• Caroline Olympia fuzz review

    Caroline Olympia fuzz review

    Many guitarists has a love/hate relationship with fuzz pedals. On the right setup, it’s magic. On the wrong it can be very frustrating. The problem is often that fuzz pedals simply sounds too fuzzy. Caroline Guitar Company decided to create a different kind of fuzz. Here’s my review of the Olympia.

    I’ve always been a huge fuzz fan. Never really been a collector but I’ve employed many great sounding clones over the years. Sometimes for recreating familiar tones but also for something very different, strange and unusual sounding. Although a simple circuit, the fuzz pedal is capable of producing a wide range of tones. Sometimes even some quite unexpected ones!

    The Olympia is housed in a eye-catching blue MXR-sized chassis with true bypass switching, a stage-ready led and it runs on either 9V battery or adapter. Typical of the fuzz, the tone is manipulated by two controls, tone and volume.

    Plugging your guitar into the Olympia, it soon becomes evident that this is indeed something different. Although a distinct silicon transistor fuzz character, it’s got much more gain on tap and an overall more saturated tone compared to most other models. This places the Olympia somewhere between a late 60s Tone Bender and the early 70s ram’s head Big Muff. The second thing you’ll notice – or perhaps the first – is that the pedal is dead silent. Even with the gain at full blast. This is rare even for the most carefully designed Big Muff. Quite impressive!

    Fuzz pedals can often sound bright and harsh with single coils but even with low output 50s and 60s era pickups, the Olympia has enough lower end and mid range to produce fat, creamy fuzz. Pairing it up with hotter pickups, like P90s or some humbuckers, will produce Sabbath and QotSA tones with thunderous Muff-ish bottom and a crackling saw-like top. Unlike BC silicon fuzz, which can be quite hard to tame on high amp levels, the Olympia responds to your playing and allow you to control its feedback. Make no mistake though. This pedal is loud and wild!

    The Olympia has a wide range of tones, from dark overdrive to screaming fuzz. My favourite setting is the volume at 75% and the fuzz maxed out. This works equally well on loud tube stacks as on the more neighbour friendly setup, which makes the Olympia an excellent choice for your bedroom amp and low volume levels.

    If you’re a purist and need your fuzz to be nasty and hairy, then check out some of the models listed in the Buyer’s Gear Guide. If you’re looking for classic fuzz tones but need something a bit more versatile or bedroom friendly, then look no further. The Olympia delivers and gets my warmest recommendation. Check out carolineguitar.com for more details and ordering info.

    The Olympia was tested on both a Laney Cub 15w stack and a Reeves Custom 50, using Stratocasters with a Seymour Duncan SSL5 bridge pickup and EMG DG20s.

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76 Responsesso far.

  1. Jason says:

    Hey Bjorn! Happy new year man!!

    I’ve been playing a lot lately and I’ve been tempted to replace my fuzz face (BC109 Sunface) AND muff (Vick Aidio Triangle) with the Olympia since it seems to do something close to each pretty well, but MOSTLY to have a fuzz thar works better at low volumes (as well as save pedalboard space!). Any thoughts? I DO love my Sunface and Triangle, but they are both a little fizzy at lower volumes…

    • Bjorn says:

      Happy new year, Jason :) The Olympia works great on lower volume but although you can hear that Muff-ish character, it is a fuzz and it can sound a tad fizzy on some amps. A bit of mids boost helps and even a clean booster placed after it. Anyway, it should work nicely and cover most of the tones you’re looking for.

    • Sean says:

      I’m thinking of swapping my sunface bc109 for this fuzz… It doesn’t sound so good at home as when I played it in a band. Shame as I love the pedal. Nothing gets closer to it when you really crank everything . But at home it’s thin lifeless

      The vick audio Rams head I have sounds great at home though. Especially with the buffallo fx power boost. Might be worth a try …

  2. Jason says:

    I’ve been looking into getting a general all around fuzz for a noise/sound fx board (maybe that could do sawtooth and muff type fuzz sounds). Not going for any specific tone. How do you think the Olympia would do for that? It would possibly be mixed with weird and heavy modulations…

    • Bjorn says:

      It would work great I think. It’s a versatile fuzz, with A LOT of gain and you can get some really interesting sounds with it.

