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I want to love my Fuzz!!!

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by warthog, Jan 24, 2021.

  1. warthog

    warthog Tele-Meister

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    I have not figured out how to get the fuzz sound I want through my amp! I have a bassbreaker 15 and a Fultone 70s and MJM London Fuzz (plus a bunch of others). I mostly play with a Tele

    I've had an amp where the fuzzes worked well, a Fender VM Deluxe (wasn't reliable).

    The Bassbreaker is quite versatile, so I don't want to exchange it while getting a fuzz to work for me.

    Now, I read that for fuzzes to work, I need the amp to overdrive a bit, so I've done that, but the sound is muddy and just not nice. When I roll the volume off, I don't get that nice cleaned up tone as I've gotten before.

    Any advice? I have read that I should introduce a tubescreamer type pedal on my chain. Maybe if I use the clean channel of the amp and use the TS as drive pedal and then add the fuzz?

    How do you get your Fuzz tone?

    Thanks!
     
  2. DLReed

    DLReed Tele-Meister

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    I use fuzz pedals into a clean amp. For me, using fuzz on top of an already overdriven amp creates a muddy sound. For example, I use a Marshall DSL5 on the classic gain (clean) channel with an EhX flatiron fuzz and that has a lot of flexibility.
    Is the bassbreaker a one channel amp? Maybe try it with the gain low and volume high and then engage the fuzz.
     
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  3. bendercaster

    bendercaster Tele-Afflicted

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    I have found the opposite. All of my pedals sound better going into a clean amp. I don't understand it well enough to explain it correctly, but due to impedance issues, some Fuzz pedals can be sensitive to where they are placed in your chain. Try it as your first pedal.

    My band mate just got a Deluxe Reverb and is saying the same thing about his fuzz. It sounds great into his Mesa, but the the DR doesn't have enough bottom end for it.
     
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  4. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    I have had the best luck with fuzzes into a clean, or nearly clean, amp also.

    Not sure if this applies in your case, but I find I really need to modify and simplify how I play when I have a fuzz on. Certain areas of the fretboard are disappointing while others sound eee-vil and badass. To my ear low-string riffs sound cool, and power-chord type stuff, or one fretted note against an open note. Textural stuff, less focused on chunky syncopation.

    But what I would normally do with a crunchy Marshall kind of tone—including full chords—doesn’t sound good to me with fuzzes I’ve tried.

    So is it possible your fuzz tastes are similar to mine and you’re hitting the wall on your expectations?
     
  5. smuc

    smuc Tele-Meister

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    Step one - get the amp tone proper: Roll the tone back a bit on your tele and go full on with the treble/tone on your amp. The amp needs to be cooking a bit. Worst case scenario but an overdrive before if the amp gets too loud.
    Step two - dial in the fuzz: Set the fuzz to max. Set your guitar volume back a bit (6-7) and dial back the fuzz knob until you get a pleasing crunch (not fuzz!). Within a few millimeters up and down is your "optimal" tone range for the fuzz face. If you have done everything right, you will have a pallete of mild crunch, heavy crunch to full on fuzz with a dial of the volume knob.

    This is how it should "roughly" sound. Crunch at the beginning and full on fuzz for the solo:
     
  6. hotrodkid

    hotrodkid Tele-Afflicted

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    This ^

    And certain pickups and speakers work better with fuzz.

    As far as types of fuzz...there are some fuzzes that take on the characteristics of overdrive which I found hard to get bad sounds out of. The DOD Carcosa, Wampler Velvet Fuzz, MXR Classic Fuzz and many of the bender clones come to mind. I’m sure there are others too.
     
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  7. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    Very detailed and helpful info! Off to take a new crack at my fake Fuzz Face...
     
  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When you read facts about using fuzz'z, the logic is invariably fuzzy!

    First off, fuzz is a nickname for a bunch of different circuits.
    "Tube amp" is a narrower range of things than "fuzz pedal".

    After separating which fuzz you start with, then you need to address what result you want.
    Some want a wall of muddy bass, while others claim that is the wrong way to use fuzz.

    If you want to hear the fuzz you need the amp to be running clean.
    But you can also push the amp and get other sounds.
    Not even beginning to address all the versions of all the fuzz circuits.
    Muffs are all over the map and Fuzz Faces are even more varied.
    Benders vary wildly too, then you get into the more obscure circuits and variants.

