Fuzz Review: Wounded Paw – Battering Ram

Manufacturer: Wounded Paw Effects
Model: Battering Ram
MSRP/Paid: $175/$100
New/Used/Loan: New
Battery: Yes
Power Supply: Yes
Size: 5” Wide, 3 5/8” Tall, 2” deep(Aprox including Jacks and knobs)
Available from:Direct

From the maker:

Battering Ram Overdrive+Fuzz for Guitar and Bass
Stomp on the OVERDRIVE switch and you turn the pedal on and activate the overdrive section. It’s a smooth overdrive which can go from completely clean to growling distortion.
The LO switch adds in the lower frequencies to make it full-range for bass as well as guitar.
The HI knob lets you either boost or cut the highs to dial in the tone you want.

Stomp on the FUZZ switch and the fuzz section gets added on top of the overdrive sound. This is a parallel processed pedal which means the fuzz section works from the clean guitar signal and gets mixed with the overdrive instead of one section following the other like in most 2 stage pedals.
The fuzz is a snarling, raspy beast which can get right out of control if you crank up the SUSTAIN. The deep lows are filtered out to keep it tight and bright. The TONE control goes from high-end cut to flat to a mid-cut, high end boost. And for another set of sounds there is the OCT switch to change the fuzz section into an octave up fuzz. Crazy.

This pedal can be used in a number of ways. Have the overdrive on all the time for your basic tone and stomp on the fuzz for that important bridge, chorus or solo. Or use both sections to shape your distortion sound. Use the overdrive for the lower frequencies to keep the growl without getting muddy and use the fuzz for the searing top end. Or keep the overdrive section tame and use the fuzz section with the octave switch on to add that one bit of octave up. True Bypass

Initial thoughts:

A pedal that kind of dropped on me out of the blue. Preston from Wounded Paw Effects and I have chatted a little bit in the past about one of his previous offerings (the Attack Goat) and he asked me if I’d be interested in doing a review/overview of his new pedal. Since he was offering me a deep discount, I’m a total pedal whore, and I liked the attack goat I figured it would be a good fun. My initial impressions looking down at the pedal were slightly counter to what the pedal actually turned out to be! I was expecting two effects that could each be played solo, or with cascaded them in series. It turns out the left switch is bypass for the whole effect, and the right switch actives the fuzz portion which is running in parallel to the od sounds and blended at the end. After fooling around for awhile, I found it easier to think of the pedal as one effect, with an extra stomp switch for “massively more”.

Video Overview

Samples

Note: Headphones or good speakers required. Bass samples!

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Picture Gallery

Construction and cosmetic concerns:

Give it a good shake and it’s quiet. The thick black coating looks like you could drop it on to cement and it might not nick (not attempted). The screen-printing and labeling is clear and concise. Battery access is via the traditional four screw method. Internal bits are well laid out and standard boutique quality parts are used. Soldiering and layout are well done, and everything is expertly packed, and there is quite a bit going on here! The circuit board is firmly mounted on risers and cable runs are short and clean.

Power and jacks are located on the top (my preferred location). The in and out jacks are the opposite of what you see on most pedals with the in on the left side rather than the right. The left switch would be better labeled “bypass” rather than overdrive to help visually make clear the relationship between the OD and Fuzz.

Conclusion:


This is the most versatile analogue dirt pedal I have laid hands on. The overdrive side is a solid tube screamer inspired dirt that in the ‘lo’ position does a great job retaining lows and provides some really nice low gain tones. This can be cranked up to a some pretty significant sizzle, but the lows start to suffer at that point.

Firing on the fuzz side opens a world of wild possibilities. This unique circuit reminds me a bit of a superfuzz with it’s sizzle and excessive force encountered with a flip of the octave switch. While it doesn’t do a solid job of retaining lows in itself, the parallel blend occurring with the overdrive before output brings the bottom end back in. Rocking out with this pedal gave me a few of those ‘rock god’ moments that really hit you in the gut. This kind of visceral joy doesn’t come around for me too often, jaded and scarred as I am, so when they do I get really excited.

This is a pedal that transitions from low gain to face melter at the click of a switch, and can be configured anywhere in between. I often feel that versatile pedals fail to provide anything unique or touch ‘awesome’ the way more specialized pedals do, but Battering Ram accomplishes it. I think either side by itself would fail to inspire, but combined as a single pedal with it’s unique blending arrangement create something quite interesting.

As always, if you have any questions, leave a comment or let me know

Note: A rating of 5 = acceptable and should considered a ‘good’ basic score

Sound Category: Sparkle, Full Range
Versatility: 9
Sound: 8
Value: 7
Overall: 8

4 thoughts on “Fuzz Review: Wounded Paw – Battering Ram

  1. WOW! I WANT! That thing is awesome, and I really like the versatility. Price tag isn’t bad either.

  2. That very last thing you played after “just for you…” sounded like Portugal the Man’s It’s Complicated Being a Wizard.

    Are you a fan?

  3. WOW! in real it sounds not just better then in the video…this thing is amazing! i play that pedal with a G&L SB-2 thru a Markbass R500 and CL108…
    nice fat overdrive sounds and a cut thru fuzztone! i did order it to switzerland with no problems…
    thanx Preston, you made a great job!

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