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FUZZ Experts help me

Funky54

Member
Messages
4,835
Hi all, I have a Vintage (non master volume) AC30 and I play Les Pauls with low output pups. I play at lower volumes with drums and bass. I set the amps (stereo rig, DRRI but only modulation and not dirt side) clean and use pedals for color. (DLS, Butah, Hot Cake) I play Rock only, Thin Lizzy Mick Ronson, Badfinger, Foo, Strokes, Weezer you get the idea.

I need a fuzz (dont we all) without changing my amp (like 3) or guitar volume (6-7) what Fuzz would you start with?

I like clips of the MK-1 sounds, but its expensive and I dont know if that would work. I sort of like the Fulltone 69 too.

Should I go for fuzz face, Muffs, or Tone Bender types with my circumstances?
 

bahklava

Senior Member
Messages
534
Based on the fact that you're playing Les Pauls, I'm assuming you have a pair of humbuckers (correct me if I'm wrong). I've never tried it myself, but have been told by several pro guitarists that Fuzz Face-type pedals tend not to take too well to humbuckers. Myself, I have a few different Muffs/Muff clones (Tone Wicker Muff, Bass Muff, Swollen Pickle), and they all go great with my Epi LP. The Muff is generally the smoothest-sounding fuzz to my ear.

If you think you want a Muff-type pedal, but you aren't sure exactly which one or what sound you want, I'd recommend the Swollen Pickle, as it's the most diverse, most malleable Muff-type fuzz I know - you have the normal volume, gain, and "filter" (tone) knobs, plus a mid scoop control, a knob to control the amount of compression, and a couple internal trim pots that change the character of the distortion and the tonal voicing.

If you aren't sold on a Muff-type fuzz, but still like the idea of something that will let you experiment, check out the MI Audio GI Fuzz. You can get pretty much any fuzz sound you want from that.

Shorthand takeaway: take your pickups into mind, and you might want something that's versatile.
 

Funky54

Member
Messages
4,835
I really appreciate your thoughts. I guess the volume of my amps and guitar are the real issue. Most using Fuzz I assume use it to push over an amp already close to break up. I cant use that approach any more. Gigs are too small and too quiet. Do any of the Fuzz types play well to clean amps?

I know I usually prefer the smooth mellow germanium ones when listening to clips, but I have no idea what volumes they are playing at to get those recorded sounds??? I know how Ronson and Page used theirs..thats the sounds I like, but I know I cant play at those volumes and get gigs.
 

bahklava

Senior Member
Messages
534
Bear in mind that I'm using a pretty cheap, old Peavey transistor amp - I really like this amp, but it's probably not like what most people on this site are using. I gravitate towards transistor amps because I like to keep the amp on a clean setting at all times, and I get all my distortion from my fuzz pedal. (I do prefer tube amps when I'm not using a fuzz pedal, though).

Anyway, to answer your question, hell YES do fuzz pedals sound good when playing into a clean amp! The Fuzz Face is generally used to do what you're talking about - pushing a somewhat dirty amp into full-on breakout. If I want a pedal that gets that fuzz tone without having to crank the amp up, though, I'd definitely go for a Big Muff or one of its clones.

That being said, if you're interesting in also picking up an overdrive pedal to feed into your fuzz pedal, that opens up your options as well, and you might also want to take a look at the combo overdrive + fuzz pedals out there (Pigtronix has one).
 

bahklava

Senior Member
Messages
534
If you're into the Jimmy Page fuzz tone, though, I'd go for a Fulltone Soulbender (based on the Tone Bender) placed after some sort of overdrive pedal.
 

Funky54

Member
Messages
4,835
I would say I play much darker then Jimmy. I like his tone for his songs though. Maybe a Muff is what I need.
 

bahklava

Senior Member
Messages
534
Personally, I'm partial to the Tone Wicker Muff model, but that's good for a brighter sound...if it's a darker sound you're after, you might want to check out the EHX Bass Big Muff (I LOVE it on guitar), or see if you can get a used Russian Muff (Guitar Center has a few used going for a reasonable price). The Swollen Pickle will get you that darker sound, too, while still giving you the flexibility to experiment with other sounds.

Wren & Cuff is also worth checking out for some fantastic Muff clones.

Of course, there's always the standard Big Muff...I've tended to stay away from that model, though, because I don't like the way it forces the mid scoop on you. One thing I like about the Pickle is that you can get the mid scoop if you want it, or you can adjust the pedal to bring the mids back into the mix. I've also found that every other Muff/Muff clone is more chord-friendly than the standard Big Muff.
 

cubistguitar

Member
Messages
5,907
My PTD Mini Bone was made to rock the Voxes. It will make nice with any amp and pickup combination, its very smooth to my ears, but whatta I know. A Muff can be tricky with the Voxes to me. Some break up with the fizzy can of bees into the bright Voxes, but it can be done. I enjoy a Blackout Blunderbuss into my AC15HW, a muff variation with lots of controls.
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
19,951
I'd first try an MI Audio G.I. fuzz. It's a great fuzz, and has knobs for tone as well as input impedance (even though you have low output buckers it can't hurt) bias knob, special mid knob, a wide usable fuzz knob range and good volume range. Its also not expensive.
 

Bozzy

Member
Messages
3
There's also the BYOC Large Beaver i'm currently rocking. You can either buy the kit and build it yourself or pre-built for slightly more money, but even then it's still not at all bank-breaking. You can either choose from the classic 'Triangle' muff or 'Ram's Head' options. The switchable mids options can sound great with or without other drives/boosters(i use it with a Boss BD-2 set as a clean boost to bring the low end out more) and doesn't sound brittle with an AC30. I've just bought a non-master volume AC30 as well and haven't yet tried out the full pedalboard but so far, so toneful!
 
Last edited:

ViniciusB

Member
Messages
159
Tonebenders go really well with les pauls/ humbucker equipped guitars since HB are not as bright as SC and the tonebender is kind of a brigh fuzz(the mk2 at least).

I have a fuzz phrase(fuzz face clone) and a musket fuzz(muff) and they are completely different pedals. For classic 60s fuzz tones such as hendrix the Fuzz phrase cant be beat, but the musket is awesome for some smooth sustain(think pink floyd) and even some metallica if im in the mood for it.
 

ChaseTheAce

Member
Messages
359
If you're looking for an affordable Zep tone, check this one out (Retro Channel The Fuzz). I got one in a trade recently and love it. It's silicon but has a chip that gives it a germanium sound without the weather sensitivity. It's my first Tonebender, but I did a bit of research ahead of time to find the sounds I liked. The Soul Bender sounds cool in some demos, as does the Tone Reaper.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szwxdbigmAc
 




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