Help me find the right fuzz

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by devbro, Jan 31, 2006.

  1. devbro

    devbro Member

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    Ok, my first venture into fuzzland didn't turn out like I expected. I picked up a Sunface NK275 and either I dont like fuzz or the Sunface is not right for me. It's really shrill and has a nasal characteristic that I don't care for.

    I'm playing a Suhr SSS into a Bogner Shiva and use a Zendrive, Timmy and Fulldrive II for various levels of dirt.

    I want to try another fuzz before giving up. What should I try.....??
     
  2. Fifthstone

    Fifthstone Member

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    Devbro,
    I have a Fulltone 70 Pedal which I like alot. It's got silicon chips, not geranium, which some people say makes it a bit nastier. The mp3 clip on Fulltone's site is pretty accurate for this pedal at moderate settings...Hendrix. At more extreme settings, this thing can be a beast. It can sound thin or thick and fat depending on the setting. The "mids" control does alot to shape the response, from soft to hard / harsh. I like it alot, though I may also get a Fulltone 69 at some point. FYI, I've owned an original Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face (stolen from me! rats!) and I much prefer the Fulltone 70 Pedal. Hope this helps.
     
  3. devbro

    devbro Member

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    Thanks Fifth,
    I listened to the 70 clip on the Fulltone site and it sounds allot different than the Sunface. This is probably more along the lines of what I envisioned a fuzz sounding like but it might be a little over the top. Maybe the 69, it sounded a little smoother.

    Any other ideas? My ears are open.
     
  4. johnnySRZ

    johnnySRZ Member

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    I don't know.. I found my Sunface to be very ballsy compared to the '69 that I had which to my ears was a bit shrill. I've heard great things about the Hellbilly if you can find one though.
     
  5. rhmcfarland

    rhmcfarland Member

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    Lovepedal Karl
    Addrock Geranium

    Those would be 2 of the first I would check into.
     
  6. Tonesearch

    Tonesearch Member

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    I second the Addrock Geranium...that's one great sounding germ fuzz! For a silicon fuzz seriously check out the Foxrox Hot Silicon...best silicon fuzz I've heard and owned.


     
  7. lcjc800

    lcjc800 Member

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    The MJM fuzzes are worth listenning to. Foxey Fuzz and London Fuzz (ger.) or London Fuzz II (sil).their web site has plenty of samples.
     
  8. pacomc79

    pacomc79 Member

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    fizziness often depends on the bias and the temperture (germanium is finiky). Ask Bjorn Juhl about transistors sometime or search posts he's got some good ones.

    You might, as many of us be infatuated with that Band of Gypsy's silicon fuzz sound.

    KR Music has some good ones, Pedalworx etc, Fulltone. The sunface isn't for everybody and it's perfect for others, kind of the way it goes.

    I'd look hard at Skreddy too, of you want a Big Muff sound. Dave Fox would be a good one to consult on fuzzes as well he's built and rebuilt thousands..

    Don't give up, even very well built fuzzes like the Sunface can be wrong for you. Look at some hybrid versions too. (Silicon and Germanium) Sybil from retroman is kind of both, it's worth a look too, as is the Keely Fuzz Head.
     
  9. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    I'm convinced that with fuzz, or at least Germanium and Silicon devices, it's one of those things that there are so many different options out there that if EVERY guitar player spent enough time searching, they'd find ONE that they'd fall in love with.

    There are a few factors, to me, that make all the difference when selecting the right fuzz to work for you...

    How are you setting up that Shiva? Spakin' clean, edge of breakup, or overdriven?

    What kind of fuzz are you looking for?
    1) Articulate, dynamic, and responsive?
    2) Fat, thick, and wooly, but cleans up well with the volume control?
    3) Nasal, spitty, nasty and cutting?
    4) Over-the-top, fuzzed-out, wall of sound?

    Personally, I wanted sort of a cross between 1,2, and 4 listed above, AND I needed it to work well with an lower-watt tube amps set at the edge of breakup or even heavily overdriven on it's own. It also had to work equally well with 'buckers and single coils, and respond well to guitar volume changes in that it would be over-the-top with the guitar volume full up, but pretty dang clean with the guitar volume from 3 to 6.

    After trying a HEAP of different designs, types, and brands, I was almost ready to give up on having a 'fuzztone,' when I found my "fuzz" in a place I didn't expect to... Keeley Java Boost on full-range boost mode. It does for me, with my rig, everything I described.

