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Tone Roses: Five Influential Fuzz Tones

September 28, 2013

Fuzz. The first frontier.

There’s a plethora of different sonic effects out there these days that allow guitarists a wide palette to choose from when making noise—but nothing changed the landscape like FUZZ. Seems like every guitar legend had a fuzz pedal (or two, or three) in their arsenal that became a signature sound and that influenced generations of guitarists to come. Today in Andy’s Corner, we’re looking at 5 influential fuzz tones—the tones that have shaped rock and roll itself.

 

 

 

MAESTRO FUZZ TONE FZ-1

You’ve heard it your whole life: the Maestro Fuzz Tone FZ-1 was used perhaps most famously on Keith Richards’ intro lick to “I Can’t Get No (Satisfaction)” – a song that you probably hear at least 200 times a year. Pete Townshend is another known Fuzz Tone user, famously using the pedal at Monterey Pop Festival (the pedal, unlike his guitar, was NOT set on fire!).  The Fuzz Tone was one of the first commercially produced fuzz pedals and widely regarded by fuzz gurus to be the pedal that started it all. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

photo from kitrae.netELECTRO HARMONIX BIG MUFF

Seems like there are a hundred variations on the Big Muff – and deservedly so. Mike Matthews’ legendary fuzz pedal has been a mainstay of several iconic guitar rigs, notably David Gilmour’s rig. The solo in “Comfortably Numb” that gives you chills every time you hear it? Yep—that’s the Big Muff.  The Muff’s creamy, rich sustain made it a legend that continues to be featured in epic rock tunes- Smashing Pumpkins and Dinosaur Jr carried the Big Muff torch in the 90s and Jack White carries it today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

DALLAS ARBITER FUZZ FACE

Known for its killer tone and its funny looks, the Fuzz Face is an icon in its own right. The round enclosure of the Fuzz Face is instantly recognizable and made appearances in countless guitar rigs, but none so famous as Jimi Hendrix’s rig. If you have a favorite song off of Are You Experienced, it’s got a Fuzz Face on it. More recently, the pedal has been favored by modern players like Joe Bonamassa and Eric Johnson, whose soaring “Cliffs of Dover” has become an iconic song in the guitar canon and is now forever associated with the Fuzz Face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TONE BENDER

The Tone Bender has a long semi-convoluted history, with several versions of the pedal being used by guitar icons. Jimmy Page used the Tone Bender in the early days of Led Zeppelin; it was a key component of Eric Clapton’s sound in Cream; Mick Ronson used one with Bowie during the Ziggy Stardust era; and Jeff Beck famously used them with the Yardbirds. The Tone Bender was built by many different companies at different times: Sola Sound, Colorsound, and Vox all produced Tone Benders throughout the years. Today it seems like every pedal company produces a pedal that is their nod to the Tone Bender.

 

 

Z. VEX FUZZ FACTORY

Though the Fuzz Factory wasn’t around in the 60s and 70s, it has become a modern classic since it arrived on the scene in the mid 90s. Zachary Vex’s most famous pedal has a fuzz circuit that is initially modeled on a Fuzz Face style circuit—but the pedal takes a radical detour, introducing self-oscillation and feedback loops to produce a distorted tone that sounds similar to circuit-bending. Since its introduction, the Fuzz Factory has been embraced by a variety of your garden variety guitar hero: Matt Bellamy (Muse), John Frusciante, Nels Cline, and Billy Gibbons are all known users of the Fuzz Factory—with Bellamy taking the cake somewhat with his custom built Hugh Manson guitars that have the Fuzz Factory circuitry built in to the guitar. In the aftermath of the Fuzz Factory, a plethora of fuzz pedal companies have popped up offering their take on the unique characteristics of the Fuzz Factory.

 

 

We got into a lengthy discussion in the office today over which 5 pedals to highlight here. Obviously there a million fuzz pedals and several that we didn't get to (Octavia, Scrambler, Fender Blender, Bueller?!). What fuzz pedal/performance inspired you and what fuzz pedals are you using on YOUR boards these days and why?! Until next time, keep yer gain cranked!