  3. Dimitri says:

    hey bjorn, was looking arounf Tone Report magazines http://www.tonereport.com/issue16/
    they made a good gilmour rig: Caroline Olympia fuzz, MXR Fet drive, hartman flanger and a tc alter ego. So what do you think is it a good rig for all gilmour era?
    If you ask me, for the price of the Caroline Olympia fuzz i will change it with a SUF rams head or a pig hoof(if there wasn’t any waiting time ), the fet drive i would keep it because its really a true clone of a BK tube drive :D, change the hartman with a deluxe flanger or a mooer eleclady, the alter ego can keep it or change it with the nova system for precise delay time :D. Gonna buy a mxr uni vibe and a phase 90 script. Thats that :D

    [It’s always a matter of taste isn’t it… :) The suggested setup would cover a lot of tones but I agree with your changes. About the MXR get Driver… it’s a nice clone of the Tube Driver but don’t expect it to behave or sound exactly the same. Like the Dover Drive, it’s closer to how Eric Johnson sets his Tube Driver, with a much smoother tone and less lows and highs. It doesn’t sound nearly as aggressive as David’s but it’s a nice sounding pedal nevertheless and perhaps even a bit more versatile than the Tube Driver. – Bjorn]

  4. Keith says:

    @Stephen, having never really been satisfied with either of my Hendrix fuzz Faces,(They’re supposed to be the exact same circuit, but I don’t think they were tuned properly, and sound very different! ), I am talking to Stu about building a better board for the big blue DA Si Hendrix RI, with 109’s, or the 183’s you have fallen in love with. Hiwever, I think he may explain the proper procedure for tuning the transistors first, to see if that’s the problem, although a pair of super quality, and well matched transistors may be the way to go. One’s too mild, and one’s too insane, and I want one that’s juusst right, said Goldie Locks!
    Peace,froggy baby, Keith!

  5. Stephen Ford says:


    So I got the Analogman Sunface BC183 today so I did the comparison. They are both stellar Fuzzes and can nail some very similar ranges. The Skreddy has a bit more tweakability but the Analogman wins for low end growl. They both have more than enough bite in the higher register and I can recommend them both. Since I am also a Hendrix Fan, if I had to choose just one of the 2 I would go with the Sunface as the Skreddy is a bit tighter.

    Hope that this helped answer your question.

    Happy New Year Bjorn and and everyone here on Gilmourish.com

  6. Stephen Ford says:

    @ Cooper,

    I have both an original Deluxe Lunar Module and a mini. They are great Fuzzes. Really versatile pedals that are on the brighter side. Great pedal for a lot of periods but perfect for the DSotM work. I have a Sunface on the way shortly, if you can hold on I will give you the comparison. It is definitely brighter than my Germanium MJM London Fuzz.


  7. Cooper says:

    Do you have any opinion on the Skreddy lunar module mini deluxe? Thanx Coop

    [I haven’t tried it so I can’t tell. The standard version is killer though. The idea was to create a silicon fuzz paired up with a Colorsound Powerboost, which was David’s setup for Dark Side. Very smooth and almost Muff-like. – Bjorn]

  8. Cooper says:

    Hey Bjorn, Great review and playing! I was hoping you could give me some advise. I have a Laney cub12 stack and keep the volume around 5 w/ the gain around 2 on the 1watt setting. That’s as loud as I can play with out the neighbors getting after me. I have a Buffalo Fx Booster and their fuzz and I find that the Buffalo fuzz is a little tame for the Time & Money solos unless I turn the gain near maxxed on the booster. So I’m thinking about getting a second fuzz like the Analogman BC109 or the Caroline. With my current amp settings which would be the better choice for that screaming tone in the Time & Money solos Thanx For the help.- Coop

    [The Caroline works great on the Laney and doesn’t loose its character and tone on lower volume levels. The AnalogMan works nicely as well but can get a bit thin on low levels. – Bjorn]

  9. nutshell72 says:

    Hey Björn,
    Got my olympia fuzz couple of days ago and it´s FANTASTIC. It´s everything i´ve been searching for and then some! And it´s dead silent! Without your review i´d might have missed this great pedal, so huge thanks to you!!!!



    [Glad you like it, Jake! Great pedal indeed! – Bjorn]

  10. Keith M. says:

    Hey Bjorn, I was wondering if you’ve heard about the “white Russian” version of this pedal & if you think it would give better DG tones W/ a thro bak booster? Thanks Keith M

    [I haven’t tried that one but check out this clip for a comparison. – Bjorn]

  11. nick says:

    Received my Olympia and plugged in lastnight. We heee what a hoot! Sustain for days! Great fun and tone. Many thanks Bjorn!

    [Congrats! – Bjorn]

  12. Philippe says:

    Hello Ross – I’m sorry the pedal seemed to be a bit noisy with your power supply. I’m glad it is working with the battery for you though. The Olympia is *VERY* high gain, so even with the DC filtering we include inside, there can be hiss and noise.

