If a first impression is as important as they say, Joel and Terri at HBE have alot to be proud of.
The UFO is anything but a standard Octavia clone. The UFO by Homebrew electronics is a feast of fuzztones with a footswitchable octave at your feet.
You have a classic fuzz on one side and a modern fuzz on the other with a a handy toggle switch to select between the two. 9Vdc power in, 2 status LEDS< pedal on/off and octave on/off> and true bypass switching are standard. A tone control is also included.
Starting on the Vintage Fuzz setting it is very easy to dial in a classic fuzzface setting with the fuzz control set at 9 oclock! Not a rapsy thin fuzz but a huge fat fuzztone that screams Jimi. If you are brave enough to keep advancing the fuzz control a massive fuzz is on its way. Up into the 2-3 oclock settings huge fuzz is abound into Smashing Pumpkins territory.Anything beyond that is massive fuzz overload, in a good way.
Using the fuzz in the 9 oclock setting we activated the Octave circuit. A MAJOR octavia effect is present. Nails the Purple Haze solo. I have tried several octave clones and i can honestly say this one is one of the meanest, most up front and present i have heard. Using a Strat i used the neck pickup and rolled off the volume a little and the octave tones actually take over, it was very attainable to sound like a synth in this position.
Where as most octavia pedals have to be used with the neck pickup and volume rolled off , you can achieve this effect with the UFO even with the bridge pickup at full guitar volume.
Switching over to the Modern fuzz setting it seems that more midrange is present giving it a very usable present day take on the fuzz. Even modern distortion is attainable here. It honestly has more saturation than i think i would ever use. Although its always nice to have some of the gas pedal left. The octave effect sounds just as searing and present on the modern side.
I was very impressed not only with the broad range of tones available with this pedal but using the volume knob on the guitar in conjunction with the fuzz creates many more tones at your disposal.
As well as the features and tones of the UFO that impressed me, the looks of the pedal are also very striking. The tester unit is the Gold sparkle paintjob. The inner construction is very neat, clean and a pro job all the way around.
All in all we cant figure out why someone would want to buy several different fuzz pedals and a seperate Octave pedal when the world of fuzz- octave is all here in the UFO. We are proud to say that this one knocked us out.