Roundup of the Best Fuzz Pedals
If dynamic overdrive and smooth distortion doesn't cut it, then the wild sound of Fuzz will get the job done. Check out this roundup of the best classic and modern fuzz pedals available today.
Fuzz pedals generally fall under two types, Germanium based and Silicon Transistor based. If you are looking for midrange-rich vintage-sounding fuzz, then you should go for Germanium based fuzz pedals. On the other hand, Silicon transistor based fuzz pedals offer higher gain, with a relatively tamer, scooped and edgy flavor. You can use fuzz pedals direct to amp and go all-out, or you can pair them up with overdrive to produce sweet and fat lead tones. Whatever your preference maybe, you will find the best fuzz pedal for your needs right here:
Dunlop JD-F2 Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face
There's no denying that there wouldn't even be a Fuzz pedal market if not for the popularity of the Fuzz Face. Used by big name artists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Johnson, Duane Allman, David Gilmore, George Harrison just to name a few, the Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face has set the standard high right at the beginning.
The Dunlop Dallas-Arbiter JD-F2 is the current production model that features the same circuit design as the original Fuzz Face released back in the '60s. The JD-F2 retains the original's Germanium PNP transistor design, straight forward controls, vintage look and classic fuzz tones. It is simply the closest you can get to old Fuzz Faces, without costing you an arm and a leg. Aside from getting the sound right, the pedal also retains the look and vibe of the original, but at the cost of being bulkier. Along with the original Fuzz Face, other variations of this classic Fuzz pedal are also available. Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.com.
Dunlop Fuzz Face Models Shoot Out
EHX Graphic Fuzz
Electro-Harmonix played a major role in shaping the sound of rock guitar, and the quality of their dirt pedals gave them the staying power to not just survive, but thrive. The Graphic Fuzz is an excellent example of what EHX can do, impressive sound and tone shaping with intuitive controls, wrapped in a reliable and sturdy metal package.
If you are wondering where the Big Muff Pi is, we have included it in our Best Distortion Pedals list, simply because Electro-Harmonix themselves consider it as a distortion unit. And so for this list, we went with the EHX Graphic Fuzz, a great transparent sounding unit. Instead of masking your tone, this pedal is known for its "warts-and-all" transparency, which means it doesn't overpower your guitar natural tone, but rather it lets your actual sound shine through while enhancing dynamics and attack response. It is also impressively versatile, thanks to its built-in 6-band EQ. Check this one out if you are looking for a flexible and transparent fuzz pedal. Get the latest Graphic Fuzz price & reviews at Amazon.com.
Fulltone 69 mkII
In this age where pedal space is becoming a scarce resource, compact pedals that sound big are most welcome. This is what the Fulltone '69 mkII provides, classic Germanium fuzz sound in a small and compact chassis that can easily fit into your rig.
The fuzz effect is a little bit tamer when compared to other Germanium fuzz pedals, which makes it behave like an overdrive pedal at lower gain settings. Even with just two knobs, this pedal has surprising tone shaping capability, the 69 MKii's contour knob lets you tweak midrange, harmonics and sustain all at the same time, while the input bias knob lets you adjust the "woofiness" of the tone. Although not as cheap as we hoped it would be, the fuzz 69 mkII is a worthy investment for those that want to create great fuzz tones. Fulltone makes one of the best Wah Pedals as well. Get the latest 69 mkII price & reviews at Amazon.com.
Rotosound 1960s Fuzz Pedal Reissue
The Rotosound 1960s Fuzz Pedal Reissue gives you the best features of the original vintage fuzz with modern enhancements. Interestingly, the original Rotosound Fuzz Pedal was not even released for general sales, but it made its way into the guitar rig of iconic guitar players, most notably Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page.
To retain the sound of the original, the current production Rotosound Fuzz Pedal is still based on Germanium, using a pair of vintage stock Darlington transistors, which results in real classic sounding fuzz tones. It features essential knobs for adjusting the Fuzz or gain level, tone tweaking via the treble knob and level setting via the volume knob. Modern implements include quiet engage switch operation, robust construction and true bypass. Picky guitarists that are looking for new production pedals that remain vintage sounding will find the Rotosound 1960s Reissue Fuzz Pedal to be very appealing. Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.com.
Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face Mini
Aside from the Dallas-Arbiter version, Dunlop created a number of impressive signature Fuzz Face pedals that offer unique tonalities. And of the group, the BC108 silicon transistor based Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face is the most sought after, thanks mostly to its reference to the iconic guitar player.
After examining various vintage Fuzz Faces, Dunlop was able to faithfully reproduce the pedal that Jimi used in the late '60s. But they didn't stop at just great sound, they also addressed the bulky size of the original fuzz face and created a more compact version which bears the same circuit. This resulted in the Fuzz Face Mini line, of which the Jimi Hendrix model is also included. If you want to conjure Jimi Hendrix tone, or assimilate his sound without taking up too much pedalboard realty, then get this pedal. Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.com.
Keeley Fuzz Head
Although traditional fuzz designs are still prevalent, hybrids and modern fuzz pedals are getting more and more attention, case in point is the Keeley Fuzz Head. Instead of limiting you to either Germanium or Silicon, this pedal comes with a Silicon/Germanium switch, which lets you seamlessly switch between the two types of transistors
The ability to switch between two circuit types allow for a very impressive array of fuzz tones, making this pedal more like a 2-in-1 bundle. Backed by Robert Keeley's pedal building reputation, the Fuzz Head gives boutique quality tones, packed in a robust and compact chassis. This is a versatile fuzz pedal for those that prefer to paint their music with more tonal palettes. Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.com.
Wampler Leviathan Fuzz
The Wampler Leviathan Fuzz is not for the weak hearted, it is designed to provide some of the most aggressive and brutal fuzz tones that you'll ever hear. It is truly a departure from classic fuzz designs, the company designed their own circuit to produce a Fuzz pedal that will cater to guitarists that prefer high-gain.
Unlike the simpler controls of classic fuzz pedals, the Leviathan offers more tone tweaking options, including a treble and bass knob, along with volume and gain. For zeroing-in to your personal fuzz flavor, the pedal comes with a roar/rumble switch that lets you pick between Germanium and Silicon based tones. Whether you consider yourself to be a modern day shredder, or you prefer the untamed tone of classic rock tracks, the Wampler Leviathan Fuzz is highly recommended. Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.com.
ZVEX Vexter Fuzz Factory
It was quite surprising to find that the compact ZVEX Fuzz Factory houses an impressive array of tone shaping controls. This is truly a pedal for those that want to personalize their tone, while saving on precious pedalboard space.
For something so small, the pedal houses five knobs that will let you fine tune your fuzz sound as you prefer. Unique to this pedal are three knobs, the Gate knob, which lets you tweak the noise after the sustain, Compress knob, which lets you dial-in your preferred attack characteristics, and the Stability knob, which controls the feedback pitch. By tweaking these three knobs along with the volume and drive knob, you can create a wide variety of fuzz tones, which in turn will make it easier for you to find the tones you need. Although the Fuzz Factory is not modeled after classic fuzz pedals, it does utilize two NOS '60s Germanium transistors, giving it the same classic fuzz bite. Get the latest price & reviews at Amazon.com.
Since we all have our favorite fuzz pedals, don't forget to share yours and the experiences you had with them in the comment section below.Related Articles:
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