VFE Vomit Hound
This is your friendly neighborhood reviewer, Jesse from Rogue Guitar Shop! I am here to bring you something interested, and maybe a bit unexpected. VFE is known for their unorthodox and supremely unique designs. With a name like Vomit Hound, what could it be? No, it doesn't blow chunks, neither does it bark at you. What we have here is actually a two in one job. Two pedals in one, in a form factor no bigger than a MXR Phase 90. You read that correctly, sounds as crazy as the name doesn't it? But the information presented to you is nothing but fact. This is a combination of the VFE Alpha Dog distortion and the VFE Pale Horse overdrive respectively. It happens to only be available exclusively at Rogue Guitar Shop!!!
For being two pedals in such a small enclosure, this pedal has an easy to use control scheme. We have the A Drive control, which allows you to set the drive just for the Alpha Dog. Next is the P Drive, a drive control just for the Pale Horse overdrive. The last of the three bigger knobs is the Level control. This is a master volume control for both circuits, this allows you to have consistent volume between the two. For the smaller control knobs we have a Fat control, which allows you to add beef to the low end of the frequency range. Next up is the Filter control, similar to a Rat filter control, this controls the overall EQ of both circuits. Last, but absolutely not least, we have the Mix control. Instead of providing a simple toggle switch to go between the two circuits, the Vomit Hound lets you actually mix between them. Letting you have equal amounts of both, all of one, or a bit of one and a lot of the other. No surprise the controls are as unique as VFE's design philosophy!
Before I discuss interesting uses for the Vomit Hound, I'm going to break down each of the two circuits found within. The VFE Alpha Dog is based on a certain distortion known for it's use of the LM308 chip. A circuit known for it's wide range of gain, guitar volume cleanup, amp-like response, and it's enhanced midrange emphasis to help cut through the mix. The VFE Pale Horse is based on a certain green overdrive. This as well is known for it's boosted midrange and amp-like response. As well, excellent boosting qualities with the gain low and volume high. The Pale Horse however isn't so boosted in the mid frequency. Making for a much more transparent drive. Being already very familiar with the Alpha Drive, the first thing I wanted to do was try out the Pale Horse. I roll the Mix control all the way to the P side on the right. Starting with the P Drive set around 11:00, the Volume at 2:30, Fat and Filter controls both at noon I hit a chord. I have the gain on the clean channel of my amp around half way up, I get a nice boosted feel from the Pale Horse. This thing is designed to sound like YOUR amp. I turn the gain up, and more of the same, just with more gain. This is not a bad thing though, sometimes it's nice for the tonal coloration to only come from the amp and guitar. Using the Filter and Fat controls can change this though. Easily bringing you tonal colors your amp cannot produce on it's own. The Alpha Dog side is just as interesting. The A Drive control can take you from light overdrive to massive fuzz sounds, thanks to the Fat control. This thing has a lot of bass on tap, the Fat control can be used to tighten or loosen things up. The Filter control works much similar to the rodent it's inspired from. Except this one works the standard tone control sort of way, with more treble after 12:00. Of course you can blend the two together however you like, making for lots and lots of versatility. On top of all of this, there's an internal Comp control, that adjusts the general compression for the Pale Horse.
Quite honestly, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, but I couldn't have been more wrong. At Rogue Guitar Shop, we have tons of different overdrive and distortion pedals. I'd say that all of them are capable of producing excellent sounds, some versatile, some not. Just a bunch of different sonic flavors, really. I'm not sure if there's another that packs so much versatility in such a small package as the Vomit Hound, who would have thought vomit would taste so lovely? The Alpha Dog has always been one of my favorite rodent inspired pedals. This particular pedal loses a little bit of the versatility the original Alpha Dog and Pale Horse have. But the cost seems worth it to me. It is in no way less versatile than either of those individual pedals, but together the originals obviously have more features. What makes the Vomit Hound stand out is it's ability to morph between two different circuits. Two different circuits that produce quite different sounds from each other. Overall, I've highly enjoyed using this thing, and it's ability to go from clean boost to all out fuzz. Never really used anything quite like it, and would recommend it to nearly anyone for any style of music. Think you might be interested? Not a better place to go than Rogue Guitar Shop to find out more about it and for the best price this side of Saturn or Neptune.
Everything I could want in an overdrive and distortion unit, all in one tiny little box. I do miss the ability to switch up the clipping on the Alpha Dog, would have been a great internal dip switch or something. But, with the inclusion of the Pale Horse, I can't fault it too much for that!