    If you’re seeing the noise go away with the battery, that tells us something. A lot of builders are seeing this happen a lot with pedal power supplies that are purportedly lower-noise or isolated. My friend Jack DeVille at Mr. Black wrote a superb post and documented all his findings here. It is worth reading at http://goo.gl/3n5r4

    This may sound very counterintuitive with a high-gain pedal like Olympia, but one thing to try before considering another power supply would be to try running it daisy chained off of another pedal’s power supply (like how some pedal tuners have a DC out) rather than on its own isolated supply. The capacitance in parallel between the two pedals will increase, and may remove some of the hiss.

    Best of luck, and thank you for digging the tone!

    • Matt Davenport says:

      Thanks for that tip, Phillipe. Will try the DC-out from my Snark tuner, as it sits close to the Olympia, convenience and, although hiss hasn’t been a major problem so far, it’ll be interesting to try – and make use of that extra DC-out.

  13. Ross says:

    Hey Aron, thanks for your comments. Interesting on your outcome of changing your power supply and the noise has gone!
    I use a Decibel 11 Hotstone HC pedal power supply which shouldn’t be noisy! It has 9v 400mA plus 12v 400mA outputs which is what I require.
    What power supply did you change from, and what works for you now?
    I also have all Evidence Audio Forte cables including Evidence audio monorail for the patch cables
    I make sure I only use the Olympia with a battery not connected to a power supply!
    Cheers, Ross

  14. Scooter says:

    Hello Bjorn
    I received my Olympia a couple weeks ago and I absolutely love the it!!! really nails DSOTM tones with my rig. I got past the noise issue by running it with a 9v alkaline battery (now it’s almost dead silent). I actually think it sounds better than with a power adaptor.
    Thanks again for your review

    [Glad you liked the Olympia, Scooter :) – Bjorn]

  15. Aron says:

    Hey Ross,
    The number one issue that is often overlooked for noise is the power supply. I’ve experienced problems in the past of plugging in a brand new pedal only to have it be so noisy that it is useless. Upon return of the pedal, the company tells me there is nothing wrong with it. I finally figured out it was the power supply I was using. Why it threw me at first, was that it worked fine on some pedals, so when troubleshooting, it didn’t stand out as an issue. So, as recently as when I received my Catalinbread Echorec, there was the noise again. This time, before getting upset and returning the pedal, I bought a new power supply. Amazingly all of my problems went away.

  16. Ross says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    A big thanks for your reply to my post above, I realise you are a busy person so no problem about the delay in responding! It’s great to have your knowledge at our fingertips! and you explained things very well and clear in the reply. Thanks again for all the work you do for us at this great site you have created!
    Cheers from NZ !!

    [Thank you, Ross :) – Bjorn]

  17. Fernando says:

    Hey Bjorn, what´s up?

    Still waiting for you to post Poles Apart B.T….



    [I’m performing several updates these days and will post new BTs soon. – Bjorn]

  18. Keith says:

    Hey Bjorn, I assume you have just been very busy this past weekend, but, ( no, I’m not your mother!), I just wanted to make sure you’re okay? I haven’t seen the page change for 4 days, so I, being a worry wort, check on my friends when their habits change. Just ask Stephen! Ha-ha. Anyway, hope this means you’ve been busy mixing album3!
    Keep us posted, so you’re faithful Padawan doesn’t worry!
    Peace, Postmaster K~

    [Evenin’ Postmaster. I’m alive and well :) – Bjorn]

  19. Ross says:

    Hi Bjorn,
    I received my Olympia pedal recently but unfortunately it’s the second pedal I have bought that creates a huge amount of noise through my system! Really noticeable hissing sound when you turn the pedal on, unbearable with the fuzz maxed out. Playing around with the volume increases the noise as well and when I switch the pedal off there is a huge volume drop and I can’t hear the guitar! The only other pedal I have had the same amount of noise with is the Drybell vibe machine so had to send that back! When it arrived back to them they tested the pedal and found nothing wrong!
    My Jam pedal Red Muck however is absolutely perfect, along with Hartman Flanger, TC electronic Nova Delay etc, no noise whatsoever from these pedals so I’m wondering why some pedals create noise in my system …is this normal?
    I’m using Evidence audio cables in the system, even swapped with a different brand but no change.
    Seems like the Olympia has a huge range of great tones but I’m not sure if I can fix the noise it generates? Any thoughts?

    [Hi Ross. Sorry for my late reply. I doubt that there’s anything wrong wit the Olympia. Keep in mind that it has A LOT of gain and gain or distortion is by nature noisy. You can add filters and tame the circuit but the more distortion and clipping the pedal has, the more noise it will generate. In comparison, the Red Muck has very little gain, and it’s therefore much quieter. There are different kinds of noise and different reasons for it to appear. Single coil pickups are basically exposed antennas picking up all kinds of radiation. The cables and your amp adds to this. When you engage overdrives, fuzz and compressors, the noise will be amplified. How much depends on the gain structure of the pedal. Be sure to eliminate as many sources of radiation as possible and be sure to face away from your amp, computers and lights. Find the spot in the room that generates least noise. See more about noise troubleshooting here.

