Other Equipment

Fuzz role call?


I was reading up that Ivy Rorshach used a Univox Super Fuzz - I haven't done in-depth to see if there were others but the price on this vintage unit seems like it must be the real deal.

I've got a V1 Fuzz Ray that I need to play with for a bit.

– Devil's Tool

Aaargh, I read through this thread thinking...no one's mentioned the Cramps Human Fly and the Super Fuzz. You are cool indeed, Devil's Tool. A pal built me a clone and part of the local cliff feel into the sea when I used it. Plus...the Fuzz Ray obviously has my allegiance


I've been playing guitar since 1988 and have never plugged into a fuzz. box. I don't think I've ever owned an amp with built in fuzz either. I've never even played through a compressor. My knowledge and use of effects is appalling.


A pal built me a clone and part of the local cliff feel into the sea when I used it

Now that's the kind of response we expect from a proper fuzz.


There's a Reuss Goo Goo Fuzz that I'm particularly interested in however I've found that Fuzz pedals (in general) don't play nice with what my band is doing - the Peachfuzz remains on my board and I use it (and love the fuzz I get out of it) but the other few fuzzes that I auditioned were too unruly to live there full time.


I'm a relative Muff newbie (a Muffie? a Movice?) having picked up a used Big Muff pi (with the tone wicker) at a store sale a few months ago ($70). Still getting to know it. I was initially a bit shocked by how noisy it is, but I guess all fuzzes are fairly noisy?

At the moment I tend to use at a very low setting, just to get that more saturated overdrive sound, sometimes in combo with my Blues Driver OD. But I will start to explore the upper reaches of the sustain knob in good fuzzy time.


I have a rare fuzz I like that is labeled as an overdrive. The Ibanez OD-9, it was only made for 2 years (82-84) and for that period, one batch the french market. Its sound does not match it's name as internally its a rams head Big Muff, the best one I've ever heard and I've recently sold off my first issue EHX Big Muff for $950. ridiculous of course, but I'm not complaining.


But which come closest to vintage 60s fuzz? Satisfaction? No Time? Heart Full of Soul?


But which come closest to vintage 60s fuzz? Satisfaction? No Time? Heart Full of Soul?

– Strummerson

I think that's where everyone falls down a well. IMO (and I'm a fuzz novice) there's no one fuzz pedal that will nail all those fuzz tones exactly, but single pedals that can come close, in their own way.

I myself never would have thought there would be so much variation between fuzz types and even variations between pedals of the same manufacturer, but there is.


There definitely is.

Those three examples are wildly different from each other - and they all came within a few years of each other. The fuzz domain remains wide and deep after 60 years because there are so many textures, sonorities, frequency ranges, dynamic responses, and “behaviors” to be explored. Every technology used to create distortion has brought its own characteristics and idiosyncrasies which have become part of the established vocabulary and lore - and those all get refined, evolved, devolved, adapted, combined, and hybridized. The permutations of qualitatively different tones are endless.

Keeps it interesting.


I actually hear Satisfaction and No Time as awfully close. Heart Full of Soul sounds similar to them, but played on a 12-string. Or, maybe it was recorded on a 6 string but the variation in fuzz gives it a 12-ish resonance?


The beauty of building your own pedals is that once you get into fuzz you can keep going forever - with just a few components. You can buy a heap of Russian germanium transistors on Ebay and make all the classics. You just socket the trannies because swapping them around changes the sound dramatically. When you get the right combination all of a sudden a Tone bender becomes a huge, vocal toneshaper, not just some buzzy noise maker. Buying expensive originals can be extremely hit and miss.

You can build some fabulous fuzz pedals for very little $$. I have built a few Marshall Supa Fuzz pedals - a variant of the two-knob Tonebender. Some I built into a 1590A box - same size as a EP Booster. None sound exactly the same.

The thing about building a great Fuzz Face or Tonebender is you have to be patient. It's not like building a tubescreamer where each one will sound the same. The transistors will make them all sound so different.

My personal faves? The Marshall Supa Fuzz. Fab. Most of the Skreddy Big Muffs, especially the P19. My old Ibanez sound tank "60s Fuzz" (a muff style fuzz) is still a great fuzz. And my most used fuzz is a modified P19/Muff style fuzz. I clipped the diodes from the 3rd gain stage so it's not so saturated and it's less compressed but still huge sounding and incredibly touch-responsive.

For "broken pedal" tones I can't beat the Fuzz Dog Pitbull. It's a kit fuzz from the UK and has lots of control including a bias knob so you can control how broken (or not) it sounds.

It's easy to become addicted to fuzz. Fuzz can actually be a lot more useful than a lot of players realise.


I've been playing guitar since 1988 and have never plugged into a fuzz. box. I don't think I've ever owned an amp with built in fuzz either. I've never even played through a compressor. My knowledge and use of effects is appalling.

– Afire

I had a Super Beatle that had built in fuzz, I think. I don't use pedals for the most part. I have a volume pedal and RT-20 Leslie simulator for my keyboard rig, and a RE-20 reverb/echo for the amps that don't have them. Fuzz always sounded like a box full of bees to me. I have enough issues playing guitar, much less tap dancing on pedals at the same time. YMMV.


Got Way Huge's "Purple Platypus" octafuzz a little while ago, and I absolutely love it. Never had a fuzz that was as nasty and as useable at the same time. Great pedal.


IIRC Beck used a Tonebender in the Yardbirds; Keef used one of those prehistoric Gibson fuzzes (after all, it was 1965); i haven't the foggiest idea what Randy used, but would not be surprised if it was a third model of fuzz.


Now THIS is a fuzz pedal

– Jimbodiddley

the special Billy Gibbons model? LOL


For a long time I owned "The Experience". A handpainted (on a spin art machine) combination Octave/Fuzz/Swell pedal that delivered some pretty amazing tones.

Sound you could chew.

The whole enchilada needed to be powered up for the swell to work, but when it was, you were riding sonic waves...endlessly.

Very Hendrixian, and that's what made it a one trick pony for me. Stayed in storage for a couple decades, then off to the bay it went, fetching unreal money for what I paid for it.


I've just put together all the parts to build a Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face clone. Never used one before, I'm stoked!


It turns out I don't really care for fuzz, at least when I am playing. I love hearing other folks use it and went through quite a phase of listening to Davie Allen and the Arrows and the like. Plus playing in the early 90's garage rock scene I tried to learn to use it a lot.

But anyway. Here is my lone, rarely used vintage fuzz pedal. The missus has some big muff clones and a loveless but those aren't mine.

Anyone know anything about this Amplifier Corp pedal?


I've got a Reuss Goo Goo Fuzz coming. Dang it! Fuzz is like potato chips! Can't get just one.....


I recently built my version of a Keeler Kick Fuzz - the original being difficult to find here. It's a Fuzz Face with a 2N5088 acting as a signal boost so there is enough gain to drive a Big Muff style tone knob. So it's a Fuzz Face with plenty of level, a range of usable tones and it also has a starve kinda knob so you can get "broken pedal" sounds too.

So you can go from thin and nasty to fat and nasty. And fat, nasty and broken.

(If you add a Big Muff tone control to a regular Fuzz Face it works but the level is below unity.)

Funny thing is - since I got my Les Paul my interest in fuzz has diminished. I used fuzz to make my guitar sound fatter. With a Les Paul you don't need to sound fatter.


This Goo-Goo Fuzz is a lot of fun. Can definitely nail The Cramps. I haven't messed with a fuzz like this before, the harmonics are pretty crazy! Anything beyond power chords or three strings turns into kind of a mess, but I'm still experimenting with it.

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