OMG! Silicon fuzzes are incredible! What’s your fave?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by 4pickupguy, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,782
    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Man oh man! I got to demo one of these in Japan and now I am hooked. Totally sold on silicon fuzzes now. I bought a couple of Germanium fuzzes thinking that’s what I was supposed to do and really struggled to get on. I thought Germanium was the one that cleaned up so well and thought, well, people rave about them so much, it must be me (it is). With silicon, you plug the guitar in and go. No fussing about with amp settings etc. They clean up SO COOL! Makes a guitar just feel great. Anywhoo, this outing was well timed because being stuck in Japan (like so many people being stuck at home) I’m getting very musically frustrated and depressed. This little bit helped.
    It was a Moolon Sol Fuzz. It sounds like nothing I’ve ever played before. It has a third control called V. Batt knob that acts as a dying Carbon Zinc battery and it gets a kick in the lower mids around 800hz that would make it just killer in a mix. I’m supposed to go to Korea when they open up so I’m gonna save my money up for one of these.
    3BC6F42A-B7D7-4FD1-B7BB-6E78A0106E33.jpeg

    I bought a Pedal Pawn Fuzz a while back and haven’t been home to hear it. I will be a fuzz junky now. Please tell us about your favorite silicon fuzzes.

     
  2. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,193
    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Location:
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Cool. I am not much into pedals (just doing recording, most of what I need is handled by the modeler or in the DAW) but like every other position I state here, I change my mind some time later. I have a "Rat" type circuit I built and did the thing with swapping out diodes and LEDs to hear what happens. I also think the "Harmonic Percolator" is a nasty sounding but responsive thing I'd like to try building some day. Oh to wrap up I'm also interested in Si fuzzes, more so than unobtanium ones. "Cleaning up when I turn down the volume" makes a lot of sense for a performer which I am not, ***** or no *****. So some day I might actually wind up with some pedals. Maybe one with a switch that has a couple things inside.
     
    4pickupguy likes this.
  3. mikestearns

    mikestearns Tele-Holic

    Age:
    37
    Posts:
    584
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2019
    Location:
    Hanover, PA
    Right now I'm loving the Earthquaker Devices Erupter. Its a modified silicon fuzz face circuit with just one knob to control the bias (similar to how the pedal you posted has the v. batt knob). Its super loud, so if you're going into a clean amp it helps to have an OD pedal in front of it to attenuate it a little bit. I've also used the Fulltone '70, which is great, and a number of Big Muffs. I used to like Muffs a lot but my main problem is that you lose them in a mix.
     
    4pickupguy likes this.
  4. naveed211

    naveed211 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,496
    Joined:
    May 16, 2009
    Location:
    Iowa
    Big Muff.
     
    4pickupguy, Si G X and RetroTeleRod like this.
  5. MojoTrwall

    MojoTrwall Tele-Holic

    Age:
    27
    Posts:
    890
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2019
    Location:
    Paris
    I built a skreddy lunar module clone, it's amazing, instant Time solo sound I was amazed first Time I used it as

    Modded guitarpcb Big muff triangle, with an active Bass mid treble, clipping option and tonebender/muff Switch.

    A boss hyper fuzz clone.

    And a Velvet Fuzz clone with an on/off Switch for going from a plexi drive to stacked od+fuzz.

    I don't crave for more.
     
    4pickupguy likes this.
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    30,436
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2010
    Location:
    Maine
    Not to pick at imaginary nits but I think you might like really good fuzzz more than fuzzz that have silicone transistors.

    I've played really bad silicone fuzz like most of the Dunlop FFaces, the last being the blue mini FF, just a dull mushy sound.

    Clean up with the volume is also not present in all silicone fuzz circuits, I think the builder has to arrange the bias of the transistors to get that. Used to be that ge fuzz was better for the clean up thing and silicone was less good, but as the ge transistor supply ran down aside from modern production from Russia, it seems that builders have put more energy into tweaking silicone fuzz circuits for all our fuzzy needs.

    I have some (silicone) Muffs I like and some I don't like as much.
    Got a silicone FF I don't like and a silicone Bender I do like but it was built by some Mom & Pop ebay seller.
    My fave Bender is an old Prescription Electronics Yardbox that happens to have ge inside.

    I don't use any of my fuzzz for clean sounds, though the clean up of my ge London Fuzz FF has that bass cut clean sound that Strat players often go through 100 sets of pickups in search of...

