DVK Tech­nolo­gies’ The Hair Ball is a one-stop gain-generating machine. Part over­drive, part boost, part tre­ble booster and all atti­tude, it’s designed to help you achieve the ulti­mate dis­tor­tion tone, and it gives you plenty of options with which to do it.


On the left side of the pedal you’ll find an over­drive unit with basic con­trols for tone, tim­bre and level, along with a stomp switch. On the right there’s a booster offer­ing up to 28dB of boost, with a level con­trol and a switch to select between full range and tre­ble boost modes. The pedal runs off a 9V adap­tor (no bat­ter­ies here, so make sure you use a top qual­ity power sup­ply and do the right thing by your tone). The graph­ics are dis­tinc­tive and cool, although if you’re like me and you share your house with a hair­ball prone kitty cat you might instinc­tively guide your foot away from the big hulk­ing hair­ball in the mid­dle of the unit. I guess that’s a good thing since the effect switches are either side of it.


So let’s plug this baby in and make some noise. First up: the over­drive side. Based on a ‘TS’ type cir­cuit, it can sound smooth and warm just like its lit­tle green inspi­ra­tion, but it also offers more gain and a greater range of tone con­trol, espe­cially in the midrange and high end. You can get some flat-out raunchy tones from this baby, great for hard rock and Gary Moore-style hard blues, or you can schooch the tim­bre and tone down a bit for a more tra­di­tional SRV-type sound. The higher the gain is, the more cut­ting the tre­ble dished out by the tone con­trol appears to be, and it’s all sat­is­fy­ingly interactive.

The boost side is really two ped­als in one. The full range boost is great for adding extra oomph to your tube amp’s front end, and I quite enjoy­ing find­ing the sweet spot on my Mar­shall where the pedal pushed the gain into EVH ter­ri­tory, but a quick stomp of the bypass switch brought every­thing back to earth. Kick­ing in the tre­ble boost switch sucks out the bot­tom end and empha­sises the tre­ble and upper midrange for a killer chewy semi-fuzz tone, espe­cially in com­bi­na­tion with an already growly amp. Kick it on, switch to your neck pickup and play some power chords high on the neck on the E and A strings and you’re into Tony Iommi ter­ri­tory, my friend.

Of course, some extra cool stuff hap­pens when you turn both effects on together, includ­ing some utterly sick high gain sounds and some otherwise-unattainable moderate-gain voic­ings cre­ated by finely bal­anc­ing the two sides and exper­i­ment­ing with diver­gent tone con­trol settings.


The Hair Ball is a one-stop gain shop with plenty of tonal vari­ety for those who really need to scream. I’m always excited when I stum­ble across a pedal that pays trib­ute to the tre­ble boost­ers of yore, and the Hair Ball doesn’t dis­ap­point on this front or its pure boost and over­drive offerings.

Price: RRP $299

Dis­trib­u­tor: Sound-Music

Phone: (03) 9555 8081

Web­site: www.sound-music.com

By Peter Hodgson

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