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I've never owned a "Fuzz". What am I missing?

Wolf Child

Member
Messages
673
I've had OD's and Distortion pedals but never a "Fuzz".

I mainly play Les Pauls through Marshalls and Boogies but am in the market for my first Strat and Tele and maybe a Fender-ish amp. Do I need a Fuzz? I'm starting to think I do.

Since I am completely in the dark about them, any info would be appreciated. I've heard the term Germanium and Silicone thrown around but don't know the difference. I've heard a few Iconic players associated with fuzzes as well (most seem to be Fender players).
So again any input you have would be good.

School me Please!
 

Mooncusser

Member
Messages
2,207
Wolf,
Fuzz is a wonderful world of tones that come in different varieties. There are the GE and SI types (germanium or silicon transistors) as you have stated, and then there are hybrids of all sorts. GE is a softer warmer type tone, while an SI is a harsher tone with more bite. The hybrids are tweaked to the builders own twist on how he/ she wanted to custom tailor the tone. This is just a very basic description I am giving you for starters.
What type of music do you play my friend? We could start there and help you find a fuzz that fits your preferences.
Take care-
 

MBreinin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,021
I've never owned a "Fuzz". What am I missing?

a lot of frustration.
+1000000000000000

I have heard alot of guys sound awesome with fuzz. Every time I try it, it sounds like a transistor radio. I have tried 5 or 6 various units and I cannot get a sound I like. I wish I could.

There used to be another video that went with this where the fuzz tone was better and he explained his pedal board, but this is the tops for fuzz if you ask me, Philip Sayce:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giYdAlC7zxA

Mike
 

jaywalker

Member
Messages
2,362
I think the main thing that atracts folks is the ability to roll off your volume and tone to create a whole variety of tones. Fuzz is an extremely interactive effect.
I've just downsized one of my boards to feature only a duncan Tweak Fuzz and my chanel changer plus a couple of basics such as wah and chorus.
I'm not woried about loosing all my OD sounds (I use a ton of different ODs) at all, I've managed to find most of them between my vol, tone and basic fuzz controls.

The important thing is to get to know your fuzz and how it reacts to each different guitar and setup.
A fuzz going into a super clean amp sounds totally different to an amp in mild breakup, or a half driven amp. The same goes for OD/dist pedals after fuzz.

You have to give it the respect it deserves, and take a little time to figure it out.

I stayed away from fuzz pedals for about 20 years, and have only recently got back into them having learned how to use them correctly.
The main thing is they are fun, and they are unforgiving. If you are the type of player who has always hidden behind a compressor and a drive pedal, fuzzes really let you know just how good or bad your playing really is.
If I can get something to sound neat with a fuzz, it will sound pristine with a drive or distortion.
J.
 

Wolf Child

Member
Messages
673
Wolf,
Fuzz is a wonderful world of tones that come in different varieties. There are the GE and SI types (germanium or silicon transistors) as you have stated, and then there are hybrids of all sorts. GE is a softer warmer type tone, while an SI is a harsher tone with more bite. The hybrids are tweaked to the builders own twist on how he/ she wanted to custom tailor the tone. This is just a very basic description I am giving you for starters.
What type of music do you play my friend? We could start there and help you find a fuzz that fits your preferences.
Take care-
Could you maybe give an example of what artists or songs use Germanium vs Silicon?

I personally play and love everything from Albert King to Robert Johnson- Jimi-SRV-Steely Dan-Skynyrd-The Cult-Alice in Chains-Metallica-Buckcherry-Wolfmother-Clutch-Mastodon-Lamb of God etc.... All walks of rock and blues.
 

Mooncusser

Member
Messages
2,207
Could you maybe give an example of what artists or songs use Germanium vs Silicon?

I personally play and love everything from Albert King to Robert Johnson- Jimi-SRV-Steely Dan-Skynyrd-The Cult-Alice in Chains-Metallica-Buckcherry-Wolfmother-Clutch-Mastodon-Lamb of God etc.... All walks of rock and blues.
Sure, no problem...

Here's a good example:
Jimi at Monterey: GE tones
Jimi at Woodstock, BOG: SI tones.

