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Fuzz Boxes

Junior 1

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Yeah, fuzzes are still out there. Fulltone makes a full range of them as do alot of manufacturers. I like fuzztones a lot. I use my Octafuzz as a fuzz, and my Fulldrive II is an overdrive. They serve basically same or similar purposes but sound different.

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The modern reissue Fuzz Faces are very hit and miss and picking up an old Fuzz Face is a risky business too, many if not most sound terrible due to poorly matched transistors. Better to save the $350+ an original could set you back and look at the first class clones available. Here's some better info from Dave Fox of Foxrox Electronics, the man responsible for the reissue of the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face in the early '90s...


Looking back at the FuzzFace, it was actually several different fuzz effects with one name. It was originally produced in the mid 1960s with germanium PNP transistors. Then, in the late 60s and early 70s it was produced with silicon NPN transistors. The frequency response, gain, and make up of the transistors have a big effect on the way a FuzzFace sounds. The germanium PNP version is known for its warm, round tone. The silicon NPN version is known for its bright, aggressive tone with lots of gain and sustain. In addition, both versions sounded different from unit to unit. This is because the transistors were not matched in any way, so there would be differences in tone that could range from very subtle to extremely noticeable. Add to this the fact that the Fuzzface circuit has been modified for many guitarists, producing even more sounds that could be categorized as the FuzzFace sound. Every guitarist whos into Fuzz has an idea of what the ideal fuzz should sound, and feel like. For this reason, and the reasons mentioned above, its easy to realize that no single fuzz is going to please every player.
If you're a germanium guy and find yourself leaning towards the warm, vocal crunch of early Hendrix, then the Analogman Sun Face is an excellent choice. If however you prefer the brighter, more aggressive tones that Jimi used later, like on Woodstock & Band Of Gypsys, then the Foxrox Hot Silicon would suit better.


Both of these feature matched transistors that are selected and tweaked by some of the best ears for the job to sound every bit as good as the best vintage examples.

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