MI Audio Neo Fuzz vs. G.I. Fuzz

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Armchair Bronco, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. Armchair Bronco

    Armchair Bronco Member

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    I narrowed down my search for a fuzz pedal to either a Neo Fuzz or a G.I. Fuzz, both from MI Audio in Australia.

    The Neo uses Germanium transistors and is supposed to be a little mellower and "creamier"...although cream + fuzz doesn't make much sense.

    The G.I. uses Silicon transistors and is the meaner of the two.

    I would use the pedal for heavier classic rock covers plus Nirvana grunge covers pairing the fuzz with a DS-1.

    I'm leaning towards the G.I. fuzz but I can't make up my mind.
     
  2. Lt_Core

    Lt_Core Member

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  3. Armchair Bronco

    Armchair Bronco Member

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    Here are a couple of ProGuitarShop demos on YouTube. They're very similar. The G.I. Fuzz sounded a little meaner and throatier to me. There are more reviews of the Neo Fuzz -- it must be the more popular of the two, probably because it's a new (neo) twist on a vintage tone whereas the G.I. Fuzz is "modern" not vintage.

    I should have posted these in the OP.

    G.I. Fuzz

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrPgp77lGFs

    Neo Fuzz

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akdlGlgI5aI
     
  4. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    ME TOO...definitely.

    Since I discovered them (first bought the Neo, then a little later the GI) I have recommended them to one and all, because of their excellent tone shaping, sound shaping and also the wide range of useable settings for the volume and fuzz knobs...

    WELL...a few nights ago I put them side by side and just started dialing in sounds, and to me the GI fuzz was all those things, where the Neo actually had a little less useable (to me) fuzz and vol setpoints.

    ALSO, I felt that the GI was the smoother of the two, but also could be the meaner grittier (but good grit) of the two. In other words, the widest range of sounds, it also (again, just me experience) cleaned up the best with volume control. I was using a strat, single-coil, and the GI seemed more musical, again could get almost "Spirit in the Sky" fuzzed, but also could sound near an OD, get hendrix BOG sounds, just seemed to have a LOT more going for it than the NEO.

    Now keep in mind, this was just me playing alone. Maybe for all I know the Neo cuts in a band situation better, but I have a feeling that the GI does too (haven't used them with any bands lateley)...

    The Neo just seemed a tad "harder" and less musical. Seemed touchier, and slightly harder to set to get sounds I personally like out of fuzz.

    The main thing for me, I love fuzzes that clean up with guitar vol, and the GI was clear winner there.

    Those links were taking too long to load with my PC, so I didn't hear them, but generally if they didn't explore all the sounds, like I said it seems to me the GI is not so much "Modern" as all that, I felt it did a better Hendrix/Cream/etc sounds.

    I guess when I discovered the Neo I liked it so much for all the tone shaping and all, but the GI was even better, and the sound more useable for me.
     
  5. Armchair Bronco

    Armchair Bronco Member

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    Good review, StompBoxBlues. It's great to get this feedback from someone who has A/B'ed both units with the same rig. I pegged the Neo Fuzz initially only on account of its germanium transistors, because I was under the (mistaken) impression that "Fuzz = Germanium".

    But the more I've learned about germanium, the more I've realized that it's a crap shoot with these transistors. For one thing, they're not made any more. The ones used in the Neo are NOS from the 1970's that have been hand matched. They're hand matched because there's such a wide variability in manufacturing. Also, germanium is very susceptible to temperature variations, especially cold weather. Now, I'm not planning on doing any gigs in Alaska, but I've read that if you let such pedals get cold, you'll get a totally different tone than when they're warm.

    All of this caused me to look at the G.I., and at the end of my review period, I was thinking that not only is silicon a better choice, but I actually preferred its punchier tone.
     
  6. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    To be honest, I didn't even remember which was silicon transitor and which was germanium, but I'm glad because going into a "shootout" with preconceived ideas about "what it sounds like" can color opinion.

    Like I say, for me, same rig, ONLY fuzz and wah, the GI was head and shoulders better in all the things I like about fuzz, cleanup with guitar vol, able to be creamy smooth, or harsh, etc. And the tone shaping knobs are just a perfect compliment (which are on both, but I feel like they work better on the GI) as well as the three way mode switch.
     

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