Fuzzy on Fuzz Boxes...please help categorize a few.

Stratman76

Senior Member
Messages
1,124
My goal here is to attempt to classify fuzz boxes from a voicing/tonality standpoint. Many fuzz boxes offer great tonal range, so we’re looking for “best-in-class” and essentially where a pedal fits within a camp.

Types of Fuzz – from a roots/best voicing standpoint

the Big Muff camp
David Gilmour camps here. (www.gilmourish.com)
The Edge camps here.
John Frusciante camps here.
Josh Rand (Stone Sour) camps here.
Voicing/Tonal Characteristics: Capable of being thick, of creating the proverbial "wall-of-sound" but also a more articulate fuzz. Articulate fuzz? Is that like JUMBO shrimp?
Best-in-Class Pedal Examples-
Dice Works Triangle Big Muff +
Electro Harmonix (Triangle) Big Muff
Skreddy Mayonaise - highly acclaimed predecessor to the Mayo
Skreddy Mayo http://skreddypedals.com/circuits/Mayo/CherubRock-2.mp3
Skreddy Pink Flesh http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0UuiKsN6Zdw (terrible recording but still manages to capture the tonal spirit of this short-lived wonder)
Skreddy Zero
D*A*M (Differential Audio Manifestationz) Ram Head http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DqUF2xyqkc&NR=1
Skreddy ? Lady
Baja Tech Custom DaMOAF v2 (better than Big Muff tonal range)
Euthymia ICBM - a version of the chip op amp EHX Big Muff pi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmztJPzkWBI
Way Huge Swollen Pickle (original)
Frantone The Sweet - a rougher, more aggressive variety germanium in the muff camp

the Rat/Distortion/Fuzz Blendo Hybrid camp
Voicing/Tonal Characteristics: typically capable of being more articulate, focused, tighter in the low-end.
Best-in-Class Pedal Examples-
Landgraff MO'D - never thought of it as a being fuzz capable but it's definitely King of the Rats.
Proco Vintage Rat
Keeley Rat
Diamond Fireburst - fuzz capable and don't know where else to put it!

the Fuzz Face camp (voltage feedback biasing)
Fuzz Faces came in both germanium and silicon versions.
David Gilmour camped here for Meddle and Dark Side and still uses a Fuzz Face type for lead work.
Hendrix camped here.
Clapton camped here (Cream tone).
Marc Ford (Black Crowes) camps here.
Eric Johnson camps here.
Voicing/Tonal Characteristics:
Best-in-Class Pedal Examples-
Analogman NKT-275 (NOS Germanium) Sunface w/Sundial (can be ordered in higher gain NKT-275 version) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNCB7_5nSKQ
Analogman BC-108 (Silicon) Sunface w/Sundial
Analogman Sunlion - a Sunface with a Beano Boost (both sport NOS NKT-275 germanuim)
KR Musical Products Gypsy Fuzz http://www.krmusicalproducts.com/productsmorepedals.htm many samples...it's the second pedal down.
PedalWorx McFuzz Hot
Love Pedal (Black Beauty Balance) BBB07
T-Rex Mudhoney (not sure if this one belongs here)
ThroBak Fuzz Haze
Phoenix Custom Electronics Super Nova
Baja Tech Custom Das Fuzz Ge
MG Music Fuzzyland
Dunlop JH-2S

the Colorsound/Sola Sound/Tonebender camp (collector voltage feedback)
Jimmy Page camped here.
Voicing/Tonal Characteristics:
Best-in-Class Pedal Examples-
Sweet Sound Electronics Pro Bender Mrk II Fuzz http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0I0Nb5ePQU
D*A*M 1966 Vox Tonebender - considered to be better than the original.
D*A*M MKII
Retroman Lola (MK II and then some) http://www.retroman-music.com/lola.htm
Phoenix Custom Electronics Lady Stardust
Diamond J-Drive MK3
ThroBak Electronics Stone Bender MK II Pro
DeMarco Electronics Klonebender II

the Octavia camp
Hendrix-style...
Voicing/Tonal Characteristics:
Best-in-Class Pedal Examples-
Home Brew Electronics UFO
Ashbass FuzzBrite - trebly, raunch fuzz.

the (more generic) Germanium camp
Voicing/Tonal Characteristics: typically smoother and lower gain than silicon transistor-based fuzz.
Best-in-Class Pedal Examples-
Analogman Sunface Germanium Fuzz
MJM Guitar Effects London Fuzz
MI Audio Neo Fuzz

the (more generic) Silicon camp
Voicing/Tonal Characteristics: typically a higher gained, brighter tone than the germanium camp.
Best-in-Class Pedal Examples-
MJM Guitar Effects Foxey Fuzz
MJM Guitar Effects London Fuzz 2
BBE Free Fuzz
D*A*M Meathead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6e48vX_cT0
Hotwire Audio Fuzzwork Orange

the Silicon Superfuzz camp
This is a six transistor incantation.
Voicing/Tonal Characteristics: Often versatile, often wooly, raw, greasy sustainiacs.
Best-in-Class Pedal Examples-
Shaftesbury Duo Fuzz (sports an Octavia side)
Univox U-1095 (built by Shin-ei) Super-Fuzz
Shin-ei Companion FY2 Superfuzz
MJM Guitar Effects China Fuzz http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmSbhSPcXEE
Voodoo Lab Superfuzz

