Reuss Musical Instruments

Reuss RSH-03 Rowland S. Howard pedal

Both versions in stock

NEW: We have done a limited edition black version of the Rowland S. Howard pedal as a (belated) celebration of the reissues of the These Immortal Souls albums on vinyl, and the release of the 'Extra' album. There are 60 individually numbered pedals in the batch, of which 50 are available to order here (choose in the drop-down meny above the price). Electronically, they are identical to the regular, white RSH pedal.

Reuss RSH-03 Rowland S. Howard pedal

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 pedals are made with rare vintage new old stock germanium diodes - along with new old stock Panasonic 2SC1849 transistors and Texas Instruments UA741CP opamp ICs. The same parts as can be found in vintage 1970s MXR pedals.

The RSH-03  features old-school carbon film resistors and tantalum capacitors 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.

The RSH-03 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.

2022 marks the ten years anniversary of the first Rowland S. Howard pedal, and I took this as an opportunity to give it a slight facelift. The new RSH-03 version, launching in April 2022 (available to preorder now), has received a few minor cosmetic revisions compared to the previous RSH. Most notably, the jack has been moved from the sides to the top end, where they originally sat on the RSH-01. The knobs are changed to a different design and the finish is a semi-matte olympic white, as opposed to the previous few batches which were high gloss. The electronics remains the same, though I have replaced the LM741 opamps for UA741CNs. Both types were used in vintage MXR pedals.

Through the years there has been (at least) six different versions of the RSH pedal

  • Handmade RSH-01 (complete DIY, hand painted with water slide decals) 2012
  • Factory made RSH-02 (2013)
  • RSH-01 in factory finished enclosure wirh first version RSH-03 circuit board inside 2014
  • First version RSH-03 (bright white with yellow crown and 'funny' names for jacks and controls) 2014
  • Second version RSH-03 (glossy olympic white, gold crown, 'normal' names for controls etc., much nicer looking circuit board inside, switchable 'C11 mod' inside) 2016
  • Third version RSH-03 'Ten Year Anniversary Edition' 2022. Top mount jacks. Black knobs. Vintage new old stock UA741CP opamps.

Alternatively, check out the Reuss Evil Twin mk II which is basically a RSH-03 with extended features

Here's JP Shilo channeling the spirit of Rowland S. Howard, pushing air into crystals with a vintage Jaguar and the Reuss RSH pedal in Paris, February 2020. Bobby Gillespie taking his vocals to a new level of cool, Mick Harvey working the drums like it was 1999 and Conrad Standish laying the solid lows. It’s the ultimate Reuss RSH pedal demo

The Reuss RSH (and ‘Evil Twin’) pedals are used by these fine artists – and more

  • PJ Harvey
  • Laura Jane Grace (Against Me!)
  • Mick Harvey
  • Warren Ellis
  • Jeff Schroeder (Smashing Pumpkins)
  • James Johnston (PJ Harvey, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Gallon Drunk)
  • JP Shilo (who conducted the original test driving of the RSH-02 model)
  • Harry Howard
  • Alexander Hacke (Einstürzende Neubauten)
  • Jochen Arbeit (Einstürzende Neubauten)
  • Mike Hranica (The Devil Wears Prada)
  • Nick Zinner
  • Victor Krummenacher (Camper Van Beethoven)
  • Jason Victor (The Dream Syndicate)
  • Fred Alpi (Sprung Aus Den Wolken etc.)
  • Chris Brokaw
  • Oliver Hoiness (with Kira Skov)
  • Manoj Ramdas (Childrenn, Spektr, Sort Sol)

RSH-03 features and specifications

  • Vintage correct 1970s circuits and sounds
  • Vintage correct components (carbon film resistors, NOS germanium diodes, NOS 2SC1849 transistors, tantalum capacitors, 3 x NOS UA741CP opamp ICs)
  • Switchable 'C11 mod' via a dip switch inside the pedal
  • 'Olympic White' powder coat finish (same colour as Rowland's guitar)
  • Silk screen printed Rowland S. Howard ‘crowned heart’ logo with crown printed in metallic gold ink ("lightning" printed in gold ink at the limited edition black version)
  • Individual true bypass-switching for the two circuits
  • 100% handmade in the European Union (Denmark & Bulgaria)
  • High quality Neutrik jacks, wired by hand
  • Super high quality Alpha brand footswitches. The best on the market (good for at least 30000 stomps)
  • Compact footprint: 11,9 x 9,4 cm (standard Hammond 1590BB size)
  • Ships in a 'Reuss' box and linen draw-string bag
  • The 2024 limited edition black version ships with a matching guitar pick
  • Worldwide shipping from Denmark. Orders posted before 2:00 PM Central European Time on weekdays ships same day

Sound samples (recorded with an RSH-02 = same circuit):

Download the Reuss RSH-03 manual here (updated for black edition, but the two versions are electronically identical).

A version of the RSH distortion circuit is available in the "Double Standard Distortion" pedal (if you don't need the octave fuzz part)

PLEASE NOTE: Prices at the webshop are listed without VAT. For customers in the European Union VAT is added at check-out.