 

 

 

Comments

  1. deanus says:

    Ibanez standard fuzz and an earthquaker dirt transmitter with a hotcake to kick it all on into earwax meltingness…..- inspired by The Jesus and Marychain’s wall of white noise and Mudhoney’s splattery dirt raunch, ooh yeah ;D

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 11:46 am
  2. Larry Ball says:

    wheres the Mosrite Fuzzrite best pedal in the late 1960s

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 11:51 am
  3. Masten Gregory says:

    Univox Superfuzz,  Mosrite Fuzzrite, and the Kay fuzz should be on this list

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 11:57 am
  4. BingeDrinker says:

    FUUUZZY BASSS!  NAZARETH “The Ballad of Hollis Brown”

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 12:08 pm
  5. Tony Rome says:

    1960s garage rock.  I’m a big fan of the Fulltone Octafuzz.  It doesn’t get lost in the mix.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 12:11 pm
  6. Dean Burkhart says:

    My favorite fuzz tone has to be any amplifier with overdrive. I hate pedals. And after buying the Fender Mustang IV, I have no use for any pedals. Combine this amp, with a Gibson Studio guitar, there is no better tone.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm
  7. Marcos Craveiro says:

    When I thought about purchasing a fuzz for the first time, I immediately thought in my favorite band: Led Zeppelin. But tonebenders are very expensive where I live, and at the same time, I would have something that would sound more versatile too. I purchased Vodoo Lab Superfuzz and really like the result. However, in some situations, like the Superfuzz could mess a little more. Anyone else own one of these? Best wishes from Brazil

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 12:39 pm
  8. Abbacus says:

    Still don’t have a fuzz pedal. Have everything else. Like the sound of the Wampler Velvet and it’s versatility. Love the Joe Bonamassa Fuzz Face for humbuckers, and the Eric Johnson Fuzz Face for Strats but they have a huge foot print and my pedalboard is already about maxed. Could squeeze the Velvet in. Another $200. though, and my fav Strat needs a refret badly. Guess I should have married that rich, aging starlet with the platinum-blond hair and the drop-top Caddie who liked the way I walked, way on down in Sonoma County all those years ago.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 12:45 pm
  9. courtney von drehle says:

    Anyone heard of the Shaftsbury Duo Fuzz? I find it to be very similar to the Maestro and was for sale around the same time.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 12:46 pm
  10. Uriel Segall says:

    Fulltone 69 MKII - i use and the other guitar player from my band also uses. Actually this was his sugestion. I dont regret a Penny.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm
  11. J. Guevara says:

    Buzzaround.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 12:57 pm
  12. John says:

    Mark Farner’s Messenger came with a fuzz already built into it. Does anyone know any of the specifics of that fuzz?

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm
  13. Tim Mungenast says:

    Courtney, I know of *one* player who’s heard of the Duo-Fuzz: a bloke named Steve Hackett! I have read that he used his in series with a second fuzz for his infinite sustain. I have also read that the Duo-Fuzz was a reverse-engineered Univox Superfuzz, but I cannot confirm that.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 1:10 pm
  14. CBJ says:

    One I that made from the schematics in a hobby magazine years ago.
    It uses PNP’s, I still have it and it still rocks!