    The volume drop you experience is just a setting. All pedals with a volume has a unity setting with the bypassed signal. Setting it lower will produce a drop when you engage the pedal. Setting it higher, will cause a volume drop when you switch off the pedal. – Bjorn]

  20. Deny Bisson says:

    Dear Bjorn,

    This afternoon Olympia was on my door step waiting for power supply and patch cord. After few tests I must say this is exactly the fuzz I was looking for! Great tone for Money and Time.
    I am proud to say that my new pedalboard setup is totally Gilmourish certified!
    All the purchases I made have been based on your reviews and blog’s comment.

    I’ missing words to tell how much recognizing I am for all information available here. I am proud for donation to support Gilmourish.com.

    I hurry to receive the Spark Booster ordered recently.

    Thank you so much again!



    [Hi Deny! Glad to hear you liked the Olympia! Thanks for your kind words and support! – Bjorn]

  21. Keith says:

    Hey Bjorn, exchanged a few emails with Michael @ MJM, and found him to be an extremely nice, and friendly guy. I know that because it’s a real Fuzz Face in every respect, that it won’t cure my Fuzz friendly issues, but it certainly would make the earliest sounds, covering the Syd, and early DG periods. I must say I had a little sticker shock, but considering it’s limited to 45 units, I will be happy to pay his price. He had many nice things to say about you, and the site, and I told him had I not missed 3 weeks of work to illness, I’d have bought the pedal then. Of course there are no guarantees, but he did say he’d try to hold onto one for me, when I told him that I definitely was commited to buying the pedal! I hope I can get back to work this week, and order it Friday! If I miss it, the Olympia will do fine I’m sure.
    Peace, Love, and Gilmourish will have an amazing second decade! KC

    [Thanks for passing it on. He’s sure a great guy and he makes some awesome sounding pedals. Hope it works out. – Bjorn]

  22. Keith says:

    Thanx Alex, that’s good to know. Perhaps once the issues with my Teese RMCIII are repaired, it will do everything better! Bjorn, after seeing the post on your Facebook page from MJM, about the AVS London Fuzz, I’m getting even more GAS than for the Olympia. The bias control was a stroke of genius!
    Peace y’all, Keith
    PS, hope you get to review the MJM soon!

    [They sure look awesome, Keith! I’ve been using the two-knob red London Fuzz for some time and it’s one of the best germaniums IMO. Hope to be able to try out the new ones one day. – Bjorn]

  23. Alex says:

    The seagull thing not working with certain Wahs is not a true bypass issue. I’ve just had my mid 90s GCB-95 modded for tbp… (and i/o reverse switch ;) and it still does the squeals.

  24. Keith says:

    Morning Bjorn, I’m still here, with both feet! I’ve been thinking, and while the circuit in the JH-F1, and the Tribute Hendrix Fuzz, aren’t bad at all, they definitely don’t play well with others. I had asked the other day if you thought I could get away with just the Musket. Well, how about the Olympia for Fuzz, and the Musket/Tc Spark for Overdrive, Distortin, clean boost. Do you think I could cover Syd- Animals with the three pedals? Since getting the # 78 Octavio, I really don’t want to chance scratching the Fuzz Face, as I believe both pedals will only grow in value, especially if they’re kept in the boxes, in mint condition. What say you?

    [Glad you’re well Keith! It’s not the circuit of those two pedals but all fuzz pedals that doesn’t go well with buffers. I’m sure someone can give a much better technical explanation than I but fuzz and buffers – no match. The Olympia has a different circuit, much like a Muff and it works nicely with both buffers and active pickups. I think a germanium fuzz will get you even closer to Syd and David’s early tones but the Olympia will do nicely. So, yes, the three pedals will cover most things. – Bjorn]

  25. Alfredo Munoz says:

    Thanks again Bjorn awesome review :)

    [Cheers! – Bjorn]

  26. Shervin says:

    Hey Bjorn. I love this pedal. I have two questions for you

    1) Was that an improv of Time or was that Pulse?

    2) Also, do you like the Electro Harmonix Bass and Treble Boosters ( The Mole and Screaming Bird)?

    [Thanks! The first part was a loose attempt at the album version and the last was based on how David used to play on the Division Bell tour. No particular version. Never tried the old boosters really. A treble booster is very different from an overdrive booster like the Colorsound Powerboost or TC Spark Booster. – Bjorn]

  27. Willem says:

    Anyone with an idea how to view and hear this clip? It is blocked by some silly rights movement in The Netherlands. Please help.

