Originally Posted by Axis29
As stated, which Hendrix fuzz tone do you want to chase? Is it the Ealy studio stuff? Then it's a germanium FF into a Fender Twin, Deluxe or Bassman, etc. Or is it the later live stuff like Band of Gypsies? Then it's a silicon FF into a Marshall Stack.
Yeah, the amp (and everything else) that are paired with any particular FF or FF clone are really important.
To make things more complicated, Jimi's stage rig might have deviated from his studio rig. So if there is a particular live performance that you like, what he used for it will trump the studio version (so much good live stuff).
If Jimi were around today, I doubt he'd be using the same gear, even for playing his old stuff. What he was using was cutting edge back then, which was important to him - always finding new tones. It's more about finding something new and musical, and "bending it" to fit your needs. It's not so much with "the Hendrix method" to just use certain gear.
We just tend to refer to any given Hendrix rig in a static, formulaic, blueprinted way. For instance, his music direction "change" by the time of Band of Gypsies is just as important as changing over to a silicon FF.
Just trying to copy "time machine Jimi tones" is kind of an empty endeavor IMO, because so much of it was Jimi himself. The tools at the time were simply all he had access to, and the guy used EVERYTHING in combination with his vision, technique, and how he was shaped by his experiences prior to being known as more than a rhythm guitarist in someone else's band.
Eric Johnson and Joe B. were also mentioned. While Eric's FF usage is a bit of "snapshot Jimi" style, he's had a lot more time than Jimi to figure out how to get other tones and effects from it. He's sifted through hundreds (maybe thousands) of them to find the best sounding ones. This applies to the rest of the guy's gear, which is important when using a FF.
...Joe B. AFAIK
is kind of late to the FF party, or is at least using it a little differently. Again I'm sure he's choosing it because it's "vintage gear," and he can afford that stuff, and spend lots of time trying to cop sounds from yesteryear, since he's got top shelf amps and guitars to go with it all.
Choosing to use a FF or any other fuzz (or effect) from 40+ years ago is more like a state of mind as opposed to matching a formula. We live in an era of gear "evolution," and the main amps and guitars that are used now will typically have little in common with what Hendrix/Page/Beck/Clapton/Gilmour used back then. Just look what the guys who are still alive are using now. Many who are still around and playing have moved on to other stuff.
And - choosing to use a FF means oftentimes "learning to play it" like you learn to play guitar, or learn the idiosyncracies of a Strat vs. a LP, etc.
Also, you will probably be plugging a FF into a smaller or different amp like a Deluxe Reverb, or maybe even something "modern and common" like a Hot Rod Deluxe, or even a Marshall Vintage Modern or DSL instead of an old JTM45, or what Jimi used (and his were tweaked by techs, with the "better ones" chosen).
So a FF simply becomes part of your toolkit, like a delay, or a choice to use/not use reverb. You might even go for some of the Jimi/vintage/yesteryear vibe, but pass on something like a tremolo, too. Folks will sometimes forget that Jimi didn't just use a Strat. There is documentation of using a LP and flying V (he was a fan of Albert King's). Some of his live usage of non-Strat guitars produced some really fantastic "variations" of songs. A humbucker guitar was kind of the equivalent to using a booster in front of the amp, and Hendrix could make that work, too.
More variables - Strat pickups were not consistently wound, and Hendrix went through a LOT of guitars. The variations of pickups will alter the interaction with the FF significantly. The later Strats that Hendrix used tended to sound a bit thinner and brighter, and that had nothing to do with whatever pedal he was plugged into (other than an interaction). Also, single coils buzzed as much back then as they do today, so Hendrix had to cope with that. And Strat trems were not modified to be stable and stay in tune, and Hendrix would lean on that bar a lot. So his style featured the ability to either compensate for the "crudeness" of the gear, or incorporate it in his playing style.
It is so easy to distill the Jimi vibe down to wah/FF/vibe => Strat => Marshall, when those were just his choices of tools at the time. For that reason, they are only a bit of a starting point, IMO.