     

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm
  15. CBJ says:

    John,
    Here you go, should be easy enough to whip one up.
    http://www.freestompboxes.org/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=6688

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 1:19 pm
  16. Joe says:

    I could have sworn the Cliffs of Dover sound was Eric Johnson’s Tube Driver tone, not the Fuzz Face. Maybe the tone in the video might be the fuzz, because EJ seemed to be gravitating toward the Fuzz more in his rosewood fretboard days. But the studio track? Don’t think that was fuzz.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 2:24 pm
  17. Stonergrunge says:

    Fuzz Face all the time, germanium, silicon… as long as I can feel that beautiful “sputtery” texture when I use the strat’s neck pickup and the fuzz knob all the way up, everything will be alright in my world. I use an MJM London Fuzz, an MJM London Fuzz II and a Sunmachine Effects Reptile Fuzz.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 2:39 pm
  18. Tim Mungenast says:

    Joe, you are correct. While the INTRO to Cliffs is a Fuzz Face and a strat, the song itself is a 335 and the rig you mention. Sometimes he used the Fuzz Face, and he was and is a big fan, but Eric said he liked having 2 sources for clipping to get that fiddle sound: the Tube Driver up about halfway, and the Marshall up about halfway. He said it was better to have two cascaded distortion sources each running at moderate settings, as opposed to one box or one amp cranked all the way up. To his ears, the sound is more complex. Me, I’ve not tried it.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm
  19. Frank says:

    Frantone Peachfuzz. It’s delicious!

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm
  20. Richie says:

    Every month or so I dig my Big Muff out of the drawer and stick it in my signal chain, but for some reason it just sounds thin and cheesy so I stick it back in the drawer again and go back to distortion. It’s about a month since my last attempt so I’m on my way to that drawer again. I don’t suppose Gilmour has this problem.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 3:03 pm
  21. art says:

    FoxRox Octron. It’s a combo of fuzz and octave divider. It plays well after other distortions and with both clean and over driven amps. It’s the only fuzz that I’ve felt compelled to add to an over driven amp. We’re talking piercing crazy tone.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm
  22. Naturalist says:

    I have both an original Univox Super Fuzz and a Dallas arbeiter Fuzz Face.  Both are great sounding

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 3:47 pm
  23. stp says:

    Octavia for sure but an amazing one is the triangle Tube Works 301 tube drive

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 4:03 pm
  24. Josh says:

    I was on a long Fuzzquest and finally settled on the Prescription Electronics Yardbox, their take on the Sola Sound Tonebender.  It’s pretty damn good. Also like the Fulltone Soul Bender,  and the Analogman Sunface (germanium one with the sundial knob).

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 4:29 pm
  25. Ed says:

    How about the Stinger fuzz circuit built into some of those old Garnet amps? Couldn’t have American Woman without it.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 4:34 pm
  26. Giacomo says:

    I love the super rare Ampeg Scrambler

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 4:49 pm
  27. squirtloaf says:

    I got three faves…

    1. Big Muff…Just awesome, every version, including the newest ones. I’ve had ‘70’s, ‘80’s, Russian ones…but the two I have now, one classic, one with tone wicker are as good as any of them. Alla those people going:“Oh, well, you GOTTA have the Ram’s head one, all the new ones suck” are idiots.

    2. Fulltone Ultimate Octave…I’ve had, like, 5 billion octave fuzzes, and this is the first one where you *really* hear the octave…and it rules with the octave off as well. Just a great, great box.

    3. HBE Lorbafuzz…I got this in a trade, had never heard of it…not as much of a classic buzzy fuzz, but, man, just a great distorted lead boosty-thing with its own tone. Unlike, say, the tube screamer, which I have never much liked, this doesn’t have that weird mid-range hump. You kick the Lorba Fuzz in for a lead, and your whole tone is still there…rich, full and BALLSY.

    Honorable mentions:

    MXR Blue Box…not as traditional as the others…does a radical fuzz sound with an octave-down effect, glitchy as hell, but that is a big part of the charm. It just makes ugly/beautiful noise. One of my favoritest ever sounds is this with an octafuzz doing an octave up…you stop playing, it sounds like ass, but you keep moving and there is a sound that would make godzilla shart himself in FEAR.

