View Full Version : Fuzz For a Generally non-Fuzz Guy...
04-30-2011, 06:31 PM
Ok, so for the longest time I have really hated fuzz. From the first time I heard a fuzz pedal I thought they all sounded like sludge and just wrote the entire genre off as garbage. For whatever reason after all this time I decided to take a second look at fuzz (probably being curious after all the love they seem to get on here)and started doing some research. Well maybe I didn't dig deep enough to realize all the potential applications for fuzz. I'm a bit intrigued now and may be ready to get my feet wet.
My question (I promise there is one in all this rambling) is what is a good fuzz to start with for someone who's not sure if they like fuzz or not. I'm definitely not into the oscilating fuzz or stereo-typical wall of sound fuzz. I still want something that has note definition and clarity. I do most of the lead work for the band that I'm in but still do a fair share of rhythm. Also important to note that I play all humbucker-equiped guitars.
I don't seem to have much preference (from what I can tell so far) to fuzzface vs muff vs whatever as long as it still meets my needs sonically. The two that have most caught my eye is the Fuzzhugger (fx) Algal Bloom and the Analog Alien Fuzzbubble-45. Any thoughts on those two or any other suggestions for fuzz pedals that would fit the bill? Thanks!
04-30-2011, 07:06 PM
I don't have experience with either of those, but I've been on a similar journey for a while now. I would recommend getting an analogman astrotone. It's the pedal that really opened my eyes to fuzz. I would also recommend getting something that has a good brand name, so that you can flip it if you end up not bonding with it. I've learned that lesson the hard way a couple times. I really like analogman, skreddy and monsterpiece, they're top notch.
04-30-2011, 07:07 PM
And remember to roll back the volume, that's where the magic happens
Whiskey N Beans
04-30-2011, 07:15 PM
I was going to suggest an astrodome too. Great sounding pedal. But what really sold me as a non-fuzz convert was the Sunface. It just does so much from sparkle clean to Hendrix with a twist of your guitar volume knob. To me, it gives more range and less mud through the entire sweep of the volume pot.
04-30-2011, 07:15 PM
i would also suggest a sunface, great tone and u can get silicon or germanium
04-30-2011, 07:17 PM
04-30-2011, 07:37 PM
I was the same way. I always thought it just sounded like buzzy, fizzy, loose distortion, the epitome of what you don't want to sound like in a good metal band. But it is all about feel and when you get a fuzz under your fingers, you will finally get and then you'll even want that more intense even glitchy fuzz. Anyway, I highly recommend the Black Arts Pharaoh. It is a great fuzz to get your feet wet. The Astrotone is also great but it will leave you wanting more. It's very mild and not real fuzzy and you might think that's a good think at first but it's almost a overdrive/distortion and pedals like that, to me, are for people with more fuzz experience who know exactly what they want and need it for a specific application, namely for playing at band levels where they don't want it to sound too fuzzy or too gainy. Once you realize how fun fuzz is, you might find yourself wanting "more" of a fuzz to get the full fuzzy feel and sound. Trust me, you'll be hooked. The Pharaoh is perfect because it isn't glitchy/spitty and it's smooth but it has enough gain and real fuzz feel to make it worthwhile. It can do those low gain fuzzy distortion type sounds like the Astrotone, but it can also get pretty gainy and full-on. Plus, it has germanium AND silicon modes, so it can expose you to a little bit of both flavors and it also can be dialed in to sound somewhat muddy or quite Fuzzface-y, even though it's a Muff at heart (but it's very anti-muff, the way good TS variants try to be anti-Tubescreamer). It's very versatile, priced well, will give you a variety to find your niche, and you can ask any Pharaoh owner, it is one of the best sounding fuzzes ever. I've owned a lot of fuzzes since the Pharaoh, including ones 3 times it's price and I still haven't found one better.
04-30-2011, 07:45 PM
any other suggestions for fuzz pedals that would fit the bill? Thanks!
04-30-2011, 07:49 PM
Pharaoh Fuzz! It is evil, but an articulate evil soul filled with ancient magics.