    A close second place to the Java Boost (and more affordable), is the Tonefator Hellbilly... and the Hellbilly is one that seems to work for darn near everybody who's tried it! That might be a good one to try next, unless you're looking for something really over the top (a la big muff), or something really cutting and nasty (a la a jordan bosstone).
     
  10. Fifthstone

    Fifthstone Member

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    Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the Fulltone 70 Pedal cleans up REALLY well with my Strat's volume control. I roll back the volume to "7" or so with the pedal controls roughly at their midpoints and get excellent Band of Gypsies tone. Turn it up a bit for a little bit extra.

    As already written in this post, fuzz sounds, like music and tone in general, is so subjective, you're never going to get total agreement on anything like this. If you find yourself near a good music shop and can test drive some of the above, you're in good shape. If like me you're in the middle of nowhere, you have to make an educated guess.

    Having said all that, I've liked my Fulltone best out of an original Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face (they had LOTS of variances) and Big Muff.
     
  11. meterman

    meterman Member

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    Like Peach Fan said, alot depends on the amp. If your Shiva is 6L6 and set clean it's not going to be the best platform for a fuzz. I haven't owned one but have played an 80w 6L6 Shiva and while I thought it sounded beautiful on the clean channel it was spanky clean, almost Twin-like. Fuzzes 'melt' better with an amp that is already overdriving and compressing some on its own....

    That being said, if you want a great fuzzface I recommend the Retroman Sybil. This pedal is so sweet sounding, and incredibly versatile as well, and construction and customer service are top notch. Other great fuzzes I've had are the MJM Foxy Fuzz, BJF Pink Purple, and Fulltone Soulbender. I'd stay away from the '69 (had one, too weak) and '70 (inconsistent, better si fuzzes available), but that's just me....

    good luck!
     
  12. TheVoodooMan

    TheVoodooMan Member

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    I have sold my US big muff cause it was not appropriate for me and now I have a Roger Mager Axis Fuzz since 2 days !!
    It's a very good pedal, with her tone and volume, we can get to distortion or fuzz !!
    I can't more explain cause I have not too much vocabulary, scuse me !!
     
  13. devbro

    devbro Member

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    Wow, some excellent advice here.

    I think I'm looking for something that will sustain for days primarily for leads thats smooth and not brittle. It needs to play well with single coils and cleaning up well with volume is not too important as I would simply take it out of the loop when finished.

    My Shiva is an EL34 model and I use the fuzz primariliy on the clean channel set to spanky clean. The drive channel is........ well, it's the drive channel. Maybe as someone said, the Shiva clean channel is not a good platform.

    Do all germanium fuzz pedals have similar characteristics as the Sunface? If so, maybe I need to try the Silicon pedal. The problem with selecting a fuzz is that if you ask 20 people you'll get 20 answers due to the vast quantity of fuzz pedals on the market.................. I didn't think the Hellbilly was a fuzz....?
     
  14. Mooncusser

    Mooncusser Member

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    I agree with G'OlPeachPhan.
    Each fuzz box is truley suited for a particular style and it does really come down to what dynamic you are looking to achieve.
    For instance, some people don't like the "69, because they feel it is weak.
    That is true for them and their style. I was shooting for a germainuim constructed, non harsh, yet fully audible ~polite~ fuzz that had dynamic texture.....think hendrix at monterey sound, so the '69 suited me to a tee.
    Good luck and best regards,
    Mass
     
  15. G'OlPeachPhan

    G'OlPeachPhan Member

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    I wouldn't abandon your search for a fuzz that's right for you (everybody needs to find "their" fuzz in my opinion), but for what you describe here that you are looking for, into the spanky clean channel of your shiva, you should try a Catalinbread Supercharged Overdrive... Not a true fuzz, but it has some definite saturated singing fuzz-like qualities on some settings, and is the perfect pedal for leads. Works as well with single coils as it does with 'buckers. If I only had one dirt pedal, this would be it for the exact things you said you're looking for.

    Hellbilly is a very versatile pedal... goes from fuzz sounds to treble booster sounds in a similar fashion to the way the Keeley Java Boost is a treble booster, but gets a lot more like a fuzz on full-range boost mode. Hellbilly has more cut, while the Java Boost is a bit sweeter.
     

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