In Praise of the Fuzz Factory

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Hofnarr, Mar 20, 2020.

  1. Hofnarr

    Hofnarr Member

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    I saw a good deal on a used Fat Fuzz Factory a few weeks ago, so I figured I'd just grab it.

    Man, what a cool pedal. I'm having some serious fun with it.

    Couple things I like:

    The unfathomability of the thing. I can't really tell in more than a very general way how the controls interact, or predict how different settings will sound. As I play with it more, no doubt, my approach will become more routinized, but for the time being it's quite an adventure.

    I love how the pedal seems almost to be alive, growling and hissing and hollering out Old Testament quotes and just letting its freak flag fly. I'm kind of tempted to open it up and have a look, but I'm afraid something might bite or sting me.

    Interaction with guitar volume knob. I've never had any luck with this with any other pedal, but here ... yeah. Not that it "cleans up" when I roll down the volume; not really, but the sound changes, in obvious and interesting ways, and that's enough to keep me happy for a while.

    The 3-way toggle switch is great too. The stock position is my least favorite, actually, which isn't to say I don't like it. Switch it to one of the other positions and lower the "stab" control - you'll get some SETI return calls that you might not be prepared to process.

    And so on... I'm just getting started with this thing.

    In short, if I had an electric fiddle (I don't) and Rome were burning (it is), I would plug it right into this thing and saw away till kingdom come. As it is, I'm happy enough to make do with a plain old guitar.

    Anybody have any Fuzz Factory anecdotes, settings, fun facts? I'd love to hear 'em.

    Stay safe and healthy, all.
     
  2. chromewaves

    chromewaves Member

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    I've had an original Fuzz Factory forever, and while it's been kicked off my board a number of times for being too uncontrollable, it always finds its way back. I've wondered what the Fat Fuzz Factory would be like, I assume it's not as... piercing as the original, but not enough to lay out $ find out.

    as for learning the controls, I've found that setting Comp and Gate to 0 and stab to 10 and distortion to taste gives the most conventional and controllable sound; then by gradually tweaking those knobs and hearing what they do as you basically destroy your sound, you get a good sense of what they're doing.
     
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  3. sahhas

    sahhas Member

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    I’m on my 5 th FF, it’s a sickness, if u start w/ all knobs at 0, then adjust things til it sounds good to you.
    I usually have gate, comp , stab at 0, then adjust others to taste... just works for me. The funny thing is all 5 of my pedals did sound different! It’s weird, but a fun pedal!!!
     
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  4. Flouncingfleasbag

    Flouncingfleasbag Member

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    Yeah man, Gree with all you said. I just have the skinny version but it does the things.

    I will only add that I find a Strat to be it' sbest friend, good all my guitars; seems to thrive.
     
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  5. whateverdude

    whateverdude Silver Supporting Member

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  6. corbetta

    corbetta Member

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    love mine. Don’t use it ALL the time but definitely dig its untamable, surprising side.
     
  7. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Powered by Coffee Gold Supporting Member

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    Funny story...

    Back the FF first came out Zachary called me and walked me through it. He had me drawing sine waves to explain what the various knobs did, and played it over the phone while going through different settings he liked a lot. He showed me how make it feedback on pitch when I roll the volume knob back. Super cool.

    ZVex has been one of my all time favorite pedal brands ever since. His stuff is so amazing crazy sounding and just a helluva lot of fun to play through. I just dig 'em. I mean, who the hell makes a pedal that does purely crossover distortion (Machine)? Who even does that? :D

    Anyway, I still have my original Red Reverse FF and a Fuzz Probe (basically a FF with a Theremin attached), as well as a bunch of other pedals of his.
     
  8. pup tentacle

    pup tentacle Silver Supporting Member

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    I don't believe there's any reason to go with a regular FF over a Fat, so I was glad to be given the option to add a fat switch to the reverse spam I ordered a couple years ago. That thing is one of my favorite fuzzes of all time.
     
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  9. Junco Partner

    Junco Partner Member

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    I am convinced I could do without half the fuzzes in my collection if I could devote some time to actually “learning” my Fuzz Factory. Maybe in all this downtime, I’ll wrestle with it enough to finally break its code, and my fuzz collection will weep and tremble before me and beg not to be sold.
     
