Subtle Fuzz Pedal Without Guitar Volume Roll-off

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by rossvanuatu, May 14, 2021.

  1. rossvanuatu

    rossvanuatu TDPRI Member

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    Hi,

    I was just wondering if anyone could recommend a fuzz pedal that can be adjusted to sound somewhat clean (almost OD-like) without rolling back the volume on the guitar?

    I understand that it is fairly common practise to roll back the guitar volume knob to achieve cleanup, and many of the pros have done this for decades, but I’m not a pro and the volume we practise at versus perform at is always changing, and I struggle to find the sweet spot especially when playing live. Prefer to just leave it on 10.

    I’m hoping there are some modern pedals that might be less dependent on the volume roll-off technique, that may have a wet dry blend or something to achieve more versatility.

    Pedals that I’ve tried that don’t really achieve the above:

    -Catalinbread Fuzzrite
    -Analogman Peppermint Fuzz
    -Zvex Fuzz Factory
    -EHX Green Russian Big Muff Reissue

    Cheers!
     
  2. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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  3. RadioFM74

    RadioFM74 Friend of Leo's

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    I’ve only ever had a fuzz face, so can’t speak to other designs - but AFAIK the fuzz face is the only one giving you that “clean dirty” you’re after.

    The short answer from my experience is “no”
    - that particular clean-ish, trebly sound is distinctively fuzz face BUT
    - if you put the fuzz face at lower settings and guitar on ten you don’t get that - you get a weird woolly tone. To get that, it’s a low-output guitar at mid volume with fuzz at max (Gilmore) or slightly backed off (Hendrix) (and volume at unity in “cleanup mode”).

    The difficulty you mention is perhaps less than you think (and I was also a “volume on 10” guy before getting the pedal last December)
    - using the volume control becomes second nature after awhile
    - In “cleanup” mode you’re less loud than at full tilt but not by a lot and a mild OD pedal downstream can act as your limiter (+ makes you sound better unless you’re into a cranked amp - in which case no need!)

    A humble Dunlop Hendrix FF, used, does not cost a lot, mini or regular. I’d say give it a try!
     
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  4. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    Yeah that would be useful for a fuzz pedal. You’d want a 3 knob pedal to do it right… an input level to fine tune the signal hitting the front of the pedal circuit, an output level to allow setting the final volume such that it’s about the same with pedal on or bypassed, and the usual fuzz control knob.
     
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  5. Lies&Distortion

    Lies&Distortion Tele-Afflicted

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    Follow it with mild compression, to even out the volume?
    But I never like how that feels.
     
  6. dlaroe

    dlaroe Tele-Meister

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    Those fuzzes you've tried are all pretty wild.

    The Sunface has a CLEAN trimpot or knob as an option that supposedly does what you want. So do several DIY designs if you want to build one.
     
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  7. JesterR

    JesterR Tele-Afflicted

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    Maybe you just need some "Tweed" type of OD which tends to sound a bit like a fuzz/overdrive. Way Huge Red Llama etc.
    Also, as I understand, AM Astrotone or other clones of the same scheme can be mild.
     
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  8. VintageSG

    VintageSG Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    Go cheap.
    The Rowin LEF-606 is a three knob fuzz that can do mild to wild and all points in between. If you want to, you can roll the guitar volume on and off to control it, or, you can set and forget. The three knobs are fuzzy-goodness, tone and level. It's doable. It doesn't sound as good as using the guitar to control it, but as a compromise, it'll pass muster.
    The Behringer Ultra Fuzz. Aside from everything being Ultra, there's some mileage in the Behringer plastic pedals.
    Any Danelectro fuzz. Owning one for squits and giggles is a plan anyway.

    Swerve time.

    The Danelectro FAB distortion may give the sound you want. Tone up, distortion up, level down and there's some velvet in there.
     
  9. Treynor

    Treynor Tele-Holic

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    The Keeley Fuzz Head does this pretty well.
     
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  10. gimmeatele

    gimmeatele Tele-Afflicted

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    I have just bought the fender pelt fuzz pedal, have a look at YouTube see if this is what you mean, I really like it as it is a very subtle fuzz
     
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  11. allesz

    allesz Tele-Holic

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    Some fuzz face clones have a pre gain knob: actually a guitar volume insider the pedal, so when you turn It on Is like turning on the effect AND rolling down the Guitar volume.

    Of the Classic fuzz circuits the one that works like this, without mods, Is the Jordan bosstone: the gain/fuzz control Is actually an input variable resistance that works Just like your guitar volume knob.
     
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  12. fozhebert

    fozhebert Tele-Meister

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    Why not use the rolled back sound of a fuzz followed by a clean boost to raise the volume to what you need?
     
  13. JoeNeri

    JoeNeri Friend of Leo's

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    Bosstone clone.
     
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  14. rossvanuatu

    rossvanuatu TDPRI Member

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    Kicking myself for buying the Peppermint Fuzz as my first Analogman purchase, amazing pedal but it sounds like I should have gone with the Sunface.
     
  15. rossvanuatu

    rossvanuatu TDPRI Member

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    I’ve been using this technique a bit with an Earthquaker Arrows, works quite well. Tried using a Signal Pad in front of the fuzz too, but it saps a a bit of tone.
     
  16. cousinpaul

    cousinpaul Friend of Leo's

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    The discontinued Boss FZ-3 would probably work for for you. It's got a more gradual ramp up to full gain than the on/off thing you sometimes experience with classic fuzz pedals. A Colorsound Overdriver might also be a good call. One more... a Boss BD-2 will do the polite fuzz thing at high gain settings.
     
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