#1
Hello all,


I always thought these were the same type of effect. But I was in a store today and a guy was selling his pedal board. He has a boss distortion, over drive and a muff.

So what is the difference?
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#3
Fuzz as a very distinctive sound. It tends to be grainier to my ear. I suggest just looking up some fuzz pedals on Youtube. The Fuzz Face was the original I think.
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#4
The way I understand it, overdrive and distortion exist on a spectrum. They're both meant to simulate tube amp distortion, with overdrive pedals simulating low gain and distortion pedals simulating high gain.

Fuzz pedals, on the other hand, aren't simulating tubes at all; they're a different, "buzzy" distortion that was originally driven by a germanium circuit IIRC.
#5
Overdrive, Distortion, and Fuzz are all essentially the same thing, just different varieties. Many times the difference is just what they call it. The MXR Distortion + and DOD 250 Overdrive are almost the exact same pedal.

In general, Overdrives are usually more transparent and vintage sounding. Common examples of overdrives are like a Tubescreamer or a Boss Blues Driver.

Distortion is a bit thicker usually, and there are about a million different varieties of them. I won't even bother coming up with a list of examples.

Fuzz is well...fuzzy. Difficult to explain but easy to understand if you hear it. Fuzz Face, Superfuzz, Octavia, and Tone Benders are classic examples of fuzz. Big Muffs are a beast all their own. They kinda skate the line between what people generally consider fuzz and distortion.
#6
Overdrive is soft clipping low gain crunchy tones

Distortion is hard clipping high gain harsh tones

Fuzz is called fuzz because it sounds fuzzy, there's many different types of fuzz, but they generally mangle the signal to the point where it sounds like fuzz now.
It has sort of a gated waveshaper sound, it's very distinct compared to distortion.
#7
Fuzz is the " ORIGINAL " distortion. It's still and will always be my favorite sound. The Classic Jeff Beck w/ The Yardbirds period and the very early Led Zep records. That's tone personified. It's such a distinctive sound. For me it's always made the Solo jump out of the track. Distortion and it's use today has gotten way out of hand in that the sound is too saturated and not DEFINED. Believe me if your using Distortion you can cover up a lot of Sins in your playing. With a great Fuzz tone you better play dead on the money with total commitment and accuracy. It won't cover up your short comings.
#8
Quote by Bigstrings1
Fuzz is the " ORIGINAL " distortion. It's still and will always be my favorite sound. The Classic Jeff Beck w/ The Yardbirds period and the very early Led Zep records. That's tone personified. It's such a distinctive sound. For me it's always made the Solo jump out of the track. Distortion and it's use today has gotten way out of hand in that the sound is too saturated and not DEFINED. Believe me if your using Distortion you can cover up a lot of Sins in your playing. With a great Fuzz tone you better play dead on the money with total commitment and accuracy. It won't cover up your short comings.

Obviously you havent listened to very much modern heavy metal, some of it is incredibly defined tones.
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#9
Quote by Bigstrings1
Fuzz is the " ORIGINAL " distortion. It's still and will always be my favorite sound. The Classic Jeff Beck w/ The Yardbirds period and the very early Led Zep records. That's tone personified. It's such a distinctive sound. For me it's always made the Solo jump out of the track. Distortion and it's use today has gotten way out of hand in that the sound is too saturated and not DEFINED. Believe me if your using Distortion you can cover up a lot of Sins in your playing. With a great Fuzz tone you better play dead on the money with total commitment and accuracy. It won't cover up your short comings.

Completely ignorant post here. Distortion is simply the alteration of the original signal that occurs when the signal is cliipped. Given that how can you make such bold statements about it? You even say that 'fuzz is the original distortion' yet go on to say things like 'if your using distortion you can cover up a lot of sins in your playing...' If that's true and fuzz is distortion then that is true of fuzz as well.

Your post just lacks any semblance of logic.
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Last edited by tubetime86 at Mar 11, 2013,
#10
Quote by Bigstrings1
Fuzz is the " ORIGINAL " distortion. It's still and will always be my favorite sound. The Classic Jeff Beck w/ The Yardbirds period and the very early Led Zep records. That's tone personified. It's such a distinctive sound. For me it's always made the Solo jump out of the track. Distortion and it's use today has gotten way out of hand in that the sound is too saturated and not DEFINED. Believe me if your using Distortion you can cover up a lot of Sins in your playing. With a great Fuzz tone you better play dead on the money with total commitment and accuracy. It won't cover up your short comings.


Actually, its not.
The first "distortion" was made by turning the amps up all the way, much like today.
Difference was, those old amps were often not exactly designed to go full blast.
Bad tubes were often used on purpose to attain that distortion.
Even amps with bad pre-amp sections were used to attain distortion.
This started going on in the 1950's.
Ray Davies also took a razor blade to his speakers to get "fuzz".

Maestro Fuzz tone was the first commercially available fuzz box, made in 1962.
Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face came out in 1966.
#11
Oh ya I forgot that... 'Fuzz' originally was a damaged speaker. The pedals were actually designed to emulate that sound. I think I recall reading that Jimi cut his speakers early on as well.
Quote by Cathbard
Quote by Raijouta
Unless its electronic drums.

BURN THE WITCH!!!!!
#12
Ok, I got it now.

Yeah, I knew the original distortion was from amps being pushed louder than they were intended. Which is pretty awesome if you can her some old blues recordings.

Distortion pedals always have a bit of harshness to them, which can also be sweet as well!
Washburn MG-44(E)
Ibanez RG421 (Eb)
Art & Lutherie Electric Cutaway
Vox Valvetronix VT40
Vox AC4tv 1x10
Vox Original Wah-Wah Pedal V847-A
MXR '78 Custom Badass Distortion
#13
Quote by Shadowofravenwo
Ok, I got it now.

Yeah, I knew the original distortion was from amps being pushed louder than they were intended. Which is pretty awesome if you can her some old blues recordings.

Distortion pedals always have a bit of harshness to them, which can also be sweet as well!



Youtube Link Ray - Rumble

Or The Ventures - 2000 Pound Bee. First time a fuzz pedal was used on a recording.
A Maestro Fuzztone in this case.