Why is FUZZ such a pain in the A$$?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by eric-d, Jul 26, 2006.

  1. eric-d

    eric-d Member

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    I've been trying to figure this out for years. Almost everyone I listen to can make fuzz sound truly remarkable, but when I try it, it's either so muddy it doesn't cut through in a live situation or it's a lifeless fizzle thats bright and really not the sound I'm looking for. And not to mention if you have a buffer in the signal chain. Absolute poop. And then try using it with your favoriute wah pedal, complete poop. I've tried using it everywhere in the chain to boot. First, before wahs, after wahs, before overdrives, and after overdrives. I try to blend it with an overdrive - it's so muddy sounding on the neck pick up and still too dark on the bridge, and if you have the fuzz after the overdrive, it's really bright and shrill sounding. I've tried just about everything. I've owned a Fulltone 69, Dunlop Fuzz Face, PE Experience, PE Yard Box, Fulltone Soulbender (twice), Analogman Sunface NKT-275, MJM London Fuzz (GE), BYOC germanium clone, BYOC Silicon Clone, NYC Big Muff RI, Frantone The Sweet, Frantone Peachfuzz, and an expandora (even though it's not really a fuzz, it had a fuzz setting.) I've tried the Fulltone 70, Fulltone Ultimate Octave, McFuzz, other various no namers, etc..... I've tried just about everything there is. Why can't I get the sound I'm looking for?! I like the tone of the NYC the best and the sustain of the MJM London. I'm really messed up... :horse:FM:messedup:NUTS:confused::jo

    And yes I do have a FOXROX Retro-Fit in my wah and it does work wonders.
     
  2. EXP

    EXP Member

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    LOL, you shouldnt be surprised, fuzz through Fender amps sound like crap. theres 2 through my Super Reverb that were the exception of the rule:

    the PPF and the Pro Analog Scaryface. the sunface didnt sound bad but the super had to be cranked. right now im using the PA Scaryface through my '68 metroamp ptp board Superlead exclusively and it sounds friggin awesome. :AOK :dude
     
  3. g3rmanium

    g3rmanium Member

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    Fuzz is supposed to be ugly. They're not "toneful." And you have to learn how to make a really nasty fuzz (say something from the 70s) sound good. A clean amp can help.
     
  4. 1968

    1968 Member

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    you have clearly tried some great fuzzes.. try turning your volume up on your amp.. Max out the fuzz volumes.. Then control the fuzz/guitar volume levels to suit.. :AOK
     
  5. QOTSA

    QOTSA Senior Member

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    Just to confuse things, I'll have to respectfully disagree with g3rmanium here. The reason I find so many people are having fuzz-stration, get it fuzz-stration, duh - is that they are playing at bedroom volumes or are using 100w heads in a bar. The fuzz-master (jimi) got sweetness from his face because it was going into a very loud marshall. Hot power tubes are the answer. As soon as those germ trannies hit those hot tubes youll be in heaven. Now I dont just mean loud here, I mean saturated tubes, so perhpas you need a lower watt amp - what are you using?

    Edit, hey CustomGR just beat me to it by a couple of minutes! Try going into a music store and plugging a 69 into an loud AC15CC and youll see what I mean.
     
  6. g3rmanium

    g3rmanium Member

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    Nice one...

    I think there are two schools of fuzz. One is the Germanium, 60s school in which the fuzz is used to add dirt to an amp (from treble boosting à la RangeMaster to more intense fuzzing à la Tonebender). The other is the 70s, in which a fuzz does all kinds of unimaginable and more radical things to your guitar sound (Fender Blender, Scrambler, Superfuzz etc. etc.).
     
  7. Jacobpaul81

    Jacobpaul81 Member

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    Fuzz is really a major bi--h to understand and use. It takes alot of time and effort to learn how a fuzz works. Most the time, it requires either amp volume, or an OD already pushing, plus the working of the guitar volume knob to get solid tones. However, I think it sounds worse if an amp gets cranked too loud, so it can vary.
     
  8. g3rmanium

    g3rmanium Member

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    What's your definition of "awesome"? I mean, I really like the sound of my Standard Fuzz, but a player I gave it turned it off after two seconds.

    Really, it all depends on your fuzz, your playing style and what you're used to hear. If all you've been exposed to are natural sounds, you'll probably never like a fuzz.

