With more boutique pedal companies floating about these days than you can shake a stick at, it’s integral for any maker to have a unique stamp that holds their own. It’s fortunate then that DVK Technologies do exactly that. DVK are a two man pedal producing project out of Melbourne whose shtick lies in the manufacturing of dual function guitar effects and in this instance we’re looking at their Goldtop unit.
This is DVK’s take on a vintage fuzz and vibrato and is a fine addition to any pedal board geared towards sonic psychedelia. Controls are as follows:
- FUZZ SIDE (Fuzz, Level, Tone, Shape)
- VIBRATO SIDE (Rate, Depth, Chorus/Vibrato Toggle Switch)
- EXPRESSION PEDAL Input for controlling Vibe rate
Sticking to its psychedelic themes, DVK have housed the pedal in a glossed bright yellow, orange and purple casing equipped with Alice in Wonderland imagery. With the added touch of the Mad Hatters eye being an LED light that flashes in time with the vibe rate it is a far cry from anything resembling an attractive looking pedal but it does have a solid build quality. Where its features get really exciting are with the addition of a switch that allows you to change the stacking order of the pedal, so fuzz before vibe or visa versa. This enables a plethora of sonic variety and opens up a wide range of modulating fuzz tones and machine gun feedback chaos.
Sonically this pedal is geared towards the whole late 60’s – early 70’s thing. The vibrato side is very musical and has a really smooth edge to it even at higher settings. You can channel everything from lush spaciousness in chordal passages to a heavy pulsing wobble. The chorus side being just as tasty with leslie-esque rotaries and organ like gleams. The fuzz side is based off a classic big muff design with a few of their own modifications. At higher settings it doesn’t seem to get as woolly as a big muff and therefore at lower settings is probably more of a distortion than a fuzz.
The shape knob allows you to dial in more mid-range and tends to have more scope depending on where the tone is set. The tone control is wide and allows a broad range of sounds that stay usable across the board, everything from thick and creamy Pumpkin-esque fuzzes, rat like distortions and even MC5 like silicon fuzz tones. As a straight fuzz it doesn’t get quite as vintage sounding as say a fuzz face or some of the Fulltone range but it does have more scope in modern applications and allows those thick chunky distortion sounds as well as vintage ones.
Enabling the fuzz and vibe in sequence then opens up the tonal palette even further. It sonically opens up different colours that weren’t initially available, therefore pushing the psychedelic vibes to new levels. We now have access to swishes and washes of noise akin to Hendrix or Yo La Tengo as well as new sonics that border into Fuzz Factory world. The stacking order switch is also a very welcomed addition as it really just extends that flexibility to an already extremely versatile pedal.
Of all the boutique pedals available now, fuzz is probably the effect targeted the most – some companies even focusing on almost this alone. It’s always going to be a hard task to come up with fuzz that holds its own among the rest but the Goldtop manages to do just that. This is an extremely versatile little unit that can be a welcome addition to players in many applications.
Having already made its way on to the pedalboards of Dweezil Zappa and Carl Verheyen (Supertramp), I’m sure it won’t be long until DVK Technologies become more than just another little boutique pedal company.
Review By Gary Milk