1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

What is your favorite fuzz?

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by Collin D Plonker, Aug 27, 2020.

  1. mictester

    mictester TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    24
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2017
    Location:
    East Anglia, UK
    Fuzz is pretty much the most alien sound that you can get from your guitar. "Overdrive" and "Distortion" effects still contain some vestige of the original guitar sound (if they're any good!), but fuzz mutates your guitar sound completely. Fuzz is generally over-complicated by the boutique clowns. The Fuzz Face is just a wrongly constructed microphone preamplifier circuit with too much gain, so that the amplified signal "hits the rail" and takes the transistors out of their linear comfort zone!

    It's great fun to experiment with Fuzz circuits. You can really annoy your family and neighbours with the raucous racket coming from your workshop / practice room / garage or basement! My favourite Fuzz is one of my own devising. It's largely based on a Macari's (Solasound) 1970s silicon Tonebender. A friend of mine had this Macari's effort in a big case, and it sounded dreadful. It was probably a "Friday Afternoon" job (after the lunchtime in the pub) because it had several obviously wrong component values, and he asked me if I could make it "sound right". An hour later, I'd not only corrected his Tonebender into something better than just useable, I'd also jotted down and begun to modify the original circuit. I changed the tone control into something much more useable, changed the two-transistor "fuzz engine" part of the circuit for a better range of effects, modified the input preamplifier to give a little bit of useful tone shaping, and modified the output stage for a bit more gain to kick the input of my AC30 a bit harder (if I wanted to).

    I built a couple of these, to see that the circuit was reproducible, and boxed them up in small diecast boxes with PP3 batteries inside them. I used low noise transistors (BC109C in one of them and ZTX384W in the other) so they didn't hiss. They still sound phenomenal more than 35 years later! Over the years I've built hundreds of them. I've incorporated a few little improvements like relay bypass to minimise the risk of clicks and pops due to wearing footswitches, and LED indication of operation (though it's pretty clear when the effect is engaged!). I also made a "super high gain" version of the circuit that has seen service with some serious shredders. The latest variant has a mode switch for normal / high gain. There's also a version with internal controls only, so that all that's on the outside of the case is the footswitch and the jacks - some players like the "set and forget" simplicity of that approach (Gilmour used to snip the knobs and spindles off the pots on his Tonebenders to prevent anyone twiddling the settings away from the magic spot!).

    In answer to the original question about which is the "best" Fuzz..... It's the one that you get on with! It's the one that gives you the sounds that you want. It can be as simple as a Fuzz Face with two controls and less than fifteen parts, or as complicated as a Fender Blender or a Univox Super Fuzz. The Vex "Fuzz Factory" is just a modified germanium Fuzz Face with a silicon preamp transistor and extra controls - some people think that's it's the canine's gonads, but it doesn't do much for me..... All you can do is try a few out until you find the one that you like. One word of warning though - it's easy to become addicted to the various varieties of Fuzz device - each of them has their own quirks, unique sounds and "feel". I know some folks who've become completely obsessed with getting different Fuzz Boxes - one pro player i know has six or seven on his pedalboard at any time!
     
    TokyoPortrait likes this.
  2. Bill Ashton

    Bill Ashton Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,117
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2003
    Location:
    Central Massachusetts
    Back in the late 60's I built a Heathkit Fuzz that sounded fantastic (could really simulate Clapton's "Woman Tone"), however it did not have very much gain at all. The cast housing was a better weapon if needed than a venerable EV664 ;)
     
    Collin D Plonker likes this.
  3. willholt92

    willholt92 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    28
    Posts:
    199
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Sheffield UK
    For my Strat
    [​IMG]

    For my LP, Tele, GS1, SG

    [​IMG]
     
    Sean Spears likes this.
  4. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,342
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2015
    Location:
    TooFarFromCanada
    Peach.

    Nectarine, 2nd.
     
  5. Muadzin

    Muadzin TDPRI Member

    Age:
    52
    Posts:
    99
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2019
    Location:
    Netherlands
    I've really come to like the Big Muff. When I built DIY pedals I must have built every version that had a schematic on Kitrae's site. I still think the all ceramic Triangle and the Violet Rams where the best versions by EHX, but the Skreddy Muffs are the best. Really loved a Mayonaise III clone for rhythm and a P19 clone for leads. But all Muffs need to have a mids switch. Because they really the difference between where the f*** am I in a mix and ah, there I am. And its an easy mod, solder a wire to the collector of the 3rd transistor, wire to a middle log of a on/off/on DPDT switch, wire the other middle lug to lug 3 of the tone pot. Solder a 10n capacitor to the two bottom lugs of the switch, 4n7 to the top lugs. You will standard scooped Muff sound in the center, flip it down and you will add the 4n7 cap to the signal path and it will you give you flat mids, flip it up and the 10n cap will boost your mids. Usually the flat mids setting is enough to re-appear into a band mix again.

    Another fuzz I really like is the Skreddy Lunar Module. Especially because this is a fuzz that plays nice when you put a buffer in front of it. And if you want a fuzz that sounds like crap, and sometimes we want that, its the charm of some fuzzes, any Devi Ever fuzz will do, as they all tend to sound like crap in a good way. And also a very interesting design philosophy. Take a few standard components, throw them into the air and solder them where they land and a new fuzz gets born. Flip a transistor, a new fuzz pedal is also born. It's so simple I kinda like it.
     