  28. Patrick says:

    Love it! Just got it yesterday and I am extremely happy with it. Definately, doesn’t need a boost. I also bought the iron bell a couple of weeks ago. Thank you for such a great site helping us to achieve the Gilmour sound. I almost thought of taking the Royal Beaver off the board with pairing the Olympia and The Iron Bell. Couldn’t do it :) . Now I have a great selection gracing my board. Oddly, though I find with my setup that my Iron Bell definatetly would benefit from some compression. As far as the Olympia goes it’s a beautiful sounding pedal and the price is easy on the wallet. Simplicity as well, set it and forget.

    [Sounds like a nice setup. Yeah, the Iron Bell could do with some mild compression although if you play loud enough, a tube amp will give you the compression you need. – Bjorn]

  29. Keith says:

    Keeping with my wah issues, like you, I have no interest in havining my wah modded. What wah do you use? I’ve heard you mention the Vox -847, which they just discontinued, and the GCB-95, which has so many revisions, that I haven’t even checked to see which one I have. Do you keep a wah on, or just off the board most of the time? If so, I’m sure it’s a vintage, or one of the above, which regardless of the 3,000 opinions you’ll get, are just pc board versions of the vintage circuit, which means the original vintage pedals had the same tone sucking issues. So do I just compensate with the eq on my amp? I don’t know how much I’ll use a Wah, but I’m learning to enjoy them, and would love to be able to have one in my chain, but as soon as it goes on the board, all that beautiful chime Cymbaline makes is GONE! Any ideas Bjorn, or anyone else?
    Peace, and Thanks, Keith

    [I’ve used a bunch of different wahs, including the 847, but now I use a Cry Baby GCB95 – the standard vintage model. When we did the Floyd tribute thing, I only used wah for Echoes. Now, I use wah on most of the Airbag tunes. The Cry Baby does suck some tone but a few buffers and good quality cables compensates for most of it. No problem for me really. – Bjorn]

  30. Yoel says:

    I also forgot to ask, can my Les Paul with Phat Cats substitute nicely for the DG20 pickups?

    [No. But you’ll get a fatter sounding single coil tone. – Bjorn]

  31. Yoel says:

    So what do you recommend to do? Get an EQ and set it for midboost? If so what type of unit? I looked at the CostaLab, its pretty far out of my price range and I live in the USA; couldn’t find any dealers here, and its much too expensive and time consuming to ship. Any alternatives that are just a tad cheaper and are available in the US or close to the US? Thanks for your time!

    [You could add an EQ and boost 5-10 dBs around 400Hz. It would help but it’s not as having the EMGs. I use the FlexWaves EQ7 myself. Don’t know if they ship to US. – Bjorn]

  32. Alfredo Munoz says:

    Hi bjorn, I wanna ask if olimpia fuzz can be teakable to get Pompeii solos territory or I just need to get a sunface BC108.

    [The first unmodulated bit should work nicely for pompeii as well. Adjust the treble on your amp to smoothen out the harmonics a bit. – Bjorn]

  33. Philippe, Caroline Guitar Co. says:

    Bjorn, what an absolute killer demo and review. First off, GORGEOUS playing. You nailed some things that we were going for but haven’t really broadcast, namely how strong Olympia is with smaller rigs, lower volumes and active pickups. While we’re working off that Tone Bender/Muff topography, by going for much more gain from the stages, and by doing away with the tone/scoop control, we think it recaptures more of the punch a Fuzz Face or Bender has over the BMPs. (Plus, we also figured our fellow Gilmour fans tend to prefer the flexibility of further shaping their dirty tones with EQ pedals if necessary.)

    Thanks again, and we’re thrilled you enjoyed our pedal.

    [Thanks a lot for your kind words, Philippe! Love the pedal and it seems that many here liked the tone too :) It’s one of the most versatile fuzz/Muffs I’ve played. Since most people are struggling with getting those smooth fuzz tones on smaller amps and bedroom levels, the Olympia is an excellent and welcomed alternative. – Bjorn]

  34. Deny Bisson says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    This review is the perfect timing for me. I am looking at Fuzz for a while, but have not resigned to spend over 200 $ for THE unit. So this Olympia fuzz is in budget for my need and I seriously consider to get one shortly. I will use it with Hiwatt Custom 100 and SSL-5 pickups on my Black Strat. I’ll use it mostly for Money solo and Time rythm part. I already have a Big Muff and Boss BD-2 boster for other tones.

    Have you ever look at this very intersting product : Hot Ice Sweet Distorsion?

    See their website for more demo.