    Maestro Fuzz Fazzer…I got this one in a storage liquidation 20 years ago and sold it 15 years ago for $100 when I needed cash. It was the most inexplicably offensive sounding pedal EVER. A ‘60’s fuzz mated with something that was *supposedly* a phaser with the sweep on a wah-style pedal, it was more like a fuzz with a really, really ridiculous filter sweep attached…just PIERCING and nasal with the toe down…but amazing. Sounded like James Williamson’s lead tone in the Stooges, when it would jump out of the mix and hit you in the face.

    ...man I miss that thing :/

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 5:22 pm
  28. Dennis says:

    Gimmie a Tele, a Tonebender, and an AC15, and I can save the world…. at least I feel like I can!

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 5:27 pm
  29. JoeP says:

    I have a Swart Fuzzy Boost that I really like (Germanium Fuzz-Face with some tweaks).  Also my new favorite pedal (via PGS)... A Mojo Hand FX Iron Bell.  Kind of a hybrid of a Big Muff-fish pedal and a RAT.  Some great Gilmour (and a whole lot more). Maybe not technically a fuzz, but it is a versatile and totally kick-ass pedal!

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 5:37 pm
  30. Demina says:

    Used a Big Muff back in the 70s.

    Currently using the Velvet Fuzz. Why? ‘Cuz Andy made it sound so good! :)

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 5:48 pm
  31. Jason Thorp says:

    Tone Bender!!! Too bad I am way to poor to ever afford one.  I will have to get by on my Germanium 4 Big Muff and my Swollen Pickle which are both nice but neither are really quite what I REALLY want.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm
  32. John Mc. says:

    Hey. I guess with so many “fuzz boxes” out there it’s kinda like WTF? Seems to me that most amps with built in distortion make a lot of noise, you know, noise when you’re just idling, not playing any sound. I’m not really into “fuzz” boxes myself, but I love “tube overdrive” type of distortion. To each his own on this subject. What sounds like crapola to one player is the holy grail to another. I don’t like any of the built in distortion effects that come with amps because of the noise, except for one. This will give a clue how long I’ve been hacking away on guitars, lol.  I had an old Heathkit 100 watt head. The overdrive was just a switch, it was on or off, no adjustments! It was a hard type of clip sound. A lot of edge, a lot of sustain, with an absolute limiting wall. No noise though. It was like an electric razor the size of a terradactile. If I could find something like that, I would be on it. For now I’ll just settle for my “Bad Monkey” tube overdrive. Who’s to say which is the best and worse as far as fuzz pedals go? There are hundreds , if not thousands of ‘em. You might find the stomp box of your dreams for $15 or you can pay hundreds of dollars, or maybe crosswire an old boom box mic input and come up with something uniquely awesome, lol. I like to create my own sound, original, not something someone else already did. Anyway, have fun!

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 5:56 pm
  33. Leslie Rout says:

    My personal fave is the Big Muff, but that may be because I own one. Other great boxes include the Proco Rat (Blur) or the Marshall Shredmaster (Radiohead) or the Boss DS-1 (Nirvana).

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 6:58 pm
  34. Ken says:

    I have a black sheet metal Big Muff and a Danelectro Cool Cat fuzz. The Dane lets you open it up and swap LEDs to tweak it to your liking. I haven’t done anything with mine yet. Has anybody messed with one of these?

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm
  35. MarkSD says:

    In the early 70’s I bought a used (sanded down for repainting) Fuzz pedal for $5.00 and a carton of cigarettes. My favorite all time pedal and I have no clue of manufacturer or name. Round like a Fuzz Face but with 3 knobs, one knob does do something, never could figure out what so I never use it.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 8:24 pm
  36. Kevin Maxfield says:

    My go-to fuzz for lead for a while now is a Barber Trifecta.  It can toggle between Vox Tone Bender, Colorsound Tone Bender, and Big Muff circuits and has very tweakable tone.  I also sometimes use an Earthquaker Devices Dream Crusher (based on the germanium Fuzz Face) for leads.  When I’m just going nuts and making wonderful noise, I use a Devi Ever Hyperion or Soda Meiser.  Recently I got a VFE Fiery Red Horse (an extremely tweakable Muff-style fuzz) and am loving it!

