Every family has a black sheep (or goat), and the Fuzz family is no exception. Black Goat is difficult to categorize, managing to sound both vintage and modern at the same time. What is certain is that you can’t help but feel a bit dirty when you plug in, enjoy playing in the mud with this crazy animal, and get all those grimy tones you were looking for.
Yes, Black Goat may be dirty, mean-spirited, and wicked, but it is a blast to hang around with. Just don’t tell your mom that you’re with such bad company and everything is gonna be alright…
Let’s go back to the origins of this vicious board to know more about it. It all started when Black Arts Toneworks made a rework of a real-life “black sheep” fuzz pedal: the Roland Bee Baa. Originally sold as a dual-mode fuzz with a switchable treble boost mode, this circuit was full of controversy since the begging. Lots of people fell in love with its mid-range rasp; an equal amount just hated it.
However, Black Arts did an excellent job by highlighting the best qualities of the original and taking aside the bad. Its inherent brittleness was solved by implementing a variable input selector, the same trusted rotary present on the Black Forest. The raspiness of the fuzz effect itself was reduced by using more modern transistors and tweaking some of the values inside.
The controls are Depth, Tone, Volume, and Gain. The Gain knob has plenty of it on tap, which is a remnant from the Bee Baa. The Tone knob has also been significantly reworked for a much more usable range.
For further analysis on this circuit take a look at this thread on Free Stomp Boxes Forum.