    [Never heard of this one before. Sounds nice! Thanks for the tip :) – Bjorn]

  35. Mitch S says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    A little off topic but looking for some advice! I’m looking for some new tubes for my Radial Eng. Hot British pedal. A good pedal to turn my Reeves Custom 30 into a more Marshall style amp. The only problem I’m having is that it adds too much dirt even on low levels. I’m wondering if there are options for lower gain 12AX7’s that I could substitute into the pedal. On the chip inside the pdeal it says 12AX7 only so i would be weary to damage the pedal by putting another type of tube in. Any thoughts?
    I hate selling good pedals!


    [The label is a recommendation. You won’t damage the pedal with a different tube. I’d start by switching brands. I use JJs in all my tube amps and pedals. They have a smooth, warm and mild character. If that doesn’t work, try a 12AU7. That might be too mild but you’ll get much more headroom from the pedal. Worth a try. – Bjorn]

  36. Keith says:

    Just an afterthought, but could I ditch the FuzzFace, and do the early stuff convincingly with only my Musket, and TC Spark? Or maybe the Caroline would take care of the Fuzz tones, and not be so bad at playing with others?
    [Well, only you could be the judge of that. Personally, I don’t think a Muff fits the older stuff and I’d much rather have a fuzz on the board that a way… but that’s me :) I haven’t tried the Caroline with wah yet but it works much better with buffered pedals than a regular fuzz. – Bjorn]

  37. Keith says:

    Bjorn, off topic, but while my Teese wah is being sorted out, I put a brand new GCB-95 on my board, and when I turn the tone sucker on, and go heel down, if I have my Fuzz Face on, it starts to squeal like it’s hooked up backwards! Has anyone else had this problem with the current “Original CryBaby?”. I can’t believe how badly the GCB-95 cuts my high end, even in bypass. However, if you make a Wah “True bypass”, it won’t do the Seagull as well, which is the only reason I got it. Teese wahs are true bypass, and won’t do the seagull worth a crap. Is there a solution other than putting it in a loop, and only turning it on for that effect? I may use the seagull for more than Echoes.
    Thanks, Keith

    [Never experienced the squeals but a combo of fuzz and wah can create some strange sounds no matter how you set them up. Placing the wah in a loop will compensate for some of the tone sucking but you will also add more cable, which will drain the signal, so there’s really no perfect solution to this. You could use a dedicated Seagull effect pedal like the excellent Mach Seagull/Clean Buffer. – Bjorn]

  38. Yoel says:

    Hey Bjorn!

    Hope things are starting to warm up in Norway, my fingers just aint the same in the cold. Anyway, I know this is a bit out of place, but im looking for a chorus to nail those smooth late 80s and Pulse tones. If the CE-2 wasnt an option, what kind of clone would you reccomend for those tones? Ive had my eye on the BYOC Analog chorus for a while, dont know if thats what I want. One more question. Can the Black Strat pickup combination also nail those DSoT and Pulse tones? Thanks for your time man! Cheers!

    [We’re getting there but right now it’s snowing like mad… The BYOC AC is very similar to the CE2. Perhaps somewhere between the CE2 and the Small Clone. A bit more mid range and warmer tone than the CE2 but also a bit more dominating. My favourite is the CostaLab ChorusLab. Based on the old Boss it has an incredibly smooth tone, true bypass switching and a mix level control. See my review here. The Strat PU combo doesn’t work quite the same as the EMGs. You need that mid range boost to get the tones. – Bjorn]

  39. Ross says:

    Hi Bjorn, just referring to your previous comment, so are you saying the Sunface wouldn’t work well with EMGDG20’s, better with say CS69’s? I couldn’t find any reference to this in your review of the Analogman BC109.
    That would make this Caroline pedal more versatile & perhaps a better choice don’t you think if you can use both active and vintage pickups.
    Thanks! Your knowledge is of great assistance for considering pedal choices!

    [The active circuit of the EMGs will react badly with the SunFace and other vintage circuit fuzz pedals. You’re pretty much blending a buffer with a different impedance and fuzz pedals don’t like that. They’ll sound thin and harsh. The Olympia however, has a slightly different circuit that’ll handle buffers and active pickups nicely. – Bjorn]

  40. Ernest says:

    [Ernest, You have just to use a proxy server that is located in a country where Youtube does not block the video. If you do not know how to use a proxy let me know your operating system….]

    Thank you Oliver;
    my operating system is Windows7.

  41. Josh says:

    If i already have a rattler, would it be nessecary to get this? Or can the rattler produce the same quality of fuzz?

