Best Fuzz Pedals: Top 20 Fuzz Pedals Review (Definitive List of 2018)
What is a Fuzz Pedal?
Have you ever wondered how an electric guitar makes that dirty, psychedelic, futuristic, and dreamy sound? If you come to think of it, your favorite musician is just holding a normal looking electric guitar. However, the sound they produce is remarkable, and they can change them on the fly!
Well, it’s really not magic. When you get some transistors, capacitors, opamp chips, some soldering tin, toggle switches, potentiometers, foot switches, and some power, you will be able to transform normal guitar signal to something spectacular and moving like the “Fuzz.”
Fuzz follows the sound clipping principle that is popularly associated with distortion and overdrives. Yeah, it’s like distortion on a higher level. Fuzz pushes past the threshold of distortion and leaves you with square soundwaves and revving-engine like output. The best fuzz pedal will surely be a great addition to your rig.
Types of Fuzz Pedal
During the 60s, it’s just driving tube amps to their limit that created that subtle crunch in your favorite rock music. When musicians finally learned how to tame overdriven music output, they started pushing its limits and ended up with distortion pedal effects. Guess what? Distortion isn’t enough, and some musicians still pushed beyond distortion and got themselves the Fuzz effect.
Overdrive, distortion, and fuzz can be easily distinguished by experienced musicians. Overdrive is overdrive and fuzz is fuzz. However, today, fuzz is not just fuzz. There are other types of fuzzes that have evolved from the original fuzz pedal. But basically, fuzzes are classified according to the components that give it its characteristic growl.
Germanium transistors were the first component used to drive raw signals past its threshold to create a gritty and growling engine-rev like output. However, by the end of the 60s, manufacturers started using silicon transistors for its more stable sound.
Germanium fuzzes tend to have warmer sound compared with silicon fuzz pedals. It has a rounder sound compared with a silicon fuzz.
Towards the end of the 60s, guitar effects manufacturers started using silicon transistors to replace the germanium transistors. The silicon fuzz has a consistent sonic quality with quite a bit longer sustain. Silicon fuzz is edgier and has a tighter feel compared with the germanium fuzz.
As the name suggests, a hybrid fuzz is a combination of the two types of transistors used for fuzzes. There is a lot of variation, and it's quite difficult to tell the difference between the two. Some guitar effects company designed fuzzes with toggle switches to cycle or stack the two different circuitry based on their transistors.
Now, aside from the combination of the two main ingredients of fuzzes, some effects manufacturing companies have taken the fuzz to a whole new level. Today, its really not rare to see some fuzzes combined with other modulating or pitch bending guitar effects. If you like futuristic or psychedelic fuzz tones, you may be able to find one if you know where to search!
Mini Fuzz Pedal
Mini fuzz pedals, basically, are fuzzes housed in smaller enclosures that help you save pedalboard space. This small size of this device does not mean that it has little value. It can be as monstrous as a as fuzz faces and big muffs too!
Top 20 Best Fuzz Pedals Review
EarthQuaker Devices Erupter Ultimate Fuzz Tone
All EarthQuaker Devices Pedals are handmade by a bunch of people who have an extreme love for music and pushing effects processing to its limits. At EarthQuaker Devices, they value the quirks of the people involve and give them a free hand in the design and build of every guitar effects pedal.
The Erupter is the final fuzz in your arsenal that would push your music on the brink of eruption. This single-knob pedal housed in an orange and black enclosure with an erupting volcano design. The Erupter is equipped with top-notch transistors to preserve the lows and plays really nice with wahs and other shifting devices.
It only has one knob to control the amount of fuzz you add to your output. This device is ideal for all types of electric guitars including bass guitars. The configuration of the circuit is carefully configured to play well with high and low gain guitar and amp setup without overpowering your overall output.
- This versatile guitar effects pedal works well on basses and electric guitars.
- This pedal is made by a reputable company.
- It would be very difficult not to know how to operate the single knob.
