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#1
All right, since the thread didn't really take off the first time, I'm giving the OP a makeover.

1) What Is Fuzz?
Because I am a lazy mofo, I will simply copy and paste what Wikipedia says it is.

"A fuzzbox (or fuzz box) is a type of effects pedal comprising an amplifier and a clipping circuit, which generates a distorted version of the input signal. As opposed to other distortion guitar effects pedals, a fuzzbox boosts and clips the signal sufficiently to turn a standard sine wave input into a waveform that is much closer to a square wave output. The sound of almost creating a square wave gives a "Rough around the edges" effect that creates the classic fuzz tone. This gives a much more distorted and synthetic sound than a standard distortion or overdrive. Fuzz sounds also tend to have lower Mid frequencies than other distortion types. The term "fuzz box" is often used generically to refer to any effect pedal that produces a distorted sound.

As clipping is a non-linear process, intermodulation will occur, leading to the generation of an output signal rich in extra harmonics of the input signal. Intermodulation distortion also produces frequency components at the various sums and differences of the frequency components of the input signal. In general, these components will be not be harmonically related to the input signal, leading to dissonance. To reduce unwanted dissonance, simple power chords (root, fifth, and octave) are often used when using fuzzboxes, rather than triads (root, third, and fifth) or four-note chords (root, third, fifth, and seventh)."


Read it all and tl;dr for yourself.

2) What kinds of fuzz are there?
That's a very good question. Why? Because there are literally hundreds of different fuzz pedals floating around everywhere, most of which have their own distinct tone.

In my opinion, however, most (I said MOST, not ALL) fuzzes can be very loosely divided into two groups.

Vintage Fuzz: This is the "classic" fuzz tone. Think Keith Richards on (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (Maestro FZ-1). Or Jimi Hendrix on Purple Haze (Fuzz Face). There are many other examples of a vintage fuzz tone such as the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff USA, Vox Tone Bender and Ampeg Scrambler. Keep in mind that, apart from the Fuzz Face and Big Muff, these pedals are all discontinued in their original form - if you want their sounds, you have to either look for used versions on eBay or for clones, which are fairly common due to the relative simplicity of their circuits. Newer pedals like the Frantone Cream Puff and MI Audio Neo Fuzz can also produce similar sounds.

Modern Fuzz: This is the fuzz tone most of us associate with alternative/noise rock. Loud, harsh, nasty and in-your-face aggressive. Think Jesus and Mary Chain, Dinosaur Jr, Smashing Pumpkins etc. One thing to remember is that some of these artists use modded versions of vintage pedals (Smashing Pumpkins) or use several fuzzes often at once (Dinosaur Jr). However, if you want the nasty fuzz in just one standard box, this can be found easily from modern companies like Devi Ever and theSYLE.

3) I have ($X) and I want (Y) type of fuzz. What do I get?
Another good question. One tip to start - if you want to perfectly model a particular artists' tone, get their pedal and use it like them. If you want to sound just like Hendrix get a vintage Fuzz Face, or if you want to sound exactly like Billy Corgan get a Sovtek Big Muff and get his mod done to it.

Another thing to remember is that there are literally, as I mentioned earlier, hundreds of different fuzz pedals, many with totally unique circuits and tones. Don't fall into the trap of thinking "oh, it says Electro-Harmonix/MXR/(insert popular brand here), it must be good". With regards to fuzz pedals, often the best ones are from smaller boutique companies rather than the big names.

Finally, if you are handy with a soldering iron and have time time - build one yourself! Most fuzzes have simple schematics and don't require much more than some basic soldering skills and an ability to read schematics (unfortunately, these elude me). If you can't find a fuzz that's just right for you, get experimenting!

Having said that, if you don't want to model a particular artist perfectly, have similar weaknesses with tools to myself and are willing to stay open minded, what do you get? I have published a little guide here to help you.
(NOTE: All prices are in US Dollars. If you need help with Australian or New Zealand prices just ask on the forum and I will help you, any other currency someone else will).

$0-50
Vintage Fuzz
1) Danelectro Cool Cat Fuzz = Probably the best you can do in this price range without going the DIY/BYOC route. This pedal is an almost-identical clone of the Frantone Peachfuzz, and as such does a very nice vintagey fuzz tone while also being capable of some nastier stuff on occasion, although it isn't a Devi Ever and shouldn't be treated as such.