    [The Rattler can produce some convincing fuzz tones but it’s not a fuzz as such. I’d get both. – Bjorn]

  42. Alex says:

    Oh, not so in Germany… I thought we’d always be the first ones to be blocked. Bjorn’s playing and tone are just too close to the original tunes… makes Warner Chappel think it’s a PF performance ^^

    [LOL! – Bjorn]

  43. Willem says:

    Too bad, your clip has been blocked in the Netherlands by Warner Chapell because of rights violation…

  44. Toni says:

    Great review!
    But I’ll keep on playing my red muck + tube driver or colorsound power boost, I don’t need that (amazing) Olympia (I’ll keep on saying that the whole day just to keep away from unnecessary G.A.S. disorder! ; )
    By the way, which reverb are you using in Logic? Maybe Ice plate reverb from medium space?

    [I’m using different delays and reverbs… can’t rember which one I used for this clip. – Bjorn]

  45. Bryan says:

    Terrific review and excellent control in the Time solo. My son is picking up an Olympia for me whilst visiting Austin Texas this week on the strength of your review. Very timely. I have a Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue Amp, what do you suggest i could place in the chain in addition to the Olympia to capture that wonderful Gilmourish sound and in what order. I have an assortment of chorus, delay, compression, booster pedals.
    Best wishes

    [Thanks! Depends on what tones you’re looking for. The setup you already have, should be able to cover most things. You might want to look into different high gain effects. The Olympia will cover the fuzz tones but for Comf Numb, Sorrow and the more modern sounding stuff, you might want to look into a distortion or Big Muff. See this guide for some Big Muff models and this feature for some tips on choosing the right distortion for your setup. – Bjorn]

  46. Scooter says:

    Well Bjorn you done it again! After hearing your excellent tone and playing on Time I pulled the trigger on the Olympia. I’ve been looking for a fuzz that would work in my small studio.And thanks to this outstanding review I think I’ve found it:) I tried to get the tone on my iron bell but just wasn’t quite there ( even with byoc triangle Beaver accidentally on too now that was a wild one!) I only hope I can play it close to as well as Bjorn does
    Thanks again Bjorn your site is the best!

    [Thanks Scott! The Olympia fits nicely between most fuzz and Muffs, so it works great when you want something slightly different. – Bjorn]

  47. Keith says:

    I don’t know if this will work Earnest, but when I clicked to watch it, I got a “this video cannot be played” message. I just went to my YouTube account, and searched Bjorn Riis, and subscribed to his cgannel. Now, I can see any video he has ever posted on his YouTube page! I hope this works, it hasn’t failed me yet.
    Peace, Keith

  48. Ross says:

    Hi Bjorn, excellent video! Well done. I was thinking of getting a Sunface Analogman BC-108 but this one seems far better value being cheaper. For bedroom listening would you recommend this pedal over the BC-108/109 using a black Strat with EMGDG20’s. You mentioned in a previous post you keep going back to the Analogman! but hearing this clip says to me that this pedal nails the tone perfectly as well!
    Did u run this pedal in the clip on a battery or power supply?
    Cheers! Ross

    [The SunFace is still my favourite, I think, but the Olympia works better on smaller setups. Vintage style circuits like the SunFace doesn’t like active pickups but the Olympia handles them well. I did the clip with 9V carbon battery. – Bjorn]

  49. Oliver says:


    You have just to use a proxy server that is located in a country where Youtube does not block the video.
    If you do not know how to use a proxy let me know your operating system….



  50. nick says:

    Another great review Bjorn.
    I’m infactuated with the Time solo. Do you think this pedal would partner the musket well for a combo on my board, do they sound different enough or can the musket be tweaked close enough to the olympia?

    [You can get some pretty convincing fuzz tones with the Musket but it’s still a Muff with a very Muffish character. The Olympia will complement it nicely :) – Bjorn]

  51. Ernest says:

    Nice review. Unfortunately I can’t play the YouTube clip (blocked due copyright for my country / The Netherlands).
    Anyone else have the same?

    [YT seems to have blocked it. How can I unblock? – Bjorn]

  52. Wesley says:

    Bjorn sound great!
    Cover all possible sounds with Gilmour or Olympia would also have a muff?

    [I think you should carry a Muff in addition to this. It’s more a fuzz than a Muff. – Bjorn]

  53. James Cameron says:

    sound and tone was outstanding in those clips Bjorn.

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  54. John says:

    Curious, I am very fond of muffs, all demos I heard Olympia SunFace and BC109 were most impressed me. I was about to order a B.Y.O.C. ram’s head and now?

    [Well, you tell me… :) – Bjorn]

  55. Keith says:

    Mere words cannot describe hiw great that clip is! Tgae pedal’s pretty cool too, and I’d love to have one over most of the dirt pedals you’ve reviewed, but I HAVE TO TAKE A BREAK AND OAY A FEW BILLS! I can’t soend the bill money in my rig indefinitely. ( Although I easily could! ).
    Peace, keep up the incredible work, Keith :)

    [Ha ha! Yeah, it’s a great pedal for sure :) – Bjorn]

  56. maarten says:

    Great playing as usual, love the tone.

