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Alex Millar Unleashes 3 Further Killer Compact Editions of his Multi-Clipping Zander Circuitry Fuzzes - American Geek, Foxxton Woods, and Siva

Big Muff Style FuzzEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzSilicon FuzzZander Circuitry+-
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I’m delighted to participate in the launch of 3 more of Alex’s classic pedal transformations - where his formerly BB-enclosure editions have been shrunk down and enhanced. The aesthetic theme of single colour graphic with matching knobs is particularly strong for these 3 varieties.

 

I always said that I would be acquiring all of Alex’s compact editions and the addition of these 3 brings my Zander Circuitry collection to 6. Alex kindly sorted me out with a plain version of the Siclone Fuzz too. So in short a bumper haul for me in April.

 

What we have here are two Big Muff style Fuzz variants, and a selectable Upper Octave Fuzz based on the Fuzz Tone Machine circuit. Each one of these has the the central / core 8-way Multi-Clipping Selector I have detailed previously, the options are as follows :

  1. Germanium : Smooth, sweet, and classically ‘amp-like’
  2. Silicon : Louder, brighter, and a little bit brittle
  3. LED : Louder again, with less saturation and more punch
  4. Asymmetrical Germanium : A more aggressive version of Germanium
  5. Asymmetrical Silicon : A more aggressive version of Silicon
  6. Asymmetrical LED : A more aggressive version of LED
  7. Transistor/MOSFET : Similar to Silicon, but sweeter and crunchier
  8. No Diodes : Loads of output and much less gain

The individual details follow in alphabetical order :


American Geek High Gain Fuzz Machine Transistor Muff Fuzz - £149

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The one thing that needs explanation here is really how the Shift 1 and Shift 2 controls work. Where we need to understand the basic function of the Muff-style Tone Stack. This consists actually of two RC Filter circuits (Resistor-Capacitor) - where one is a High Pass Filter, and the other a Low Pass Filter. You can sweep between the two values to allow either more lows into the circuit, or more highs. The natural consequence of such a circuit is that you get fairly significantly scooped mid-frequencies - and so the Shift 1 and Shift 2 controls individually target the two RC Filters - allowing you to adjust those values in order to restore some Mids back into the circuit.

 

The 7 controls and 2 footswitches function as follows :

  • Gain : Degree of Saturation
  • Tone : Classic Muff Tone-Stack - sweep between Low Pass and High Pass RC Filters
  • Shift 1 : Adjust RC Filter 1 to restore more mids back into the signal
  • Shift 2 : Adjust RC Filter 1 to restore more mids back into the signal
  • Blast : Level of Blast Footswitch, Max Gain
  • Clipping Selector : 8 Clipping modes as per intro
  • Level : Output Level of Fuzz
  • Engage Footswitch : On/Bypass - latching and momentary
  • Blast Footswitch : Max Gain Blast - latching and momentary

The Tone Generation here is handled by 4 x SOT-23 SMT Transistors - which are in fact 2N5088 variants - very classic for this style of fuzz. The combination of Tone Controls and Clipping Options gives you a fully extended-range Muff style Fuzz - which is able to cover most of the key variants of Muff - depending on how you set the pedal up. This is an obvious companion fuzz to the latter Siva variety - which covers the Opamp style of Big Muff Fuzz.

 

Having both the American Geek and Siva give you maximum Big Muff coverage via the least amount of pedals!


Foxxton Woods Uper Octave Fuzz Generator Foxx Tone Machine style Fuzz - £149

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Near enough all my favourite octave fuzzes have a separate footswitch to activate and disable the Octave Effect - meaning that you really have 2 core fuzzes in one. Actually rather 16 really with all the clipping options applied to Octave and core Fuzz mode.

 

The 7 controls and two footswitches function as follows :

  • Gain : Degree of Saturation
  • Tone : Muff-style tone-stack with sweep between more lows or more highs into the circuit
  • Shift : This was previously labelled 'Push' and is in fact a Mids control
  • Body : This controls the degree / amount of Low frequencies entering the circuit
  • O Level : Output Level for Octave Mode
  • Clipping Selector : 8 Clipping modes as per intro
  • F Level : Core Fuzz Mode Output Level
  • Fuzz Footswitch : Core Fuzz On/Standby - latching and momentary
  • Octave Footswitch : Activate/Deactivate Octave Effect - latching and momentary

I already have a few Foxx Tone Machine compact circuits (Fjord Fuzz Odin, Danelectro 3699 and Basic Audio Foxton - while this Foxxton Woods adds significantly more extended range over and above those examples.

 

I'm quite evidently enamoured with this style of fuzz, and this should be most players' frontrunner for producing these types of tones - just a really smart execution all-round.


Siva Op-amp Muff Fuzz - £149

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This is the perfect candidate and obvious companion Fuzz to the American Geek - to give you full Big Muff range coverage. Quite evidently a smart take on the celebrated Smashing Pumpkins / Billy Corgan 1978 EHX Big Muff Fuzz.

 

Controls are identical to the American Geek with Shift 1 and Shift 2 allowing you to individually adjust the High and Low Pass RC Filters to restore more Mids to the circuit. Controls and two footswitches function as follows :

  • Gain : Degree of Saturation
  • Tone : Classic Muff Tone-Stack - sweep between Low Pass and High Pass RC Filters
  • Shift 1 : Adjust RC Filter 1 to restore more mids back into the signal
  • Shift 2 : Adjust RC Filter 1 to restore more mids back into the signal
  • Blast : Level of Blast Footswitch, Max Gain
  • Clipping Selector : 8 Clipping modes as per intro
  • Level : Output Level of Fuzz
  • Engage Footswitch : On/Bypass - latching and momentary
  • Blast Footswitch : Max Gain Blast - latching and momentar

The Opamp style of Muff is many players' preferred variety with its slightly different core texture and enhanced saturation. I actually like both varieties for different purposes. I've often stated how different Fuzzes encourage different styles and modes of play. And playing through the Siva will inspire quite different musicality versus playing though the American Geek. A lot of players have a distinct preference of one variety over the other, while for me they're two slightly different sides of the same coin - and while I probably lean more into Transistor varieties, I near enough like the Opamp version to the same degree. Obviously if you want maximum Big Muff coverage you need both!


Final Thoughts

All 3 of these are essential acquisitions for me, and amongst the very finest takes on those classic Fuzzes - particularly with regard to extended range coverage. Each of these offers several smart innovations in tone-shaping, voicing and form factor. And the price point here is incredibly good value for the degree of variety you get - and of course attention to detail.

 

The Foxxton is somewhat more straightforward to deploy, while it shouldn't take you too long to figure out how the Shift controls impact on the output of those two Muff circuits. All three are available for order as of 09:00 today - Monday 12th April - from the Zander Circuitry Webstore. Go get yours now!

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Stefan Karlsson
Stefan Karlsson
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