Reuss RSH-03 Rowland S. Howard pedal
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The Reuss RSH-03 is replicating Rowland S. Howard’s basic pedal set-up, combining the sound and circuits of his two 1970s pedals into one compact unit. The pedal offers true vintage sound and response thanks to meticulous research and the use of real, vintage new old stock parts. The pedal is endorsed by the Rowland S. Howard estate who contributed to the development
Rowland S. Howard’s signature sound was very much about his Fender Jaguar hitting a MXR distortion+ and going into a crancked Fender Twin Reverb amp with lots of reverb. Occationally he would kick in his MXR Blue Box, with the distortion pedal still on, for some amazing noise bursts. The two effects blends extremely well, the distortion adding some very interesting overtones to the (otherwise dark sounding) blue box.
For those new to the ‘blue octave down’ effect, it’s a fuzz box which adds an artificial, monophonic, synth-like two-octaves-down tone to your guitar sound. This sound is blended into the fuzz sound using the ‘blend’ control, which goes from pure fuzz to pure monophonic bass synth-tone (on the Reuss pedals, the ‘blend’ control is actually reversed compared to a vintage unit, so that you are dialing in more octave-down content to your sound as you turn it up)
I believe the devil is in the detail, and the key to the great sound of the Reuss RSH pedals are the strict use of vintage new old stock semiconductors. The current pedals are made with rare, ITT brand 1N270 germanium diodes made in the 1970s - along with new old stock Panasonic 2SC1849 transistors. Both are the same parts as can be found in vintage 70s MXR pedals.
The RSH-03 features old-school carbon film resistors like the original 70s pedals. The RSH-version of the blue octave fuzz circuit is based on the original pre-1977 circuit which is more primitive, noisy and chaotic. Expect glitchy tracking of the octave tone and poor gating.
Like all Reuss pedals, the RSH-03 is completely handmade in the European Union.
NEW: The RSH-03 circuit board was completely revised and redesigned in February 2017, and now it features the popular 'C11 mod' as a switchable option via a 'dip switch' at the circuit board inside the pedal. The 'C11 mod' makes the 'blue octave fuzz' brighter sounding, and it's a very popular modification, which I have had a lot of inquiries for.