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 8:42 pm
  37. MATT says:

    Lots of “modern” builders out there recreating or bettering Fuzz tones of the past. I’m a big fan and user of Devi Ever and Fuzzhugger stuff!! Bottom line…....find YOUR sound and have FUN!!!

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 8:49 pm
  38. jack lacroix says:

    Stomp Under Foot Ramshead muff clone. It has incredable girth and balance with a singing sustain !!, think Gilmour….............These are handmade by Matt at Stompunderfoot, and I like mine better than the 70’s Muff….Also enjoy the Cesar Diaz Texas Square Face for different flavors of Jimi / SRV tones

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm
  39. Dave says:

    Just got the Amptweaker Bass Tight Fuzz and tried my guitar through it. Jeez! It soared! That pedal will be doing double duty from now on.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 9:18 pm
  40. Brian D says:

    Marc Ford on Southern Harmony Musical Companion, and everything after he did with Crowes. Made me pick up my Analogman Sunface

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm
  41. Adolfo Celso says:

    Where is the Catalinbread Octapussy?

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 10:27 pm
  42. Alex says:

    Whatever Jeff Tweedy used on the solo in hell is chrome, that is such an emotion pack sound.

    Or my RSH, which is a distortion + combinded with a blue box, that is one of the best pedals in my fuzz arsenal.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 10:42 pm
  43. J Marchione says:

    I’ve got a maestro fz1a, mosrite fuzzrite, pink and blue univox superfuzz and a shin-ei companion… I of course built the obligatory fuzzface Ge/Si hybrid in a swirly-paint box. My friend is borrowing a DAM style tonebender 1.5/vox hybrid with mullards and looks weepy every time I want it back. I’ve got a skreddy mayo, colorsound overdriver (it gets fuzzy) and used to use a 3 knob bender as my sole dirt pedal on tour for a few years. It all depends what you’re trying to do with your fuzz, they are all great at something though many of them are novelty, gimmicky sounds. A stable fuzzface circuit with properly selected and biased transistors is a great all-arounder for live use.. tonebenders are phenomenal, each circuit with its own voice, but the purely Ge transistors have stability issues live. The fuzzrite is a nice stable circuit that can do sitar fuzz, skronky mic ronson tonebender 1 sounds and even some maestro stuff and it is very stable due to its Si transistors… oh, its also the Iron Butterfly pedal from what I can tell. That said, it doesn’t do fuzzface or tonebender 1.5 smoothness and is a bit darker than raspy early fuzzes. It ain’t never gonna make an octave like a univox though, so the superfuzz fills a niche too (swap between neck and bridge pickup to go between gritty cutting fuzz and fat sustain with a dollop of upper octave)... wait, was I supposed to pick my favorite fuzz? well I can’t, they’re all really fun and cool! My favorite effect.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 10:42 pm
  44. S Verducci says:

    Skreddy Lunar Module Deluxe stole my heart. Also I really like the Way Huge Swollen Pickle. It definitely stands up against some expensive boutique pedals, IMHO.
    Funny that all these years I’ve been steering toward distortions and overdrives, only to find that the classic 60’s tone of Clapton and others was from a fuzz box. I should have realized that the overdrives didn’t even exist then !

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 11:38 pm
  45. Tom Tobin says:

    MY favorite fuzz tone?
    Why that’s a good old 6L6 tube.  It would be nice if a pedal maker put one of those in a pedal so everybody,even people on a small budget, can experience the magic of a pushed-to-the-limit tube.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 11:43 pm
  46. aaron says:

    My favorite is a germanium fuzz face because it’s what I’m using, though I’m not really going for a hendrix thing at all. Maybe my favorite will be a mosrite if I ever get to try one.

    posted on September 28, 2013 at 11:44 pm
  47. Wolfboy1 says:

    Great choices. I think for a top 5 you couldn’t have done any better. Big muff style has always been my fav. Been through several and the “ARC Effects Big Green Pi” is the one I have settled on as being the best of the best. The Frantone Peach fuzz is also a very creamy fuzz variant and the Danelectro Cool Cat fuzz (version 1 only) is a great budget copy of that circuit.

