On getting glassy cleans using a fuzz pedal

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by paulblackford, Jul 21, 2021.

  1. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    908
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    Referencing Pete Thorns video, where he explains how to get glassy cleans by having a wide open fuzz, and then dialing back the volume on your guitar, I'd like to find a way to do this without a fuzz. Here is his video:



    Nevermind what amp I'm using, etc.. (I have plenty of nice, tubey, Fendery cleans here, but that doesn't matter) What would YOU use to get the same glassy cleans without rolling down your volume, or having a fuzz in your effects chain? An EQ pedal, and a boost? Would an MXR Micro Amp produce a similar effect? TS808 with the gain down, and the volume up. What do you theorize might work, or what have you tried that does work?

    The problem I have with rolling off the guitar's volume for the effect to work with a fuzz is that it is difficult to make your standard sound. It would be different if you intended to roll the volume up, at certain times to take advantage of the fuzz. Then I wouldn't have an issue. If you aren't going to use the fuzz, however, it would be nice if there was another way to get there. All of the other things in you effects chain are going to behave differently at half volume. I would just love to find a way to do this sound at full volume. Any ideas?
     
    Chipss36 likes this.
  2. Phrygian77

    Phrygian77 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    3,435
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2016
    Location:
    Crawfordville, FL
    Maybe a bright switch/cap on the amp volume, but usually that's too much. It works best when the volume is up fairly high and you back down the guitar volume some.
     
    Lawdawg and paulblackford like this.
  3. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    101
    Posts:
    1,243
    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    This guy says bump up 6.4k on an EQ pedal (at the 3:45 or so mark):

    Not sure I hear it in the video, but for what it's worth, might be worth a try.
     
    paulblackford and Asmith like this.
  4. Asmith

    Asmith Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,044
    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2014
    Location:
    East Yorkshire, England
    I'd go for an EQ, in your posted video the high end just has more present so an EQ will let you dial that in with a lot of control. It's also possible that the amp might be capable of getting to somewhere similar just by tweaking the tone controls
     
    paulblackford likes this.
  5. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,716
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    "I only drink organic coffee. Can I get some sugar for my Folger's please!"
     
    paulblackford likes this.
  6. Thinline casket

    Thinline casket Tele-Meister

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    417
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2020
    Location:
    Flintstone
    I've always thought circuits built for 6L6s are glassy. I tried the fuzz thing. It's on Craigslist now. The 2 fender clones are not. :D
     
    paulblackford likes this.
  7. ahiddentableau

    ahiddentableau Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    452
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2018
    Location:
    Middle of Nowhere
    I'm very interested to hear what other people have to say on this, but IME there's no substitute for a fuzz face in this particular context. The way that circuit loads a guitar's pickups is special--especially for single coils. There are probably other pedals that can do something kind of similar but if you want the thing in the video you need to get a fuzz face and use it straight into the amp (without a buffered pedal in between the guitar and the fuzz face). I hate absolutes and rules and endorse the view that if it sounds good to you it is good but in this case the recipe is what it is, and I've never experienced anything that replicates the magic of the fuzz face circuit in this regard.
     
    BFcaster, paulblackford, smuc and 4 others like this.
  8. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,391
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2021
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I’m not saying I’d go out of my way to dime a fuzz and roll off volume to get a clean tone. But…

    Absolutely most fuzz pedals are reactive to input level. Especially germanium if that’s your flavor. You can go from full fuzz to nearly no fuzz by turning back the level on the guitar in many cases.

    Also you can step on the bypass as another way to go from full fuzz to no fuzz.
     
    paulblackford, naveed211 and drmordo like this.
  9. Vibro Chimp

    Vibro Chimp TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    50
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2016
    Location:
    Upper Left USA
    Maybe a Joyo American Sound? Lots of treble on tap to give you that “glassy” sound.

    Or just get the fuzz. Not only do you get that clean sound and the full-on fuzz, but also every shade of distortion in between. Very versatile.
     
    paulblackford likes this.
  10. fuzz guy

    fuzz guy TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    58
    Joined:
    May 20, 2021
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    I don't see why you couldn't make it your main sound. What other effects do you feel will behave differently with the guitar's volume down but the Fuzz Face coming before them? I use the cleaned up FF for one of my main rhythm tones and don't notice any downside.

    I agree, I've not found the same thing elsewhere, but I've also not looked hard because the FF works so well. In addition to the FF loading the guitar's pickups, I think a lot of the glassy cleanup sound comes from the extra harmonic content that the transistors, especially germanium ones, add to the signal. I'm not sure how you'd get that any other way.
     
    paulblackford and drmordo like this.
  11. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    47
    Posts:
    1,214
    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2019
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    FWIW, here's what I would do if I were you.

    Buy a well regarded Germanium FF clone.

    Get it dialed in thru your amp so it sounds like you want it to sound with the guitar volume knob turned down.

    Record your guitar into a DAW both with and without FF. I would probly record the clean guitar with the vol knob dimed and at the same position as the FF just so I can compare them. I would play some very specific and simple things, like strumming an E chord and a C chord in two different octaves, but I'd play with it while looking at the freq analyzer to see what looks the most promising.

    Use a frequency analysis program (I use Voxengo SPAN set for "Mastering", it's free) to see exactly where the FF tweaks the eq, and also see where your clean guitar freqs peak. Either make notes of the freq peaks and valleys or better yet take screen shots of the freq analyzer and print them.

    Buy an eq that, based on the freq analysis charts, seems flexible enough to match the FF freq effects.

    Feed your guitar with eq pedal back into the computer and use the freq analyzer to dial in your eq and match the screen-shot FF freq curve. Take a picture of your eq pedal setting when you get it dialed in for posterity.

