DOD FX55: Why is this 'distortion' and not 'fuzz'?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by falcon5romeo, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. falcon5romeo

    falcon5romeo Tele-Holic

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    00001331_1.jpg
    I use this pedal even more than my vintage RAT lately, and it's definitely my favorite dirt pedal. What I don't understand is the difference between distortion and fuzz. This is definitely not an OD or boost, because at the lowest possible distortion setting (where I keep it) it's already a thick blanket of heavy fuzz.

    Is this just a case of weird marketing from the 80s, or would you guys consider this a distortion pedal as opposed to fuzz, and why? Here's a shot of the board:

    00001331_1.jpg fx55_236k.jpg

    The only other 'fuzz' pedal I have is a crappy chinese mini pedal, so I don't have much to go on. I do have a RAT, a Route 66 comp/OD, and an SD-1, and it definitely does NOT sound anything like those, so....?

    Any of you circuit board nerds find this layout similar to any other fuzz/dirt pedals you know?
     
  2. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    :lol:

    Sorry, that just really struck me as funny
     
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  3. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    The difference between fuzz and distortion is just a description of the sound, really. I have an fx55 and it is definitely not a fuzz.
    It sounds like you haven't tried a real fuzz. Try a fuzzrite, tone bender, or fuzz face some time. Very grainy, un-amp-like, and... fuzzy.



     
  4. falcon5romeo

    falcon5romeo Tele-Holic

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    That's exactly how I'd describe this! I can switch between amps and guitars and it still sounds exactly the same through this pedal, it's very overbearing. Luckily I like the sound of it.
     
  5. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    Well yours might be broken, or your idea of grainy and unnatural might just be relative. I wouldn't say anyone would mistake the sound of my fx55 for a high gain amp, but it's flavor is closer to Marshall stack than it is to fuzz face.
    Also, the fx55's level of gain is nowhere near fuzz face, much less fuzzrite. I don't think of a rat as a fuzz either, but it has enough output that I can combine it's distortion with my amp's natural distortion to produce something pretty fuzz-like.
     
  6. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    The Classic Fuzz they made is actually pretty cool as well. DOD made some great petals (the modulation stuff is really cool).

    One of my favorite boxes is the hard to find Stereo Reverb which is basically two analog delays hooked together.
     
  7. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    You should try an fx52. Then you'll know what dod thought a fuzz was when they made the fx55.
     
  8. falcon5romeo

    falcon5romeo Tele-Holic

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    I read that the circuit was based on the FX50, with more gain. Maybe my ears are bad or maybe tone is VERY relative, but this pedal sounds like no other dirt pedal I've tried. Anything more than a zero distortion setting is a just washed out muddy mess, totally unusable. It's still thicker and punchier than my rat or SD1, with no shrill, scattered frequencies.
     
  9. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    If you want to lower the gain, replace the 3.9M resistor that's between the two diodes and the opamp at the top center of the circuit board with a lower value. Maybe something like a 1M.
     
  10. tremolo3

    tremolo3 Tele-Meister

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    Not as worst as the Boss ODB-3 being labeled as an Overdrive for bass. It's a damn fuzz for guitar!
     
  11. bendeane

    bendeane Tele-Meister

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    This might open a can of worms and what I am about to say isn't always the case, but a lot of fuzzes are usually built around clipping a transistor. There are definitely some fuzz circuits out there with clipping diodes in an OP AMP feedback loop or to ground after an OP AMP gain stage, (there exists a version of the big muff that is OP AMP based) but many of the classic fuzz circuits are built around clipping one or many transistors. Hendrix fuzz sound was not created with an OP AMP as there were no OP AMPS at the time.

    However, I agree that it's definitely a sound thing for most. I have the DOD FX55 and it's Distortion to my ears. More gain doesn't necessarily equate fuzz more than distortion. Incredibly high gain distortion pedals are still what most would consider "distortion" and not "fuzz" because for most, the fuzz tone is achieved by different electronic means, for the most part.
     
  12. Dacious

    Dacious Doctor of Teleocity

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    The classic definition of a Fuzz is the old Gibson Maestro - and one of the best examples of use you'll find is Keef in this early Stones track - even though the guitars aren't plugged in he's got his Keef-burst plugged in to it



    The Classic early ones were germanium transistors - same as the first Fuzzfaces. It"a hard to get the sound without leaky germanium.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
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  13. tele-bastard

    tele-bastard Friend of Leo's

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    I love the old two-button dod's. These are the ones I scored recently.
     

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  14. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Friend of Leo's

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    Ibanez reissued something called the OD-850 overdrive....it is all fuzz...even at its lowest setting...apparently the marketing department does not play guitar...
     
  15. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

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    Op-Amp and a hex inverter?

    Four back-to-back diodes?

    Guessing it's a mash-up of a Red Llama and some sort of generic Overdrive / Distortion doo-hickey.

    Internet search commencing in 3....2.....1......

    Edit :

    Yes, it is almost, sort of...

    http://www.luciferstrip.com/fuzz/dod-fx55.gif
     
  16. Dismalhead

    Dismalhead Poster Extraordinaire

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    Arbitrary terms.

    In my mind I break all dirt pedals into two categories - overdrive and distortion. Overdrive is distortion-light, like for blues. Just one calorie, not quite enough Dr. Evil. Distortion is for hard rock and metal. Fuzz is a subcategory of distortion.
     
  17. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    Maybe the marketing dept. is in a Dinosaur Jr. cover band.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  18. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

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    The definition must be a little fuzzy...
     
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  19. bendeane

    bendeane Tele-Meister

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    I also personally think that there is much more note definition with a distortion or overdrive, but I'm sure there are many OD and Dist pedals out there that have awful note definition.

    Also, I think with many distortion and OD pedals, simply playing lighter will still give you a clipped signal (feel free to chime in if I'm totally off base here) where as most fuzzes that are highly regarded will clean up with lighter touch or a roll off from the guitar's volume knob. Fuzzes don't play nice with buffers (although I know a few players who actually like the way certain fuzz pedals behave with a buffer in front) and it is generally accepted as good practice to not put a buffer or buffered pedal in front of a fuzz pedal.
     
  20. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Friend of Leo's

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    Dude, it says so right on the pedal itself.
    "D-I-S-T-O-R-T-I-O-N".
    Second knob from the left.
    But, all seriousness aside, most folks would probably agree it's all a degree of intensity.
    Overdrive = Least intense.
    Fuzz = Most intense.
    It's all "clipping", which means the sound is a wave, and distortion happens when the top of the wave is "clipped" off, resulting in a flatter top on the wave. The flatter the wave-top, the more distortion you gets, until you end up with a "square wave", which doesn't mean the wave ain't hip, but that it's gonna be the gnarliest-sounding, sharpest-corner, smack-you-in-the-face tone. Round-off that wave, you are overdriving. Square-off the same wave, it's fuzz time.
     
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