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Basic Audio Compact Pedals A to Z = 28+ Fantastic Flavours of Fuzz since 1998

Basic AudioBig Muff Style FuzzEffects Pedal MakersFuzzFuzz Face Style FuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGated and Velcro FuzzGermanium FuzzMaestro Style FuzzModulated FuzzOctave FuzzOddball FuzzOpAmp FuzzOscillating FuzzRat Style FuzzSilicon FuzzSuper-Fuzz StyleTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
2019GPXBasicAudio28Flavours700.jpg

I’m not entirely clear on how I first got into Basic Audio / John Lyons, but I did get the Scarab Deluxe very early on in my Fuzz ToneQuest - followed then by the Futureman and Gnarly in rather quick succession, and leading to where I now have 11 from this very extensive and flavourful range. Update! I’ve just added the Foxton to make it 12 now.

 

I think if you are a fuzz fan like myself then you really cannot ignore John Lyons’ Basic Audio Fuzz Pedals - there is no ...

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Preferred Prior Edition Effects Pedals

Basic AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBoostBoost and OverdriveDistortionDr ScientistDriveFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionMagnetic EffectsMulti-DriveOddball FuzzOverdrivePitchSilicon FuzzThroBakWah and Fixed Wah+-
2019GPXPriorPreferred700.jpg

Latest is not always greatest! Like many other pedal aficionados no doubt, I am quite particular about the function, aesthetics and format of each effect pedal I acquire. Many a pedal has been in production for numerous years and has seen all manner of iterations throughout its lifetime - not specifically special editions, just the core default pedal naturally changing and evolving over time - of course there are custom, limited and special editions too along the way but we’re focusing on...

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28 of The Best Compact Big Muff Fuzz Pedals - All 7 Key Varieties

Basic AudioBig Muff Style FuzzBlack Arts ToneworksBlackout EffectorsCoda EffectsEarthQuaker DevicesElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFredric EffectsFuzzJAM PedalsJHS PedalsMaxonMojo Hand FXSkreddy PedalsSolidGoldFXStomp Under FootThorpyFXVFE PedalsWren and Cuff+-
2019GPX28CompactBigMuffs700.jpg

After my 28 strong Compact Tone Bender roundup it was inevitable that I would do the same sort of thing with Big Muffs. My understanding and experience has of course improved immensely since I last did a proper Big Muff overview, and here like I did with the Tone Benders, I try to select a representative selection by each of the different main varieties of Muff - as indicated by icons in my above visual.

 

Even though Kit Rae’s Big Muff Page identifies 12 specific versions of Big ...

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28 of the Best Compact Tone Bender Style Fuzz Pedals - All 9 Varieties!

Basic AudioBlackout EffectorsCatalinbreadCrazy Tube CircuitsDanDrive PedalEarthQuaker DevicesExpresso FXFulltone EffectsFuzzHudson ElectronicsJHS PedalsKMA AudioMagnetic EffectsMaxonMenatoneMojo Hand FXMonsterpiecePigDog PedalsProAnalog DevicesSolidGoldFXTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
2019GPX28ToneBenders700-min.jpg

Last time I did a Tone Bender overview I limited the selection to 12, and as much by chance as anything else I still managed to get a pretty decent roundup of most of the main Tone Bender varieties although not quite all as featured here. In the world of fuzz though only the Big Muff can compete with the convoluted and complex nature of the Tone Bender Family Tree - which I will endeavour to distil first, and then extrapolate into my own favourite / preferred pedals!

 

It all starts with...

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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 FuzzThorpyFXVFE 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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