Empress Effects Heavy Menace Distortion & Gate Pedal

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Sku: 850040850376
Empress Effects Heavy Menace Distortion & Gate Pedal

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 they’ve ever created. It’s an evolution of their 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.

Enhanced EQ

At Empress they’re obsessed with EQ, and the 3-band circuit on Heavy Menace is one of their best.

The 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.

True or Buffered Bypass

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.

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


• Three versatile distortion modes - Light(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 (1/8” TS or TRS)
• True bypass or buffered bypass
• All-analog signal path
• Input Impedance: 1M ohm
• Output Impedance: 100 ohm
• Frequency Response (-3dB): 35Hz - 17kHz
• Input Voltage: 9-12VDC
• Required Current: 250mA
• Power Input Connector: 2.1mm Barrel Connector
• Height (Enclosure Only): 1.5”
• Height (Including Controls): 2.5”
• Length: 4.8”
• Width: 2.6”
• Weight: 1lb
• All Empress Effects products come with a 2 year warranty. You can extend this warranty to 4 years by filling out an online registration to Empress