50 Shades of Green

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by cousinpaul, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    I had a chance to gig the new Machine Head Pedals Code Green v4 the other night. My rig was a hardtail strat> Code green> AD-9 delay> SF Fender amp set clean. The fuzz sounds were superb but the big news was the clean-up. I was using it as I would a Fuzz Face, with the gain up and controlling it with the guitar's volume knob. Once dialed in, I found it possible to go from delicate "Lenny" strat cleans to some pretty thick fuzz using only the guitar's controls with lots of nice OD textures in between.

    I've been through a lot of fuzz pedals but have never played anything quite like it. Everything I needed was right under my hands all night. I haven't tried any earlier versions of the CG but I do know that this new one is different enough to require it's own circuit board. Hats off to Keith! His hard work has paid off once again.
     
  2. RetroTeleRod

    RetroTeleRod Poster Extraordinaire

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    I want an 11 ga. pedal when I grow up! Congrats!
     
  3. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for the update, Paul.

    Never mastered playing a fuzz, though I still might give it another try. A couple of questions:

    Most fuzz pedals are all or nothing on the fuzz/gain knob. Nothing until somewhere past 12:00, then full-on fuzz. How is the fuzz knob sweep on the Code Green?

    My other question is more general, but would appreciate your response as to the CG as well. Everyone says to clean up the fuzz tones by backing off the volume knob on your guitar. I've tried this - yes, I get a clean tone but at too low a volume to cut through for solos. How do you equalize the volume for clean(er) tones when using a fuzz box?
     
  4. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    Good questions. I sold my MXR 108 a few months ago because of the on/off thing and it was one of my concerns when Keith and I were going back and forth about fuzz pedals. I think it bugged him too. The ramp up to full fuzz is more gradual on the CG than a FF.

    I balance the amount of fuzz with level of clean tone I need. Obviously, the higher you set the gain, the lower the cleans will be on the guitar's volume knob. The sweet spot on the CG, for me, is between 2 and 3:00. Both Keith and I have noticed that the CG seems to keep much of it's volume as you roll off gain with the guitar's volume control.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  5. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like a good design. Thanks.
     
  6. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah, very good from my POV. I also think Dist+ and OD 250 users would love this thing. More dirt on one end and better cleans on the other w/ two big black knobs...
     
  7. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    Fuzz Love

    Zombie thread alert! :eek:

    cousinpaul was kind enough to answer my questions last November, and rather than begin a new thread, I thought my recent experience with fuzz is just a continuation of what he was talking about, although his posts were specific to the MHP Code Green.

    I acquired a Fuzz Face clone a few months ago. For the first month, it was on and off my board - yes I like it, no I don't. But for the past 3 months or so, it has been one of only 2 or 3 pedals that I use.

    I finally get fuzz - as cousinpaul described, from clean to overdrive to distortion to fuzz to mayhem. I thought the Rat was versatile, but a good fuzz pedal is that and more.

    Unfortunately :lol: I think I have the beginning of FGAS - so many other flavors to try, including the Code Green.

    The pedal that I have (my "training wheels") is a clone of the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face - silicon - made by Swaptronics. The first of many? Or at least one or two more?
     
  8. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Wow - I thought this thread was of a pedalboard pic with 50 TS variations/clones on it. How cool to find out to the contrary (nothing against the TS, but I'm just more and more into the "versatile fuzz thing" myself these days).

    Careful - I can say it's a slippery slope, indeed. :eek:

    I think a silicon FF derivative is as good as any to start with. There's so many YAFF variations out there that it's stupendous - it's probably the only other pedal on par with the TS as far as the YATS thing goes.

    I think C.P. and myself are squarely on the same page - we tend to like things that cover a broad range of uses, and almost always do it w/just two knobs.

    IMO, a lot of users might find more utility/flexibility with a Tonebender MkII variation of some sort, and no - it doesn't need to be germanium (IMO).