- The power input, instrument input, and outputs are located at the top for easy configuration on your pedal board.
- This pedal has a dreamy sonic output.
- It doesn’t have a volume control.
- This pedal has no battery slot.
Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker
Electro-Harmonix is one of the earliest manufacturers of guitar effects that have been in the market since the 1970s. They started gaining popularity in the 1970s, and until today, many of their analog models are still in circulation. It only proves that even the first generation guitar pedals are still preferred by musicians until today.
This Big Muff is enclosed in a white housing with seafoam green text at the front. The enclosure is not as big as the old versions of Big Muffs and has minimized a bit. But still, it would still take a larger space on your pedal train.
This model three knobs that control the volume, tone, and sustain. It has two flip switches for additional control over your tone. The tone switch bypasses the tone knob control, and the wicker switch adds more high frequency to the signal.
The input and output jacks are located at the sides while the power input is located at the top. The position of the input and output jacks will require a huge space on your pedalboard even if you use angled patch cables. The power input is neatly located at the top and would not interfere with your chain.
- This pedal is manufactured by a trusted company that pioneered the industry.
- Electro-Harmonix is known for their astounding craftsmanship.
- The unique characteristic of Big Muff gives you that face-melting fuzz.
- It has excellent harmonics that can be easily controlled by the sustain knob.
- This device is user-friendly and won’t require too much time getting familiar with.
- This guitar effect works with battery.
- This device is quite big and would consume a large space on your pedal train.
- This may not go well with boosts, drives, and distortion pedals.
Catalinbread Karma Suture Harmonic Fuzz
Catalinbread is an Oregon-based company that was founded in 2003. Behind Catalinbread is a bunch of creative nuts who are passionate about music and how to make it better. With this value at the heart of the company, they were able to create guitar effects that would stand out and would be loved by their fellow avid musicians.
Catalinbread’s Karma Suture harmonic Fuzz is housed in a purple enclosure. This germanium fuzz has four knobs, one true bypass switch, a LED indicator, one instrument input jack, and one instrument output jack. The input and output jacks are located on the left and the right side.
This pedal requires a 9v DC power supply to work. The four knobs let you adjust the input, output, density, and diode compression. This powerful fuzz easily can be easily cleaned by lowering your guitar volume.
The harmonics of this germanium fuzz are astounding and can be attributed to the rare circuitry that Catalinbread used; the Harmonic Percolator. Dialing the diode knob would give you a tightly compressed distortion.
- This device cleans up pretty well when the volume is turned down.
- The harmonics are superb.
- Catalinbread is known to make excellent guitar pedals.
- This versatile device works well from jazz to metal.
- The input and output jacks are located on the sides which makes wiring them a bit difficult especially if you don’t have much space on your pedal train.
- It doesn’t have an option for battery operation.
Wampler Velvet Fuzz
Brian Wampler is the famous founding father of Wampler Pedals. Brian is a gadget enthusiast that started as a hobby. He was fond of modifying his own device and found many ways to improve what already exists to maximize its potential. However, modifying seems to be not enough to satiate his creative prowess. He started building his own guitar effects. Eventually, many people fell in love with his tone. This led to the creation of Wampler Pedals.
Wampler pedals are known for their excellent craftsmanship hand-built quality. All their products are made in the USA with top-notch parts. This pedal features a true bypass switch with a led indicator for its status. It has three knobs that control the volume, brightness, and the amount of fuzz you get.
It has two fuzz modes that can be selected using a flip switch. The tight mode gives you a fuzzy distortion, while the big mode has a compressed and denser fuzz. You will be mesmerized by the big mode’s more defined low end.
This pedal can be operated using a 9v battery or a power adapter with the same rating. The input and output jacks are located at the top of the unit to make sure that it won't get in the way of your other pedals on your rig.
- This pedal feature two distinct modes with unique sound quality.
- With three knobs, operating this device is quite easy even for beginners.
