NAMM 2024: Beetronics FX has unveiled the Abelha Tropical Fuzz, a three-mode fuzz pedal inspired by the psychedelic sounds of the Brazilian Tropicália movement, with some of the tricksy features you might expect from one of the world’s most original guitar effects pedals.
The Abelha is arguably the most personal pedal in the Beetronics lineup. Filipe Pampuri, the company’s founder, was born and raised in Brazil, and this is very much a love letter to the sounds of Brazilian popular music in the ‘70s.
“For a while, I've wanted to create a pedal that explored tones inspired by the Tropicalia movement,” said Pampuri. “Brazil in the ‘70s had some genuinely unique fuzz tones, and that's what we've aimed to capture with this pedal.
“Our goal was to embrace a classic nostalgic vibe in both its design and tones, seamlessly integrating modern features while looking ahead to create a unique futuristic fuzz tone and I beelieve we nailed it!”
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The Abelha – which means “bee” in Portuguese – has three voicings: Polen, Nectar and Honey, each with a different sonic profile. Polen has that dying battery in a germanium fuzz sound, the sort of spitting cobra sound, lots of sag. Nectar is more conventional and is described as “round and huge-sounding”.
Honey rounds out the pedal’s three core sounds with a more versatile fuzz voicing. But this is Beetronics, so there is lots of scope for shaping your sound.
There is a Tropical Mode that applies a high-pass filter to proceedings to give you that traditionally Brazilian fuzz sound, and you activate this for momentary operation by holding the footswitch down, or double-tapping the footswitch for latching.
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Other controls include Hi and Lo mini-dials for fine-tuning the EQ, with the Loud dial controlling output volume, Buzz controlling gain. You can also choose from three speed settings for the double-tap function on the footswitch, which could come in handy.
Beetronics is offering this in a wedge-shaped enclosure, which is very much vintage-inspired, but there is of course plenty of options for ordering a unit with a brighter unit from the Custom Shop. The regular Abelha is priced £233, the Custom Shop models are £282.
You don’t have to be chasing down the guitar tones of Os Mutantes to find some joy in this pedal but if you are… Well, head over to Beetronics to find out more. The standard series Abelha is priced £233 / $289.