from high “fizz,” to mid “buzz,” down to lower range “crackle.” Once you’ve targeted one of these three EQ ranges, the center nob allows you to dial in degrees of “zap,” that is, the amount of frequency to cut for the selected range.
If the Defizzerator wins on simplicity, it also excels in versatility. The pedal plays well in almost any position. On the fly it can be set in a pedal chain with minimal real estate required on a board. When partnered up with a few higher gain amp-in-a-box style pedals, I found it added a whole new space for sculpting frequencies in tandem with the active EQ nobs of the neighboring stompbox. Alongside higher-gain distortion pedals featuring their own tone controls, the DeFizzerator was a quick and convenient way of smoothing any brittle edges of the overdrive. When tossed in the effects loop of an amp the DeFizzerator made for warmer brights and gave the deceptive yet welcome impression of a big sound without being loud.
When it comes to gear, I am a fan of items that offer simple solutions and ones that make me hear the gear I’ve already got in entirely new ways. I love my humbuckers, love my chimey amp, and love my arsenal of angry distortion pedals. When the DeFizzerator joined the crew, it already belonged and simply added new ways of shelving frequencies without changing my carefully curated gear configuration.