Empress Effects Heavy Menace
The Heavy Menace is the most versatile distortion pedal that Empress Effects has ever created. It’s an evolution of the original Heavy with new features and a compact enclosure.
In addition to the original Heavy and Heavier modes, the Heavy Menace adds a new Lite(ish) mode, covering any high-gain sound from classic hard rock to searing modern metal.
Fans of the ParaEq pedals know Empress is obsessed with EQ, and the 3-band circuit on Heavy Menace is one of their best.
The Weight control adjusts a high-pass filter in the distortion circuit to shape low-end character. Turn it up for a thick, full sound, or turn counterclockwise for a tight response that’s perfect for palm muting and extended-range guitars.
Midrange is a key element of a great distorted sound, so the mid frequency is sweepable from 200 Hz to 2.5 kHz to dial in the sweet spot for your guitar and amp. Scoop for a tight, aggressive sound, or push to add definition and cut through a mix.
Players loved the gate on the original Heavy. Envelope followers in the circuit respond to your playing, letting sustained notes decay naturally but clamping down quickly during fast stops.
On the Heavy Menace, this gate is now footswitchable, with two available modes of operation. In normal bypass mode, the gate doesn’t affect the signal if the distortion is off, while independent bypass mode is like having separate distortion and gate pedals.
Empress has also added a key input so you can optionally trigger the gate with an external signal. This is particularly useful if you have additional pedals before the Heavy Menace in your signal chain, such as a low-gain pedal for stacking. Split a clean signal with a pedal like the Empress Buffer+ and connect it to the Gate Key Input, and the gate will behave consistently regardless of changes at the main input.
TRUE OR BUFFERED BYPASS
The Heavy Menace offers both true bypass for maximum transparency, and buffered bypass to protect against signal loss over long cable runs.