Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review: Catalinbread Manx Loaghtan Fuzz

The Manx Loaghtan is Catalinbread's latest entry into the world of fuzz. It has a very muff-like character and has tons of flexibility with a Baxandall tone stack. Let's see how this fuzz stacks up to the competition.


The Manx is housed in Catalinbread's common small enclosure and has a slightly sparkly silver finish. It has controls for bass and treble as well as sustain and volume. The tone stack for the Manx is seemingly simple but you can get a lot of tones out of it as adjusting bass and treble also affect the mids you introduce into your sound.  The Baxandall tone stack this pedal has adjusts the mids up as you roll down the bass and treble and vice versa. With just two knobs there's a lot of tonal variation. If you're unfamiliar with the Baxandall concept and my admittedly poor explanation didn't do it for you: click here. The Manx also has a nice wide gain range, from a nice mid gain fuzz to full on raging, this thing has it!


As I touched on earlier, this box is no one trick pony. If you want a nice cutting fuzz to add some gain and texture to your sound while letting chords ring through, you've got one. If you need a raging high gain fuzzy that stays fuzzy but doesn't get flubby and loose on lower notes, this is also it. I could use this thing for anything from blues to death metal and be satisfied (I'm pretty big fuzz lover). Lead tones with the neck pickup are nice and warm, they sing and sustain for days. Switch to the bridge and crank up the gain and you've got a raging, aggressive fuzz any metalhead  would be happy to use, boost it and they'll be even happier. Doom lovers might find something lacking in the Manx though, it's a bit brighter than other high gain fuzzes. It doesn't really lack the low end punch of other high gain fuzzes (e.g. Dwarfcraft Eau Claire Thunder and Black Arts Pharaoh) but trying to dial in more bass and less treble for a darker tone makes things more boomy than anything else. Now I'm not calling this thing thin sounding at all, it's plenty thick and aggressive, in fact, I think it could cut through a band mix better than most fuzzes I've played. Let's see what you think of the sounds now...

Manx High Gain by Mike Fetting

Manx with chords by Mike Fetting

These were both recorded with my regular rig. There are many tones to be had from this thing, but these best complimented my style, I hope you enjoy the sounds.

Final Word
The Manx Loaghtan from Catalinbread is a fine fuzz, it's got a very useful tone stack and gain range, it sounds damn good and it's priced even better (especially given the rising prices of boutique pedals these days). If you're chasing a deep, gut punching, super dark high gain fuzz you might want to look elsewhere. I'm sure most people looking at the Manx are just looking for a fairly versatile med-hi gain fuzz that cuts through the mix. The Manx delivers this in spades. Whether it's your first fuzz or your adding yet another fuzz to your board, I have to recommend the Catalinbread Manx Loaghtan fuzz, you'll find it quite useful (what you use it for is up to you).


  1. Why is it called the Manx Loaghtan?

  2. I believe it's supposed to be based off a Ram's Head Muff, so instead of a ram they used a Manx

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