Germanium FF users, some real life gig questions and placement in chain...

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by fabulusfab777, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. devonteran

    devonteran Member

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    The main reason to not put the Fuzz Face first is to deal with impedance. I actually like running mine after a buffer. It drives the fuzz too hard, but it gives me a lot more sensitivity with my volume knob. When run fuzz after a buffer I don't need any other drive pedals, except maybe a boost to help it cut when needed.
     
  2. Don A

    Don A Silver Supporting Member

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    Guitar>wah>AMZ Mini Booster>Fulltone '69. Sometimes I sneak in an Octavia before the fuzz.
     
  3. fabulusfab777

    fabulusfab777 Member

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    I think I'll look into a BC183 silicon type FF, might be a good compromise and something to try, but germanium sounds sooo good, I think I'll just have to live with the quirkiness. The Fulltone 69' is certainly one of the most if not THE most tweakable germanium FF out there
     
  4. captaincoconut

    captaincoconut Member

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    You'll run into the same problems using a silicon fuzz face. Silicon fuzz faces tend to cut better through the mix and are way less heat sensitive, but they are still brutally sensitive to impedance mismatches.

    There really is no way around all the trouble a fuzz face brings, unless you're willing to compromise on tone.
     
  5. BearBryan

    BearBryan Member

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    I guess you could get a Twin Bender (V3) and use the Mk 1.5 setting and use the impedance knob if you are having problems with impedance mismatches. Not a true fuzz face but a good compromise.
     
  6. zwiefldraader

    zwiefldraader Member

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    I'd consider a few things. Anything but running my GE FuzzFaces first in line never worked, BUT the SviSound GE3.2 BigBox (they do Minis as well, which don't have the feature). I ordered lower gain and added bias pot. It's darker than my SunFace (GORGEOUS), but still cleans up perfectly even after buffered pedals.
    AnalogMan has a very smart feature as well. His SunFaces have an internal Trimpot, to lower the input signal. It's the same like backing of your guitar a bit always. This helps a lot cutting a bit better and keeping from overly compressed tones that let you get lost in the band setting. But it works best first in chain.
    Personally I prefer pushing a decent booster with the FF over an OD, but YMMV.
    Helpful as well was also decoupling the Face from pedals after it. I use an Okko VIB, with variable input caps and some tweaks to mimic cable-length to the amp.

    The MI Audio COD at full blast is an OD pedal, that can mimic a FF very well, but cuts way better. The clean-up is no worse than a FF. Great choice.

    Tone Bender pedals, to my knowledge (prove me wrong) clean-up nothing like a FF, unless the Mk1.5, which essentially IS a FF, but might cut better in a mix, for different cap values. But character differs a bit tone wise.

    The fitting speakers and amps are very helpful, too.
     
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  7. dunnoaname

    dunnoaname Member

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    My experience with GE fuzzes for live use is that it all depends on the type of amp, and how much it is overdriving.

    Into an amp that has a prominent midrange and is overdriving, a ge-fuzz can sound great without the need of further drives. Into something like a clean blackface style amp, I like to run the fuzz into an overdrive.

    In my case, the fuzz runs directly into the 5e3 style amp, but into the Vibrolux Reverb I go Fuzz>Amp11 or Fuzz>Rockett Archer.

    If you really want to push through the mix, a fuzz into a Klon(e) gives a very punchy and mid-forward sound to my ears. It also helps to back off the volume on the guitar just a smidge to get some attack back from the fuzz, but you probably figured that out already.

    As for placement with the wah and vibe, I can't help. I run my fuzz first in line, but I don't use wah or vibe. I would simply try it out both at home and in rehearsal.



    Real life gig tip: if the fuzz sounds weak or buzzy, kick on an overdrive after it. Now for your clean sound, leave the OD on and roll back the volume on the guitar. This method helps a lot with weak sounding fuzzes at low volume, and it also helps prevent huge volume jumps when turning on/off your fuzz.
    It's basically like using an overdriven amp, but with an overdrive pedal.
     
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  8. jimk4003

    jimk4003 Member

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    Another vote for the VIB Buffer after a fuzz (there's two of us!)

    I run my fuzz after my wah, which is a Teese RMC10 (true-bypass, with an output buffer when engaged). Works perfectly.

    The Okko VIB is great; it's a stand-alone buffer that lets you set the buffer's input impedance and capacitance, so you can get the fuzz sounding just like going into the amp through a 10 foot cable (some buffers directly after fuzz can make things sound too harsh).

    After that, I use a low gain OD (a Keeley modded BD-2) to add a bit of level and compression whilst both retaining the low end and keeping things relatively bright, and/or a full frequency clean boost (a Creation Audio Labs MK4.23) to give the fuzz a bit of extra level and brilliance in the mix.

    Something else I sometimes do is use a subtle phaser (I use a Whirlwind Orange Box, but any relatively subtle MXR-style phaser will do) with the rate all the way down, placed after the fuzz. I find it adds a bit of texture and removes a hint of low-end, which again really helps in the mix. A subtle phaser with the rate right the way down won't actually sound like you're using a phaser in the mix, but it will lend a bit of clarity.

