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A Fuzz Pedal for Moi?

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(@clazon)
Honorable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 502
Topic starter  

As I recently posted in another thread, I'm really into my 60s and 70s sounds and fuzz guitar plays a big part in that.

I know that the Arbiter Fuzz Face and so on were very popular with many of the artists I like, but having watched demo videos online (I have to say this is the only experience I have of modern fuzz pedals) they all sound far too clean?

I'm pretty shy about going into a store and playing infront of people who I know are much better than me, but this time, with my doubts over modern fuzz tones, I would atleast want to play with some overdrive (like my SD-1) as well, because I imagine that's how I'll use it most- which would obviously take a while setting up and draw some attention.

So here's the big question. Is it all me being a bit silly, or are they really too clean (ie. hardly affect the sound) compared to the originals?

What would be helpful is if any of you out there who have a fuzz pedal put up a short clip of hopw it sounds (If you're a bit shy like me and don't want to give your talents away- it could always just be a few plain notes/slides and bends that don't necessarily link together, so I can hear how it sounds. :))

Otherwise, some recommendations? The Boss Fuzz FZ-5 (£87)? The current Arbiter Fuzz Face (at £99)?

I think I'm going to get either one of these, or an EHx Tube Zipper as a joint Christmas/Birthday present for myself- both in December. :D

"Today is what it means to be young..."

(Radiohead, RHCP, Jimi Hendrix - the big 3)


   
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(@progressions)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 320
 

I haven't tried it with overdrive (a Tube Screamer or something similar is next on my list), but I have the Big Muff Pi and it's anything but too clean. It's a beautiful, creamy fuzz that gives a good crunch to power chords and makes lead lines ring out. It would be worth sampling one of those if you can.

Isaac

Isaac Priestley: World Racketeering Squad
http://www.progressions.org/
http://www.youtube.com/worldracketeer


   
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(@Anonymous)
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I'm not a fuzz expert but a lot of fuzz boxes don't emulate the old school fuzz.

I've heard good things about the Fulltone 69 but the best fuzz I've heard is the Lola Fuzz, built by retroman. There are some soundclips on his webpage if you want to check it out. Of course it's a boutique pedal so it's expensive :shock:


   
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(@clazon)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 502
Topic starter  

I just checked out a forum after typing in "retroman lola fuzz" into Google, and they all seemed to know what they were talkign about, when it comes to fuzz, and they all said that newer fuzz pedals ARE a lot softer than old school pedals!

So I feel redeemed. Although it doesn't help me much, unless I want to dish money out twice ad get it modded.

"Today is what it means to be young..."

(Radiohead, RHCP, Jimi Hendrix - the big 3)


   
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(@kevin72790)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 837
 

Fulltone '69 or '70 are probably the best fuzz out there but they're verrrrry expensive. Stay away from the remade Dallas Arbiter Fuzz. It's very muddy, sounds gross IMO and ruins your tone.

I bought the Dunlop JH2S. It really nails the Hendrix Are You Experienced? fuzz tone. Obviously my playing isn't "there" yet...but it sure is great, and it's fun to mold your sound around with it. It's probably so great because it uses PNP Germanium transistors (just like the Fulltone fuzz). Most modern fuzzes use silicon transistors which aren't the same at all.

Note- your best bet at finding the JH2S is ebay...it was discontinued by Dunlop because of horrible sales, most people by the Arbiter. Sadly, the JH2S is a much better pedal.


   
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(@stratman_el84)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 141
 

If you'd like a little background on the Dallas Arbiter Fuzzface and the differences as compared to some of the reissues, there's a great article here:

http://www.theguitarfiles.com/guitarfile503.html

One thing I've tried that gives very good '60s fuzz-tone results and doesn't cost a mint, is using an MXR Dyna-Comp (just my personal choice..many pedals that provide a clean-boosted signal can work here) to drive one of Webers' "Texas Cattledrive" pedal kits, which is a Dallas Arbiter Rangemaster clone. The kit is *very* simple to build, only one transistor (germanium) and also gives you some hints on specific resistor values to play with to get optimum results for your tastes. Plus, it's only $30 with the metal stomp-box enclosure.

https://taweber.powweb.com/store/kits_weber.htm#texas

The Texas Cattledrive/Rangemaster has one germanium transistor as opposed to the original D/A Fuzzfaces' two germanium transistors, but I've found that if you drive the input with a clean-boosted signal, the results are very similar, depending on the resistor values you choose in the Texas Cattledrive which mainly affect the ratio of clean boost/distortion. If you'd ever thought of playing around with modding a pedal, the Texas Cattledrive is an excellent choice as it's very simple and can teach one a lot about what changes to different components in a transistor circuit do sonically. If anyone decides to try one of these, the only place you should exercise some care (other than not putting polarity-marked parts in backwards :lol: ) is to not overheat the germanium transistor with your soldering iron.

Cheers!

