Free Fuzz Review

manufacturer: BBE date: 05/04/2012 category: Guitar Effects
BBE: Free Fuzz
Great for just about anything you can find a use for, works well as a stand alone distortion or as a near boost.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 10
 Ease of Use: 8.5
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 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (3) 2 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
Free Fuzz Reviewed by: 4949oz, on july 24, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 40

Purchased from: Amazon

Ease of Use: It's a fuzz, so you can't get too complex, I've heard people complain that this pedal (and fuzz in general) does not have a very versatile tonal palette, bland dynamics and attack, etc. etc. Problem is that fuzz wasn't designed to be used by nigel tufnel, so if you lay off on the knobs you'll find a lot of interesting textures in between with your pickup combinations and tone knobs. As with most fuzz, the tone sucks with an ac adaptor, so I installed a 5k pot as a voltage drain, I highly recommend doing this as the tones sound much more classic and smooth the lower your voltage gets. The roll-off on this pedal is great. With both knobs on 7 on the pedal, and my guitars volume halfway, it only acts as a clarity boost, with little to no fuzz present, but, the crazy over the top distortion is still available when needed with a twist of the wrist. Dirt simple, really versatile. // 8

Sound: I use this pedal with a Hagstrom Super Swede and a Peavy Valveking 112 (there's a few mods on it). Like I said, It's a silicon version of a fuzzface, so you won't get perfect germanium tones, I prefer it cause then you don't sound like everyone else. The silicon also ads a hint more attack to your dynamics, and is more stable to temperature changes than germaium transistors (big plus), or so I've heard. This pedal has next to NO noise on 11 with humbucking pickups, and only intensifies 60 cycle a small amounts with single coils, but the hum isn't anything that can't dissapear with a tiny twist of your volume knob. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Outside is built like a tank, big stainless steel knobs and a huge 3dpt (true bypass) Switch which has a satisfying thunk rather than a weak "click" when you step on it. I've darn near destroyed the pcb with mods, and it still runs fine, so I'll give it a ten cause it survived my electronic noobness. Modding this pedal is really fun and easy. For example, I wired in a BMP tone control, a voltage drain, and an impeded internal feedback. The internal feedback is exactly the same thing as the STAB control on the Zvex Fuzz Factory, does some WEIRD stuff). Count the knobs, on mine: 1)Fuzz, 2) Volume, 3) Tone, 4) Voltage, 5) Impedance to internal feedback Zvex has: 1) Volume, 2) Gate, 3) Comp, 4) Drive, 5) Stab Is that a 5 for 5? oh why yes, I think so, I just have silicon transistors instead. His was, 279$ and mine was around 60$ with my mods, so I think I saved a little money. But yeah, It's a tank. // 10

Overall Impression: Great for just about anything you can find a use for, works well as a stand alone distortion or as a near boost. Good luck finding it for the price I paid though, I think they're like 130 bucks new, I got it used. // 9

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overall: 9.3
Free Fuzz Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 04, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 40

Purchased from: Guitar Showcase (used)

Ease of Use: First of all, this thing is insanely simple. Two knobs: volume and fuzz (a.k.a. Gain). No manual (because it was used), but that's fine as it's extremely uncomplicated. Just keep the fuzz down for some crunchy chords, or run it at full blast for some headbanging. One issue though is that, as you increase the gain, the volume goes up. So in order to keep an even volume, you have to twiddle with the volume knob. No big deal, but it takes some getting used to. // 9

Sound: Currently I am using a Jackson Dinky (don't know the exact model number), with a Duncan Distortion in the bridge, and a Squire Strat (which aren't as horrible as some people say they are). The guitars go from the Fuzz into a cheap Behringer wah, and then into a Roland Micro Cube. It's pretty hard to get a bad sound out of this thing. Used as your only distortion, it sounds O.K. (though a little fuzzy), but it's when combined with your amps distortion that it really shows it's stuff. When used in this way, it really warms the distortion, turning my little amp into a Marshal stack. Plus, the distortion lessens considerably when the volume is rolled off, allowing a huge range of possible texture changes with a flick of the wrist. Using this technique, you could could conceivably leave it on during a whole performance, rolling the fuzz on and off whenever you want. You have to be careful with the settings though, because too much fuzz cad destroy your tone (but you already knew that, anyway). // 9

Reliability & Durability: It's covered in a metal housing. The knobs look like they came off a Telecaster ('cause they're made of metal, and they're big). This thing could probably take more than the equivalent Boss pedal. And the battery life? I left it (off) plugged into the guitar cable for probably a week, and I couldn't hear any noticeable change in sound. I'd gig without a backup, definitely. // 10

Overall Impression: I play everything from blues to metal (and some classical, too) and it works like a charm. Of course, I've only been playing for a year, so I may not be as knowing about guitar lore as some. At any rate, this is the pedal to buy for someone looking to give some tube- like round and response to their solid-state amp. A fantastic purchase. I'd buy it again. // 9

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