Original FUZZFACE

Cary Chilton

Senior Member
Messages
4,473
Eric Johnson says he only uses his old fuzzface for his OD or fuzz needs. Has anyone heard these babies?
 

mustangman

Member
Messages
632
do you mean, in what eric johnson song is the fuzz face used?

if thats what you mean i know theres OD in "cliffs of dover" but im pretty sure he uses his tuber drive in that.
i love that song!!!!!!!
 

MrMunky

Supporting Member
Messages
1,356
The original fuzz faces varied considerably - they basically just threw in any transistors that were handy. Some of them sound just awful, though they're expensive because they're so rare

EJ probably came across a good old one. For a long while he was using a heavily modded fuzz face.

There are some pedal builders who have taken the time to select transistors with the characteristics of the really good fuzz faces, so you have a few options for clones that sound like EJ fuzz. Among these:

The Dave Fox CC2:
http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/FoxRox.mp3
http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/FoxRox4.mp3
http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/FoxRox5.mp4

The Euthymia Crucible Fuzz

the MJM London Fuzz and London II

http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/BluFuzz.mp3

the Alf Hermida fuzz face mod.
http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/BlueFF.mp3

etc.

My favorite is one that's pretty rare - the Crest Audio Fuzz Face made by Dave Fox in the 1980s

http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/FaceFuzz2.mp3
http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/FaceFuzz3.mp3
http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/FaceFuzz4.mp3
http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/FaceFuzz5.mp3
http://www.inrerocknroll.com/tunes/FaceFuzz6.mp3
 

PacoCasanovas

Member
Messages
593
almost like my first sugarfree-fuzzboxx, i'll post some soundclips later! Its now 11:00PM in my area and a bit too late making noise!;)

the cool thing about the VFuzz, you can choose between various transistors (and various bias of corse) simply by switching. From smooth almost warm overdrive-sound, to gritty brutal gain, to fizzy fuzz tone.....everything inside!:cool:
 

mustangman

Member
Messages
632
Originally posted by PacoCasanovas
almost like my first sugarfree-fuzzboxx, i'll post some soundclips later! Its now 11:00PM in my area and a bit too late making noise!;)

the cool thing about the VFuzz, you can choose between various transistors (and various bias of corse) simply by switching. From smooth almost warm overdrive-sound, to gritty brutal gain, to fizzy fuzz tone.....everything inside!:cool:
that pedal looks awesome, cant wait to hear the clips.
 

TwoGeez

Member
Messages
2,383
Check out the Fulltone '70 as well. Mike at Fulltone got his hands on EJ's "Blue Fuzzface" that he used throughout the "Tones" and "Ah Via Musicom" period, and modded it. I own a '70 and it's very versatile and one of my favorites. Defenitely worth a look.
 

Rollo Timbre

Member
Messages
375
His lead sound is a Butler Tube Drive pushing a 100 W Marshall Super Lead. He uses the Fuzz Face for dirty rhythm through a 50 Watt Marshall tremolo head with 6L6's. At least that's what he just said in GuitarPlayer.:BEER
 

larc

Member
Messages
512
Originally posted by georgeandleo
Eric Johnson says he only uses his old fuzzface for his OD or fuzz needs. Has anyone heard these babies?
Who knows...I'm sure he uses lots of stuff. You can certainly hear a fuzz being used in the title track, "Ah Via Musicom;" the solo guitar has fuzz all over it. Hard to say if there's any fuzz being used in "Cliffs of Dover". The fuzz isn't obvious, but that might not mean he didn't use one. Fuzz pedals obviously provide splattery, fuzzed out tones, but the most useable fuzzes are those which enhance an amp's natural sound, fatten notes, thicken harmonics, increase response; without all the noticeable "fuzz" in the equation.

On some fuzz pedals, the fuzz factor will simply decrease by rolling back your guitar's volume control. If you use a fuzz pedal with a vintage style non-master volume amp that's already distorting naturally on its own (amp volume turned up sigificantly), rolling the volume control off on your guitar might yield a more natural sounding overdrive at one point. Turning up the volume control on your guitar increases gain; providing more saturation, hair around the notes and fuzz. Rolling back your guitar's volume control decreases gain and the overall fuzz effect. Can't vouch this will work well on all fuzz pedals; the one's I've tried did this to varying degrees; some are bad (didn't clean up well when I backed off on my guitar's volume control). There's an SRV interview where Stevie talks about getting a "cleaner" sound using a fuzz pedal with his guitar volume contol turned down; but amp volume turned way up. That's the same idea; changing the fuzz characteristic by riding / manipulating your guitar's volume control. The real trick is knowing how to dial in the controls on your amp, fuzz pedal and guitar to obtain a sound that works for you. FWIW, I watched and heard a kid come close to capturing the "Cliffs of Dover" vibe; playing it note for note using a fuzz and delay.

I still prefer my friend's original vintage red Fuzz Face. Still have not come across any new boutique fuzz that can capture all the sweet, smooth, thick, creamy, rich, harmonics of his original. Listening to it often reminds me of some of the "Ah Via Musicom" tones. Descriptions wouldn't convey anything. You'd have to hear it for yourself, then you'd probably say "Yeah, that's the sound." He paid a fortune for it. Brent Magnano didn't want to part with it, but my friend finally convinced him to let it go by purchasing a plexi and paying him $400 on top of that (10 years ago!). I've seen originals going for more today...seems kinda crazy; especially in view of the talk that germaniums have a shelf life and will eventually fail overtime.
 

AndreasG

Member
Messages
1,615
I have one of those grey Crest Audios, and it's great, but a FF is just like an instrument. You have to learn how to use it. I generally don't like it with the volume on the guitar on 10 as it gets too compressed and fuzzy, and seems to loose volume. When you go down to 9 on the guitar you gain volume and clartity. Works great with an old Marshall.
 

PacoCasanovas

Member
Messages
593
Originally posted by AndreasG
I generally don't like it with the volume on the guitar on 10 as it gets too compressed and fuzzy, and seems to loose volume
Changing the input cap (decrease the value) can help to clear the sound into less mud-buzz! I built those options into my own pedal, and i guess this will work with other pedals too......;)
all the best & greeetz
Paco
 

g3rmanium

Member
Messages
368
Originally posted by georgeandleo
Eric Johnson says he only uses his old fuzzface for his OD or fuzz needs. Has anyone heard these babies?
No two original Fuzz Faces are probably similar. There were Ge and Si Fuzz Faces and at least the Ge faces were mostly unusable or bad sounding because the transistors weren't matched. And the Si faces suffer from too much gain (at least from what I've heard), like most Si fuzzes.

The Arbiter reissues from the late 90s apparently all sound like ****, too. I have one, but modded (new transistors and component values of the original circuit), they sound good.

If you're looking for an original (or Arbiter reissue) Fuzz Face but can't mod a pedal (i.e. selecting transistors, finding out component values), don't bother buying one. You'll hate it.
 

g3rmanium

Member
Messages
368
Originally posted by michael patrick
I'd have to respectfully disagree. I had an original Arbiter Fuzz Face with germanium NKT 275 transistors, and it sounded great.
Congratulations. But isn't that the exception with Fuzz Faces?

Also, from the clips you posted, yours sounds good but apparently has an awful lot of gain.
 


Trending Topics

Top