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Fuzz - how do you use it? What do you use?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by dlew919, Jul 3, 2020.

  1. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Saying "Fuzz pedal" is like saying "hot spices".

    Even if you buy the fuzz some guy used on some old record you won't t\get the dish they cooked up with it, unless you match the rest of the ingredients and methods.

    Now and then I run an OD with a fuzz, but in general I never run a fuzz into a distorted amp.
    You can do that but the jagged fuzz wave will get rounded off in the tube clip[ping and you really won't hear the interesting shade the fuzz makes, a wave form you can't get from a tube.

    Some recording we think of as fuzz weremade using a fuzz but are not the sound of the fuzz asmuch as the sound of that guitar/ amp/ speakers being overdriven.

    That's fine but you don't need anything special in fuzz to do that.

    Remember to not confuse history with fuzz.
    At one time when Rock was formative and evolving, fuzz was the only boost available, and amps we think of as distorted were actually clean amps, or maybe slightly distorted amps.
    So the fuzz was used to make the cleaner amp more distorted, as much as to get a fuzz tone.

    There are ways to get your fuzz to come out of the speakers sounding like the fuzz instead of the slightly fuzzier distorted amp.
    Generally this involves a bigger cleaner amp that can handle the boost without the amp adding its own distortion.

    Gilmour prefers Hiwatts for muffs, which are only sorta Fuzz'z.
    Run Gilmours guitar and muff into your PRRI and you won't hear Gilmours tones.

    Again, make your recipes and stick with the ones that suit your taste buds!
     
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  2. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Friend of Leo's

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    Can. Of. Worms.

    Having said that, I like fuzz and have gravitated towards different kinds, largely depending on the amp I was using at the time. Currently using a tweed-style amp, have a Fuzz Face clone (65Amps Colour Fuzz) and most recently, the Supro Fuzz pedal. The Supro is a wonderfully versatile fuzz that leans in flavor towards a FF, but can go to more extremes with its active eq (bass/treble.)

    I generally don't like annoying bright mosquito sounding fuzzes, and have steered clear of octave fuzzes because I thought the octave was too prominent in the sound - trying to find one of those with the right balance - have one on the way that I hope will do the trick - a clone of the Roger Mayer Octavia.

    I thought I liked tone benders and having tried FF, Tonebender, and Big Muffs, I ultimately ended up with the FF thinking it could cover the most ground. Wren and Cuff Box of War has been my favorite muff variant thus far.

    I'd like to try a Univox Superfuzz, Companion Fuzz, and the Jordan Bosstone.
     
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  3. dlew919

    dlew919 Doctor of Teleocity

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    Some really fantastic answers. A marvellous thread.

    I dug out my Rock Star Death Metal RM-1 Overdrive Distortion. It's a bizarre pedal, based on a Boss HM-2 I think.

    Set the tones to nothing and gain all the way down and it's like a Boss OD-2 at 3/4 gain. So things get very fun.

    Pumping up some of the bass and winding back the treble gives very much a Big Muff feel... I think.

    This isn't me, but it gives some hint of the wildness of the pedal..

     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  4. AngelStrummer

    AngelStrummer Friend of Leo's

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    Dunlop Mini Fuzz Face (Hendrix version) with comp going into it (CS-2), into clean amp, usually on the neck pickup.

    The whole volume knob clean-up thing isn't really my bag, I like it straight up rude and offensive.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
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  5. nosuch

    nosuch Friend of Leo's

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    Until recently if I needed a fuzz like tone I just maxed distortion on my rat. Now I have a fly rig Ritchie kotzen v2 so i use the built in fuzz. Gives me a massive tone with a lot of bass content. Nice for a song or two ...
     
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  6. SebC

    SebC Tele-Meister

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    Just yesterday I was revisiting my old build! I just made up my mind to practice more with it. It's a very alive kind of thing. I feel you can't set it and forget it, but always consider it somehow. I found that I really liked it on the tele's bridge pickup through my tweed champ. Really, really liked it!
    50BA7B1F-B858-4538-AFE1-167D5CBD3F23.jpeg C658EE91-2C9B-4875-B59F-32352A71A2E3.jpeg
     
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  7. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

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    Some music simply benefits from including fuzz.

    If you're just trying to use fuzz for the sake of using it, I think you're impressions of it will not be positive.

    For me, it wasn't even about apeing some old Jimi song, for the most part. It was more about hearing songs, or some stuff in some genres, that had an effect in them that wasn't an overdriven amp sound, and kind of defined the song, and how the guitars almost need to sound.

    ...Next up was experiencing it in the flesh, with my own ears, as opposed to just listening to a recording. I experienced some of this with live performances, but the bulk of it required me experimenting with actual different pedals.

    I've come to discover that I like a Big Muff with a clean amp, but that a stock one just doesn't cut it for me, because there's too much bass, and not enough midrange.

    I've also personally realized that I really dislike the sound of a Fuzz Face with any BF/SF Fender, even if the amp is dirty. I primarily use BF/SF Fenders, or amps that sound like them, so I tend to have a love/hate relationship with the Fuzz Face.

    ...Probably the biggest personal revelation for me was how good the Jordan Bosstone sounds, for my purposes, when I finally got to play through one. It simply seems to work for me, where a lot of other fuzzes don't.

    Then I went and started modifying the Jordan Bosstone, and it just got better and better, from there. Unless I need very defined octave-up with the fuzz, I can get a modded JBT to basically give me most of what I need.

    Another cool thing about the JBT is that it seems to work well driven into some different OD pedals, so I can keep a pristine clean tone with the amp itself. Needless to say, that typically provides a lot more flexibility than being dependent on how a fuzz works with just a single overdriven amp.

