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Boost and Overdrive

3 Flavours of Cusack Music's Superb Screamer Fuzz - Fuzz Overdrive, FuzzDrive and Germanium

Boost and OverdriveCusack MusicEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzGermanium FuzzSilicon FuzzTubescreamer Style Overdrive+-

This post is exactly inspired by Mike Hermans’ recent Comparison Demo video (below) which features these 3 self same pedals (almost!). I’ve always associated Cusack Music (sister brand to Mojo Hand FX) with its various tap-tempo ’Tap-A-...’ Pedals - Tap-A-Delay, Tap-A-Whirl, Tap-A-Fuzz etc.


While the range is comprised of some excellent utility pedals too - including several really cool diminutive mini Never-Off pedals. It was only back in March though that I first acquired a taste for and love of the Screamer Fuzz pedals. I had sort of missed the announcement of the the Limited Edition Germanium Screamer Fuzz at this year’s Winter NAMM - only catching up a couple of months later - courtesy of Prymaxe - where I actually first came across this pedal properly.


The Screamer Fuzz is a fantastic Fuzz + Overdrive blender which gives you that great combination of Fuzzy-Drive I so love - or Fuzz Face + Tube Screamer here. In any case I’m a sucker for most things Germanium - and having only seen the one demo - I took a chance on the Germanium Screamer Fuzz. And what a great decision that was as it’s one of my favourite pedals acquired this year, and a key performer within my essential Fuzzy-Drive category.


The launch of the 4-knob V3 standard version went almost unnoticed - as there was so much demand for the Germanium variety that Jon Cusack released some more - this time in a silver enclosure - so not quite as limited and rare as originally announced, but still rarified. I already had the dark grey first run Germanium, but am still not sure whether I prefer that or the later silver enclosure Germanium versions - in any case I’m delighted by how it sounds.


The Germanium Screamer Fuzz version features the 4 knobs of the V3 format - basically meaning an addition of a Tone pot over the previous V2’s - Level | Drive/Scream | Fuzz controls. The 3 clipping modes for the Germanium are Silicon Diode | Asymmetrical LED | Germanium Diode. On the V3 the 3 clipping modes are Silicon | Asymmetrical LED | Schottky - exactly the same as on the V2 Fuzz Overdrive pedal.


Adding a Tone Pot into the circuit can obviously colour the signal - which is why so many Fuzz pedals have Tone Defeat/ByPass switches. And while I will probably acquire the V3 for sure at some stage in the near future - I’m not sure yet if I really need the V2 3-knob version of this pedal.


Actually I’ve just noted that the Germanium version Mike Hermans is demoing is not identical to mine - as it is missing the 3-way Clipping switch - seems just default set to Germanium clipping on that one. The 3-knob V2 seems to have some more bite to it - so that’s still very much a possibility for me - it’s available in various accented colourways - including with green or orange knobs - I quite like the green version as featured.


Both the V2 & V3 are priced at $185, while the now sold out again Germanium version was at $205. It looks like Cusack might be bringing out yet another Germanium version minus the clipping switch - if Mike Hermans video is an indication of things to come.


In any case I mostly have experience of my Germanium version and I really love it in each of its 3 clipping modes. So where my mindset is right now - is that I might actually aim for a full set of 3 eventually! Pickings are slim on this side of the pond - with most UK dealers lapsed or negligent - which just means more stalking on - which seems part and parcel of this occupation nowadays! I will need to bide my time to ensure that I get the appropriate version/s at the right price!

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
Guitar Pedal X
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