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 1:14 am
  48. william allen says:

    Fulltone Soul Bender; original Large Box, first edition model..
    ZVEX Octane…
    Two different ‘hammers’ when I need a Fuzz…
    Hey, it is all good if YOU love it in your signal chain!

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 1:41 am
  49. serge carignan says:

    I love tone bender and velvet fuzz and silicone fuzz like guilmour.

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 1:49 am
  50. Gary Jones says:

    My first Fuzz tone was a Jordan electronics “Boss Tone”. A little black box that plugged directly into your guitar.
    Interestingly, after going through several manufacturers, it is still in production ( as the Mahoney Buzz Tone).
    My favorite is still the Maestro FZ 1

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 2:07 am
  51. S Verducci says:

    Regarding the tones of a pushed-to-the-limit tube amp, YES I hear ya - that tone is what I get from little Marshall JTM30 and it’s magical tone. Volume all the way up is its “sweet spot” and you get tone and sustain for days. However, and this is a point I’ve discussed with some fellow guitar slingers - that sound comes largely from the natural harmonics of a pushed power tube; not only the preamp tubes. Which is why the plethora of 12AX7 based pedals don’t really achieve that same righteous rock tone. Wrong tubes for the job. And power amp tubes require massive voltages, more than you could safely achieve in a small pedal.
    But the main difference is that, although that tone is awesome, fuzz pedals with their buzzy transistor sound, have a valid place in our tone arsenal as well. It’s about versatility, I feel.

    Great ideas, all of them ! I like reading what others are using and liking. And great article, PG !

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 3:11 am
  52. Michael says:

    I acquired a Maestro Fuzz tone in ‘66 or there abouts…lost track of it long ago. Tried lots of peddles since…they all seem lacking to me.

    ‘65 Deluxe reverb…my 2 Strats/Tele/SG…that’s the deal for me,

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 3:19 am
  53. Cliff Lang says:

    I want one of those things John Mc. claims “(sounds) like an electric razor the size of a terradactile! (sic)”
    Make mine a pterodactyl though!

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 3:21 am
  54. Brooks says:

    I owned all of the Ronsound muff clones (Hairpie, Hairpie ‘75, and Hairpie ‘81) and they were all cool. I ended up with a Big Knob Pedals Civil War Muff clone and that has been my mainstay.

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 3:22 am
  55. RON HILL says:

    I had an original maestro fuzztone back in the 60,s. It had a pretty good sound but I was looking for more sustain. It took a AA battery, so I happened to run across a 6.5 volt at the local store. I didn,t pay much for the pedal so I figured, what,s the worst that could happen,I would fry the unit. I put the battery in and fired up my fender bassman. HOLY CRAP that fuzztone put out sustain forever. the sound was unbelieveable. If anyone has a maestro, try a 6.5 volt battery, you will be amazed.

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 3:30 am
  56. Raven says:

    My first fuzz was a Maestro Fuzz Tone FZ-1. I bought it from my Junior High health teacher! Wish I still had it. Then I had a Guild Foxy Lady/Big Muff. I’d love to have Tone Bender like Mic Ronson had.

    For bass I had a Maestro Bass Brassmater, and I still have my EH Micro Synthesizer, which has a cool fuzz section. I also have a Boss Bass Overdrive that I modded.

    These days on guitar I use a RAT and a Devi Ever Vintage Fuzz Master. I’m going to pick up a few of her other fuzzes like a Shoe Gazer and Torn’s Peaker.

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 3:41 am
  57. Garold Carson says:

    I read in a magazine, Guitar Player I believe, that Robby Krieger of the Doors used 2 Vox Tone Benders in series to get the sound on “Hello I Love You”, and with that tone I believe it! I own a Dallis Arbiter England Fuzz Face I bought in the late 60’s for $40. Used it with a Vox Clyde McCoy picture wah wah from the same era. Still have both units!!!