- The jacks are positioned at the top of the pedal that greatly saves space on your pedal train.
- This build and quality of materials used in this pedal are top-notch.
- This pedal does not support wet/dry output.
- Acquiring one can be quite difficult due to limited production.
- This product does not support stereo output.
Death by Audio Fuzz War
Death by Audio is a small boutique guitar effects pedal manufacturer that was founded in 2002. They started out small and hand-crafted customized guitar effects pedal for bands. Eventually, the demand went high, and they have to set up legit manufacturing to keep up with the growing demand. Apparently, musicians loved Death by Audio’s sonic quality.
This fuzz is a simple guitar pedal housed in a silver box. The simplicity of the design makes it an easy to use a pedal that you can readily hook in your signal chain. It has two big knobs, and that controls the tone and the amount of fuzz in your output. The small knob tapers the volume of your output.
It has a true bypass footswitch, and a red LED that indicates the status of the pedal. The power input, output jack, and input jack are located at the top. This design saves you precious pedalboard space. The graffiti design gives it a humble look, but it packs a great fuzz.
The sound quality gives you a grungy heavy fuzz that characterizes its name, Fuzz War. If you love that heavy fuzz, you will find this device amazing. However, this may be a bit noisy gain is cranked.
- This boutique pedal is handcrafted.
- Death by Audio is known to design and manufacture customized pedals for famous bands.
- The jacks are positioned at the top of the pedal.
- The design is cool.
- The sonic quality of this fuzz is outstanding.
- The pedal enclosure is quite bulky.
- This fuzz pedal has no stereo output option.
- It does not have a battery slot.
MXR M236 Super Badass Variac Fuzz
MXR is a New York-based guitar effects manufacturer that has been operating for a little less than 50 years now. They are one of the companies that pioneered the guitar effects technology. They have manufactured hundreds of effects unit for electric guitars and other electronic instruments. They are known for making top-notch quality guitar effects.
MXR’s Super Badass Variac Fuzz aims to blow your mind and with its attitude. This fuzz in housed in a glittery purplish brown enclosure. The design is quite simple with the MXR logo at the center of the box. It has four knobs, an LED status indicator, one input, one output, and power input.
With four simple controls, you can adjust the volume of your output, adjust the gain of your raw signal, tweak the tone, and simulate a dying battery effect. The variac knob can be adjusted from 5v to 15v to give you that on-the-verge-of-dying-battery effect. This means that you don’t have to collect half dead batteries!
Dialing the gain knob at a minimum and setting the voltage high will give you more of an overdriven tone rather than the fuzzy sound. But when you turn the gain up, you will start to get that more compressed and distinct fuzz.
- This device is crafted by a trusted guitar effect manufacturing company.
- The control knobs are easy to understand.
- The variac knob gives you control over the amount of voltage that changes the character of the fuzz.
- It’s almost like having an overdrive and a fuzz effect in one pedal.
- This pedal does not support stereo output.
- The input and output jacks are located on the sides.
Valeton Lazaro Modern Fuzz
Valeton has more than ten years of manufacturing electronic equipment up their sleeves. They aim to give the lowest price possible to musicians without sacrificing the quality. They believe that quality is not exclusive to high priced guitar effects. To prove that, they offer more affordable effects pedal that matches the expectations, if not exceed, of their clients.
This green mini pedal will easily fit in your bag. It has four knobs on it that controls the volume output, amount of fuzz, treble cut, and bass cut. It has a LED indicator positioned at the middle of the four knobs. It is equipped with a true bypass switch that would not mess up your signal chain when it is turned off.
It has one input, one output, and one power input. This is a mini pedal, so, there is no space for a 9v battery inside it.
With the bass and treble cut, you get to have more control over the tonal quality of your output. Cranking the fuzz knob will give you that grungy and dirty engine-like rev that is full to the ears. This pedal won’t take much space on your board. However, the patch cables will still consume some space because of the side-positioned input and output jacks.