the Lo-fi, Raspy, Buzzsaw camp
This is (often silicon) where the higher gain, square wave, raspy, buzzsaw lo-fi, sounding boxes comes from. Didn’t Neil Young camp here with “Hey, Hey, My, My (into the black)”?
Voicing/Tonal Characteristics: known for harsher, lo-fi distortion.
Best-in-Class Pedal Examples-
Monsterpiece Two-Headed Fuzz Monster
Jordan Bosstone (collector voltage feedback + buffer transistor)



the Do-it-all, Multi-Talented Fuzz camp
Voicing/Tonal Characteristics: the Frank Caliendo of fuzz boxes. These boxes are here because they do multiple voices well.
Best-in-Class Pedal Examples-
J. Everman Fuzz Drive G2
D*A*M Drag'n'Fly - versatile fuzz and knew not where to list it.
Keeley Fuzz Head - switchable germanium and silicon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PPrOF9o9OU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XetieKH9Cy8
Zvex Fuzz Factory
Analogman Peppermint Fuzz - switchable germanium and silicon with more 60's buzzsaw nastiness on tap.
Lovetone Big Cheese http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvV45hKV6Lk
Retroman Sybil - switchable germanium and silicon http://www.retroman-music.com/sybil.htm
Cusack Music Screamer Fuzz - Tubescreamer and Fuzz. check this one out... http://video.google.com/videoplay?d...l=3&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0
OLC Chunky Cheese (value pick)
Barber Trifecta - hmmm... apparently does big muff tones best?
Death By Audio Supersonic Fuzz Gun (should it be here?)

More samples:
Analogman Sunface vs. Keeley Fuzzhead http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qWwx32Mu_Jg&NR=1

Best-in-class Suspects... (too little data available on these thus far)
Love Pedal 200lbs of Tone - Silicon Fuzz Face model. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozdPxao-AjQ
Psionic Audio 3.14
Euthymia Crucible Si - based on Fuzz Face.
Baja tech Das Fuzz
Tonefactor Huckleberry Fuzz
Toadworks Mad Dog
Fulltone Ocatfuzz

I’m very fuzzy on Skreddy Screwdriver… where? A class of its’ own?
Are any of these “camps” redundant? i.e. Is there enough distinction to warrant a particular category? Do you have any ideas for other/better descriptions?

You’re helping the community here and we all appreciate it! Please let me know if I've mis-classified anything or could otherwise mislead those who seek guidance here (like me!).
 

gold_soundz

Member
Messages
469
You have big muff pedals in various camps - triangle, rams head, mjm foxey fuzz, mayo, trifector... Those in my opinion aren't different enough to group into their own categories. Big muff pedals, particularly the old ones, vary slightly in sound, but two of the same era can sound more different than two seperated by 30 years. I had a rams head that didn't sound as good as a us RI I have, both of which have less mid range than my 70s IC muff. But even so the differences arn't huge.

The si and ge ff are different enough have their own categories.

There's also the superfuzz (shaftsbury, FY6) camp - These have 6 si transistors (muffs have 4)

Other notables of many include the shin ei FY2, the Jordan bosstone, big cheese and fuzz factory.

There are so many, which is what makes it fun! :)

Also sorry to be pedantic, but sola sound was the same as colorsound, the company who made a pedal called the tonebender (of which there were 3 types plus the jumbo tonebender) among other pedals.
 

Stratman76

Senior Member
Messages
1,124
You have big muff pedals in various camps - triangle, rams head, mjm foxey fuzz, mayo, trifector... Those in my opinion aren't different enough to group into their own categories. Big muff pedals, particularly the old ones, vary slightly in sound, but two of the same era can sound more different than two seperated by 30 years. I had a rams head that didn't sound as good as a us RI I have, both of which have less mid range than my 70s IC muff. But even so the differences arn't huge.

The si and ge ff are different enough have their own categories.

There's also the superfuzz (shaftsbury, FY6) camp - These have 6 si transistors (muffs have 4)

Other notables of many include the shin ei FY2, the Jordan bosstone, big cheese and fuzz factory.

There are so many, which is what makes it fun! :)

Also sorry to be pedantic, but sola sound was the same as colorsound, the company who made a pedal called the tonebender (of which there were 3 types plus the jumbo tonebender) among other pedals.

Thank you, brotha! I didn't even know about Superfuzz!
After much contemplation, I agree with you about grouping big muffs and the first entry has been edited to reflect this. I do believe Rat types should be segregated.

Also, I'm beginning to wonder if the Lo-Fi, buzzsaw type should be limited to Silicon?
 

jac37656

Member
Messages
290
Surprised that the DAM nineteen sixty-six isn't on the list in the Tonebender camp. It seems to be regarded as a best-in-class pedal for what it represents.
 

Lolaviola

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,873
Where would you put foxx tone machine? (not the octave+ sound, but the regular sound?)
 

blackjack davey

Senior Member
Messages
185
Fuzz Factory is both Ge & Si and the Analogman Peppermint Fuzz can cover multiple voicings, including ToneBender, Fuzz Face, and even a synth Fuzz Factory!
 

Stratman76

Senior Member
Messages
1,124
The best in class of the (segregated) Rat is the Landgraff MO'D.

Noted and now listed. I thought about the MO'D but was resistant to listing it on a fuzz box page.

Can anyone offer some tonal/voicing characteristics of the Fuzz Face? I know there have been many iterations but how would a great Fuzz Face vary from a great Tonebender?
 




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