Black Arts Toneworks Sarcophagus
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Black Arts Toneworks Sarcophagus

Black Arts Toneworks Sarcophagus

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Overview

The Sarcophagus combines Black Arts Toneworks’s Pharaoh and LSTR fuzz effects. Each will work independently of the other, but in a true gesture of madness, the folks at BAT also wired the pedals together. That’s correct, with the Sarcophagus, it’s possible to play the Pharaoh and LSTR simultaneously.

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Product Specs

Brand
Model
  • Sarcophagus
Finish
  • Black
Year
  • 2010s
Made In
  • United States
Categories
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It was with some trepidation that this writer opened the box for Black Arts Toneworks’s Sarcophagus. After all, hadn’t a curse worked its deadly magic upon the raiders of King Tutankhamen’s tomb? Although some curses require years to take effect, it’s pretty clear that Black Arts Toneworks hasn’t placed a hex on this pedal—that is, unless the generation of massive, powerful fuzz can be considered a curse. The Sarcophagus combines Black Arts Toneworks’s Pharaoh and LSTR fuzz effects. Each will work independently of the other, but in a true gesture of madness, the folks at BAT also wired the pedals together. That’s correct, with the Sarcophagus, it’s possible to play the Pharaoh and LSTR simultaneously. Of the two circuits, the LSTR’s is the fuzzier one, and is capable of producing a gloriously thick, compressed, and plain massive distortion. In its gentler settings, however, the LSTR warms and softens the guitar’s tone. Simply dial back the fuzz to a minimal level, and place both the Tone and Scoop EQ knobs at around noon. This basic setting gave a saturated and compressed sound that made this writer want to play Sabbath riffs for hours. Even at low volumes, the compression and thickness of this fuzz conjured images of huge amp rigs and massive arena shows. If it didn’t sound so corny, this writer would say that is the sort of distortion that legends are built upon. The second fuzz, the Pharaoh, charms the ears in its own, vintage way. Although the Pharaoh won’t deliver as much gain as will the LSTR, the Pharaoh excels at classic ‘60s-era fuzz because it features both germanium and silicon settings. In its Silicon mode, the Pharaoh is a bit edgy and aggressive. It’s definitely the setting that most resembled traditional distortion, especially in the “Hi” setting which, counter-intuitively, actually lowers the available headroom relative to that of the “Lo” setting. Even in the lower fuzz settings, the Pharaoh added a bit of thickness and warmth to the signal. Germanium diode fuzz was the more tube-like and transparent of the two. It’s a great setting for those times when a bit of fuzz is needed without a whole lot of extra gain added to the mix. Rolling back the instrument volume knob tended to soften the fuzz a bit. Even so, with thoughts of full-on fuzz in mind, germanium and silicon can both meet your needs. Simply crank up the volume and fuzz on the pedal, and those old tones will sing on through. Finally, both the Pharaoh and the LSTR can be clicked on simultaneously. The result? Let’s just say that this writer thinks he won’t hear anything more compressed and massive for quite some time. So, perhaps the true curse of the Sarcophagus lies in its two-fuzz combination. All other fuzzes will simply pale in comparison, and players will search elsewhere, in vain, for the Sarcophagus’s unforgettably massive sound. Yet even the individual Pharaoh and LSTR fuzz effects will bedevil their players’ ears, and find themselves used all of the time. What we like: Two-in-one fuzz that runs the gamut of old-school, germanium and silicon sounds, to a massive, compressed fuzz that sings. Concerns: Switching from Germanium to Silicon diodes tended to result in a massive volume increase. Take care when switching in order to prevent ear-drum blowout.

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