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 5:03 am
  58. Garold Carson says:

    Forgot to mention, the fuzz on “American Woman” by the Guess Who has got to be a Big Muff. Was just playing it yesterday through my mid 70’s Big Muff. Sounds exactly like it!!!

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 5:08 am
  59. Kyle Alm says:

    Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Fuzz, pretty much the only fuzz pedal you need. Well, maybe one more….

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 5:10 am
  60. John says:

    What?? No love for the Tychobrae Octavia???

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 5:34 am
  61. Raven says:

    Garold,the fuzz tone on American Woman was the “Herzog”, it’s not a pedal. It was a small tube amp that drove his standard amp. It was made by Garnet amps.

    http://www.garnetamps.com/zog_story.htm

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 6:15 am
  62. mauvehead says:

    My current fav fuzz tone: Swart Fuzzy Boost > Xotic EP Booster > Swart AST…cranked up around 40%.

    Other fuzzes in the closet: SD Tweak Fuzz (modded), EH Big Muff π (black/green Russian), Way Huge Swollen Pickle Mk2…all good pedals for certain things.

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 6:18 am
  63. Charles Mueller says:

    I really like the Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Systems Classic fuzz from the early 1990s. It was different from a fuzz face and cooler in my opinion.

    BTW. What the hell is Ronson doing in that solo? Ronson was a great person I know but as a player? I think he is more famous for being famous. I have tried so hard to like him but I just can’t. Horrible solos, and Bowie not Ronson came up with ll those classic riffs. I don’t understand Ronson’s appeal other than being a great Spider from Mars stage presence.

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 8:16 am
  64. Frank O'Dell says:

    I’ve been rocking out on the guitar since 9 years old since 1966!! Let me just say, I can rock with you all, not afraid to get on stage with anyone! ANd that being said! I have had many fuzz pedals, and I have to say, the brand new 2013 Wampler Velvet Fuz, is hands down, the winner, for sure!~!
    Peace out
      FrankO

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 8:24 am
  65. S Verducci says:

    Ok just wondering why we’re talking about American Woman ? Not exactly what I’d call an inspirational guitar lead or tone that I’d want to emulate.
    When I think of great fuzz sound I think of Gilmour (Time), and let’s not forget Ted Nugent with the Amboy Dukes (Journey to the Center of the Mind), and Eric Johnson (Zap, Cliffs of Dover). Of course, everything Hendrix touched was gold.

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 9:05 am
  66. Jake says:

    Dumbest thing I ever did was sell my Vox fuzz-wah. Best fuzz ever, just didn’t care for the wah.

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 9:45 am
  67. Nick Guetti says:

    My all-time favorite fuzz effect was the Jordan Electronics Bosstone, as used by Randy California on the first four Spirit albums. There are some tones that are so addictive that I can’t get them out of my head, and this is one of them. Voodoo Labs claims that their Super Fuzz pedal is basically the Bosstone with extra tweakability, but I have demoed the Super Fuzz in store and been unable to achieve the California tone. This may be because that tone also depended on a Danelectro Silvertone guitar played through the crappy little amp that comes built into the Silvertone’s case (something I would never attempt to emulate), so the difference is probably not VL’s fault. If you like fuzz, you HAVE to check out Spirit. It’s not your usual gritty fuzz, but very smooth with a pronounced low end and ridiculous sustain.

    But I HAVE successfully imitated the Spirit tone—and somewhat improved on it, I think—by using a Way Huge Swollen Pickle, which is probably more adjustable than any fuzz other than the ZVex (which is too crazy a pedal for me, and not very smooth). Another neat thing I discovered with the Pickle is that if you set it right & put it in front of an EH Neo Mistress flanger, fixed so that its filter matrix is set just right, it sounds exactly like a worn out old wooden recorder for playing Medieval dance tunes on: very rich, but at the same time sort of “breathy”, like the mouthpiece is chipped. I fell in love when I stumbled on that one.