- If you are saving up pedal board, space, this device won’t take that much.
- The quality you get from this mini pedal is amazing.
- This pedal can go toe to toe with the top brands.
- The green color makes it easy to find even in the dark.
- The position of the input and output jacks consumes a bit of pedal train space.
- You won't be able to operate this on battery.
Keeley Monterey Rotary Fuzz Vibe
Robert Keeley is an engineer who happens to be a musician at the same time. He has extensive knowledge in using guitar effects as he is a guitarist himself. When his burning passion for music bumped to his engineering prowess, custom-built guitar electronics came out of it. With over 16 years in the market, Keeley has designed and manufactured 90 unique guitar effects in total.
Monterey Rotary Fuzz Vibe is a cute pedal with monstrous capabilities. It’s housed in a huge textured baby blue enclosure with accents of red heart-shaped images in the middle. This may not be the best fuzz pedal for beginners as it has complex functions that require a deeper understanding of how guitar effect parameters work.
It has six knobs, two footswitches, a three-point flip switch, one input, one output, a power input, and one midi input. Yes, you can hook up your expression pedal to this effect to get more out of it! This pedal has fuzz, vibe, wah, rotary speaker, and octave in it.
This guitar effect has two channels that isolate fuzz effect and modulation. You can freely mix modulation with the fuzz effect to get a unique sound using just one guitar effects pedal. One notable feature that this product has is the octave. You can dial one octave down by cranking the octave knob to the left and one octave up when dialed in the opposite direction.
Mixing your fuzz with the modulation effect would unlock a whole new variety of interesting sound with amazing sonic quality.
- This guitar effect is handcrafted and built with astounding quality.
- It features five unique guitar effects in one pedal.
- This device has an input jack for an expression pedal.
- It has two channels which essentially makes it two guitar pedals in one.
- The combination of modulation effects and fuzz gives you a large selection of effects to choose from.
- This product may not be the best pedal for beginners.
- It will take many hours to grasp the potential of this guitar pedal.
EarthQuaker Devices Hoof Germanium/Silicon Hybrid Fuzz
EarthQuaker Devices has shaken the world of music with their outstanding guitar pedals that are born out of passion. The people behind this company are not just musicians who play good music; they are a team of passionate people who have their eyes set towards moving forward and innovation.
The Hoof Fuzz is enclosed in a brownish-gold box with black hooves. It has four knobs, one footswitch, an LED status indicator, input and output, and power input. The input/output jacks and power input are situated at the top of the device for convenient wiring.
The for knobs control the tone, volume output, shift, and amount of fuzz. This hybrid germanium/silicon fuzz has a long sustain almost similar to the famous Big Muff. The shift knob lets you cut the mid-range frequency that unlocks a wide range of tone.
Cranking the shift knob will give you a tone more like an overdrive with a characteristic harmonic rich fuzz.
- This device cleans up pretty well when you roll the volume down.
- This guitar effect has a simple interface that is easy to operate.
- The shift knob allows you to have an overdriven fuzzy output.
- The position of the input and output are optimized for easier wiring.
- This fuzz gets a bit noisy when stacked with a boost or overdrive.
EarthQuaker Devices Hoof Reaper Octave Fuzz
EarthQuaker Devices is a small boutique guitar effects manufacturer that build every unit by hand. This company is comprised of happy people who are passionate about what they do. Their passion for music and guitar effects led them to design guitar pedals that other musicians fall in love with as well.
EarthQuaker Devices designed this fuzz for people who can’t get enough of it. This pedal has two fuzzes in one white enclosure with a red graphic design of a hoof on the left and a winged reaper on the right. If that is not enough, they integrated an octave circuit that can be activated using a flip switch.
This pedal has a total of 7 knobs, three footswitches, and a flip switch. Four knobs are designated for the hoof fuzz controls and three for the tone reaper. One footswitch is dedicated to the hoof and tone reaper. The third footswitch bypasses the whole circuit of the pedal. The input and output jacks and the power input are located at the top which makes wiring them a bit easier than most pedals.