  6. Yuro

    Yuro Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    107
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2013
    Location:
    Chicago Far West
    I like sustain but not really saturated fuzz... For me, it's Joyo AC Tone. $39.00 new on eBay. It has Treble Bass Middle and they all work. Has a dial to accentuate frequencies and another for amount of gain and another for overall volume. It's just very touch sensitive and works with guitar volume well. Put a Keely compressor and a Java boost in front of it and a Roland Space Echo pedal between it and your amp. Tweek so it sound great at half guitar volume, then you really don't need to touch pedals anymore. All the sounds you could want.
     
  7. Chuckboy

    Chuckboy Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    101
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2012
    Location:
    Jeddo
    No pedals. Guitar + cord + amp. OK, maybe a tuner, but I take it off.
     
  8. 0utputXfmr

    0utputXfmr Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    196
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2018
    Location:
    York, Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the lead on the Keely Fuzz Bender-- I happen to believe that *all* germanium-based circuits should have a Bias control as mandatory.

    As for me? I'm in love with my EHX BMP with Tone Wicker! I like the ability to go "full-throttle" by bypassing the tone control. The tone wicker switch also adds a gnarly "raspy" character that I find works pretty well for grunge-inspired stuff!

    [​IMG]

    Next on my list is the Black Spiral Fuzz, by Spiral Electric FX, designed by Tom Cram, former head of DOD at Digitech. Think of it as an evolution of the DOD "Carcosa":

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Old Plank

    Old Plank Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    1,493
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2017
    Location:
    Maine USA
    I've only ever had one fuzz, the Fulltone '70 which emulates a same-era Fuzzface. With two mismatched silicon transistors it's pretty nasty and buzzy; really great for when that's intended but I've not had much luck yet dialing in anything usable that's scaled back even a hair below '10'. I'd like to complement it with a smoother creamier fuzz pedal.

    Edit: meant to add, it's built like tank
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
  10. decibel

    decibel Tele-Meister

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    124
    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2018
    Location:
    California
    Funny. The BYOC muff is the best fuzz I've played. Sounds great, and the mid boost is invaluable in live settings. Building a second one/backup as we speak.
     
  11. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,488
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2020
    Location:
    Delaware
    So you're saying someone already modded the bender, or were the components "wrong" in your judgement?
     
  12. Tweeker

    Tweeker TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    54
    Joined:
    May 9, 2003
    Location:
    Glens Falls NY
    IMG_7148.jpeg
    Inferno Fuzz. Don't be jealous.
     
  13. dajmacd

    dajmacd TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    15
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2017
    Location:
    Tennessee River Valley
    BYOC Large Beaver Triangle circuit.
     
  14. Bortyeast

    Bortyeast Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    782
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    Location:
    Televille
    The one that stays on my board is a Devistortion.
     
  15. Daddy Hojo

    Daddy Hojo Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,191
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I usually dig a Bass Big Muff, but lately I’ve been digging a fuzzrite kit I built. It stacks pretty nicely with other fuzzes.
     
    drmordo and Collin D Plonker like this.
  16. Kevin Emmons

    Kevin Emmons TDPRI Member

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    17
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2017
    Location:
    Buxton, Maine
    I have a Deep Trip BOG (reference to Band of Gypsies). I think it is extraordinary. I love the Bias control on it. This is a beautiful natural sounding pedal with a wide range of tones.

     
    igor5 likes this.
  17. dcm0

    dcm0 TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    21
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    20200901_140621_mfnr.jpg This little monster right here is Devi Ever's Noise Floor SM.

    The knob is output level. Both switches off, it is a severely compressed, gated silicon fuzz, gain controllable with your guitar's vol. knob. Throw one switch, it expands sonically, and decays into self oscillation, a feedback-y fingernails on chalkboard sound which is tunable by adjusting the bottom quarter of your volume range, and can be played thusly. Absolutely beautiful. Reverse the two switches, and it becomes impossibly trebly, great for a funk rhythm guitar with a terminal case of rabies sound. Throw both switches, it sounds broken, screechy, and only passes extremely aggressive signal peaks. Which turns out to be way more useful than it might seem, if you like noise. Relentlessly picks up AM radio in exposed environments, with an odd penchant for Christian stations. This is amplifiable or defeatable by turning your guitar, and hence the p'up's polarity 90° +/-.

    I wouldn't part with it for less than $1M. Even that I'd have to think on.

    I think she's outta business, but if you search, they're out there. Sold new for $99 ten years ago. Get the one with the red knob.

    P.S. I also love my Rat.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
  18. Sean Spears

    Sean Spears TDPRI Member Vendor Member

    Age:
    37
    Posts:
    29
    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2020
    Location:
    Edmond, OK
    Thanks for all the love folks, also there is a wall of killer fuzzes dropped on this thread!!
     
  19. RobSzat

    RobSzat TDPRI Member

    Age:
    40
    Posts:
    20
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    Location:
    Brigantine
    5C71EB95-098D-44D5-BEA4-9CF0400F771E.jpeg

    It’s a very slippery slope!

    My favorite is the smallsoundbigsound Buzz. It’s an octave fuzz with the octave switchable or turned off and the second switch is a boost. Starve knob emulates a dying battery, the small switches all have a big impact on sound. The fuzz side of the Keely Dark Side is a pretty straight up big muff. The middle two are my quest for Billy Gibbons tone, the kilt goes from crunchy drive to sputtering fuzz with a remote switch and the Eq/OctoFuzz is just plain cool.

    Just get one, then another, and keep going!
     
  20. zumajim

    zumajim TDPRI Member

    Age:
    62
    Posts:
    10
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2020
    Location:
    Malibu, California
    What, no love for the Electro Harmonix Big Muff Pi? In my case, the Nano which saves a lot of board space.
     
    Collin D Plonker likes this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.