    I'm also careful about how much delay and reverb I use with fuzz. Used sparingly it can sound awesome, but I try not to wash the sound out, particularly when fuzz can often be hard to mix as-is.

    Another key thing for me in cutting through is the core tone of the amp. I like a bright, mid-rangey amp that's a bit crunchy, but not filthy. The perfect balance for me is a bit of grit and compression to stop the fuzz from sounding fizzy, but still with enough headroom to get a level boost when the fuzz is engaged. A non-master volume amp turned up to where the power section starts working is ideal. Also, I find rolling back the volume on the guitar just a hair removes a bit of the low end from the fuzz that can otherwise sound muddy in the mix. Counter intuitive I know, turning down to cut through better, but it works.

    As always, keep buffers away from the front of the fuzz if you want to be able to get the most dynamic response from your pick attack and volume pot changes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
  9. fabulusfab777

    fabulusfab777 Member

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    There's some real good info and tips right there, thanks a lot. The Okko VIB seems like a practical tool to have. I had also not talked about the amp I'm using. I'm mainly using a Dr Z Carmen Ghia head into a 1x12 cab with a WGS ET-90. This speaker was new maybe a month ago, so I consider it is still breaking in, but it sounds much sweater then at first. Great speaker btw. Most of the time I run the Ghia cleanish, but for gigs I'll be able to get it to the point where it is starting to breakup. I find that with the proper tubes, this amp really sings.

    I think i'm ready to get another FF and do some testing.
     
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  10. aaronjcurtis

    aaronjcurtis Member

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    Has there been any love for the Keeley Fuzz Bender? Seems a decent option for the price, but don’t hear a whole bunch about it. I realize it’s not a FF design, but perhaps can get into the ballpark a bit.
     
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  11. devonteran

    devonteran Member

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    There are lots of good options in here. Like mentioned above, having an impedance pot or switch really helps.

    It also helps to run your Fuzz Face at full blast all the time. Mine is pretty much always cranked because then rolling off my volume works a lot better. I had to learn that about using my fuzz. It really works best as an always on pedal that I adjust with my volume knob.

    Since I started playing that way, people are starting to stop and ask me what my tone is more than ever. It's usually just a gristly barely more than clean sort of dirt sound that makes it all come alive. Then I pull up my volume knob and my amp sounds like it'll explode.
     
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  12. fabulusfab777

    fabulusfab777 Member

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    Yea, that's also how I like to run a good fuzz face.

    Also, on another thought, I've watched for the 4th time the recent Pete Thorn video about the great sparkly clean Strat tone you can get out of a nice GE Fuzz. When backing up the volume to clean ish, anyone likes a compressor later in the chain ? Does it ruin the ''magical'' aspect of this tone for you? I have a Keeley compressor + that I like quite a bit with the Strat. I run the blend at 50%, and sustain low (9 O'clock), I'm curious how it will interact with the fuzz, since it's not heavy squashed compression.
     
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  13. ChampReverb

    ChampReverb Silver Supporting Member

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    I had the Fulltone ‘69 and Octafuzz v2 at the same time.

    Kept the Octafuzz ...and I never use the octave effect.

    When I heard the various Dunlop FF variants A/B’ed I liked the Hendrix (BOG) version the best ...which is the same circuit as the Octafuzz minus the octave effect.

    -bEn r.
     
  14. woof*

    woof* Member

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    Always first in line, always.
    Another thing about Fuzzface’s, they trick your ears and perspective. If you are only using them in a few songs, when you first turn it on you may sense a drop in volume live and also just not feel it’s doing what you want.
    But in fact, out there in front of the band it’s sounding awesome. Have someone competent play your rig and stand in front and listen. It’ll change your mind. It’s just part of playing a Fuzzface.
     
  15. LordByron

    LordByron The Dude abides! Supporting Member

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    Ge FF into a Timmy. You can thank me later. :aok
     
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  16. lefty kwan

    lefty kwan Member

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    My best sounds come from guitar > jhf1 fuzzface > passive volume pedal > everything else > amp. I really can fine tune the cleanup and the output of the fuzzface.
     
  17. analogmike

    analogmike Gold Supporting Member Vendor

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    Lots of good info above. I see you have a KOT after your fuzz, set it cleaner and brighter than normal and it will help the fuzz. Usually BOOST setting (stock yellow side).
     
  18. Jamie_Mitchell

    Jamie_Mitchell Member

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    my new fuzz has a bias knob, but i’ve still been bringing a little sandwich bag and put it in the bar fridge/green room cooler until it’s set time if it’s outdoors.
    worth it!
     
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  19. Jaredt771

    Jaredt771 Member

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    I’m curious about this as well...because I am thinking of buying a Sunface and want a thorpy fat general for compression as well.

     
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  20. BearBryan

    BearBryan Member

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    I haven't tried this but I have a keeley compressor +, three germanium sunfaces, and two strats, so I'll do it tomorrow. Reply to this post tomorrow if I forget to remind me.
     
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