The hoof fuzz gives you that classic germanium fuzz while the reaper features a hybrid tone bending fuzz. If you can’t have enough, you can activate both of it simultaneously for a heavier and dirtier fuzz. Enabling the octave will give your output a thicker and fuller sound.
- This device features two fuzzes in one box.
- It has an option to integrate an octave circuit to your output.
- This pedal has the jacks positioned at the top for easier wiring.
- It has separate footswitches for each effect and has an overall bypass switch.
- This pedal adds a unique heavy fuzz flavor to your guitar output when stacked.
- This pedal may not be best for beginners.
- It takes a huge space in your pedal train.
Fulltone '69 MkII Fuzz
Fulltone debuted in 1993 and 2018 marks their 25th year in the industry. According to Michael Fuller, the founder of the company, the whole idea of guitar effects manufacturing company actually started since 1991. He, too, is a musician and found electronics to his liking. The fusion of these two passion-driven hobbies led to iconic guitar pedals that are still in the market up to this day.
Flltone’s ’69 MkII is a grungy fuzz pedal enclosed in a textured red box. It has two knobs that control the volume and fuzz. Just below these knobs are smaller knobs that further tweak the shape of your output. The input knob cuts the tone. Lowering its level gives you a muddy sound and increasing it gives you a brighter and punchy sound. The contour knob adjusts your mid frequency and gives your signal a mild boost.
The output and input are located on the sides together with the power input. This device can run on also run on battery.
This device is notably known for its fat tone that sounds like a vintage Fender amp and cleaned up. It’s like having a distortion pedal when the volume is rolled down and a grungy fuzz when cranked.
- Fulltone is among the trusted brands of guitar effects that you can get your hands on.
- The sonic quality of this pedal is remarkable and brings the classic tones of the 70s.
- Cleaning up the volume gives you an overdriven fuzz quality output.
- This guitar effect is characterized by its rich harmonics and remarkable sustains.
- This product can operate on battery power.
- It has a nice simple and textured finish.
- There are other devices out there that can do a lot more than this pedal.
DigiTech DOD Carcosa Fuzz
DigiTech is an American company that specializes in manufacturing multi-effects and other electronic instrument devices that adds flavor to your music. This company was founded in 1984 and is one of the most notable companies that make digital multi-effects processors that integrate handheld device apps.
DOD Carcosa fuzz is housed in a black and yellow enclosure that packs the characteristic sound of the 70s. It has four knobs, one footswitch; a bluish-white LED status indicator, a toggle switch, input and output jacks on the side, power input, and a battery cage.
The four knobs control the output level, a hi-cut, and before and after bias control. Although this device looks fairly simple, it has a wide range of capability to produce unique fuzz sound. The toggle switches cycles between Hali mode and Demhe. The Hali mode is optimized for high gain amps while the Demhe is packed with more boost to drive gritty fuzz off a clean amp.
- This device is packed in a cool designed enclosure and made by a reputable company.
- This guitar pedal has huge sonic potential.
- The two modes, Demhe and Hali, lets you have an optimized fuzz for high gain and low gain amps respectively.
- This pedal can operate on battery power.
- The input and output sockets are placed on the sides and consume a larger space on your pedal board.
- Hali on high gain amps can be quite noisy.
MXR M84 Bass Fuzz
Jim Dunlop is the mother company that owns MXR. In 1987, Jim Dunlop acquired MXR and continued with what it started. Today, MXR is a still a renowned brand that manufactures top-notch guitar effects and other professional audio electronics for recording, mixing, and post-processing.
M84 is an analog effect housed in a glittery brownish-gold box with an amazing sound. With four knobs, this device is easy to control and shape your tone. This bass effect is designed after a vintage fuzz that is optimized to enhance the low frequencies.