2) Electro-Harmonix Sovtek Big Muff = A touch over $50, true, but worth it. Has a slightly thicker character than most fuzzes, but (at least unmodded) works best as a lower gain machine.

3) Ibanez FZ-7 = Good, rock solid all round fuzz. Isn't up to much on normal but flick the Damage switch and it comes to life. My choice if you want a 60s psychedelic fuzz sound without the genericness of a Fuzz Face.

Modern Fuzz
1) Danelectro French Toast = Very good value for $40. You get an octave setting and a fuzz that could make many other, more expensive fuzzes blush at it's power. A bit of a one trick pony though - it's either all in or not at all.

Also look out for various used pedals and if in doubt, ask.

The rest of the thread will come tomorrow.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
Last edited by shadow__666 at May 14, 2009,
#2
FIRST!

Well, second.

When i finish my internship next year, im gifting myself my first boutique pedal....an Earthquaker Devices Dirt Transmitter.
Last edited by unet at Apr 22, 2009,
#3
CF-1 FTW!!! Best pedal under $50 by far.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#4
The links in my sig - FuzzHugger, Devi Ever + Analogue Haven - are required reading for Fuzzheads!

I currently own a Fuzz Factory and a Wolf Computer.
404: Sig not found.
Last edited by ChrisN at Apr 22, 2009,
#5
Devi Ever fuzzes are beautiful.

IIf I had some money, I'd start importing them into New Zealand.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#6
I'm still waiting for Andertons or V&RG to get the Hyperion back in stock!
404: Sig not found.
#7
What is the best EHX Muff?
Quote by ch0
I once trapped my left testicle in a vice. I have no left testicle.
#8
Quote by tubetime86
CF-1 FTW!!! Best pedal under $50 by far.

I paid 30 bucks for my Russian Muff so I think that's the best pedal under 50 bucks :stickpoke
#9
Quote by familybucket
What is the best EHX Muff?

It's subjective. I personally prefer the Sovtek Muff, but you have to hear it and the USA Muff for yourself.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#11
I preferred the Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker. Ya just gotta try lots out!
404: Sig not found.
#12
You guys need to check out http://tymguitars.com.au/pedals_01.html. He makes some great fuzz clones. I want that Fuzzrite clone or even the Shin-Ei if Brett's (Bostonrocks, UG's resident fuzz pedal builder) clone costs me too much.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#13
Quote by shadow__666
It's subjective. I personally prefer the Sovtek Muff, but you have to hear it and the USA Muff for yourself.

Don't forget the Little Big Muff.
#16
Do you guys reckon you can do some reviews of your fuzzes? I'll put them in my OP and credit you guys.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#18
Sure, no rush.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#19
my fuzz factory comes in a few days i'm super excited!
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Fender American Tele

F/S:
Orange Rockerverb 50
Orange PPC412
#20
Bastard! I want a FF bad. I hear they aren't that hard to clone though...
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#21
Love the Ultimate Octave. It doubles as a fuzz and octave up. I posted a review here on UG. Here's another one:

http://swannysmusicshop.progressivenewsradio.com/?p=67
PRS SE SC ♦ Dean Cadi ♦ Squier Strat ♦ Crate V5 ♦ AXL Akita AT30 ♦ Alhambra 4P ♦ Takamine f-349 ♦ Goodall KCJ
Boss ME-20 ♦ Monteallums modded TS9DX ♦ DOD Grunge ♦ #1Echo ♦
#22
Never tried one. In fact the only octave-fuzz I've tried at length was a Dano French Toast, mostly because I used to own one.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#23
Quote by leondb
Love the Ultimate Octave. It doubles as a fuzz and octave up. I posted a review here on UG.


It's brilliant!
The PGS demo sounds awesome.
**** you, GAS!!
#24
Good job, Shadow.

I have a pair of fuzzes currently; a Dano Cool Cat and an Earthquaker Devices Hoof Fuzz. Both are really great but have pretty different sounds, which is nice.
Someday, I hope to have a Catalinbread V8, Devi Ever Disaster Fuzz and an Old Skool Fuzz with a transistor change. But mostly the last two. I'll toss up reviews for the ones I own probably tomorrow, as I'm a bit sick now. Clips are in my profile too
#25
Quote by shadow__666
Never tried one. In fact the only octave-fuzz I've tried at length was a Dano French Toast, mostly because I used to own one.


lmao, i used to have a french toast....it was a p.o.s. It devoured batteries and once when replacing the battery, it effin fell apart. erg...oh well, i don't play much with fuzz boxes anymore...maybe because of that, lol.
#26
I may eventually get a fuzz....