04-30-2011, 10:29 PM
If you are looking for a Muff-type fuzz, you really can't go wrong with anything from Stomp Under Foot. If you are looking for a Tone Bender-ish fuzz, I recommend the Skreddy Lunar Module or the Basic Audio Scarab. The Greer Orange Crush is also very nice...Fuzz is a dangerous & costly path to tread...have fun...BTW, I am very interested in the Pharoah Fuzz...
04-30-2011, 10:53 PM
Colorsound Tonebender, 3 Silicon transistors, TC(Thin Case) housed, from Macari's of London, $250 from Musictoyz USA. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt7wCy8BQvU
04-30-2011, 11:05 PM
I'd say give it some chance. I used to hate Big Muff tones until I got a few and worked with them on other than full sustain.
Keely Fuzz Head is a nice fuzz that leans towards overdrive. Nice ZZ top wooliness to it.
Peppermint Fuzz is a nice velcro rip with the bias knob tweaked.
You will find nice Zeplin tones from tone benders, I recommend a Skinpimp MKIII for those.
A MkII tonebender will be more early Black Sabbath
Catalinbread Merkin will give you a range of good 60s vintage sounds.
A great Fuzzrite in a small package is the Bigfootfx Speghetti Westerm Fuzz.
A Univox superfuzz has a slight octave that manafests itself as more of a slight ring modulation sound.
Some fuzz is alot closer to overdrive than you might realize.
Check out the Reeves Amps demo by GregV. What you hear is actually quite close to a fuzztone. Some early EVH has that tone not far from a fuzz face into a cranked Marshall.
04-30-2011, 11:49 PM
Try a Hoof. It flat out rocks.
05-01-2011, 12:04 AM
To the OP, even though you've already gotten more different answers than you can possibly try, you are on the right track with the Algal Bloom.
The Thickness is just right. The mids are just right. It cleans up just right. It sound just modern enough. etc. It's perfectly in the middle of everything, and it covers a ton of ground. I also feel Fuzzhugger effects, in general, are tweaked in a way to where they're ALWAYS musical and pleasing.
Tone factor has a TON of the small box Algal Blooms in stock.
Even though I love the typical wall of sound, I will never part with my Algal Bloom.
05-01-2011, 12:21 AM
As a humbucker player myself who has had a love/hate relationship with fuzz, I would strongly suggest looking over at Basic Audio. His Futureman is a fuzz/od pedal that is a great place to start if you are on the fence about fuzz; can also be a great rhythm pedal. I also think his Scarab (or Scarab Deluxe) is one of the most articulate fuzzes on the block, and it really likes humbuckers and stacking.
I love the sounds of a muff on record, but they always get too muddy or fizzy (depending on era/model/builder) with my Les Paul. Never found the right balance. That said, I have yet to try the Algal bloom, and would really like to some day. For now though, the Basic Audio Scarab is my go-to after many, many fuzz pedals.
05-01-2011, 12:31 AM
I used to be in that same position before. Nowadays, I have a Pig Mine, Sunface, Fuzz Factory, and Screwdriver Deluxe.
The Screwdriver Deluxe is more of an od, but it definitely has some fuzz characteristics. This is what I got first.
The Pig Mine is the first "muff type" pedal that I liked/found useable.
The Sunface is the one I just got. It's the silicon BC182/183 version. Great fuzz!
The Fuzz Factory is there to get me some really unique sounds. I wouldn't recommend it for a first fuzz though..
I'm looking at the Scarab Deluxe right now.
05-01-2011, 04:26 AM
Fulltone 69 is a great overdrive pedal when set right - new version coming out soon which shouldn't cost an arm and a leg - I love my old big box 69 -
05-01-2011, 07:45 PM
Thanks for all the response everyone. I've added the two Basic Audio pedals (futureman and scarab deluxe) to my list of potentials. I like the clarity in both of those and they definitely sound musical...not to mention both seem to like humbuckers. A few other suggestions I still need to do some research on. But thanks again to all those who have offered advice, especially those who have been in the same boat. Greatly appreciated.
05-01-2011, 08:06 PM
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