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  10. will richardson

    will richardson The Tennessee to California Connection Silver Supporting Member

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    I have A Red Reverse, Red 1999 I believe, Kanji (Korean Lettering I believe) 200ish, I purchased 1 of the Anniversary Reverses, The Most beautiful Red Metallic Snake Octane (bought it NOS), Psychedelic WhiteBlack Swirl Octane, and an Industrial Black etched Machine I purchased from a Friend when he was hurting for Finances. This one and the Swirl are one offs, the others are 1 of XX. Zvex pedals areinteresting. I had a Setting on the Kanji that sounded like a blend of Guitar and sitar. You get hear the string rattle.
     
  11. Jess 1971

    Jess 1971 Supporting Member

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    Killer fuzz, truly one of the all-time greats, on the Mt. Rushmore of fuzzes, along with the Big Muff, Super Fuzz, and Tonebender.
     
  12. tapeup

    tapeup Butterscotch Supt. Member

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    Six Factories and no Probe? Are you feeling okay? I kid I kid, nice collection!

    I love the FF; have had an old Myrold one for a very long time and a Myrold Probe too. Never tried the Fat, it wasn't an option when I got either of mine. I have an old sheet with a bunch of useful settings on it that I printed out somewhere online back in the old Harmony Central days what feels like a lifetime ago.
     
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  13. will richardson

    will richardson The Tennessee to California Connection Silver Supporting Member

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    Sorry, I forgot the 911 Fuzz Flag Factory like one shown earlier in the Thread. The paint on the back of it went crazy but still can see the dates, #, etc. The early ones usually look like they were painted by grade school kids (they were - by musicians),
    and I like the Pristine newer ones.
     
  14. tapeup

    tapeup Butterscotch Supt. Member

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    Haha on the Mt. Rushmore of fuzzes, I like that. I suppose the Fuzz Face would have to be on there too since Rushmore is faces after all...though to be fair, when I see FF abbreviated on fuzz threads here, I think of Fuzz Factory even though I know the person is likely talking about a Fuzz Face; kind of like when I hear the name Elvis, Costello springs to my mind before Presley. Different strokes/fuzzes and all that, yadda blah.
     
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  15. JPF

    JPF Member

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    I’ve had mine for 15 years now, and I’m still learning how to position it between chaos and coitus...
     
  16. PhuzzphayzZ

    PhuzzphayzZ Member

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    I just got the Vertical coming!

    I was planning on becoming a MasterFactoryWorker by next weekend!

    And I got the SeaMachine also coming... also self-osc... gonna see if I can't get them, and maybe the A/DA all goin in harmonious Ghidarah choir

    yaaay
     
  17. will richardson

    will richardson The Tennessee to California Connection Silver Supporting Member

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    My deceased Friend Chuck Ronge knew more about Zvex pedals than anyone except Zac. Chuck appeared to be Bipolar and was OCDish. He sold me my Kanji FF when he worked for DS Sound in Fullerton CA. They were the biggest pedal in the US prior to Music Toyz (is that the one that use to be a huge dealer in Chicago i.e Teddy). He turned me on to Lovetone. i bought a Ringstinger about 4 years ago although I have not used it. I have time to Practice guitar but not enough to record and ABC and do the comparison projects I love to do. Do such a little but...

    Rest in Peace my Spiritual Brother. I can't imagine what Quirky Wisdom you would have shared on this thread.

    At NAMM around 2008 or 9ish after Chuck beat stage 4 cancer, someone at one of the NAMM booths elbowed me and told me to "hey you need to put your friend on the chain." I replied, "he is on the chain. When he gets off, you'll know."

    Ironically his vocal music was not experimental like his instrument music that always included whale burps and farts, etc. He always wanted Zac to Release the Snow Ball which was never released, a white noise only pedal that was right up Chuck's alley.

    Keep on feeding back,

    will richardson
     
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  18. babbyb

    babbyb Supporting Member

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    I've had my FF for over 20 years. It was an incredible splurge purchase when I was 16 but it's provided endless inspiration over the years.
     
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  19. Fuzzr

    Fuzzr Supporting Member

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    I too have had many Fuzz Factories over the years. I settled on a Fuzz Probe for awhile and love it. I also snagged an X23 clone w/ 7 knobs (Colton), and it’s stellar. Just recently I snagged a Russian Fuzz Factory 7 and it’s as ridiculous as it gets. It’s definitely my favorite iteration of the FF circuit.
     
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