Does this fuzz exist?

mcgraham

Member
Messages
342
Appealling to all knowledgable fuzz nerds - I'm looking for a fuzz that:
1. cleans up really well from raging high gain to almost totally clean with volume knob (my guitars have treble bleed on them);
2. long sustain (think high gain amp long sustain, not just one or two seconds);
3. some kind of control to help it cut through the mix, e.g. mids or brightness control or the like; AND
4. elicits octave up tones when above the 12th fret on the neck pickup, but otherwise does not introduce octave tones.

I've had the ZVex Mastotron which did the clean up, but not any of the others. I moved to the Screwdriver which gets 1-3, but I'd prefer a touch more gain to be available.

Is there something that would get all of the above?
 

champion ruby

Member
Messages
1,806
The Fulltone octafuzz or the Elite Tone Fillmore Thunder? Both do what you ask and operate great as a standalone fuzz, as for cutting through the fulltone is better but neither have mids control. The Fulltone Ultimate Octave might be what you want too, it has a bright/fat switch and is more distortion like.
 

wundergussy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,527
The Fulltone Ultimate Octave might be what you want too, it has a bright/fat switch and is more distortion like.
This was my first thought too. Maybe an HBE UFO? If you want the ability for octave up sounds but not all the time, maybe a fuzz with a switchable octave sound would be best. You can find both the Fulltone and HBE for relatively cheap prices on the used market.
 

mcgraham

Member
Messages
342
Thanks guys, all helpful answers. Wichita, thanks also for mentioning your product - I'll check out the clips shortly.

While something with a switchable octave is clearly a good option (e.g. Fulltone Ultimate Octave, HBE UFO, Hartman 8va), I'm very much a 'control everything from the guitar' type guy. As such, I'm interested to know if there's anything that does the above without touching footpedals, so that I could control fuzz, drive level, and whether octave tones are present or not all from the guitar. Does that make sense? I hope so.

To explain my approach briefly, the Mastotron (which I understand is fundamentally a heavy silicon fuzz face in design) introduced me to how suited fuzzes are to using volume and tone knobs to control everything, particularly fuzz faces. I've since moved onto the Screwdriver (which I understand is also based on a fuzz face, but tightly controlled and with a treble booster at the input), the design of which improves on the tone and also alleviates a few of the preferential issues I had with the Mastotron. This allows me to get every level of drive and tone from the guitar's controls without using footswitches.
 

imguitardan

Member
Messages
3,958
[/QUOTE]
- I'm looking for a fuzz that:
1. cleans up really well from raging high gain to almost totally clean with volume knob (my guitars have treble bleed on them);
Skinpimp Skinbender MKII (three knob version) cleans up better than many fuzz faces yet has the sustain of a MKII
2. long sustain (think high gain amp long sustain, not just one or two seconds);
Same recommendation as above
3. some kind of control to help it cut through the mix, e.g. mids or brightness control or the like;
This is a tough one - maybe look into the Basic Audio Futureman
AND
4. elicits octave up tones when above the 12th fret on the neck pickup, but otherwise does not introduce octave tones.
I think the Futureman can do this too (though a Superfuzz does it in spades (however, it DOESN'T do options 1 & 2)).

I've had the ZVex Mastotron which did the clean up, but not any of the others. I moved to the Screwdriver which gets 1-3, but I'd prefer a touch more gain to be available.

Is there something that would get all of the above?[/QUOTE]

Here's the issue. Not many fuzzes are going to have all four categories above covered. As you can see, I recommended the Skinpimp MKII Skinbender (the old three knob version). I have one and the clean up and tonal options are AMAZING. Clean's up like a Fuzz Face, barks like a Tone Bender.

However, Tone Benders don't have an octave vibe like the Superfuzz which is a killer pedal but doesn't really clean up, it just gets less wooly.

The Basic Audio Futureman can do damn near anything so I'd look into that one (especially, it's got a TON of output volume, tweakable EQ (read treble boost), cleans up well at most settings, and (I think - if memory serves me) it can do the octave thing your looking for.




Superfuzz:
 
Last edited:

scr@tchy

Member
Messages
3,912
bumping out of interest.

