Vintage Germanium Fuzz Comparison

Discussion in 'Effects' started by plankton, Apr 3, 2019.

  1. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I thought about posting this in the Dr's thread about fuzz, but it's probably better having it's own spot.

    I stumbled onto this nice little video comparing vintage Ge fuzz circuits and shared it here for those who may not think they like, or just don't understand, fuzzes.



    The only one I currently own is the MkII Tonebender, but I'm building a Fuzz Face soon. It's interesting how some of the more interesting ones are also the most obscure, like the Selmer or Burns & Baldwin.

    I will also say that while he's running everything into a clean Fender amp, many of these will come alive in different ways going into slightly dirty amps.

    Hope you enjoy and find some new tones for yourself.
     
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  2. Clifdawg

    Clifdawg Well-Known Member

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    I appreciate fuzz, I just can't ever dial it in. Then again, I've never owned a fuzz pedal - it's more of a novelty for me than a core part of my tone.

    That said, the Big Muff model on my Boss GT-1 sounds pretty good (if a little artificial) and is fun to play with.

    I do dig a good sub-octave fuzz riff, though...
     
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  3. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    They can be quite finicky, and tricky to dial in properly as they're very reactive to everything around them. It took me awhile to figure out my Tonebender and get great tones from it. More modern fuzz pedals can be a bit easier. But I just love the range of tones you can get from these vintage germanium circuits. For me some of the best are the ones you get when you dial back the guitar volume and it's not super fuzzy or clipped but it just sounds more "alive" than your normal overdriven tone.

    Octave and fuzz are a great combination. I love using my Octron 3 with fuzz, both the octave up and down. MXR makes a cool pedal called the Sub Machine (and a similar signature Slash model) which sounds awesome!

     
  4. Chubbles

    Chubbles Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the video. I love fuzz pedals, and evidently, I can't have too many. It is tricky to get the sound you're looking for. The gear, settings, and even bias have a big impact. I bought a mini Germanium Fuzz Face just after they first came out. I wish the bias knob was external. I have a bunch of other fuzzes including an MXR Super Basa$$ Variac Fuzz. That one seems to be my most versatile one.

    After watching that video, I may be on the hunt for another fuzz. I hope my wife doesn't kill me.
     
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  5. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I currently have three and definitely want more. I've started to build my own pedals from kits in an attempt to acquire more fuzz without spending too much. So far I've just built a Rangemaster clone, but I've got the parts for a Fuzz Face and Fuzz Factory.

    As far as versatility, some of the newer designs have much more. The DOD Carcosa I have does lots of different things. I'm looking forward to what the Fuzz Factory will do, and I'll probably build something like a Scarab Deluxe too. The more knobs the better!
     
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