MXR decided to separate the volume of the wet and dry signal to give you more control over how much fuzz you want on your output. The tone knob adjusts the brightness of your output, and the fuzz adds dirt to your signal.
The power input, instrument input and output are located at the sides. This is a versatile fuzz that can be swept clean easily by rolling your volume down.
- MXR is a trusted company that makes excellent guitar pedals.
- This pedal is easy to use and comes with cables.
- The separate wet and dry knob emulates a stereo signal.
- This bass guitar effect pedal has a distinct 70s vibe to it.
- This device does not operate on battery.
- It’s not the most favored bass fuzz by many musicians.
Darkglass Duality Fuzz
Darkglass is a company that specializes in bass guitar effects. They are based in Helsinki and manufacture their pedals by hand. They are established in 2009 by Douglas Castro, an engineer, and started getting noticed by bassists. Today, Darkglass Electronics are among the most favored bass guitar pedals brand by many bass guitarists.
Duality Fuzz is made especially for the bass guitar. The designer chose simplicity over the design and ended up with a humble-looking bass guitar pedal with enormous potential. It has four knobs that control the parameter and shape of your output.
It has a blend knob on the upper left that controls how wet your output is. The duality knob on its right controls how much fuzz is added to your output. The duality knob has two different characteristic fuzz on the left and right. The left-hand side has a sawtooth-like decaying sustain while the right side has a more modern vibe.
The level knob below the blend adjusts the volume, and the filter knob to its right adjusts the brightness of your output.
- This device has two distinct fuzz characteristic that you can play with.
- The quality and build of this guitar pedal are astounding.
- The low pass filter emphasizes the harmonic sonic quality of the guitar output.
- There is no way to sweep clean the fuzz.
- This guitar effect does not operate on battery.
Way Huge WHE408 Russian Pickle Fuzz
Way Huge is a guitar effect line series created by Jim Dunlop. There are a total of 27 unique products under the way huge series. Over the years, Jim Dunlop was able to create a huge collection of guitar effects under the way huge series.
Russian Pickle is housed in an army green enclosure that resembles the fuzz of big muff. This model uses rare and hard to find transistors that give it the gritty fuzz. This pedal works well for guitar and basses. This pedal has three knobs that adjust the volume, the amount of distortion, and the tone respectively.
It is fitted with a true bypass switch and an LED status indicator. Rolling the tone all the way to the left gives a smoother and beefy tone perfect for backing tracks. Cranking the tone knob all the way to the right gives you a bright and gritty output perfect for emphasizing key musical phrases.
The power input, instrument in and out are placed at the top for easy access and arrangement over your pedal board. The battery is positioned at the bottom with an easy to open latch.
- This pedal is made by a company owned by Jim Dunlop that is known for excellent hand-built quality.
- The inputs and outputs are at the top for easy access.
- This is a versatile device that can be used for electric guitars and basses.
- This guitar effect brings out remarkable harmonics to your outputs.
- The battery door is neatly positioned at the bottom and can be accessibly replaced.
- This device is a bit bigger than your average guitar effects pedal.
- Can be a little noisy when paired with a high gain amp.
Donner Stylish Fuzz
Donner is a guitar pedal company that was recently established in 2012. They aim to be the best manufacturer of mini guitar pedals that minimalist musicians would love to have. As of today, they have successfully designed a wide selection of mini guitar pedals with monstrous capability.
This light blue Stylish Fuzz can literally fit in your pocket! Although the shape can be a bit uncomfortable inside your pocket, it fits the description! It about half the size of your average guitar pedal and would require little space in your pedal train.
This light blue fuzz pedal has one standard sized knob that adjusts the amount of fuzz you get in your output. It has two small knobs that control the volume and the tone of your fuzz. It’s fitted with a true bypass footswitch that would not affect your overall signal in your chain.
The power input is at the top, and the instrument inputs and outputs are on the sides. The character of tone and sonic quality is outstanding the interface is easy to use and understand.