Strat


   
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(@clazon)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 502
Topic starter  

I bought a fuzz pedal today, and whilst I seriously considered (and tried out) the dunlop JH-2S, I eventually went for a boutique pedal which was second hand and cost £135. I'm so happy with the sound it produces, just what i wanted. I'll need to put up some recordings in the jams and collabs section sometime!

"Today is what it means to be young..."

(Radiohead, RHCP, Jimi Hendrix - the big 3)


   
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(@scrtchy)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 106
 

This is a little late, and if you are aware of this info then sorry for being redundent. Hendrix's sound wasn't just the pedal, it was the pedal mixing with distortion from the amp due to the pedal overdriving the input and the tube amp being turned way way up, this is the way most of the great fuzz sounds you have heard are created... as opposed to distortion pedals that you can plug into a clean solid state amp and get a usable sound from. A Diaz Texas Squareface fuzz is all I use but I would hate the sound of it through a completely clean amp. I set my fuzz with both fuzz and volume full up and I put it through a tube amp that is turned up to the point where if I hit it hard it starts to distort a little. Then when the pedal is turned on I can use the volume knob on my guitar to go from completely clean to a fuzzed out sound that is like Manic Depression or Foxey Lady... I just leave the pedal on all night and adjust my guitar's volume to whatever the amount of distortion it is I need, only when I get to 9 or 10 on my guitar's volume does it turn in to that bloated fuzz sound.

Go here: http://www.daughtersandsons.net

And listen to "God's of almost", the clean intro solo with the pedal on and guitar volume is on about 2 1/2, then the solo at the end solo is with the guitar volume about 7. Both have a small stone phaser on them. The song "Walking Cane" is also with the fuzz on the whole time as well but I don't venture past 4-5 on my guitar volume. They are really the most versatile pedal I have ever encountered, I can even get real close to the same results with a solid state amp by setting the amp for very very light distortion and running the pedal and my guitar as stated above.

http://www.daughtersandsons.net -Cincinnati CEA Award winners for best original RnB/Funk band! (Bragging is in the user manual and encouraged)(Hi Mom)


   
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(@clazon)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 502
Topic starter  

It's a fair point.

I tend to play with crystal clean amps that I have a Boss SD-1 SuperOverdrive dirty up. The fuzz on it's own sounds just like a nice strong distortion that creates a nice lead sound, but with the SD-1 on as well, it can get very fuzzy.

As for the stuff on your page, I really like where the influences come from. I can hear Hendrix, Sly(more than Funkadelic), Santana and a bit of early Chili Peppers.

"Today is what it means to be young..."

(Radiohead, RHCP, Jimi Hendrix - the big 3)


   
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(@scrtchy)
Estimable Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 106
 

Hey thanks man! You got me nailed too, Sly and Hendrix I have listened to an awful lot!

Concerning Fuzzes and solidstate amps, I was getting ready to try and build a mini amp using a 12ax7 tube as an output tube in an attempt to have something that would allow me to get my thing on through a clean amp. For high wattage tube amps i just us an attenuator to get it where I need it. Working the guitar's volume knob is mostly important to me so I don't have to look down to turn off distortion after a solo on my way to the mic to sing. I had alot of microphone grill imprints on my forehead before that. Also so I can swell distortion into notes which feels pretty good.

I don't think you mentioned which fuzz you bought and you know the suspence is killing me! Guitar players are messed up, I love reading about what other people bought when I can't afford anything! Now I am going to go pray to the gear gods.

http://www.daughtersandsons.net -Cincinnati CEA Award winners for best original RnB/Funk band! (Bragging is in the user manual and encouraged)(Hi Mom)


   
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(@clazon)
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Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 502
Topic starter  

Ah! Well in the end, having tried out a few pedals, I went with a MG Fuzzyland Boutique pedal.

It cost £145 but I could only cough up £137- luckily I could still take it home for that!

It really is just what I'm lookign for, because I now finally feel like I'm getting where I wanted to be. For the first time last night I plugged in my whole chain and ran through a few things with each:

Guitar (3 single coils)->
Boss SD1->
Danelec F+C EQ->
Boss DS2->
Dunlop wahwah->
MG Fuzzyland->
Boss DD3->
Boss HR2 Harmonist->
Alesis Microverb->
(since breaking my other practice amp) Park G12 Amp

I balanced them all up tone and volume wise, before trying a bit of everything out.

The SD1 is my great little breaker upper. The Eq is still just as important as ever. The DS2 gives me a cleaner distortion that is good for shredding the strings and using with the wah. I found out I was better at using the wah than I was before. The fuzz has a thicker sound whilst being versatile with other pedals. I still need to improve my delay pedal skills. And the harmoniser works well as my little octave pedal.

I think I'll go play now...

Recordings, EH Tube Zipper and MXR Compressor to come in the forseeable future!

"Today is what it means to be young..."

(Radiohead, RHCP, Jimi Hendrix - the big 3)


   
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