    Sell the FF or keep it to have a wicked fuzz in the pedal arsenal.
     
    paulblackford likes this.
  12. J-Flanders

    J-Flanders Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    232
    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2016
    Location:
    Flanders
    A common mod for a Fuzz Face is putting an 'input control' at the input of the circuit.
    It can be a variable input resistor or a regular volume control.
    This control can be set to mimick rolling back the volume control on your guitar.
    I think, together with the volume control at the output of the Fuzz Face you should be able to find a setting that gives you the glassy cleans with the guitar's volume on 10 and unity volume at the output.
    You could use it as an 'always on' pedal or activate it for parts where you want the glassy cleans. It would become a sort of EQ pedal.

    You could also put a pickup simulator in front of the circuit.
    http://www.muzique.com/lab/pickups.htm

    Maybe post your question over at https://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?board=2.0 ?
    I'm sure they'll come up with some ideas. And if not, at least explain why it's theoretically impossible to get the exact same effect with the guitar's volume on 10.
     
  13. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    4,636
    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2016
    Location:
    Yorkshire
    Fuzz. Don't resist the fuzz. If the sound is created by a fuzz pedal, then a fuzz pedal should be first in line to recreate it.
    The Joyo American Sound has a wonderful EQ that you can interact with the gain control too. Still requires guitar volume control for the best effect.
    A tame distortion pedal, used just so along with an EQ pedal to lift the upper ranges may get you there.
    Turn the amp up!
    Loop pedals, not loopers but loop pedals, allow you to switch pedal groups in and out at will. Good for 'per song' outliers.

    Just go with fuzz. Embrace it. Love the fuzz. All you need is fuzz, fuzz is all you need.
     
    paulblackford likes this.
  14. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    50
    Posts:
    1,834
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2018
    Location:
    Atlanta
    @J-Flanders hit the nail on the head for a simple solution. I just bought an AnalogMan Sun Face which has a 'Clean' control (either an internal trimpot or you can pay extra for an external knob) that allows you to essentially lower the guitar's input without lowering the volume knob on your guitar. I'm sure there are other Fuzz pedals that have this control, but if not the Sun Face can be set to exactly mimic this effect entirely through the pedal settings.

    Outside of using a fuzz or lowering the volume on your guitar, you could probably use a treble boost or maybe an overdrive set at very low gain to brighten the signal and add a bit of grit to get that glassy sound. As others have mentioned you can probably use an EQ pedal for this as well especially if the eq pedal has a built in boost circuit.

    Somewhat similar to Thorn's secret, I've found the trick to getting a glassy clean tone comes from cranking a tube amp and lowering the volume on my guitar. As I posted on another thread, it was a real game changer for me since I had long been one of those players who kept the guitar volume and tone knobs glued on 10. I know that's exactly what you don't want to do, but after years resisting this myself I now have no issue making liberal use of the guitar volume knob.
     
    paulblackford and Back at it like this.
  15. PoorNoodle

    PoorNoodle Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    152
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2018
    Location:
    Sweden
    Volume pedal in front of the fuzz face. Set to middle position. Guitar on 10. Use a pedal switcher to put both pedals in their own loop. Maybe a bit overkill but it should work...
     
    paulblackford likes this.
  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    10,578
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    You don't need 'that fuzz' Pete is using with the boutique price. Any fuzz works.
    I have a $20 Azor 303 (Big Muff Pi type of clone) that does it easily.
    This video has techniques on how to get it with a Fuzz Face.

     
    paulblackford likes this.
  17. smuc

    smuc Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    207
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2020
    Location:
    Austria
    Set the guitar tone to 6-7, turn the treble on the amp up, turn the volume on the amp up, dial the guitar volume back just a bit (1-2mm) if needed.

    I still don‘t get guitar players playing guitars with everything on 10… The harshness is best tamed on the guitar, not the amp.

    But still, nothing beats a good fuzz face :)
     
  18. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,968
    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2017
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Hi.

    I have no clue how to help you do this in a non-fuzz way, sorry.

    But I do have a question.

    Do you mean to say your guitar actually needs to be at half volume when you do this?

    Because, with my germanium Fuzz Face (clone) and single coils, I get this wonderful tone when rolled off just a tad. I have no idea how loud the glassy tone actually measurably is compared to the full volume tone, but, perception wise, to me it cuts though equally. And, everything else in my chain works just fine with the level of the volume-rolled glassy tone.

    Which leads me to my next bit - do you mean the other things in your chain don’t work so well when you turn your fuzz off to return to your main / core tone? As in, you don’t want to or find it difficult to turn the fuzz on and off while rolling the volume?

    If so, I totally get that. Some parts may not leave your picking hand free enough to volume-roll without interfering with what you’re playing. For that, my only solution would be a loop switcher unit plus a fuzz face modded with the fake guitar volume pot thing, as others have mentioned above.

    Good luck.

    Pax/
    Dean
     
  19. Willie Johnson

    Willie Johnson Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    101
    Posts:
    1,243
    Joined:
    May 24, 2016
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    That really is *that* tone; I had no idea. There was another fuzz thread on here recently that piqued my interest--looks like I'll be getting a Fuzz Face.

    I like this dude. I cracked up at the 2:03 mark; " 'ere's the fourff."
     
    4pickupguy likes this.
  20. 4pickupguy

    4pickupguy Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,566
    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Location:
    Fort Worth, Texas
    It’s one of those sounds that really inspires. There are chord voicing I would never have discovered had they not sounded so special through the fuzz face. I instantly write songs when inspired. It makes you want to play!

     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2021 at 10:29 PM
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.