    Now i am in serious doubt between this one and the costalab costum muff to add to my mojohand iron bell.
    Especially since i can only play at bedroom level

    Thanks for making me spent my money again, how will i tell this to the wife :-)

    [I have a whole list of excuses. Let me know if you need any LOL! The Custom Muff is very similar to the Iron Bell, so I’d go for the OLympia. – Bjorn]

  57. Matthias says:

    I watched you playing “Time” again, and what I totally noticed: a remarkable experience: you nail the different Gilmour sounds ! When the change comes to the DG20 in your video, I immediately recognized PULSE ! I had the pictures from the stage and the sound in front of my eyes and ears ! I play guitars since 2009. Not too long yet, I make progress, I’m very satisfied with my hobby. But to be honest: Although I use nice equipment, Strat, Hiwatt, DG20 as well as Vintage Single Coils – what makes a very nice sound – I don’t get those experiences in my mind when I play the Pink Floyd stuff. This confirms what I know for a long time: the sound comes from you, your fingers, your mind and your heart.

    [Thanks a lot for your kind words, Matthias! It takes a lot of practice too :) Keep on playing guitar, listen to Gilmour and the other masters and learn. With time you’ll develop your own style. Cheers! – Bjorn]

  58. Patrick says:

    I forgot to ask, Would you put this pedal in the beginning of the chain like you would a fuzzface? Thank You!

    [Yes, although it handles buffers pretty well. – Bjorn]

  59. Patrick says:

    Are you using a boost witht the fuzz?

    [Nope. Just a clean amp. – Bjorn]

  60. Giulio says:

    This is one of the best video / sound that you have made.
    Musket-Pig Hoof and others are far away to this thats for me the best one.

    You have missed only one thing: The Hendrix Fuzz face, the original one.

    Cheers Giulio Mazzotta.

    [Thanks! Yeah, I haven’t had the chance to try that one yet. – Bjorn]

  61. Dan Richter says:

    Great, something else I didn’t know I wanted. Great playing as usual Bjorn. I’ve been using the Iron Bell for a while and love it. Do you think this would make a nice companion pedal to the Iron Bell.

    [They’re very different so I would go for both. The Iron Bell would handle versatile Big Muff and distortion tones, while the Olympia tackles fuzz and early Big Muff tones. – Bjorn]

  62. Alfredo Munoz says:

    Wow sounds impressive low bedroom volume without sacrificing fuzz gain definitely caught my attention to buy one thanks bjorn for this awesome review

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  63. Jake says:

    Awesome review, sounds great! Beautiful playing, right off the bat I noticed a totally different sound from other fuzz pedals, just seems verygainy and somehow has no buzzing! Very cool.

    [Thanks Jake! Your description is spot on :) – Bjorn]

  64. AM Houston says:

    Awesome playing. Nailed the solo and the tone.

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  65. payam says:

    Great job
    Wow. To be honest this one sounds really powerful,and close to muff more than fuzz .What do you thin B?I always want to have the sun face,this clip kinda made me think more about it!!

    [Depends on what you’re looking for. The SunFace is an authentic, classic fuzz while the Olympia is something very different. The Olympia works better on smaller setups and low volume levels. – Bjorn]

  66. Ozzy@Watersish.com says:

    Hi Bjorn, did you by any chance try the Mooer Triangle Buff Fuzz? I am thinking of buying one and would like any advice you can give me. Many thanks, Ozzy.

    [Yes, it’s OK but it didn’t blow my mind. There are better triangle clones on the market, like the BYOC Large Beaver and the Jam Pedals Red Muck. – Bjorn]

  67. Marc-André says:

    By the way, what kind of delay/reverb is that? I love it!

    [I’m using Logic for all the mixing stuff. – Bjorn]

  68. Marc-André says:

    Wow, sounds incredibly well. Perhaps the best sounding pedal to my hear. I love its versatility.

    Well done Bjorn, thanks for sharing!

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  69. Matthias says:


    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  70. Robert Farrer says:

    Is this a new black strat at the switch over Bjorn ( emg in a white as opposed to black pickguard ).

    Great review and tone again really enjoying these fuzz reviews although this one is slightly different.


    [No, that’s the maple neck of my old Black and the body of the ’65 reissue, which has featured the EMGs since I got it a few years back. – Bjorn]

  71. Zac says:

    Loved it Bjorn, all in all its just another great review ;)

    [Thanks! – Bjorn]

  72. Simon says:

    Hi, Bjorn. Great review. Pedal sounds really nice. How does it clean up with guitar volume on single coils?


    [Thanks! It has a lot of gain and doesn’t clean up that well. About the same as a Sovtek Big Muff. – Bjorn]

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