• EarthQuaker Hoof Fuzz review

    I’ve been reviewing countless different Muff clones over the past few years. Although the Big Muff circuit is a fairly basic one, most of these pedals has managed to surprise me and proved to have an unique character of their own. I’ve had my eyes on the Earthquaker Hoof Fuzz for some time and finally I got around to try one. Here’s my review.

    The Hoof Fuzz is housed in a rugged (slightly bigger) MXR sized box featuring a bright led and true bypass switching. The pedal can be operated on either 9V battery or Boss-style adapter. Like all Earthquaker pedals, the Hoof is made by hand with high quality components.

    The Hoof is a germanium/silicon hybrid Muff based on the old green Sovtek Big Muff Pi. Like its Russian counterpart, the Hoof has controls for fuzz (gain/sustain), level and tone. There’s also a fourth control labelled shift. This one changes the frequency response of the tone control. Turn it clockwise for scooping the mids or counterclockwise to enhance or boost the mids. Setting the shift to about noon produce a flat response.

    There’s definitely a close resemblance to the early Sovteks and the green especially. The Hoof has tons of smooth, saturated gain but it’s also capable of producing some really nice and warm overdrive tones. Especially when combined with vintage style low output single coils and a little roll off on the guitar volume. It’s also a bit lighter on the lower frequencies, which helps on keeping the tone clean and focused and perhaps adding a bit of that Ram’s Head flavour.

    What I especially like about the Hoof is the dynamic response of the fuzz and level combined. Set the level for a mild boost and the fuzz between 3/4 and fully maxed and you get a super smooth tube-like distortion with rich sustain. In this setting, it also seems to get a bit more compressed with a more pronounced attack. This makes the Hoof well suited for smaller setups and bedroom volume levels. When most fuzz and Muffs tends to get all thin and harsh on lower volume levels, the Hoof manages to produce huge fuzz tones and stay silky smooth.

    To sum it up, the Hoof Fuzz combines the best of many circuits and eras. Whether you want warm, classic overdrive, screaming fuzz for those Pompeii and Dark Side tones or a more modern, smooth violin-like sustain, the Hoof will deliver. Highly recommended! Check out EarthQuaker Devices for more details.

    The Hoof Fuzz was tested for both stage and home setups with a Reeves Custom 50 and a Laney L20 with both single coils and humbuckers.

    Post Tagged with , ,

31 Responsesso far.

  1. Tomás Acuña says:

    Hey Bjorn, hope everything’s been good for you!
    I wanted to ask you if the Hoof Fuzz could be tweaked to get into Animals & The Wall territory? Thanks for the help
    Thanks for the great site!

    • Bjorn says:

      I think it does. It has a hint of mids and that raw, open tone you can hear in some of the mid 70s Muff models, which is what David’s used for those albums.

  2. Gareth says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I’m torn between the Vick Audio ’73 Rams Head and the EQD Hoof.

    I’m looking for a kind of Black Keys / Neil Young tone. Could you give any tips?

    And, if you recommend the Vick, would you suggest I ask for the Bjorn mod?

    Cheers,
    Gareth

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Gareth! Depends on your amp. Out of the box, the Hoof is probably closer to the tones you describe, with a nice growl and mid range. The Vick is not as aggressive you’d have no problem getting fat Keys or Sabbath tones with it paired with hot single coils or humbuckers. It also has a mids boost, which will come handy. The Bjorn MMods has a tad less gain and a slight top end boost – highly recommended of course :)

  3. Scott says:

    Hey Bjorn,

    Greetings to u! Could u tell me if the Hoof fuzz sounds closer to a Sovtek Tall Font or Bubble Font?

    Thanks!
    JL

    [The difference between the tall and bubble is minimal… although some claim it’s huge. The Hoof Fuzz does a pretty good Sovtek Civil War/Green (tall and bubble) imitation, with a bit more of that classic fuzz tone. Perhaps somewhere between a Sovtek and BC108 fuzz. – Bjorn]

  4. Dave Austin says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Do you think the hoof fuzz will do a good job of achieving echoes fuzz tones?

    Thanks,

    Dave

    [It’s really more of a Muff but yes, you can get some pretty nice fuzz tones with it too :) – Bjorn]

  5. Chris Morgan says:

    I managed to dial in the Hoof to sound nearly identical to the Ram side of the Basic Audio Tri/Ram. I’ve been doing a Timmy > Hoof > Naga Viper stack, using the Viper for a lead boost. That literally put me squarely in the early Sabbath realm. Great stuff!

    [Nice! – Bjorn]

  6. clark says:

    sorry for another question, but to get the rat close to a g-2 would you boost with a booster or run it by itself.