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 11:23 am
  68. Steve says:

    Nice selection of fuzz tones ....

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 11:34 am
  69. Mike says:

    I’ve had both a Big Muff (Soviet issue in the green casing) and a Fuzzface, but I swear by Wampler’s Leviathan.  I know it’s a new pedal, but it is simply crushing!

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 12:51 pm
  70. Rob Phillips says:

    Pete Townshend never set his guitar on fire!

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 3:04 pm
  71. bouchard says:

    “10 000 guitarists, 10 000 fuzz”  Dalai Lama
    for me : Blackout Effectors Twosome Dual Fuzz

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 9:42 pm
  72. Greg says:

    Dr Scientist Frazz Dazzler is my favourite.

    posted on September 29, 2013 at 11:34 pm
  73. Jonny says:

    I would like to mention the Keeley “Fuzz Head”..give it a try and I think you will find the assets of all of the pedals mentioned above

    posted on September 30, 2013 at 5:13 am
  74. Raven says:

    @S Verducci,

    Well others would disagree. The Herzog sounds very much like a Big Muff anyway, and actually a little better since it’s a real tube preamp, so how are you saying one is better than the other? Because you don’t like the song?

    posted on September 30, 2013 at 7:37 am
  75. craigwonderfingers says:

    Was the Jordan Boss Tone on your list?

    posted on September 30, 2013 at 10:24 am
  76. CBJ says:

    @Ravev,
    “. . .  and actually a little better since it’s a real tube preamp . . .”

    Sorry, but I have to call you on that because it’s really a dumb statement. No, I am NOT stating that you are dumb (I don’t even know you) just that your statement implies that ALL tube pre amps are better by the singular virtue of having a tube.

    I will agree that we are not discussing a song (which you so clearly pointed out)  but rather a sound and more specifically a sound produced by a fuzz device (Bachman’s use of an amp notwithstanding) but your assumption that it sounds better by virtue of being tube driven is, well, silly.
    This discounts an entire cadre of JC120 users (BTW the list may surprise you so here’s just a few Wes Borland, Andy Summers, Joe Strummer, John Petrucci, Robert Fripp . . . week, the list of JC120 users goes on).
    Just to be clear that I don’t have an axe to grind . . . I don’t own one and I never have and most likely never will.

    posted on September 30, 2013 at 10:52 am
  77. Jo-dan says:

    I recently picked up a Twin Bender from Ramble FX. All around FANTASTIC pedal! Switches from mk 1.5-mk 2. The bias control that can blow the faithfully recreated Bender into the future with gated, squelchy character fuzz (a la Thee Oh Sees or Jon Spencer’s Fuzzstang).

    posted on September 30, 2013 at 12:50 pm
  78. J W says:

    I saw Jonny mention the Kelley “Fuzz Head”. Last I heard, That is what Mark Farner is currently using.  By the way, Would anyone happen to know what fuzz Eddie Hazel might have used on Game, Dames and Guitar Thangs?

    posted on September 30, 2013 at 1:20 pm
  79. S Verducci says:

    @Raven, I wasn’t trying to insult anyone, and I apologize if I did, My comment was not about the song, nor about the Guess Who, but rather Bachmann’s guitar tone in the song. I just never found it to be exemplary of what I’d call “cool guitar tone”. It’s rather brittle and the breakup is pretty lousy, if you were to ask what I really think. (Not that anyone did).
    I suppose that when I think of “cool guitar sound” as it relates to fuzz - not talking about overdrive or mega distortion here - what comes to mind is Iommi’s tone with Black Sabbath, orJeff Beck (Over Under Sideways Down), and Gilmour (Dark Side of the Moon).

    posted on September 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm
  80. Norm says:

    Psych Byke!

    posted on September 30, 2013 at 8:24 pm

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