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.
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.
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:
Download the Reuss RSH-03 manual here
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 25% VAT is added at check-out.
*EU-customers also please note: Your pedal ships with new production RoHS-compliant 1N270 germanium diodes (not vintage new old stock) due to EU environmental regulations