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.


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.


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.


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

Dis­trib­u­tor: Sound-Music

Phone: (03) 9555 8081

Web­site: www.sound-music.com

By Peter Hodgson

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