Most of you who read this blog will know by now that Joel Korte worked for/with Zachary Vex from 2008 to 2013. While he was there he was responsible for the design and development of the Instant Lo-Fi Junky - which in many ways was the forerunner to the Warped Vinyl project.
In any case and while at Zvex, Joel picked up a taste for that brand’s flagship and all-time consistently best-selling Fuzz Factory pedal - which started out as a modified Germanium Fuzz Face which then gained a number of extra controls - leading to those famous 5 knobs of Volume, Gate, Compression, Drive and Stability (Input Voltage). Those controls are very much at the core of this new Bliss Factory - obviously with that typical digital Chase Bliss control interface - which means you can save presets via midi and via the 3-way toggle-switch between the Aux and Bypass footswitches.
There are in effect 3 major big adds to the Bliss Factory - firstly the Resonant Low Pass Filter - with 3 different degrees of filter of increasing resonance. At the basic level the LPF control is a sort of High-Cut CCW if the output is sounding a little sharp - so you can use the filter to shape that output in a variety of ways. Tied to this is the 3-way Fat-switch which increases the amount of Low-End frequencies in the signal input - making for a beefier and thicker fuzz - but also impacting on the voicing of the fuzz and the degree of oscillation.
The second major add is the secondary Aux ’Stomp’ footswitch - which allows you to max out the value of a particular parameter as set by the Stab/LPF/Gate Aux Function 3-way toggle-switch. You can use the Ramp Settings to invert the Aux Stomp - so it’s maxed by default and you kick it back to normal. You can also make both footswitches Momentary via relevant Ramp dip-switches - for more dynamic playback control.
The third killer add is all the ’Bounce’ ramping - where you can get all kinds of weird and warbly oscillations going - so not actually a million miles from the Trem-Fuzz of the Ayahuasca - but not exactly the same either.
Obviously the presets are a major thing here - but be aware that this pedal has all the sensitivity and irascibility of the original - so you often have to dial in several controls in tandem - and use the Gate, Comp and Stab somewhat judiciously.
I’m obviously a massive fuzz and Chase Bliss fan - so this pedal is a no-brainer for me. I got in my order very quickly - turns out it was just as well really as they were all sold out within no time at all. So I’m not sure what Joel meant by when he said that everyone who wanted one would be able to get one. I though that implied a time-limited offer in the style of Zvex and PRS - so a max one or two week order window - but no - it seems only a finite amount were made (1,000 units). When dealing with Germanium Transistors - there are always limitations by nature of that parts supply dynamics - so it’s all understandable really, while not quite as advertised as far as I understood.
The pedal was priced at $399 - which was the same as for the Ayahuasca and Generation Loss as far as I recall. I know a lot of my friends were interested in one of these - and I hope they each managed to land one.
I kind of called this quite early on - as I presumed in the 25th Anniversary year of the Fuzz Factory - that this collaboration was most likely some derivation of that pedal - with some added modulation - either filtering or Lo-Fi Junky / Warped Vinyl chorusing. So I feel I was pretty close overall.
This will go straight in on slot #5 in the pedal-chain and will probably stay there for a while!
Congrats to everyone who managed to snag one and sincerest commiserations to those who missed out on this occasion.