TGP Survey: Alnico speakers and Fuzz — do they play well together?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Smashies, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. Smashies

    Smashies Supporting Member

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    TGP Faithful,

    I hope this inquiry can benefit everyone here, and not just me. Hopefully that'll make it worth while to read this epistle of a post. If you want to jump to "bottom line", go for it!

    This question is particularly aimed at those that employ alnico speakers. I'm generally curious what fuzz-lovers, fuzz enthusiasts, or even the fuzz-curious like me think about when they are selecting a fuzz to play through alnico speakers, especially those with looser bass response (e.g. Celestion Blues as opposed to Golds). All 'dirt' effects have their own quirks, but fuzzes stand in a league of their own -- they're seemingly the most fickle (especially germanium-based circuits), most unique from pedal to pedal, and, in my opinion, they're the kind of effect that changes most dramatically when you tweak their volume, gain, tone/eq, and bias knobs.


    With that in mind, I would posit that their interaction with different speakers are more dramatic than other dirt effects. Hypothetically, take the same exact germanium-based fuzz pedal into the same amp with different speakers, and there will be more of a dramatic tonal change than if you ran the same experiment with any Op-Amp or FET-based boost, OD, or distortion pedal.

    I might be wrong.

    Personally, I love alnico speakers, and I’m curious about venturing into the world of fuzz. However, I worry that certain fuzz pedals might not be very friendly with alnico speakers. That’s the gist of the primer.

    BOTTOM LINE:*

    - What is your favorite fuzz pedal going into an amp with alnico speakers. Along with the pedal, please mention what amp you’re using, the musical style you like to use the fuzz in (psychedlic? stoner rock? metal? classic rock?), which alnico speakers you use, whether they're in combo or cab configuration, and, most importantly, why*that fuzz is your favorite and why you think it works well with that amp/speaker. If you can't pick a single favorite, or you can pick one but find others worth honorable mention, please do the same for those.*

    - What are your LEAST favorite fuzz pedals going into your alnico-sporting rig? Again, mention the style of music you like to use a fuzz with, mention the speakers, whether combo or cab, and why that fuzz (or multiple fuzzes) just didn't churn out the right kind of mojo for you.

    Also, mentioning what guitar/p’ups you’re using helps, of course :).

    Thanks TGP! Look forward to the responses.

    - Smashies
     
  2. e-flat

    e-flat Supporting Member

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    There are just so many variables in the signal chain that influence what fuzz works where!

    I'll take a crack at an answer, though. :)

    I play alnico speakers exclusively. I haven't owned a Ceramic speaker for... 10 years? Something like that. Once I fell for alnico, I just stuck with it.

    I also build a lot of fuzz boxes, and try a lot of fuzzes from other builders.

    I run various teles through a homebrew early Vox / Tweed hybrid as well as an AC30.

    I think all fuzzes I've tried sound great with MY alnico speakers in my rigs. Here is what I use, listed from bright to fuller / less trebly (They are all Webers, btw)

    - 15 W Blue Dog
    - 15 W Silver Bell
    - 30W Blue Dog
    - 25 W P12N clone (12A150)

    I can personally attest to the fact that these speakers are very fuzz friendly. Fuzz Faces, all kinds of Tonebenders, Muffs... You name it.

    Break them in well.... Beat them senseless with fuzz.
     
  3. Smashies

    Smashies Supporting Member

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    This is a relief to hear!! Thanks for the input.

    Anyone else? :munch
     
  4. Dad love mom

    Dad love mom Supporting Member

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    I use an Earthquaker Hoof fuzz and it's amazing through the speakers of my EC Twinolux. It's just the perfect blend of frequencies for that '60s fuzz tone.
     
  5. splatt

    splatt david torn / splattercell Gold Supporting Member

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    too many words for me, at the moment.

    here are a few live improvs.
    i love all kinds of music, but, for myself, i def don't think of fuzz (or the electric guitar) as being some kind of living emblem & emissary of past musical glories.

    each bit features a fuzz-box "exploration"; each is played with AlNiCO speakers;
    i do try to investigate a range of tones with each fuzz.

    usually, they're 2x celestion blues, although i absolutely love the new Fane/Fryette 12".
    occasionally, it's a celestion gold, though i've temporarily removed that from its old cab, now, due to some pretty nasty cone-cry.

    basic audio zippy:


    analogman sunface HG:
    [SOUNDCLOUD]https://soundcloud.com/jayapala/about-face[/SOUNDCLOUD]

    catalinbread antichthon:
    [SOUNDCLOUD]https://soundcloud.com/jayapala/maybe-its-over-there[/SOUNDCLOUD]

    basic audio fuzz mutant:


    skreddy hybrid fuzz driver:
    [SOUNDCLOUD]https://soundcloud.com/jayapala/hymn-for-her-skreddy-hfd-demo-v01[/SOUNDCLOUD]
     
  6. ChampReverb

    ChampReverb Silver Supporting Member

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    I think you are over-thinking things.

    I always use alnico speakers through Vox/Fender amp flavors (set fairly clean ) and I buy fuzz pedals. If I like the sound of the fuzz through my rig I keep it. If not, I sell it.

    Weber Blue Dog 30W
    Weber Blue Pup 20W?
    Scumback Scumnico 30W

    The Analogman AstroTone stacks really well with overdrives.
    The Basic Audio Alter Destiny is an extremely versatile Big Muff variant.

    -bEn r.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2015
  7. e-flat

    e-flat Supporting Member

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    ^^^^^^^^^
    Great stuff, David. I especially love the Basic Audio Fuzz Mutant track. (Regulus VIII is one of my favorite silicon fuzz circuits...and John is one of my fave builders!)

    I'll have to check out these Fane / Fryette alnicos you mention.
     
  8. Smashies

    Smashies Supporting Member

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    Thanks all! I'm "overthinking" because I live in a pretty small town with not a lot of opportunity to try before I buy fuzz-wise (or any kind of gear, for that matter), so I like to come to TGP to get opinions, thoughts, experiences, jokes, funny musings, limericks, anecdotes, etc.

    I hear a lot of fuzz pedals being described as having "tight" or "loose" low end. I worried that if you put a fuzz with tight low end into a speaker that produces a loose low end would create undesirable results. I see this is not something to worry about now.

    Thanks!
     
  9. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I'd worry less about the speakers and more if the amp has a permanent bright switch. A bright switch is the gain killer.
     
  10. analogmike

    analogmike Gold Supporting Member

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    I find Celestion speakers like the greenbacks work well with fuzz pedals.
     

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