    [Tehy have about the same gain structure so you don’t need to boost it unless you prefer it that way. The RAT has a bit more mids but I’d set the volume to about 3:00, which produce a slight volume boost and a more amp-like distortion. Depending on how hot your pickups are, I’d try setting the gain somewhere between 1-3:00 and the tone between 1-2:00. – Bjorn]

  7. clark says:

    thanks for the help, i was wondering if it could because the G-2 is a muff with a slightly different gain structure and with germanium diodes.

    Also do you think the rat could do G-2 tones better?

    [The G2 is not really a Muff at all but rather closely related to the germanium Fuzz Face, like the RAT. Yes, the RAT makes an excellent G2 alternative. It’s a bit darker, with more mid range and little less low end but they’re more similar sounding than a G2 and Muff. – Bjorn]

  8. clark says:

    hey bjorn hope everything is going splendid for ya, my one question is, since it has a combination of germanium and silicon do you think you could set it for convincing G-2 tones?

    [Not really. Depends on how picky you are about your tone but the Hoof is a Big Muff no doubt, with that saturated huge tone. The G2 is very close to a RAT with much more mid range and a different gain structure. That being said, with some tweaking you can get close. – Bjorn]

  9. Exilado says:

    Hi Bjorn! Congratulatons on this clip. The tone is killer!

    I have a few basic questions about the Hoof Fuzz.

    1 – How well does it clean up when we roll down the volume?

    2 – Does it work well with a clean Booster?

    3 – You think it works well with a small gig amp such as a Fender Blues Jr.?

    Thank you very much mate!

    [Thanks! 1. Depends on the pickups and how hot they are but the HF has a lot of gain so it doesn’t clean up that well. No Muff really does. 2. Yep. 3. Yep. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  10. Gareth says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    I think this might be the muff/clone for me! I’ve been deliberating for ages but I’ve finally decided on this one, probably! I also wanted to say thanks for running such an awesome site. I completely re-worked my old MIJ 50’s strat to be a very respectable Gilmourish guitar in the summer. I stripped the body, re-finished in black nitro and installed an Overdrive guitar works loaded pickguard with the Fat 50’s, CS 69 and SSL-1 DG – it plays and sounds like a dream.

    I’ve also been acquiring various pedals (Dynacomp, BD-2, Soul Vibe & Memory Boy Deluxe) and this is the last in the start-up set (for now, Elec Mistress and Phase 90 next!) to go with my newly ordered Laney Cub 12R! It’s all down to you and this extremely informative site, so thank you for sharing the information and your views/opinions. I’m hoping this pedal will bring me the fuzz & muff tones I’m after, but I bet I buy a Sunface really soon too! Ha ha
    Merry Christmas :-)

    Cheers,
    Gareth

    [Sounds great, Gareth! Glad you find my site useful :) Enjoy the rest of the holidays with family and friends! – Bjorn]

  11. Rod says:

    One of these just popped up locally for $110, think I’ll have to grab it!

    [Yes you should :) – Bjorn]

  12. Bryce says:

    Hi Bjorn, this looks and sounds like a great pedal! I will have to keep it in mind.

    On a very different note, I am curious if you’ve tried any effects by Catalinbread? Specifically their Echorec clone delay and the RAF “Royal Albert Hall”. The delay looks like something right up your alley but the RAF is of course based on Jimmy Page’s Hiwatt tone from their 1970 performance there. I know that is perhaps a completely different tone than what this site is about, but after hearing it in their videos, I was completely blown away and am curious if this is a pedal you are curious about trying at all.

    [Never tried any of their pedals actually but I’m looking forward to the Echorec. Should have one soon for a review :) The RAF sounds great too! – Bjorn]

  13. Luis says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    is this recorded with the Laney Cub or the Reeves?

    Also, may I ask you why you do Reverb and Delay in Logic and not in pedals before the mic?

    Thanks,

    Luis.

    [It’s recorded with the Laney on 1w power scaling. You shouldn’t record guitars with reverb and delay unless you want a specific effect. Adding them in the mix allows a purer signal and more control over the overall band mix. – Bjorn]

  14. Lou says:

    I ran across a site that sells pedals, several are of the Gilmourish variety. Take a listen and let me know your opinion. Especially the “Rams Head” Model. I just don’t trust a company that does not offer a refund. Period. Almost forgot, the company is called stompunderfoot.com
    Kit’s secret guitar, music and gear page, is also another page that has some demo’s of the above pedals. Let me know what you think. The more Gilmour sites the better. LOL

    [Kit’s site is the ultimate Big Muff bible :) I think you can trust SUF. They’re series people making high quality pedals. I haven’t tried all of their models but based on the ones I have tried, I warmly recommend them. – Bjorn]

  15. Stephen Ford says:

    Hey Kit Rae! Great to see you are still out there, in the guitar side of things! I often stop by your site for information and to see if you have updated your page…been a while. Hope to come across some updates sometime. Both Gilmourish and the Kitrae site are indispensable resources…a great thanks to both of you for the countless hours you two have dedicated to share your knowledge and passion.