    To answer your query you need to buy lots of different fuzz pedals and run them into a few different types of amps at different total volumes and different degrees of amp clipping.

    When you push the input stage of a tube amp with a fuzz, the first preamp tube starts clipping, but tube clipping is generally smoother than SOME fuzz circuits clip. So the harsh raspy fuzz signal gets distorted by the preamptube, and smoothes out, maybe later in the amp if a smaller amp, the power section clips the clipped fuzz clipping a second time, resulting in triple clipping, with two out of three clipping types being smoother tube clipping.

    Of course if you push a buzzy raspy sounding tube amp you get less smooth results.
    Still won't really hear an accurate reproduction of that "fuzz sound".
     
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  9. warthog

    warthog Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for all the advice! I will try what some of you have written.
     
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  10. CV Jee Beez

    CV Jee Beez Tele-Holic

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    I like to use a tone bender or fuzz face going onto light to medium dirt. I think a fuzz face into your bass breaker would be killer.
     
  11. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

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    I have a few of thoughts. One is general, the others are mostly focused around the fuzz face.

    You mention that conventional wisdom is to play a fuzz into an overdriven amp. That's good advice for a lot of fuzz circuits but it's by no means a universal law. Some circuits sound better into a clean amp (opamp big muff is a classic example).

    But a Fulltone 70 is a silicon fuzz face, and fuzz faces generally do sound better into a cranked amp. The classic recipe for a fuzz face is guitar (usually w/single coil pickups) -> fuzzface with gain cranked (use the volume for gain control) -> cranked marshall style amp. This formula works, but there is some fine print, namely that the fuzz face is a really, really bassy design. This can be great for single note lines, but if you're trying to use it for chords or rhythm you're probably going to want to cut bass. This is why it tends to sound better into a marshall style amp--that design cuts the bass in the first stage of its preamp. I have no knowledge/experience with a Bassbreaker but most fender amps have big bass in the preamp, so that's one thing to consider.

    Like most players, when I started I was an "everything on 10" type guy. Didn't use the volume knob on my guitar. That doesn't matter with a lot of pedals, but fuzzes are a big exception. Riding the volume can make a massive difference to response/tone. Especially with a fuzz face. You can cover so much ground with that circuit--provided you can control/tame the bass.

    If you know/have tried all of that and you still don't like it, then it's possible that fuzzes just arent' your thing. Which is totally fine. Not everybody has to be a fuzz head.
     
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  12. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have been stuck in Japan with nothing but a Yamaha THDII desk top amp and a Moollon silicon Fuzz Face pedal. Not the amp for the pedal BTW. Just spending time playing with it I now kinda have feel for how to use the Fuzz Face thing on my music. I find I almost never use the thing all the way up on my guitar. Its always backed off a bit to stay out of the destructor beast mode. Its a super hair trigger. It goes from destructor beast within the 1-0 of the number 10. Zero is destructor beast and the '1' of ten is very beautiful stuff. Back it off from there and it becomes the famous "Hendrix clean" sound.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2021
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  13. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Holic

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    Absolutely, I never understood why people kept playing with their knobs (haha sorry) until I got into fuzz. There are so many cool sounds to be found with fuzzes. Makes me play for hours.

    Finding the right fuzz may be the key. I almost wrote them off too until I found the ones that worked for me. For example, octave fuzzes are cool but I have no use for them. I like the more broken sounding fuzzes like the Maestro Fuzz Tone or a Fuzz Face with the right bias. For those I can play into a clean amp no problem. Other fuzzes like the Astrotone or any bright fuzzes I prefer playing into something dirty.
     
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  14. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    you might try
    Catalinbread SFT Foundation Bass Overdrive
     
  15. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I had a very similar thread to yours after about a month of struggling with a Fulltone ‘69 through a ‘68 Fender CDR Deluxe. That Deluxe gets LOUD!! so turning it up was/is not an option. 11gauge suggested running it into a bass cutting OD like a TS or Klone or something. I had a cheap OCD copy that worked and it really helped focus the fuzz. After that I got a couple of silicon fuzzes and I love the one that I have here in Japan with me. I also have a Pedal Pawn Fuzz waiting for me at home. For me it was just easier to get sound and they clean up so well! I’m so new to fuzz still that I have not had one up loud in a band mix yet. After spending a year with only a fuzz face, I’m not intimidated anymore.
     
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