Interstellar Audio Machine’s Octonaut Hyperdrive has recently become one of the most talked about – or, as Guitar World Tech Editor Paul Riario puts it, hyped about – pedals in the industry.
And while the Octonaut undoubtedly offers up incredible drive tones, Interstellar also has two additional, similarly colorfully-named pedals worthy of attention and accolades – the Fuzzsquatch Fuzzdrive and Marsling Octafuzzdrive. As for what makes this trio so buzzworthy?
First and foremost, they’re all designed and built in the U.S., with top-mounted jacks and an internal switch for selecting True Bypass or Buffered Bypass. And the array of sounds is truly mind-blowing.
Want to hear for yourself? Lucky for us (or, maybe, lucky for him) Paul and his trusty Strat have provided a demo video that puts Interstellar’s extraordinary pedals on full display.
He begins with the one-and-only Hyperdrive, essentially a 1:1 recreation of the iconic Klon circuit that also features a dual-ganged gain pot for easy tone-dialing, rare Germanium diodes and modern IC3 circuitry for maximum headroom.
Even with the drive at zero, the pedal offers a warm and clean boost to Paul’s signal when he clicks it on. As he dials things up, he achieves everything from bluesy bite to Texas grit, even conjuring beyond-Klon gain when the Hyperdrive is fully dimed.
“As a clean boost, a boost or even an added drive, there are no bad tones with the Octonaut,” he says.
Up next? The Fuzzsquatch Fuzzdrive, which recreates Electro-Harmonix’s late-‘70s circuit, but with the addition of op-amps to achieve singing sustain and harmonic distortion.
This time, Paul doesn’t ease in – rather, he blasts out some gnarly-but-sweet fuzz right off the bat, before laying out a masterclass on all the fuzzy tonal nuances the Fuzzsquatch has on offer.
Finally, Paul plugs in the Marsling Octafuzzdrive, which calls up the beloved tones of the discontinued ’70-era fOXX, but with two significant mods. “Here what’s new,” Paul says. “First off, the Octave Up function has a dedicated footswitch to engage it. And secondly, the tone control has been modified to be more useful in its treble frequencies, along with a midrange switch that allows you to switch between capacitors for different voicings.”
Paul begins his Octafuzzdrive demo by trying out some fuzz tones, which he describes as “a little more big-bottomed” than the Fuzzsquatch. And when he engages the second footswitch for the Octave Up effect things get truly wild. But he also offers up a pro tip: pulling down the volume knob on your guitar just a hair will allow for some gorgeous “flute-y” tones.
To wrap it all up, Paul plugs in all three pedals, cranks up a backing track, and brings it all home with a fuzz-drenched, tone-a-licious jam.
“Interstellar Audio Machines have come out swinging,” he declares. “If anything, all three pedals are pure tone shapers that will enhance your sound. Interstellar has unleashed standout stompboxes for touch-sensitive overdrive with the Octonaut Hyperdrive, sustain and fuzzy harmonics distortion with the Fuzzsquatch Fuzzdrive and octave-bending fuzz with the Marsling Octafuzzdrive, truly making each an out-of-this-world choice in tone.”
For more information, head to Interstellar Audio Machines.