    The other reason to explore using fuzzes with OD pedals - you can typically get a good effect at various different volume levels.
     
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  8. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    Have you found the Yellow Sign?
     
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  9. Edgar Allan Presley

    Edgar Allan Presley Friend of Leo's

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    I have three fuzzes at the moment:

    1. Fulltone '69, which I love with some pedal on after it for some reason. Sounds a little dull without a drive, comp, eq, or boost on after it. Maybe it's an impedance thing? My favorite combo is the '69 into an orange squeezer clone. Pretty, singing, smooth tone.
    2. Zvex Fuzz Factory, so fun! Huge high gain fuzz sounds that cut in a mix like crazy. It does that germanium clean up thing, which isn't as useful on this pedal because it's so buzzy and noisy. The '69 is much better for those pretty fuzz sounds.
    3. Effector 13 (later became Devi Ever) Torns Peaker. Raggedy silicon fuzz. Into an already distorted amp it sounds kind of like a very, very distorted amp, a la Neil Young, but not like an amp designed for high gain. It sounds like things might break at any moment. Into a clean amp it sounds raspy like something already has broken. In a good way.

    I'd like to get a good low-medium gain silicon fuzz face, that will be more stable than the germania I have. I'd also like to get a Foxx Tone Machine kind of fuzz. I really like the sounds Adrian Belew got in the Talking Heads with a Foxx Tone Machine into a Jazz Chorus amp.
     
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  10. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

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    it said yield. and then ia ia cthulthu fthagen.
     
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  11. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Haven't used fuzz or distortion pedals for many years but I've been listening to a lot of Danial Lanois recently and put an overdrive on the pedalboard. Going for that warm distorted sound, lot's of distortion but still articulate, some echo.

    So gain is cranked, tone is backed off, add a touch of Source Audio Nemesis delay and echo and that does it. No picks, flesh and nails on the strings is also part of the sound. I'm digging it, whole new palette. I usually play fairly clean w/ just a bit of amp grind.

     
  12. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    I have an Op Amp Big Muff Pi reissue.

    In the past I had a Way Huge SP MkIIs and I had an Orange Fur coat.

    It'd probably have done me good to keep both of those for longer too. IMO knowing what to do with the Fuzz seems more important than which Fuzz I have... still working on that.

    I am 99% sure I'd love a good Fuzz Face though.. but I think there's some benefit for me to use a Fuzz that doesn't clean up like that. If I had a Fuzz Face I'd probably just keep rolling the volume off and pretending it was an overdrive!

    I have had way more of an issue searching out overdrives...
     
  13. beninma

    beninma Friend of Leo's

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    This seems like it could be just about anything.. an Overdrive, the amp just turned up loud, could be a fuzz with the volume rolled off, etc.. The tone being rolled off and the players touch seems to be the important part.

    Nice sound though.
     
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  14. Hiker

    Hiker Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's a Green Russian clone (GGG DIY) pedal that is wired for power supply- only. I use it solo without other pedals, and connected to Vox Pathfinder 15R and adjust to taste. It's a far cry from a one trick pony.
     
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  15. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    It's all of that.

     
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  16. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I also have a Swollen Pickle that I mix in with ODs for a nice warm fuzzy distortion. It’s a versatile pedal and I’m sure I’m yet to find all its sweet spots.
     
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  17. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    As a kid I had an original Bee Baa. That was my first source of a distorted sound. Later replaced by an early MXR Distortion +.

    In recent years I tried a GE Fuzz face and an MXR BC108 (silicon fuzz face in a square box with an additional buffer switch). I decided I don't really like Fuzz Faces.

    In my actual playing I tend to go for clean or for classic blues or rock tones. So more of a classic Marshall JCM800 tone would be my go to distortion sound, rather than a fuzz-based distortion sound.

    However, I often appreciate the use of fuzz by others. Since I never tried a Big Muff, I recently bought a Russian Big Muff reissue and I think I like it better than the Fuzz Face type fuzz. YMMV of course. What I've found is it helps to focus the signal going into it so I've been messing with EQ pedals and other ways to shape my guitar signal in front of it. But really I only use fuzz when messing around at home or recording stuff. I play in a jazz funk band so fuzz doesn't really fit in that genre. It sits on my pedal board but I don't use it with the band.

    I watched a YouTube video of a Queens of the Stone Age concert, and I think their sounds are pretty awesome. A lot of their sounds are built heavily on fuzz boxes, and I dig it. So like I say I love messing around with it on my own but haven't really had a practical application live.
     
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  18. Mark1406

    Mark1406 TDPRI Member

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    In my experience if you are using a Fuzz Face you don't want anything between the guitar and the FF.

    The input circuit loads the guitars pickups rolling off highs. My main concern when using a Fuzz Face is that the amp has enough bass response.

    As far as the distorting amp thing goes. The more distorted the amp is the less you hear the qualities of the FF. A good FF sounds fine as it is, the quality of the FF is dependent on the transistors used.
     
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  19. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I knew to plug straight into the FF.
     
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  20. wolfman2020

    wolfman2020 TDPRI Member

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    Not much on the fuzz but I use a Marshall JCM2000 100 watt with a 1980 ibanez TS-808 Tubescreamer®️
    And 1985 Tim Shaw Humbuckers in my Les Pauls and the EMG-T kit in my Telecaster and it gives me more of a crunchy sound , not fuzz and not distortion just closer to the original tone with some edge. I have a highway one Tele with nocasters in it and they are incredible pickups
     

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