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1. Volume: Adjusts the output volume. Unity is around 9-10 o’clock.
2. Sustain: More distortion and sustain clockwise; less counterclockwise.
3. Tone: Boost bass frequencies clockwise and boost highs counterclockwise. This control has a massive effect on the character of the Hizumitas.
The Elk Sustainar is a Japanese variant of the more well-known “Triangle” BMP. During development, we used several vintage models of the BMP, as well as a few different versions of the Elk, and quickly realized all of them were wildly different. The only way we were going to truly capture the magic was to get our hands on her original pedal. Wata was kind enough to send her beloved pedal halfway across the world so we could see what made it tick. Right away, we realized it had something special that none of the others had - heavy saturation with a gritty edge and a massive bottom while still maintaining a clear and dynamic tone with enough mids and top end to cut through the sludge. We set out to faithfully recreate all these characteristics in the Hizumitas!
The Hizumitas has loads of heavy distortion and smooth sustain with an underlying grit to it that sounds like the speakers are on the verge of ripping apart, all while still delivering amazing clarity that you wouldn’t expect from something this aggressive sounding. The Sustain control has a wide range of saturation, even small changes will have a great effect on the overall tone. The Hizumitas has excellent response to different pickup types and playing dynamics. Power chords sound huge and heavy, open chords are dynamic with fantastic note separation, and single-note leads are smooth and powerful, especially when using the neck pickup.
The Tone control is atypical for this type of distortion and can drastically change the distortion’s character in conjunction with the Sustain setting. Bass frequencies are boosted clockwise while treble frequencies are boosted when turned counterclockwise. The treble side can go from piercing highs to an aggressive mid-range grind. As the Tone is turned clockwise, the mids become less present, highs are tamed, and a massive, thundering low-end comes to the forefront.
As you might expect, there is plenty of output gain on tap, so be careful. Unity is around 9-10 o’clock and everything above that is set to destroy.