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GPX Blog

16 of the Best Fuzzy-Drive Pedals

AnalogWise PedalsBasic AudioCaroline Guitar CompanyChase Bliss AudioCrazy Tube CircuitsCusack MusicDemon PedalsEmpress EffectsFulltone EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionHudson ElectronicsMad Professor EffectsMythos PedalsPettyjohn ElectronicsSkreddy PedalsStomp Under FootThroBakTrue North Pedals+-
2019GPX16BestFuzzyDrive700-min.jpg

It turns out that I’m quite the fan of drive pedals which occupy the space where overdrive and fuzz overlap beautifully. I have gravitated towards such sounds almost subconsciously ever since I got back into guitar. And while there are various fuzz pedals - particularly of the Germanium variety that can be tuned down to those sorts of tones, I’m referring more here to pedals whose very core character straddles both overdrive and fuzz - sometimes on the more fuzzy-drive end as I call...

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16 of the Best Rat Style Fuzz/Distortion Pedals

1981 InventionsAnimals PedalBasic AudioBuild Your Own CloneBYOCCaroline Guitar CompanyDr ScientistEarthbound AudioElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJAM PedalsLone Wolf AudioMagnetic EffectsOpAmp FuzzProCoRatRat Style FuzzThropyFXVFE PedalsWalrus Audio+-
2019GPX16Rats700-min.jpg

I think that the Rat style is possibly my favourite style of dirt pedal. It really depends how distinctly you classify all the Marshall pedals I have versus the already 8 Rat-style pedals in the collection (Actually 10 really, but 7 in the top 16 feature).

 

So my current all-time Rat-style champ is not always associated with the genre even though it is a full-throttle OmpAmp-driven fuzzstortion chaos machine - I am of course referring to Dr Scientist’s formidable Frazz Dazzler ...

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24 of the Best Compact Fuzz Pedals - 2019 Edition

Abracadabra AudioAnarchy AudioAnasoundsBasic AudioBeetronics FXBig Muff Style FuzzBlack Arts ToneworksBossChase Bliss AudioDr ScientistFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJHS PedalsMagnetic EffectsModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPaul Trombetta DesignPLBR EffectsProAnalog DevicesRat Style FuzzShift LineSide EffectsSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXSpaceman EffectsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzVFE PedalsZvex+-
2019GOX24CompactFuzze700s-min.jpg

So you may have read last year that I went a little overboard with fuzz type pedals - aiming initially to build up an essential reference collection of 30 of the best - I then published my ’2018 Year of Fuzz Tone Quest’ just about half way through that year - featuring 40 pedals, and right now, my current fuzz quota is running at exactly 100 pedals - with 82 compacts, 11 minis and 7 medium to large pedals making up the collection.

 

This overview is 24 of the best ’...

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The Unsung King of Fuzz - John Lyons of Basic Audio

Basic AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzMaestro Style FuzzOctave FuzzOpAmp FuzzOverdriveRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
2018GPXBasicAudioJohnLyons700-min.jpg

You could say that there are several masters of the Fuzz circuit - Greg Djerrahian at SolidGoldFX, Marc Ahlfs at Skreddy Pedals, Mark Piera at Analog.Man, Richard Coibion at Monsterpiece Fuzz, Scotty Smith at ProAnalog Devices, and Zachary Vex at Zvex to name a few. In terms of breadth and range of delivery it has to be said though that John Lyons somewhat towers above them all. He has currently 25 all bonafide classic pedals in his range - of which I have acquired 3 to date, with many more on ...

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The Art of Dialling It In - How to Tweak and Pivot Certain Drive and Fuzz Pedals

Basic AudioBlues Driver Style OverdriveBoostBoost and OverdriveBossDistortionDriveDumble Style OverdriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionJacques StompboxesMetal DistortionOverdriveWampler+-
2018GPXPedalDIalling700-min.jpg

The above pictured assortment are all pedals where you can easily go wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. I often read bizarre comments on Pedalboards of Doom how such and such a pedal is rubbish and overrated - where often it’s a case of mistaken identity and misuse. The first pedal I bought which I had major issues with was the Boss DS-1 Distortion. It sounded nothing like various demos I had heard, and to my ears sounded actually nothing like a distortion at all.

&...

