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Old September 14th, 2011, 09:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Questions about dunlop fuzz face pedals

Can anyone advise me on dunlop fuzz pedals,,,For the last 6 or 8 months
I been using guitar play along books with cds,,mostly blues,peter green;
bb king,now working on the rolling stones play along,I should complete it in a couple of weeks and the next play along i am going to get is the
Jimi Hendrix play along.I would like to get a good fuzz pedal that will
get Hendrix tones.What is the bettter pedal the dunlop classic fuzz face
or the dunlop Jimmi Hendrix fuze face?I would like it to easly get Hendrix
tones and clean up to play other things like maybe fuzzy blues.I aM
also looking at the fulltone 69 mk2.I am a big fan of fulltone pedals,I
have got the OCD pedal and its awesome.I play a CV50 blonde telecaster
with a 4 way switch and a les paul with seymour duncan 59 pickups and my amp is a vox ac4 tube amp. any and all input and advice is most welcome.
Thanks in advance for your help.


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Old September 14th, 2011, 09:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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There are as many Fuzz Face clones as there are stars in the sky. What you really have to decide on if you like the sound of germanium (early Hendrix) or silicon (later Hendrix) based transistors. As far as Dunlop is concerned they have currently three flavors, the standard Fuzz Face is germanium based and is a copy of the original Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face. The Classic 108 Fuzz is a Fuzz Face in a regular enclosure and it is silicon based, The Jimi Hendrix model is silicon based Fuzz Face, and there is John Bonamassa Fuzz Face which uses germanium transistors.

Which sounds better is up to you, some folks like the smoothness of germanium and others like the reliability and consistency of silicon. Your ears are going have to be your guide.
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Old September 14th, 2011, 10:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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And to further complicate matters, an Eric Johnson signature FF is due later in the year, I believe.

I recently got an Analogman Astro Tone and I'm really loving it - as advertised, it has way better cut-through in a band situation than a FF, IMHO.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 06:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The Fulltone 69 MK II gets rave reviews (as did the original 69 and 69 Slight Return before it). I've alwasy drooled over one.

I had a Fulltone '70 for a while. This one got a lot fo the later Hendrix tones very easily, but I discovered that Silicon was not what I was after...

I had an MJM London Fuzz. What a great pedal! Awesome tone, cleaned up nicely, beautiful fuzz. Now they have the London II with silicon as well.

I have a Keeley Fuzz Head. Another great pedal with a little more usability in the music I play, maybe not splatty enough for some Hendrix stuff though.

Analogman has several, the Sunface, Astrotone and Peppermint. All good, but not any I've owned yet.

I have had nothing but good experiences with Dunlop/MXR pedals, but I've never owned one of their fuzzes yet either.

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.

The other secret Hendrix tone thing is to playw ith your volume knob a LOT! That's where a lot fo the touch and sound comes from when playign with huge amounts fo fuzz and amp volume.
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Old September 15th, 2011, 07:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Axis29 View Post
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.
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