Think of the warmth in his "Like a rolling stone" version at Monterey (GE)
and contrast that with his BOG "Machine Gun" tone. (SI)
Does that help or give you a little better idea of the tonal differences?
Take care-
PS: Jay- great post
 

Mooncusser

Member
Messages
2,207
PERFECT CONTRAST EXAMPLES Wolf!
Can you hear the warmth from the first (Monterey: GE fuzz) video as compared to the harsher bite from the Woodstock (SI fuzz) clip?
 

Wolf Child

Member
Messages
673
Night and day. I don't know if I could properly handle the SI. That's a lot of horsepower to control if you're not a professional driver.

Would I be right to say most might lean toward the GE for it's usability?
 

guitbeef

Member
Messages
1,046
I think the main thing that atracts folks is the ability to roll off your volume and tone to create a whole variety of tones. Fuzz is an extremely interactive effect.
I've just downsized one of my boards to feature only a duncan Tweak Fuzz and my chanel changer plus a couple of basics such as wah and chorus.
I'm not woried about loosing all my OD sounds (I use a ton of different ODs) at all, I've managed to find most of them between my vol, tone and basic fuzz controls.

The important thing is to get to know your fuzz and how it reacts to each different guitar and setup.
A fuzz going into a super clean amp sounds totally different to an amp in mild breakup, or a half driven amp. The same goes for OD/dist pedals after fuzz.

You have to give it the respect it deserves, and take a little time to figure it out.

I stayed away from fuzz pedals for about 20 years, and have only recently got back into them having learned how to use them correctly.
The main thing is they are fun, and they are unforgiving. If you are the type of player who has always hidden behind a compressor and a drive pedal, fuzzes really let you know just how good or bad your playing really is.
If I can get something to sound neat with a fuzz, it will sound pristine with a drive or distortion.
J.
Pretty much my feelings/experiences as well. And a fuzz can frustrate me, too. Sometimes I get some noise and interference.

But to the OP, I'd say it's worth a try. I go the DIY route, but I'd recommend trying a fuzz that has good resale value in case you don't dig it. But I also recommend giving it a good while (it may seem strange at first) and definitely get it up to gig volume- and definitely work the guitar's volume knob!
 

Mooncusser

Member
Messages
2,207
Night and day. I don't know if I could properly handle the SI. That's a lot of horsepower to control if you're not a professional driver.

Would I be right to say most might lean toward the GE for it's usability?
Honestly,

Naw........ It's more to the player's personal tonal tastes. Most folks have both to cover both bases.
Don't let a hotter SI fuzz deter you. A GE takes as much to control correctly as an SI does.
Anymore questions, ask away friend-
Mooncusser
 

wingwalker

Fuzzy Guitars
Messages
6,783
I've never owned a "Fuzz". What am I missing?
Well...you are missing a pedal that doesn't work well with all guitars...

A pedal that doesn't work well with all amps and speakers...

A pedal that often doesn't play well with other pedals...

A pedal that is even picky aobut it's source of power (batters work FAR better than anything else)...

A pedal that more often than not, in the hands of a fuzz noob sounds quite terrible and requires a far amount of WORK to get it to a point where it sounds good...

A pedal that after you put in the work to learn how to power it, use it and set it up in your rig to get the best tone is a lot of fun to use, often sounds amazing and can be very dymanic...
 

Mooncusser

Member
Messages
2,207
I hope Wing doesn't mind me answering, but I think what he is trying to say is that to prepare yourself when first getting into fuzz pedals. They are a different animal, and the list he made looked like he was trying to say to consider your first fuzz pedal almost like another instrument in the respect that you have to master it, and learn how to incorporate it into your rig rather than a regular "plug and play" type pedal.
Just an FYI: I play fuzz through a '69 Stratocaster into a Marshall Super lead Plexi.
I'm not sure what your rig is.
 

Boogie92801

Member
Messages
2,257
Fuzz is like marriage to my lovely wife: early on it was lust, the mere site of each other created a nasty yearning; sure there are times when we don’t get along and we fought but many years together we have learned each other’s quirks and idiosyncrasies and she is the only one who can make me feel the way she does!

My sunface high gain NKT 275 is one of my all time favorite pedals.
 




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