Damnation Audio’s Ugly Twin is a perfect example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. And in this case, it’s a spectacularly mutant whole.
The Ugly Twin combines three gain effects in a single enclosure for results than can be far from ordinary. In order of appearance, you get a near-clone of the Dan Armstrong Green Ringer octave fuzz, a single-transistor booster reminiscent of EHX’s LPB-1, and a hybrid silicon/germanium fuzz, with an added passive 3-band EQ section and active buffer stage.
There’s a dedicated footswitch for each effect, providing seven possible combinations (each effect alone, octave plus boost, octave plus fuzz, boost plus fuzz, and all three together). The effect order is fixed, and each section does pretty much what you’d expect. The surprises occur when you cascade the stages into each other.
Mix and Mash
Each effect’s tone varies dramatically according to input level, so boosting any effect colors everything downstream. The circuit isn’t dynamic in the sense that you get crispy-clean tones by rolling back your volume knob. It’s hard to scrub the dirt off these sounds. But what a splendid cavalcade of filth!