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9 Practical Modern Colorsound Power Boost Style Pedals

Basic AudioBlack Arts ToneworksBoostBoost and OverdriveBuffalo FXFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionIdiotBox FXMonsterpieceOverdriveProAnalog DevicesSilicon FuzzThroBakVick AudioWall of Sound Pedals+-
2018GPX9CSounPowerBoosters700-min.jpg

This article was triggered by the recent That Pedal Show episode on Colorsound Power Boost-Style Pedals (AKA Colorsound Overdriver) - where Messrs Dan and Mick introduced us to a variety of largely vintage-style Silicon transistor overdrives. There was an original vintage Colorsound Power Boost - versions of which are still available at Macaris (Charing Cross Road), then there was the Tru-Fi Color Driver and Electronic Orange Bananaboost - all pretty much faithful reproductions of the original ...

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2018 Year of Fuzz Tone Quest

Basic AudioBearfoot FXBig Muff Style FuzzBossCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioCrazy Tube CircuitsDr ScientistDr. No EffectsDunlop EffectsElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJHS PedalsMaestro Style FuzzMatthews EffectsModulated FuzzMonsterpieceOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzPLBR EffectsProAnalog DevicesRat Style FuzzShift LineSide EffectsSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXSpaceman EffectsSubdecay EffectsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzVFE PedalsWalrus AudioZvex+-
2018AfBlgYearOfFuzz700-min.jpg

My big thing his year - apart from the usual pedal-chain ToneQuest has been my separate ’Year of Fuzz’ journey for which this article will probably be a Part 1, even though I’ve already reached most of the goals I set at the start of the year, and am somewhat over quota! When I first started down this road I really did not know too much about fuzz beyond Hendrix really. I did not realise how much fuzz was actually used on so many of my favourite records and tracks. I also love...

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12 of the Best Maestro FZ-1 Style Fuzz Pedals

Basic AudioBigfoot FXBlackstrap Electrik Co.Chicago StompworksD*A*M EffectsElectro-HarmonixFuzzGeorge EngineeringJHS PedalsMaestro Style FuzzNorth EffectsReuss EffectsSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXVectra Effects+-
2018AfBlg12MaestroStyleFuzzes700-min

Back in January, I started on this year’s Fuzz Tone Quest (2018 Year of Fuzz) with 5 articles on key fuzz types - Fuzz Face, Big Muff, Tone Bender, Rat and Unique/Unusual. One category I foolishly overlooked was the mac daddy original fuzz - the Gibson Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone - most notable for its use on the Rolling Stones’ track ’I Can’t Get No Satisfaction’.

 

This earliest of fuzzes was made with 3 Germanium Transistors and was pretty raw and rough and ...

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Guitar Pedal Tone Controls - an Overview

Basic AudioBig Muff Style FuzzCatalinbreadCrazy Tube CircuitsDr ScientistEarthQuaker DevicesFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzGuitar Gear ResourcesJHS PedalsModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzRat Style FuzzShift LineSilicon FuzzSuhrTone Bender Style FuzzTone ControlVemuram+-
2018AfBlg9PedalToneControlAlternatives700-min

Let me start by saying that I’m not an electronic engineer, and I will leave it to the likes of Brian Wampler to explain the circuit design whys and wherefores of resistors, transistors and capacitors. I am however a pedal aficionado and have direct experience of a great many of those - and this article is based on that.

 

I would encourage you to read my companion piece on ’Electric Guitar EQ’ first as that relates directly to this article, and serves as a decent run ...

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24 of the Best Compact Fuzz Pedals - 2018 Expanded Edition!

Basic AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBossCatalinbreadChase Bliss AudioCrazy Tube CircuitsDr ScientistFoxpedalFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzJHS PedalsMaestro Style FuzzMagnetic EffectsMatthews EffectsModulated FuzzMonsterpieceOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOld Blood Noise EndeavorsOscillating FuzzProAnalog DevicesRat Style FuzzSide EffectsSilicon FuzzSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXSpaceman EffectsSubdecay EffectsSuper-Fuzz StyleThorpyFXTone Bender Style FuzzVFE PedalsZvex+-
2018AfBlg24CompactFuzzes-min

The more I get into Fuzz, it seems the more I have still to learn. There are so many different flavours even within the familiar individual fuzz families and tropes - you have at least vintage, modern and hybrid variations, but also more overdrive-style and smoothed-out and tamed-down fuzzes, as well as supercharged high-gain versions too. So each category can have so many different alternatives that you can quickly get overwhelmed by option paralysis. Yet I have persevered to carefully curate ...

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2019 50

6 Potent Pairings - High Calibre Germanium and Silicon Compact Fuzz Face Type Pedal Pairs
"Jerome - Alas no I have not had the opportunity "...
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