    With something like an old school fuzz design, it seems that the trickiest two parameters are:

    1. dealing w/too much bass

    2. dealing w/a less than optimal transition from fuzzy to clean

    ...If the design/tweaks aren't 'respectful' to #1, it can be flubby, obviously. IMO, the input cap w/a stock FF tends to be too much on the big side. There's also a cap on the fuzz control that's kind of obnoxiously big, too.

    Long story short on that - there's lots of designs that use some variation of Joe Gagan's Easy Face, which basically gives you a blend control over two different cap values.

    Or - things can go too far in the other direction, and you can get that AM radio/'mosquito tone'/buzz-a-rama thing - some love it, but I don't find it very useful for trying to get a lot of different shades.

    Category number two can be a sticky wicket also. The gains of most silicon-based fuzzes tend to make it really easy for things to transition too quickly. And at higher fuzz settings, things can be too brash and unusable. The good news is that it doesn't take germanium transistors to smooth out the highs IMO, and you can actually come up with a more flexible 'hybridization' - since the FF/TB/etc. designs are so basic, they make for great platforms for all points in between w/the fuzz spectrum.

    ...My only criticism is that some of the 'more bold variations' can be harder to find, because a lot of builders just want to ape the yesteryear/nostalgia/etc. thing, or they make 'sort of contemporary' wacked-out fuzzes for stoner rock and stuff like that. I don't have a commentary on any musical style, but it does seem like a lot of fuzzes can be slight variations on a theme - it can be dangerous for a pedal builder if someone finds their off-the-beaten-path fuzz design to be 'not enough Jimi' or 'not enough Queens of the Stone Age,' or...whatever... :confused:

    I'll end with this - if you want versatile, it may be worth it to also look into some stuff that's possibly fallen off the radar. IDK if you can find a good deal on one used (because I'd imagine it's expensive as heck new), the Demeter Fuzzulator IMO seems like a good multifaceted/unorthodox design (it has no transistors in it, but that wouldn't scare me away). It really wasn't until I heard Sonny Landreth using the Fuzzulator that I got a good grip on what all it could do, and he can use that along with a Zendrive, and I can't always tell which one is on! Well...he takes it one step further and also combos his fuzz with a compressor, and IME that doesn't work with the old school designs so well.

    I have to say - there's just some times that a little more 'cut' or 'bark' to the edge of the notes, and a little more of that looseness or exaggerated fuzzy harmonic content - just lets a good fuzz poke thru in all the right ways on stage. But I agree - it can be a real love/hate thing, because they can be a PITA to dial in. I can honestly say that I'm currently in 'a hate state' with FF-based stuff now personally, and that's more because I've found other things that tend to work so much better (for me).

    FWIW...
     
  9. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not finding too much bass on my FF clone but I still don't like the "all-or-nothing" aspect of the fuzz control. I'm finding that setting the fuzz at 3:00 and the volume at 12:00 gives me more control with my guitar volume knob. I'm also using my tone control and pup selector switch a lot more than I do with an overdrive pedal. The fuzz control seems to max out at around 4:30 - anything after that just adds noise.

    Still learning, and best of all, having fun. Just a matter of time until the training wheels come off and I'm on to a better design.

    Thanks, Keith.
     
  10. thinkdifferent

    thinkdifferent Tele-Meister

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    Welcome to Fuzz-Club!
    The first rule of Fuzz-Club is, we LOVE to talk about Fuzz-Club :)

    Seriously, it's great you've come to like fuzzes. IMHO it is somewhat of an acquired taste, but man, what a taste it is!

    Btw. in my book the Code Green is a beast, in the best sense of the word!
     
  11. Stratburst

    Stratburst Friend of Leo's

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    I'm tempted to slap my EQD Dream Crusher back on my board as a result of this thread.

    I really love the versatility of this pedal; not so much in love with its inability to play with other pedals- especially in front. I just scored a JB Crybaby that claims to have a buffer that works well with FF's. I'll have to see if that helps.

    I don't have too many problems with the transitions on my MXR 108 but yes, the DC does sound noticeably sweeter.
     
  12. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    I used to have a Swaptronics germ FF. Very nice pedal!

    Here's a demo I did on the Code Green last year.

     
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