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Old 04-23-2011, 04:54 PM   #1
Chumley
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Dwarfcraft-Shiva (Pedal)

Dwarfcraft Shiva

Dwarfcraft's a small, "boutique" company based out of Wisconsin. Everything's handmade, and most of their pedals are only available for as long as Aen (the driving force behind Dwarfcraft) is interested in making them. The Shiva's one of his more enduring designs, though, possibly because it's the most utilitarian pedal he offers. The circuit started life as a Fuzz Face clone, I believe, and though it's undergone so many modifications as to bare little resemblance to anything Hendrix-y, it has some, dare I say, conventional tones available, but more on that in a moment.
Full disclosure: I love this pedal. I use it on bass, synth and guitar, and I don't go to a gig or recording session without it. There are a couple of other (much more expensive) pedals I'd trade it for, but not many.

There's the conventional volume knob, which has more gain than you'd ever need, with unity at about nine o'clock. Then, there's the "texture" knob, which functions a bit like gain. Up until about three o'clock it just offers varying levels of sustain with the same tone; past that, things get more unpredictable. What, exactly, happens to the tone after that depends on the position of the switches, whether or not you have other pedals in front of it, the starve knob... it can introduce oscillation, make things brassier and more biting, skip up or down octaves, and probably any other combination of sounds. For use in most situations, I leave Texture at around noon, but whenever something weird's needed, it goes right up.
The Shiva has two modes: regular, and "starve", activated by its own foootswitch. The footswitch enables the starve knob, which cuts power to the circuit, exactly like letting a pedal's battery die. In most cases, this mellows things out: less gain, usually less volume, and a more "overdrive"y, transparent type of sound. With texture up, though, video game style arpeggios, oscillation, and spluttery decays are available. Most of these settings are more useful on guitar, though.
There are two unlabeled switches, which introduce more bizarreness. The first one, I believe, increases input gain, lending the pedal a much more aggressive sound and introducing oscillation at high Texture settings. If your bass sounds too "droney" through the Shiva, the first switch lends your attack all the bite it needs.
The second switch is weirder, and honestly is fairly useless on bass. For starters, it almost always cuts out your low-end, but if you're looking for a distinctly trashy, lo-fi sound, it's perfect.

There are dozens of sounds available from the Shiva, especially in combination with volume and tone knobs. Normally, I take comments like these with a grain of salt, but I was literally discovering sounds coming out of this thing that I'd never heard before months after I bought it. The Shiva also plays incredibly nice with other pedals, which is a plus if you're a fuzz junky like myself. One thing to note, though, is that the Shiva doesn't accept battery, only a Boss-style adapter. Because batteries are shit on the environment.

Sound: 10/10. Easily the best fuzz I've ever owned. From indie rock to hardcore punk to drone metal, the Shiva sounds breathtaking (and ball-busting) when used right.
Ease of Use: 7/10. It takes a while to wrap your head around, but if you're the sort that likes easy-to-use, conventional sounding gear, this isn't the pedal for you anyhow.
Build Quality: 8/10. Not quite BOSS, built-like-a-tank status, but it's held up fine.
Versatility: 8/10. Wide range of fuzz tones, but only if you're into heavy, experimental fuzz. For a more classic tone, turn elsewhere.
Support: 10/10. Aen's a great guy.


New-$180
Used-Around $150

Any questions, lemme know.
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Old 05-20-2011, 10:41 AM   #2
FunkMetalBass
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Sounds like an interesting pedal. I'll have to keep my eyes open for a used one.

Just to further your review, here's a link to the company website:

http://www.dwarfcraft.com/
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Old 05-28-2011, 11:47 PM   #3
gaslight
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Any sound samples?
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