One thing to watch out for is that a lot of fuzz pedals will add higher freqs when you turn down your guitar and with a treble bleed it may be too much brightness.

Also, that Retro Channel fuzz is pretty great sounding but the clip on the main product page really shows it's clean up better. How low was the guitar's volume in that clip?
 

mcgraham

Member
Messages
342
Thanks for the detailed input dan, very much appreciated. I can't watch the vids right now but will do later.

I'm getting the picture that there isn't any one pedal on the market that does all of the above. Do any circuit-knowledgeable types know whether this is because the respective circuits that do great clean up and the circuits that do octave tones on the neck pickup are mutually exclusive by virtue of their design, or whether this is just because there's no market for such a product?
 

mcgraham

Member
Messages
342
Oh and scratchy, I hear you on the potential treble bleed issue. TBH I've not found that to be a problem yet, the Mastotron was so woolly at the top end of the gain settings that the treble bleed really made the whole thing work, and the Screwdriver also benefitted from it (tends to get too dark with volume knob roll off on guitars with no treble bleed).
 

imguitardan

Member
Messages
3,958
bumping out of interest.

One thing to watch out for is that a lot of fuzz pedals will add higher freqs when you turn down your guitar and with a treble bleed it may be too much brightness.
Good point. With a classic Fuzz Face you may find it WAY too bright.
 

imguitardan

Member
Messages
3,958
Thanks for the detailed input dan, very much appreciated. I can't watch the vids right now but will do later.

I'm getting the picture that there isn't any one pedal on the market that does all of the above. Do any circuit-knowledgeable types know whether this is because the respective circuits that do great clean up and the circuits that do octave tones on the neck pickup are mutually exclusive by virtue of their design, or whether this is just because there's no market for such a product?
I'm not a circuit wizard but I have played a lot of fuzz. Generally octave pedals like what you've described (Superfuzz) need a lot of gain to generate the octave as it's not a true octave pedal. A fox Tone Machine or Fender Blender have foot switchable octave and so can have less gain and may clean up better (but that's not what you were looking for, right?).

In order to have the good clean-up (I believe) a lower gain pedal is what you'd want (Fuzz Faces are a perfect example...roll the gain back on the pedal just a tad and it's a wimpy muddy mess - but with gain maxed and the guitar's volume movement, you get a lot of dynamics. I believe that's because when you roll your guitar volume down, you're actually changing the capacitance of the circuit which lowers the gain and add the high end sparkle.)) I could be wrong though. That's just what I understand.
 

mcgraham

Member
Messages
342
Update: popped into a local boutique dealer and tried the Fulltone Ultimate Octave, Octafuzz, and VL Proctavia. Also tried the Fulltone 70 and VL Superfuzz.

In relation to the octave pedals, the Ultimate octave was the best of the lot - the fuzz was great and really cut through by itself and the octave was exactly what you'd want from an octave. The Proctavia was a bit of a disappointment, very thin and odd-envelope effects that wasn't what I was after. The Octafuzz was a decent fuzz, but not footswitchable to get the octave, and certainly not as good as the UO. In the end I wasn't happy with any of them and so left without any of them.

In relation to straight fuzz pedals, I was hoping the mids knob on the 70 would help it to cut through, but in the end it was still too woofy. The VL Superfuzz was too dark and grungy for my tastes. Got home and played my Screwdriver (settings are just above unity volume, gain and sharpness and pre-gain dimed, and tone at 9/10 oclock - humbucker and single coil guitars going through it) and none of them come close to it. Just has this added cutting jangly brightness and harmonic overtone content that other fuzzes lack.

Does anyone know if the Lunar Module has that similar sound but with added gain?
 

BuckeyeBrown

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
742
I had a custom Trombetta Mini Bone/Trombetta and I've got to say that I was shocked at how well if cleaned up. Exceptional cleanup - even if it was just a Fuzz Face, but to have octave fuzz and be able to go beyond that to the horn sound and then be able to come back down is quiet an impressive feat. Kudo's to Paul.
 

mcgraham

Member
Messages
342
That retrochannel is excellent. I'm particularly pleased that it doesn't sound too woofy even with a LP. I may have to take a punt on one (based in the UK), but then it's not too expensive.
 




Trending Topics

Top