Empress Heavy

Empress Effects unveils Heavy, an upcoming high-gain distortion pedal with two channels and a wide range of tone shaping controls.

Empress Heavy

The aptly named stompbox brings with it a barrage of high-gain tones, which you can conjure via the pedals knobs and switches.

Empress claims that this pedal can do it all, "from crisp, mid-driven 80's metal, to scooped, modern down-tuned brutality". Although getting your preferred tone may not be as easy as loading a preset on a digital effect, this all-analog circuit pedal gives you advanced EQ parameter control, which allows you to mold the overall character of your tone to whatever is right to your ears.

The Empress Heavy is actually two similar distortion pedals in one. You can set up the two independent channels to sound the same so that one channel can be used as a solo boost, or you can voice each channel differently to create a complex dual distortion sound. The first channel is named heavy, while the second one is named Heavier, because it has more gain.

Each channel starts out with essential distortion controls. The gain knob lets you control the amount of distortion applied to your guitar signal, while the output control lets you balance the volume of the effect output to your bypass signal.

Empress designed Heavy with impressive EQ control. Most notable of which is the Weight knob, which shapes the low end response of each channel. At lower settings, the effect produces a tight bass response ideal for palm muting. Rolling up the weight knob allows the bottom end to open up, and behaves like a bass EQ, which emphasizes the lower frequencies.

The mid knob behaves in three different ways, depending on where you set the mid freq switch. The 250Hz setting lets you play with the low-mid frequency, giving you tones from muddy to boomy. The 500Hz lets you play with the mid frequency, this is the setting where you can get classic mid-scooped distortion tones. The 2K setting lets you tweak the upper-mid frequencies, ideal for reducing or adding bite or harshness to your tone.

Rounding up the pedals EQ shaping tools are the global hi and low EQ knobs. It allows you to fine tune your sound for matching the amp and cab that you are using. Another cool feature of Heavy is that it comes with a switchable noise gate. It comes with two modes - natural for gentle gating and aggressive for quick gating. This feature helps ensure dead silent operation even at high-gain and high volume settings.

There are two foot switches that lets you engage or disengage the two channels. Like most modern pedals, Heavy employs true bypass circuitry. Pricing information will soon be available, visit Empress Effects for more information.

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