FZ-5 Fuzz review by Boss

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Ease of Use: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.3 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.4 (18 votes)
Boss: FZ-5 Fuzz

Sound — 7
When I got this pedal, all I had was a cheap "Supreme Red Devil" and a Roland Cube 20X, and the sounds I got out of that weren't entirely pleasing, on any modes. Kind of a letdown. But recently I have acquired new, "profsional" gear, a '09 Gibson SG Special Faded and a Marshall Class 5 valve amp, which sounds awesome coupled up. When I tried this pedal in between, it was a different pedal. I tweaked the knobs and managed to get some cool lead sounds. And then I jammed on Voodoo Child for twenty pleasing minutes. I had thoughts on selling it, but now I don't. The best modes is the Fuzz Face and Octavia, because the Maestro sounds kind of hollow and trebly. Note that I didn't try the expanded range on the right side of the Fuzz knob too much, because I'm not particularly fond of hi-gain fuzz sounds. The Octavia mode also generates a fairly high amount of buzzing when you're not playing, so I kept the Fuzz knob down on that one. This pedal might be cool if you want to sound like Hendrix, but keep in mind you need good gear as well.

Overall Impression — 8
This pedal does what it is meant to do, if not perfect. I play a wide array of styles, but mostly bluesy 70's rock. I didn't like the pedal with my first setup, but it has earned new respect with my new one. I think I'm going to begin using it again. If it were lost, I think I'd buy something else, a real Fuzz Face maybe. Or nothing, my amp gives me plenty of natural distortion. This is the only pedal I have, and I do not plan to buy a similar one soon. So I don't really have anything to compare it to, but I know how a Fuzz pedal should sound like, and this does the trick. Good fuzz tones, if not faithful replicas of the originals.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I don't gig, but this pedal, like most other Boss pedals, looks like it could withstand a 10 feet drop. I wouldn't try it though, like you wouldn't try to hit a Synapse with a baseball bat. If I had been gigging, I think I would rely on it, as long as I had it connected to a power source, and not running on batteries. The finish strengthens my impression of it being indestructible. The buffer distorted my signal a little, but it sounded OK.

Ease of Use — 9
This is a very simple pedal which I got for Christmas a while ago. This is my only pedal, since I'm pretty much an amateur. It has three knobs, a Level (Volume), a Fuzz and the mode selector. That's it. It turns on when you plug a jack into the input, and it has a LED indicator telling you when it's on. It works, and when it doesn't, I change the battery. I'm kind of a lazy owner, so I often forget to pull out the input jack, and because it's turned on by inserting the jack, and turned off by removing it, it stays on. So I have changed battery quite a few times. But it works.

6 comments sorted by best / new / date

    not a bad review, however, i just am not quite sold on the cosm for fuzz... i do enjoy the cosm in my fantom synth for studio work, but not so much for my guitar... +1 on the FZ-2 hyper fuzz... there are better fuzzes out there, but for my needs it has been a friend for a long time...
    I think this is a great pedal I too use it on the 'F' mode, and with the first nob at 11 o clock and third nob at 12 o clock. I use it with a boss dm-2 delay, and a vox wah - and it sounds exactly how I'd like it too for a psychedelic style.
    i like my fz 5, it is use to fuzz a marshall amp, like paul guilbert and hendrix. whammy then fuzz 5.... bling...