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Our Most Versatile Distortion Pedal Ever

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

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.  

249.99 USD

We price and charge in USD because we ship globally, and most of our customers expect it. We're still 100% Canadian, we promise!

Key Features

  • 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

Heavy Menace - $249.99 USD

We price and charge in USD because we ship globally, and most of our customers expect it. We're still 100% Canadian, we promise!


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.

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The Heavy Menace offers both true bypass for maximum transparency, and buffered bypass to protect against signal loss over long cable runs.

Adaptive Gate

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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Input Impedance
Output Impedance
Frequency Response (-3dB)
35Hz - 17kHz
Input Voltage
9VDC Centre-Negative
Required Current
Power Input Connector
2.1mm Barrel Connector
Height (Enclosure Only)
Height (Including Controls)

Customer Service You Can Trust

Everyone will claim they have great customer service, so we encourage you to take a quick minute to Google our reputation.

Here’s quick facts you should know about:

  • All Empress Effects products come with a 2 year warranty. You can extend this warranty to 4 years by filling out an online registration.
  • Returns for purchases made on our website are accepted within 45 days of purchase for any reason and eligible for a full refund including shipping costs.
  • We LOVE to hear about your dealer experience, both positive and negative so don’t be afraid to reach out.
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