In 2020 fender released the Pugilist in a range of great pedals that improved massively over previous years’ offerings. These pedals had more than just great tone, they oozed with great features too.
The thing which sets the pugilist aside from other distortions is that it’s actually 2 in one box.
Despite there being many controls, they’re very simple:
You simply dial in the gain and tone amount for each distortion and choose how to mix them.
There are three different options of mixing the distortions not two as most people would lead you to believe. Firstly you can run them directly into each over which will push the second drive into obliteration, wonderful. Secondly you can set each side differently and us the blend control to find your perfect mixture of parallel goodness. Thirdly by turning the blend control entirely to one side or the other you will have just one distortion engaged.
To turn the pugilist into a two channel beast try the following. Set channel A with low gain and the tone slightly more trebly. Set Channel B to be a great sounding medium/high distortion on its own. Turn the blend control totally to the right and use the “series/blend” switch to toggle “channels”. The result will be a great sounding distortion with the ability to boost it by kicking the switch up.
The bass boost switch is great for adding body when practicing at home and getting out of the bassists way in a band environment. Each of the knobs has its own led for clarity on stage but you can also turn these off to avoid blinding yourself. Battery compartments can often be a pain to get to so Fender added an easy to access port on the bottom panel. This simply flips down without having to remove the pugilist from your pedalboard.