I want something more vintage fuzz face voiced, though.
Feel free to call me Kyle.

Quote by ibz_bucket
Just so you know, I read everything you type in a Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs voice.

Quote by tubetime86
I mean in Kyle's case, it is in the best interest of mankind that he impregnate anything that looks at him funny...
#27
^Then why not get one of Brett's FF clones?

Or a Frantone Creampuff if you've got cash to burn.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#28
^Because I can build one for cheaper. Plus, I dont think he uses Germanium transistors, which I'd like to try.
Feel free to call me Kyle.

Quote by ibz_bucket
Just so you know, I read everything you type in a Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs voice.

Quote by tubetime86
I mean in Kyle's case, it is in the best interest of mankind that he impregnate anything that looks at him funny...
#29
Quote by TNfootballfan62
^Because I can build one for cheaper. Plus, I dont think he uses Germanium transistors, which I'd like to try.

they're like women...you don't treat them right, they crap out on you. seriously.

Whodicted



Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
france is laaaaame


Recognized by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2009
#30
I'm pretty sure Fuzz Face = germanium transistors.

Silicon is used for more modern nasty fuzz.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#31
^^

^Indeed, but last time I talked to him (a long time ago), he was using Silicon. But like I said, I'll probably just build my own.
Feel free to call me Kyle.

Quote by ibz_bucket
Just so you know, I read everything you type in a Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs voice.

Quote by tubetime86
I mean in Kyle's case, it is in the best interest of mankind that he impregnate anything that looks at him funny...
#32
Quote by shadow__666
I'm pretty sure Fuzz Face = germanium transistors.

Silicon is used for more modern nasty fuzz.

They made Silicon and Germanium Fuzz Faces. I think up till about 68/69 they had Germs, then they started to use Silicons cuz they were cheaper. Hendrix used silicon fuzz on axis, for example, so they don't necessarily have to be nasty

Whodicted



Quote by stevo_epi_SG_wo
france is laaaaame


Recognized by the Official EG/GG&A Who To Listen To List 2009
#33
Yeah, that's the thing about building my own. I could switch out transistors and see what I liked.
Feel free to call me Kyle.

Quote by ibz_bucket
Just so you know, I read everything you type in a Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs voice.

Quote by tubetime86
I mean in Kyle's case, it is in the best interest of mankind that he impregnate anything that looks at him funny...
#34
I want a Death By Audio Fuzz War. I plan on getting that for my next pedal purchase.

Soon, soon, soon...
Quote by H4T3BR33D3R
Way to show everybody up jackass.

Guitar: _______________ Amp:
_ Ibanez SZ320 _________Fender Hot Rod Deluxe

V-Picks!
#35
If you're building a germanium fuzz, make sure to add an external knob that controls the bias, like on the analogman sunface. I'm always opening my bender to fix the bias at school (lack of climate-control ftl), and I'd imagine it would be annoying as hell to do at a gig.

I've got one of brett's fuzz faces waiting for me when i get home on saturday, so I'll hopefully be able to do a review/maybe a pedal swap like kevin saale and 311 and skier did if anyone wants to
#36
I'd be up for that swap since I want to buy one of his. I could send my hoof fuzz, so you can hear a Russian Muff sort of sound
#37
Your fuzzes are sluts. They like being passed around.
Quote by Cathbard
If all you had to go on was the forum you'd think a Decimator could cure noise caused by dodgey stage lighting and restock the ocean's population of sperm whales
#38
I was thinking of picking up a hoof fuzz at some point, or some kind of Russian muff-like clone, so that would be swell.

Maybe in a week or two I'd be down for it, gotta try out the goods myself
#40
To all the fuzz builders out there:

How easy/tough/expensive would it be to build a pedal like the Earthquaker Devices Dirt Transmitter (same tone, similar controls) but can get as heavy (or fuzzy) as the Death By Audio Fuzz War.
And a switch to toggle feedback!

(I'd pm this to them....but i dont know who builds fuzzes around here.)
Also, a few graphics and a Blue LED.
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