Recommend me a character fuzz

Wooly Fox

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My pedal board has been pretty static for the past 6 months (moving country does that) and consists of CB Brothers, 633 Engineering X3 (a cascading 5 gain stage pedal) and Tru-Fi Colordriver.

I use the Colordriver for double duties for the fuzz when gain set to 9 o'clock but then need to drop the gain to 0 when I want to stack after my other drives. The Brothers can do all of these things but I just don't fully gel with it on the fuzz settings. I can never get it to sound exactly as I want as it has a tone control per side, the JFET fuzz is too spiky in my amp and the Op Amp fuzz too scooped for my fender style amp.

What I'm looking for is a dedicated character fuzz like the Third Man and Union Transistor Bumblebuzz (tried it and loved it) or maybe a ZVEX Fuzz Factory. Not sure I need a Tone Bender or Fuzz Face style pedal as I don't use it all that often. Other one I see is the Fuzz War but that might be too much.

Suggestions greatly appreciated.
 

Togman

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SixStringSlinger

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The Fuzz Factory is great, and not only for the crazy out-there sounds it can get.

Don’t let anyone scare you into thinking it’s complicated or uncontrollable, either. To start, set level and gain to taste, stability full-clockwise, and either gate or comp all the way up (the other can be set wherever you like). From there you can mess with the ratio between gate and comp to get various tones without squeal. Of course, you can also adjust these knobs to get squeal and even tune the squeal to a pitch. Finally, lowering the stability makes things more loose and sludgy before making your sustained notes dissolve into mush.

But keep the stability cranked and watch your gate/comp ratio (lowering one means raising the other and vice versa) and you’ll have a variety of great fuzz tones.
 

Killing Floor

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How much character do you want on your board? FF style built into a cold war Civil Defense Dosimeter charger. It's made by DenTone and you can get it on the Verb. It's definitely a conversation starter. Also, fun factoid, Jordan Electronics, maker of the Dosimeter / Geiger counter things went on to make the original Bosstone fuzz. So this has 2 cool stories in one.
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Killing Floor

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And by far the best sounding and most useful fuzz I've bought in the last 10 or so (I have about 45 now) is this One fuzz from Tape Audio. It's pretty traditional for the most part but instead of ranging the "fuzz" you are adjusting the compression of the clipping diodes. Plenty demos on the tubes.
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Edgar Allan Presley

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I'm another big Fuzz Factory fan. They sound great and can get a lot of usable sounds. My other favorite fuzz pedal is the Voodoo Lab Superfuzz, which is based on a Jordon Bosstone, but it has really useful tone control of the bass and mids.
 

Wooly Fox

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Thanks all for your replies so far!

Not come across any of the suggested before. May have to try a Fuzz Factory when I next go to Exile Guitars in East Vancouver (Union Transistor are made there), he had a load of weird fuzz pedals too.

I have also owned a Fjord Fuzz Fenris but found the gate and notch filters extreme sensitive (meaning to hear the difference you had to be fully on or off) plus I had two units and both had a recurring grounding issue which isn't ideal.

Will check out the Jordan Bosstone type of pedals!
 

northernguitar

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How are you with a soldering iron? My suggestion is a Univox Superfuzz clone and the BYOC Leeds is a fantastic example. It's raspy, hissy, spitty and just an overall musical razzberry. I am amazed how it fills the sound out when I use it to solo with my 3-piece band. I use my amp at edge of breakup goosed by a Bad Monkey for chording, and then switch to the Leeds for solos. It won't cost a lot, either. CDN$90.99, or you could buy the pre-built for another $50. All top-notch parts and components, and this one isn't too hard to build.

 

loopfinding

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Look at some of the devi ever ones (or clones of them). Two knobs (input, output volume), and they do the superfuzz thing sort of, without being too octave fuzzy. Seem one trick pony-ish, but respond well to volume control adjustments on the guitar. You don’t have to use them full bore (but nice to have that available). Many are gated (or slightly gated) as well, which is nice.
 

Wooly Fox

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Went down the rabbit hole and ordered this.



Exactly the kind of 'out there' fuzz sound I wanted and I am partial to square wave synth tones. Solid Gold FX Lysis Mk II was in the running as they're Canada based and did most of the same fuzz modulation I was looking for, I just didn't like the octave up in the end as it feels too digital to my taste.

I think the up octave is using folding (transistor based I suspect as it tracks well in the demo) as it's only able to be used if the fuzz is on.

This pedal offers me a fuzz, an octave fuzz, a blue box style sub octave fuzz and a sub octave pedal all in one.

As I have a bass speaker in my guitar amp, that sub octave 2 will make my room shake!
 

4pickupguy

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The coolest character fuzz ever (other than a FF, and I consider it one) is an Octavia. So fun to play. The non-octave Fuzz sound is one of the thickest, sickest single note fuzz sounds ever!! The octave fuzz sound is great solo elevator! If you want super glitchy mayhem get a faithful early “Octavio” version!!
 

Junco Partner

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IMO if you want to venture away from the classic categories of Face, Bender and Muff, additional controls like bias, starve, etc or octave fuzzes will give you something a little crazier. Some of the nastier early fuzzes like Fuzzrite, Zonk etc will get you there too. Fuzz Factory is probably the most obvious versatile place to start but the DOD Carcosa or Keeley Fuzz Bender also give lots of tweakable options for a low price and are fairly easy to find. Basic Audio’s lineup is also full of options that are based on weird old fuzzes tricked out with more functionality.
 

FMA

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Nice choice, bud. That said, my favorite fuzz of all time is the Foxx Tone Machine. Can go from subtle to insane synth tones. There are a bunch of clones out there, including the Danelectro one designed by the guy who made the original, and several other boutique offerings.
 

blowtorch

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Blackout Effectors Musket Fuzz is the best sounding fuzz I've heard in a long time. Very versatile and sounds awesome at every setting.

Most fuzzes are pretty much the definition of one-trick-ponys
 

Killing Floor

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White Elk is a very unique and recognizable fuzz that won’t sound like anyone you share a stage with. Not for everyone but I like it for an occasional.
 




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