Dist. Fuzz. OverDrive.

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by lazy912, Mar 7, 2008.

Which do you prefer?

  1. Distortion

  2. OverDrive

  3. Fuzz

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  1. lazy912

    lazy912 Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I've been playing guitar for awhile now. but still, when it comes to distortion, if you will call it that, I'm still confused. what is the difference between distortion, fuzz, and overdrive? i mean, i used them all before, but it still sounds very much similar to me. i used the big muff, which sounds like a distortion. i used a boss distortion, which sounds like a distortion. i used a visual sound overdrive, which sounds like a distortion. so if you can just fill me in, i would greatly appreciate it.

    - a confused guitarist.
  2. Merelington

    Merelington Member

    Jan 25, 2008
    I was waiting for someone to input a more technical reply but no one has yet. First off the Big Muff is more of a distortion as opposed to a fuzz so its difficult to tell. If you try other fuzz pedals they have a very distinct..well....fuzz sound to them. Overdrive is supposed to sound more like a clean amp being pushed to get a more driven/gritty sound. The distortion is a more saturated gain that isn't acheived through pushing a clean amp.
  3. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2007
    St. Louis
    The reality is that there is some gray area with some pedals. One thing you can do to sort out the differences is compare the tones to popular music....for instance:

    SRV = overdrive
    Guns N Roses = distortion
    Hendrix = fuzz (mostly)
  4. improv4

    improv4 Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    Where's the choice for combining any of the above? I use each separately and together in different combos; there just isn't a favorite.
  5. burner

    burner Member

    Dec 27, 2007
    All three have their place, especially if you play diverse styles.
    Overdrive is pretty much a must have, especially if you need your amp to sound cranked when you can't.
    With Fuzz,some love it or hate it...I love it.I like the fact that it cleans up really nice when you roll your volume back.In this regard, it is one of the most dynamic....at least a good one is.
    I don't have any use at all for distorion unless I'm playing metal.
    As someone who does play varied styles I can use all three.
  6. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

    Sep 20, 2005
    under the stars
    If you don't mind advice from an idiot, here goes...

    Partially we categorize them in two ways, 1) by the components, wher Fuzzes generally have transistors, OD often uses op-amps, dist maybe mosfet, etc. (please...I know this is incomplete and even misleading, but mainly it isn't that important is my point)) but more useful really is 2) by use and sound.

    Fuzz, to me is the widest "range" of sounds. Back off the volume and it gets super clean and that Jimi rythm thing going on...most often a fuzz has some very marked point when adjusting guitar volume where it suddenly goes from pretty clean to OD-like (but with more "fuzz") and just a slight turn of guitar vol and it is into Norman Greenbaum territory, super sustain, compressed sounding, sputtery notes.

    OD, to me, is a smaller range, much more "amp-sounding" and though guitar volume (varies by OD maker though) does affect, can be touch sensitive, and all, the guitar vol generally is more even in gradiation from cleaner to more OD'ier. Turn up the gain all the way, on a number of OD's and it might sound slightly Distortion-like but I think generally it won't be as "clear" sounding, harder to hear seperate notes, etc. Again, OD is more amplike, and chimier usually.

    Distortion, to me, is more difficult to define, and kind of overlaps into both fuzz but moreso into OD, but a distortion generally isn't going to sound as good with low gain settings, but at higher will give lots of sustain, kind of creamier sounding high-gain sounds that will be more Van Halen-ish..

    These descriptions are not definitive, or perfect, but is how I think of them.
  7. Dave

    Dave Member

    Feb 15, 2007
    What he said. ^
  8. Lolaviola

    Lolaviola Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2005
    Eastern Standard Time
    As far as my preference, I go thru phases. I always have my amp set to OD, so I like to add Dist or Fuzz.

    Think about the differences in terms of
    Sustain or Compression / versus / Cleanup or Dynamic Response.

    (As fuzzes go the Big Muff is a fuzz w/ a lot of sustain and when you turn the guitar down, it still pretty much sounds the same.)

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