Our Fulltone Mas Malo Review
If you lean more towards full-bodied vintage tone and not the squeaky-clean side of the tonal spectrum, then the Fulltone Mas Malo Distortion/Fuzz Pedal offers the perfect level of fuzz. The word “Mas Malo” means “worse” in Spanish. The name doesn’t seem to match the product since the Fulltone Mas Malo Fuzz Pedal is nowhere near the worse pedals out there.
Through the years, Fulltone pedals have earned the respect of guitar greats such as Steve Hunter and Robin Trower along with many others. Fortunately, the Fulltone Mas Malo lives up to its name and can easily become the go-to pedals that you can rely on. A major factor for this is its high-quality construction. This is where Fulltone has used only the finest quality components to put together the Mas Malo. Not only does the Fulltone Mas Malo feature a sturdy design, but you are also going to simply love the sound it is able to produce, regardless of what components you pair it up with.
Who Is This Fuzz Pedal For?
Those who were not particularly pleased with the large size of previous versions of the Fulltone pedals are going to simply love the Mas Malo distortion pedal for its enclosure style. They’re like miniaturized versions of the older, big box Fulltone pedals, but with extra oomph.
This fuzz pedal is going to be the perfect choice for those who particularly enjoy swinging between smooth lead tones to absolutely ruthless riffs that will make your ears bleed (in a good way). The Mas Malo is able to perform exceptionally well whether you’re pushing live amps onstage or using your guitar in church.
Apart from that, the knobs and controls are where they should be, which makes the Mas Malo easy to operate. If you are familiar with using fuzz pedals in the past, then playing with the Mas Malo should be a walk in the park for you. Whether you’re going to use the Fulltone Mas Malo Fuzz Pedal for gigging or just to recreate classic Pink Floyd or Zep tunes, the Fulltone Mas Malo is definitely a crowd pleaser from start to finish.
What’s Included With The Fulltone Mas Malo?
The following is a breakdown of the features in the Fulltone Mas Malo Distortion Pedal:
- Power: 9-18VDC
- Top-mounted I/O
- Features 3 NOS BC184C
The Fulltone Max Malo’s compact housing contains well-built top-mounted jacks, along with high impedance input and ultra-low impedance output. You will also get to play around with a solid midrange that adds another layer to the sound quality of this fuzz pedal.
Don’t let its compact size and minimalist design fool you, the Fulltone Mas Malo provides great bypass and impedance, which are the most sought-after features in a fuzz pedal. The Mas Malo has been fitted with not one, but three matching New Old Stock BC184C transistors. This alone allows you to do just about everything, from playing those crunch tones to singing leads or going for that compressed and infinite sustain feedback. With the Mas Malo fuzz pedal, you can truly make your guitar howl.
The knobs on the Mas Malo are in the format of “V” for volume, “C” for color, “H” for heat and “D” for distortion. While they are all useful, the C knob offers incredible tone control, which ranges from trebly fuzz to rich warm tones. Another reason why the Mas Malo offers an incredible level of range is because of the H knob which regulates the bias of the first transistor in the circuit.
Overview of the Features Of The Mas Malo
The Fulltone Max Malo Fuzz Pedal features 3 hand-picked New Old Stock BC184C discrete transistors, which makes this spicy number capable of great things when paired with a Fender. From massive sounding distortions to tones that clear up with a simple twist of the guitar’s volume knob, the Max Malo is as good is it gets when it comes to smaller fuzz pedals.
The Mas Malo has a wide range of tones that can be tweaked using the C knob. This pedal is very sensitive to knob tweaks, which could need some getting used to, especially if your previous gizmo was not that sensitive. It also compresses like crazy, which makes it the perfect choice for some guitarists who like that quality in a fuzz pedal. You can also add a compressor before the Mas Malo and an Octavix after for an unbelievable sound.
One of the areas that are of particular concern for many musicians is the response to rolling back of the guitar volume. Another problem with many fuzz pedals is feeding an old-school wah pedal into the fuzz pedal without a buffer being used. If you are worried about using a tone sucking hog like the classic Vox wah, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised how well the Mas Malo handles when it comes to preserving the full sweep of the wah.
Fuzz pedals such as the Fulltone Mas Malo aren’t designed for the clean channel simply because fuzz pedals don’t sound great on their own. To get a great sound out of the Mas Malo, you will first need to have a great sounding amp and then focus on the pedal.
Another downside of using the Fulltone Mas Malo Distortion Pedal does not have anything to do with the performance of the pedal, per se, but rather its warranty. While under the law, providing a sales receipt is enough to verify a warranty within the US, but for some reason, users need to make a video to prove the device is faulty and get service. Apart from that, Fulltone has delivered a great sounding fuzz unit that boasts of a number of different settings and is incredibly responsive.
Conclusion – Is The Fulltone Mass Malo The Right Distortion Pedal For You?
Considering the number of sounds that are available in a well-designed distortion pedal that’s also small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Fulltone Mas Malo Fuzz Pedal is probably the best distortion pedal ever designed. This is true mainly because of the variety of sounds that its ability to create with virtually any electric guitar. If you’re looking for a pedal that’s well-made, sounds spectacular, and is also affordable, then the Fulltone Mas Malo is going to be your best option.