    Cheers!!!

    [Thanks Stephen! I’m with you… stop by Kit’s site almost every day :) – Bjorn]

  16. Kit Rae says:

    Another great review Bjorn. I have had the Hoof for about a year now. It is one of my favorite muff clones, and probably the best use of a mids control knob in a BMP, and very Gilmourish.

    Jamie, the guy who built the original, did start by making a clone of one of Dan Auerbach’s Sovtek BMP’s, but what Jamie ended up making is closer to a violet Ram’s Head circuit than a Sovtek. It’s the Germanium transistors and LED diodes in the clipping stages that give it that Russian Big Muff type of sound.

    [Thanks! Hope all is well :) Yeah, it’s a great pedal and I’ve used it a lot lately. Love how you get that creamy compression when you turn up the volume control. – Bjorn]

  17. Chris says:

    I’ve had the Hoof Fuzz for around 8 months and how it cuts in a live band mix is what really sets it apart from other Fuzz pedals. I can also get some non-Muff fuzztones out of it, such a colorful Fuzz pedal. How close is the EQD Hoof to a Green Russian Muff and at what setting would I use to get it in the GRM realm? I’ve always wanted a GRM but not willing to shell out the cash for one.

    Thanks.
    I’m hooked on this site.

    [It’s not as dark and growling as the GRM, so it’s hard to dial in authentic tones. It does a fairly good job with the shift at about noon and the tone around 10:00. What I like about the Hoof is that the volume control is very powerful and by setting it at around 3:00 you get this fat tube like tone. – Bjorn]

  18. Keith says:

    Crap, Rainbows, Prisms, triangles, DG, and references to one PF song or anther, as long as there is a market for “Gilmourish” products!
    Peace, love, all things Gilmoirish! KC
    PS-Tom assures me that my DG Strat will be in my hands by the end of next week.( It’s been over 6 months) I hope he’s right! I know luthiers are famous for taking forever, but the wait is driving me nuts!

  19. Keith says:

    Hey buddy, I’ve already posted how much I love the sound of this Muff, but as I was looking over past reviews I realized that almost every pedal builder does that thing you hate, marketing directly to the Gilmour lovers of the world. How many pedals have something to do with the now iconic Pig in their name, or graphics? Pink Flesh? That screams The Wall, one of your favorite graphics,(he he) the Costa Labs rainbow! I’ve seen Prisms, pigs, hoolves, names like ” Crazy Diamonds”, and in a round about way, the “Civil War” muff having become so synonymous with Gilmour, even the Musket is IMO a reference if not directly to DG,(how many products use DG in their model number?), it is a definite reference to the pedal he made famous. I should know this, but why is it called the Civil War Muff? Was it built when the USSR was breaking up? Anyway, while it really doesn’t bother me as much as it seems to you, it is definitely proliferating, as the market is ever more saturated with products marketed to Pink Floyd emulators. I look at it this way, it shows how much of a resurgence Pink Floyd’s music is undergoing the past few years, as millions of young folks who weren’t born until after the Wall are falling in love with the most original, and unique bands of all time. So, let ‘em start putting David’s face on them if they are truly great products for PF players, at least it would keep it easy to figure out which ones to try out! LOL. There’s no taming slick, and at times cheesy advertising ploys, so I’m sure we’ll continue to see Pigs, Tainbow

    [Well, I think there is a difference between using Floyd (or any other band’s) related graphics on generic pedals like the Custom Muff and pedals that are meant to be a sort of a “Gilmour in a box” kind of thing. If the pedal is designed to capture David’s Wall tones, then I’m fine with it saying so but why put prisms or Wall fonts on a pedal if it has nothing to do with Floyd?… I don’t know. BTW, the Civil War term comes from the colours of the Confederate uniforms. There’s apparently some similarities… – Bjorn]

  20. Keith says:

    Hey Bjorn, please disregard my frantic posts from this morning! I did the only thing I could, they’re giving me one more new one. When I picked up the last one, I shouldn’t have taken it, the box was very beaten up. The 3rd new one comes in next week, it’s not going home until it’s been thoroughly checked out, and if it’s not 100% up to snuff, I’m going to get my money back. It came down to doing it this way, or spending a bunch of money for something they don’t even have in stock. I’m worried about the quality of the 30, but hopefully I’ll get lucky this time. I played every amp again, and even amps at three times the price don’t have the ability to get loud, and clean, but right on the edge of break up. Like the new Fender hot rods, the clean never gets close to breaking up, and the master volume/ gain side never gets clean. Very frustrating, but if I do get one that wasn’t beat to death in shipping, and holds up, I will be perfectly happy to have it until I get the Reeves. I should have sent this via email, but you know how excitable I can be, and freaked out over this a little this morning.
    Thanks for dealing with my rants, you’re a good man Charlie Brown!
    Peace, Love, and Gilmourish, KC