    Overall fuzz is good for the soul!
     
    ooglybong, James Knox and 4pickupguy like this.
  7. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,971
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2020
    Location:
    Delaware
    My favorite silicone one is the Vick Audio 73 Ram's Head. Great Gilmour tones. I have a hybrid silicone/germanium Keeley Fuzz Bender, which is my go-to noise maker. It's sputtery and gnarly, but with bias control and active two band eq, it smooths out fairly well.
     
    D_Malone and 4pickupguy like this.
  8. bluesholyman

    bluesholyman Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,724
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Location:
    FL
    I have several that I like for various reasons:

    Supro Fuzz - it has a germanium and a silicon - bit of a hybrid between TB, FF, and Muff. Hard to describe, but cool just the same: https://suprousa.com/fuzz/ I like Germanium, but its more difficult to work with for sure.

    EHX Double Muff - basically two FF's back to back - took me a while to figure out how to dial it in (use both, think of muff 2 as "fuzz" and muff 1 as volume) - once I looked at it like that, dialing it in became easy. A tad on the "muffy" side (i.e. dark/muffled) is my only complaint.

    Dunlop Hendrix System Fuzz Unit - My current FF pedal on the board - its a great sounding FF.

    Acorn Fox Clone Machine - my favorite - a copy of the Fox Tone Machine and it just rips through anything - probably closest thing I have to Dan Auerbach sound of the Black Keys. There is no mistaking it when its on and thats what I love about it.
     
  9. D_Malone

    D_Malone Tele-Holic

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    916
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2018
    Location:
    Ferndale, MI
    I tend to prefer silicon. All of the Germanium transistor-based pedals I’ve tried are a little darker, a little softer. Not a bad thing at all, I just prefer the bite and attack of silicon.

    I’ve really been enjoying the DOD Carcosa since it came out. I prefer it stacked into a clean Timmy to shape the tone beyond what the Carcosa’s controls are capable of.
     
    openbar and 4pickupguy like this.
  10. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,782
    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    This is a good point. You are talking to somebody with very little fuzz history (a few months). Both the builders of the pedals I cited claim to do exactly what you describe. In fact, “Moollon hand winds their own transformers to spec blah blah..”. They are both a bit pricey too. I have a Moollon British Octah that I love and its a recreation of the earlier unit Jimi called “Octavio”. It’s GE and I dont struggle getting good sounds out of it. It’s one of those fuzzes where single low string notes sound like power chords. The octave thing is glorious. I have a Fulltone 69’ which I hear people get great sounds out of, but I really struggle with that one.
     
    Cali Dude and telemnemonics like this.
  11. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    4,859
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    My Rowin LEF-606 is a Silicon based box of delight. It doesn't matter to me what the fuzzulatoring circuit uses, be it op-amp, silicon transistor, germanium transistor or valve ( I have representatives of all types. Equality in skronkiness ), it has to fuzz and futz. There are expensive fuzzes which vex me. Why pay that much to skronk your sound?. A good fuzz is a good fuzz, no matter who makes it. A poor fuzz is just that. The Rowin is a good fuzz. It's a velvet lined rabbit hole with a ruddy big hammer awaiting :)
     
    4pickupguy and Cali Dude like this.
  12. Ben Harmless

    Ben Harmless Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,012
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Location:
    Salem, Mass
    My favorite fuzz right now is the Park Fuzz as built by Earthquaker Devices - though it's germanium, and I'd kill to find a good MkIII 'Bender clone in silicon. Everyone seems to have discontinued theirs and I can't find any current manufacturers that look better than shady.

    A neat little fuzz is the EHX Satisfaction. It's a Foxx Tone Machine with some odd capacitors in the output - and famously a couple of solder pads to add a cap to restore the original circuit. When you do that, it sounds like a good combination of fuzz and straight distortion, and can operate well in both worlds. I have that extra cap on a switch now, because stock, the pedal does a cool, scratchy, spaghetti western sound.

    I've got a pile of muffs now, too. The secret is in getting one that specifically lets you tailor the mids and highs. For all the acclaim that the Big Muff tone circuit gets from builders, it's exactly why that pedal vanishes in a mix - it's just choosing where your mid-suck comes from. You can build your whole mix around it, but the Smashing Pumpkins already did that, and most other folks who try are just going to sound like them. Honestly, I think that a large portion of the muff's fame is based on bedroom players - the same players who use Metal Zones and disappear in the mix of their metal bands, too.

    I do have two that work well overall though - the Tone Wicker muff and the Green Russian. The Tone Wicker tone switches really work to brighten the pedal, and bring back a lot of upper midrange. The Green Russian is a little lower gain than any other muff I've tried, any gets a little more articulation as a result. I dig it. It handles my baritone very well. Of the silicone's I have, it's probably my favorite, and if you look at YouTube, it consistently wins in shootouts against things like the Way Huge Russian Pickle and other, closer-to-boutique pedals. If I had to choose just one fuzz, it might be the Green Russian - though I'd miss the Park Sound.

