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12 of the Best Compact Enclosure Zonk Machine Style Fuzz Pedals

Acid FuzzArcane AnalogB.G. HardingBasic AudioBlammo ElectronicsBritish Pedal CompanyCalangary PedalsCollector EffectorsD*A*M EffectsDanDrive PedalFuzzGermanium FuzzJDM PedalsRogue SoundSilicon FuzzSuper ElectricTone Bender Style Fuzz+-
2020GPXCompactZonkMachines700.jpg

This article was inspired by a series of dialogues I had with my now pal Bruno - about DanDrive Secret and Acid Fuzz Zoink Machine fuzzes initially - but then branched out into a more general conversation about Zonk Machine Fuzzes.

 

The John Hornby Skewes Zonk Machine was in fact a very closely related MKI Tone Bender style fuzz which emerged very shortly after the appearance of the original Colorsound MKI Tone Bender. In fact the circuits are almost identical - 3 x all germanium ...

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28 of the Best Compact Rat-Style Fuzz/Distortion Pedals - 2020 Ultimate Selection

Acid Age ElectronicsAion ElectronicsAnimals PedalBasic AudioBBE SoundBig Ear PedalsBig Tone Music BreweryBigToneMusicBreweryBYOCCatalinbreadChicago StompworkscmatmodsDistortionDr ScientistEarthbound AudioElectro-HarmonixFoxpedalFreakshow EffectsFuzzFuzz-Drive and FuzzstortionGreer AmpsIbanezJAM PedalsJHS PedalsJohn LandgraffMagnetic EffectsMojo Hand FXOpAmp FuzzPettyjohn ElectronicsRat Style FuzzReuss EffectsStomp Under FootThorpyFXVFE PedalsWalrus Audio+-
2020GPX28CompactRats700V2.jpg

Most should know by now that I’m a huge Rat aficionado - and for me Rat doesn’t just mean those original ProCo Rat varieties but all the different derivatives - direct and indirect - old and new, classics, rarities and outliers. This category is titled ’Rat-Style’ so there’s a few Rat-adjacent pedals here too which share some of the core fundamentals and bring to mind some key associations with that well-known highly textured frequency profile.

 

For me at a...

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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 FuzzBig Tone Music BreweryBigToneMusicBreweryBlack 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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