    If you part with yours, I'll take them.
     
  9. Gas-man

    Gas-man Unrepentant Massaganist

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    No worries. I'm playing an Ashbrite Fuzz into a '66 Princeton (doesn't get much cleaner than a non-verb Princeton) and the sound is glorious.

    It's not a "natural" sound though like OD--it's a nasty effect that sounds very "effecty" if that makes sense. I was trying to cop the Ventures fuzz sound of the sixties and this nails it.
     
  10. iggs

    iggs Member

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    Never was much of a "Fuzz" guy until I discovered two that I really like ...
    Cusack Screamer Fuzz and D*A*M Drag'N'Fly ...
    Cusack has so much different textures in it, my favourite being the all out amp-about-to-explode and D*A*M has a great vintage vibe to it ... rounchy but smooth and just "big" sounding without the mush.
     
  11. Phil M

    Phil M Supporting Member

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    I like them at the front of the chain and I think they sound the most "real" at band volumes. I never like them at low practice volume.
     
  12. ButchR

    ButchR Komet Player Gold Supporting Member

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    I went through a lot of fuzz pedals and finally arrived at the Demeter Fuzzalator. You can get a vintage fuzz sound or a more modern sound with the flick of a switch. But, I also have the Komet cranked pretty good with this pedal. The low end in stage shaking with this combo.
     
  13. Franklin

    Franklin Member

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    In front of the chain works best for using the volume knob. My Sunlion sounds great with my 65' DRRI.........
     
  14. cvansickle

    cvansickle Supporting Member

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    A lot of the fuzztration (I like that!) comes from players' misguided expectations of what a fuzz is supposed to do for them. I went through this grief myself.

    When you listen to a Hendrix track and hear fuzz, it's really something very soft and subtle that enhances the playing, more so than it "takes over" the playing. A Keeley FuzzHead, an old Fuzz Face, or something similar will get that sound. Something like a Frantone The Sweet or a Zvex Fuzz Factory goes too far. You have to dial down the fuzz to get what you want. Some players hear that buzzsaw effect, and think that's fuzz, but it's really harsh distortion.

    At NAMM, the HomeBrew Electronics rep had a personal custom fuzz pedal that was maybe a prototype of something new. It was built to emulate a Jordan Bosstone, in the hopes of nailing the Randy California/Spirit tone (which it did!). I e-mailed Joel Weaver at HBE about it. If it does indeed go into production, I am buying it!
     
  15. JKoeth

    JKoeth Supporting Member

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    The BJF PPF will take care of your Fuzz-tration. It needs to be played loud though!!
     
  16. b_rad

    b_rad Member

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    Tone is subjective. It's only natural that some folks will like Fuzz into a clean amp and others won't. Internet forums are great for educating the consumer, but they're also great for confusing the crap out of them. :) You just have to pick and choose wisely and ultimately let your ears be the judge.
     
  17. Garygtr

    Garygtr Almost as good! Silver Supporting Member

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    Ditto on this, the Fuzzulator has ended my fuzz search.......for today :crazy
     
  18. Jujo

    Jujo Supporting Member

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    Devil-Tone:

    Try one of the fuzzes from MI Audio. They are the most flexible fuzz boxes perhaps ever made. With regard to volume I can only speak of the GI Fuzz- it is plenty loud. I'm have live band experience with the GI Fuzz. I've played mine live- outdoors and in bars. It will cut through!!! Go to the MI Audio website...he goes into great detail about why his fuzzes will probably address your issues. You can adjust the mids, highs, and volume to get the sound to cut. I plan to acquire his Neo Fuzz as well...despite the fact that I already have a Pro Analog MKII and a D*A*M MKII. I have no doubt that the Neo will still have something to offer for my rig.
     
  19. JeffreyC

    JeffreyC Member

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    I'm getting great fuzz tones with my Skreddy Mayo (early in my chain) with strat and cranked Gries Twenty (DR blackface clone). The amp is still clean, but the power tubes are pumping and on edge. It sounds great. I've also had luck with the ICBM into my Reeves Studio Stage just breaking up a bit. I didn't see you mention those 2 fuzzes.:dude
     
  20. JeffreyC

    JeffreyC Member

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    I meant to add - I've recently discovered that good cables help a lot with fuzzes.
     

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