    All that said, about a year ago I played with a really fun, young psychedelic band with a guitar and bass player who both used Bass Big Muffs, and it worked great for them. They didn't disappear behind the drums at all. No rules.
     
    4pickupguy likes this.
  13. Cali Dude

    Cali Dude Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    1,660
    Joined:
    May 20, 2020
    Location:
    California
    I have only found one silicone fuzz that I can get along with. It's the Lovepedal 200lbs of tone. To me most fuzz pedals sound too blurry and cheap. But the 200lbs gets more controlled sounds. It reminds me of the Eric Johnson overdriven sound. It also gets a good "The Edge" from U2 sound like from " Actung Baby."
     
    4pickupguy likes this.
  14. Roman4405

    Roman4405 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    168
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2014
    Location:
    VA
    I loooooove my BC183 Analogman Sun Face. Like you I thought germanium was supposed to be the best but I decided to give the silicon Sun Face a shot when I ordered it. I figured if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t have a problem flipping it and picking up something else.

    A very close second is the big box Wren & Cuff Box of War. Based off of a Civil War Big Muff. That pedal defined the whole “Wall of Sound” thing for me. Sounds massive.

    I’ve decided that I need another Big Muff type pedal on my board. Thinking of trying the Muffaletta from JHS.
     
    4pickupguy likes this.
  15. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,721
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2014
    Location:
    Albany NY
    I too love the BC183 Sunface; it's really good!

    My other fuzz favorites are Lovepedals:
    The Fuzz 50 isn't a Fuzzface variant yet it sounds and behaves like one, without its two biggest drawbacks: Fuzz50 has enough mids that it doesn't disappear in a mix with other guitars, and the lows are never woofy. A true favorite - the only pedal where I've bought another of the exact same circuit for the small board.

    Lovepedal's Mk III is actually a variant on the Tone Bender Mk I, great fuzz when dimed and very 70s-sounding amplike overdrive with the gain backed off a bit.

    Bonetender is another Bender variant, this one truer to the original deisgns I think. Not quite as fat or gainy as the Mk III but an absolute classic tone.

    One thing all four of these pedals share is very good volume knob interaction, for nice cleanup right from the guitar. This is handy in performance, sure, but it's still an advantage when recording or even playing at home.

    It delivers a whole spectrum of tones that aren't available using the panel knobs. Especially with fuzzface types (and theFuzz50), when you roll back from the full-on psychedelic 60s tone you get those iconic recognizable Jimi type semicleans, quite different from what happens with the guitar full up and the bias knob low. Benders, too, reveal a range of tones in the way they clean up that goes beyond the panel controls.



    Another +1 on the 200 Lbs Of Gold, a pedal which not only sounds fabulous, but also works really well with any amp I've tried it through - that can't be said for every drive pedal. I will point out, though, that this isn't a straight fuzz. It's actually a fuzz face cascaded into a tube screamer circuit, both modified to work well together. And work well they absolutely do.

    The 200 Lbs Of Gold, along with Lovepedal's Box Of Awesome, would be one of the last pedals I'd part with if I had to sell.



    Since this is a Tele forum, I would be remiss not to mention another Lovepedal, the Mississippi Tchula. This thing is absolute magic with Fenders. But it's germanium.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
    4pickupguy and Cali Dude like this.
  16. Gin Mill Cowboy

    Gin Mill Cowboy Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    259
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2014
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Now I’m running a germanium Analogman Sunface, but I had the BC183 which was great. I also had a Stomp Under Foot fuzz that nailed Gilmour’s tone on Dark Side.
     
  17. Roman4405

    Roman4405 Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    168
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2014
    Location:
    VA
    I’ve been kicking around the idea of getting a Ge Sun Face to go along with the BC183 but decided to go with a Muff. SUF makes awesome Muffs, I forgot about them. I had one a while back and remember really liking it.
     
    telemnemonics likes this.
  18. bobk

    bobk Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    333
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Out in the country,NC
    Fav silicon fuzz is Fulltone 70
     
    4pickupguy likes this.
  19. Fretting out

    Fretting out Doctor of Teleocity Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    10,423
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    I’m a muff-addict silicon is more stable and reliable
     
    Switchy and telemnemonics like this.
  20. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,833
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Moon Township, PA
    Devi Ever Noise Floor (Soda Meiser with chaos & noise switches)
     
    ping-ping-clicka likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.