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    Empress Effects Heavy Menace Distortion FX Pedal

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    The Heavy Menace from Empress Effects is a absolute beast, but a very versatile one.

    Born out of the fire's of hell, and evolving from the original Empress Heavy, the Heavy Menace retains the original Heavy and Heavier modes from the original, plus has a new Lite(ish) mode to cover all your high gain needs.

    In addition it also boasts many new features and a compact and robust enclosure.

    The Details
    • Effect: Distortion
    • Made in Canada
    • Evolution of the original Heavy pedal
    • Three versatile distortion modes - Lite(ish), Heavy, and Heavier
    • Footswitchable noise gate
    • Three-band EQ with sweepable mid frequency
    • Weight control to sculpt low frequency response
    • Linked or independent switching of the distortion and gate
    • Gate key input (⅛” TS or TRS)
    • True bypass or buffered bypass
    • All-analog signal path
    • Current draw: 250ma
    • 9-12VDC
    • 2 year manufacturer warranty (4 years if registered)
    Shipping & Returns


    • Free UK shipping from orders of £200 or more
    • Orders despatched within 1-2 working days
    • Always tracked worldwide shipping
    • Plastic free packaging as standard


    30 day peace of mind return policy, but please read our terms and conditions, returns and refunds policy before placing an order. 

    What Do Empress Effects Say?

    The Heavy Menace is the most versatile distortion pedal we’ve ever created. It’s an evolution of our 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.

    Get any high-gain tone from crunch to crushing, with advanced EQ and gating for total control over sound and silence.


    We’re obsessed with EQ, and the 3-band circuit on Heavy Menace is one of our best.

    Our 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.

    We’ve 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 our Buffer+ and connect it to the Gate Key Input, and the gate will behave consistently regardless of changes at the main input.

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