The Goldtop is a neat little two-in-one unit that features classic fuzz and vibrato effects (i.e. a Univibe clone). Controls include rate, depth and chorus/vibe toggle for the vibe side, and fuzz, level, tone and shape on the fuzz side. The Alice In Wonderland graphics are a groovy touch, especially since the Mad Hatter’s eye is an LED which pulses in time to the rate control.
ANY WAY YOU LIKE IT
There are separate foot switches for each pedal, so you can select them one at a time or both at once. “But dude, what if you want the fuzz to go after the vibrato?” I hear you screech. Easy — there’s a toggle switch that lets you swap the order around. Now your fuzz never need go vibeless, nor your vibe be left fuzzless. There’s also an expression pedal jack for manually manipulating the rate control, which is great for simulating organ sounds in chorus mode.
DON’T BORE US, GET TO THE CHORUS
Let’s start with the vibrato side, because there’s some killer stuff going on here. First up, in pure vibrato mode the tone is smooth and sonorous, rather than seasick and disorienting as some vibrato pedals can be. You can add a nice slow-motion blur to spacious chords or, without changing anything but how fast you strum, a propulsive sense of motion if you switch to a fast-paced jangle attack. Turn up the rate and depth and you have a tone approaching Powderfinger’s My Happiness wobble, but slightly more subtle and therefore probably a bit more useful too. The depth control adds more bass as you turn it up, and this means you can also reduce the bass and thin out the tone to great effect at lower settings.
Switch to chorus mode and you’ll get a nice Leslie-like chorus, rather than the hi-fi beer-ad-type sounds of 80s chorus (as the manual takes great glee in pointing out). It’s a great swirly tone, which adds a nice smear to chords and some psychedelic gleam to single notes, especially those of the bluesy variety, through a fat-sounding neck pickup.
DVK says the fuzz circuit is based on a Big M type, but with a wider range of control. The fuzz side is nice and adaptable, from scooped-out Pumpkin tone to midrangey Muse squeal. Low settings on the fuzz control will give you a nice vintage bark, while higher settings will send you past the point of no return. Likewise, lower shape control settings fatten up the sound considerably (working in tandem with the tone control for even greater effect), while higher shape settings add some caramel-y chewiness to the pick attack. And you can use the level control to push a tube amp a little harder and get even more gain.
YOU ARE GOLD
This psychedelic little box sounds great, especially if your musical proclivities lean towards the late 70s, but it has a wealth of modern applications as well. You’re really getting three pedals in one, and the fuzz is so versatile that the fuzz side alone qualifies as about three or four fuzzes. In fact, it’d be kinda fun to have a unit with two identical fuzz circuits like this one. Oh, the possibilities!
Price: RRP $299
Phone: (03) 9555 8081
By Peter Hodgson