    [Sorry to hear about the mess, Keith. I guess that’s the downside of many of these cheaper tube amps – the parts and assembly is second grade. Understandable, hence the low price on these things but quite irritating that they can’t make something that’ll last anyway. You’re not the first to experience this. Hopefully the third one will work out nicely :) – Bjorn]

  21. Julius says:

    Hi Bjorn!
    Could you tell me what would be the best pedal out of these three to produce David’s big muff and Pompeii sounds: Musket, Colosus or this?
    Thank you!!

    [Depends on your amp and guitar and how they interact with the Muff but I think I’d go for either the Hoof Fuzz or the CostaLab Custom Muff. – Bjorn]

  22. Dave A says:

    Nice review Bjorn but I have to agree with Vinicius Braga much better when we can see you playing ;)

    [Thanks Dave! Hope all is well :) – Bjorn]

  23. Brad says:

    Bjorn,

    Great review as always. Surprised how ‘fuzz face’ like the beginning of your demo sounds. How would you set the Hoof to emulate a fuzz face like that? Will my EH green russian do that? What settings?

    Many thanks,
    Brad

    [You can see the setting in the clip. I’ve managed to get similar sounds with my green but the Shift/mids control on the Hoof makes a great difference. – Bjorn]

  24. Kelly says:

    Interesting note: the Hoof Fuzz was cloned from Dan Auerbach’s (The Black Keys) green Russian. Jamie Stillman, the guy behind Earthquaker Devices is the TBK’s former tour manager/tech.

    [I wasn’t aware… – Bjorn]

  25. ViniciusBraga says:

    Awesome review bjorn! But i liked better when we could see you actually playing haha, learned some stuff there!

    [Thanks! I’ll keep that in mind… :) – Bjorn]

  26. Keith says:

    Wow, the first Muff clone video that makes me think of taking the Musket off the board. I love the smoothness when you rolled back the Fuzz in the very last, “Wet” part of the clip. I think I’m just gonna have to check this one out! After I pay for the Reeves! God, this is getting to be really expensive….. AGAIN!
    Ah well, at least my mid-life crisis is music instead of women. In the long run I think the music will be cheaper, and more productive! LOL
    Truly love you my friend, and the site is still the first thing I see EVERY SINGLE MORNING, Uncle EbbRamone :)

    [Cheers, Keith! – Bjorn]

  27. Shane says:

    As always, nice review Bjorn. For smaller setups do you think the Hoof Fuzz or the Mojo Hand Colossus? Gilmourish always gives me GAS!

    [Depends on your amp and guitar. They both work nicely on smaller setups and lower volume levels. I’d go for the Colossus if the amp is bright and the Hoof if the amp is dark. – Bjorn]

  28. Stephen Ford says:

    Wow!!! Sounds like a great pedal Bjorn…one question though, at the end of the clip you list the effects you are using including the Tube Driver. Is the Tube Driver always being utilized during this vid because it seems that it would directly effect the OD/Dist/fuzz/muff that you are highlighting and therefore we are not truly aware of the sound of this pedal on its own. Just wondering on your thoughts on this.

    I enjoy hearing these clips and the inclusion of everything that brings it to the final sound that you are aiming for but I also would love to hear all these settings minus any other OD/Dist added as it clouds the viewers idea of what this pedal has to offer…just a thought:)

    Keep up the great work Bjorn…We are all grateful for the time you put into this site!

    Cheers

    [I should have pointed this out in the clip I guess, but all the others are just the Hoof. The very last, the Delicate and PULSE tone, were done with the Tube Driver and chorus. – Bjorn]

  29. Mike says:

    Nice review and playing Bjorn (as always). I love the EQD Hoof because it sounds spot on (from what I can remember) to the Sovtek Green Russian that I used to own about 3 years ago. I regret selling my Sovtek, but it became such a hassle fixing it that I decided it was time to let go of it.

    So I discover this amazing pedal about a year ago and I personally think it’s one of the best Green Russian clones out there. I think the only one that can compete with it is the Wren & Cuff Tall Font Russian, which I haven’t tried out myself yet.

    Anyway, the Hoof is a great, versatile pedal and as you demonstrate in the video, it’s capable of great overdrive to fuzz face like tones.

    Cheers!

    [Right on! – Bjorn]

Hey! How about a comment on this post?