Price paid: $ 140
Purchased from: direct
Ease of Use: So, first of all, I was looking for a Vintage fuzz sound who nailed that '60s garage sound (think The Seeds, "Back From The Grave" compilation). And he really does! You have quite direct this dirty, raw, savage fuzz tone typical from the 60's. It's not like a fuzz face. Listen "Satisfaction" from The Rolling Stones and you will recognize it. What is editing patches? This is a clone from the first fuzz pedal ever. Nothing to do with this technology. No manual, 2 knobs, volume and attack, that's it. // 10
Sound: I'm playing on an Epiphone Casino (hollowbody and p90 who don't know) and the amp is a Peavey Classic 50 2x12. I ad a Danelectro Spring King for reverb. If you put the knobs to the max (what I do!) it become a little bit noisy but I don't know if it's the P90 (usually quite noisy) or the effect. In anyways it is really acceptable and I think all fuzz make some noises.
Now first of all I never had a wild effect like that. In wild I mean not easy to manage. Plenty of volume. If you play in a clean amp, you really have to turn the knobs (volume or tone) to don't have a really trebly sound. Honestly I don't like it to much in that setting. If you play on an little crunch sound, it tame that huge amount of treble. After you have understand that and you can manage it then... It's stellar! I can play the solo from pushin' too hard (the seeds) with exactly the same sound, "In A Gadda Da Vida" (I think he play a fuzzrite but it's really close, depend on your setup) and that really nice fuzz sound in those old garage tunes. We play some garage rock, psychedelic, surf and I really have the sound that I wanted. Like the original, it needs 1 AA battery, only. I was surprise how quick the battery is dead. It's just habits, when you go giggin' take some batteries. You never know. But I think it's a small issue. I don't think that the original will be better. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I simply use it all the time (when I need fuzz tone), I'm quite a guitar plug in amp, but just with this fuzz and you're in. It's really solid, the knobs turn not easily. No problem if you kick it by mistake. The pedal is quite small, really easy to manage on a pedalboard. Just to be sure for live I take a backup (The yardbox, really cool too) I've always done that before. Just in case. You never know. Sometimes our gigs are quite wild. Hahahha... And it is sad to not be able to do your solo with that delicious fuzz sound. // 10
Overall Impression: For sure this fuzz is not a versatile effect. You have (nearly) one sound and that's it. After if you need that effect, save money and don't buy an original. I have heard that the old trannies are really inconsistent. It depend really on the place that you play (cold, warm, humidity) with this new unit, you don't have those problems and the sound is really really good (I have never try an original) I'm really satisfied from that pedal, I have the exact sound that I wanted, the price is really good.
If it were stolen I will buy an another one. I didn't try other FZ 1-A I read so many post on the web, this one is the best, ah na that's suck this one is much better, bla bla bla... After a lot of research, I decide to give him a go. Don't know why. But honestly I almost bought everything on the web (guitars, effect) and maybe I have a good eye, I don't go wrong. Eh eh eh...
And one important thing. Viktor (the guy who made that beauty!) is a really cool man. I receive lots of e-mail, and he is really friendly. It's almost like a friend. It's funny. Thumbs up for that guy who did a good job (really nice soldering job, really clean, solid, perfect). The only thing I have to say it's if you need a fz1-a clone buy that one, you will be really happy, definitely. Thumbs up to Viktor, have a f--king week end, and don't forget to rock 'n' roll! // 10