- This guitar pedal literally fits inside your pocket with ease.
- The quality and build are outstanding for an affordable fuzz pedal.
- The interface is easy to use and understand especially for beginners.
- The instrument input and output are on the sides which may require a larger space when set up.
- The fuzz effect you get is a bit too basic.
- It doesn’t have a battery compartment.
Mooer Triangle Buff Fuzz
Mooer is a Chinese brand that started to global attention for their pocket-sized pedals. They started manufacturing pedals that have similar properties to iconic pedals in a more compact size. Aside from miniaturizing pedals, they also made 9 models under Spark series that are way smaller than the mini pedals.
Triangle Buff is housed in a silver mini enclosure that has one standard knob and two small knobs to control parameters. It is equipped with a true bypass switch that completely won’t affect your signal chain when it's turned off.
The power input is at the top while the instrument input and output are located on the sides. The big knob controls the sustain and gives you more harmonic and tighter response. The volume and tone controls are assigned to the two small knobs.
- This pedal won’t take much space on your pedal board.
- This guitar effects pedal is beginner friendly.
- This guitar pedal is about half the size of the average guitar pedal.
- This product does not have a battery slot.
- This pedal does not clean up well.
Michael Fuller, the founder of Fulltone, has started designing and handcrafting guitar pedals in 1991. His love for music and gear compelled him to create guitar effects pedal that would enhance live performance even without tube amps. Michael Fuller is confident with their product and gives out 5-year warranty to every product.
This blue fuzz pedal is a replica of Hendrix’s Octavia. If you love how Jimmy Hendrix handled his guitar solos with his Octavia, you get a chance to replicate that with Octafuzz. It is a unique fuzz with an octave layered to your output.
It only has two knobs, volume, and boost, which makes it easy to operate. The octave can be activated by a toggle switch between the knobs.
The instrument input and output are on the sides together with the power input. The battery cage can be unscrewed behind the pedal.
When you activate the octave toggle switch, you will get that fat fuzzy and full to the ear sound that Jimmy Hendrix loved to use.
- This is a replica of Hendrix’s Octavia.
- This pedal is hand-built in America and comes with a 5-year warranty.
- This fuzz pedal has a unique character that is enhanced by the octave circuit that can be activated by a toggle switch.
- This effects pedal is easy to use.
- It can easily become noisy with a high gain amp.
- You need a center-positive power supply to run this pedal on DC power.
Walrus Audio Janus Tremolo/Fuzz
Walrus Audio is a band of musicians with different backgrounds and specialties. Their love for music and passion for innovating led them to their guitar effect masterpieces. The top guitar effects manufacturing companies are their inspiration and make better out of what is already established.
Janus is a combination of tremolo and fuzz in one guitar effect. This white guitar pedal is designed with two characters facing the opposite direction. Instead of classic knobs, this pedal has two fancy joysticks that control the tremolo and fuzz.
This dual effect pedal can be stacked or activated individually. Although it has a total of two joysticks and three knobs, it's still pretty easy to control. The level and blend below the fuzz joystick adjusts the mix and volume of your fuzz. The level knob below the tremolo tweaks rate of tremolo.
When the two different effects are stacked, you get a dreamy psychedelic sonic output.
- You get two distinct effects in one pedal box.
- If you love dreamy psychedelic music, this combination is spot on.
- The joysticks are a fun way to operate your guitar effects pedal.
- The quality of the build is outstanding.
- This pedal takes a large space in your pedal board.
- Aside from the size, the position of the input and output would further increase the space it takes on your pedal train.
Black Cat Super Fuzz
Black Cat Pedals is a small boutique guitar effects company that manages and produces a rather small scale of products compared with the top brands. Although they are not as widely available as the top brands, they are built with top-notch handcrafted quality, and they produce unique effects.
Super Fuzz is housed in a brown-leather designed enclosure that is a little larger than your average guitar effects pedal. This is made with a well-designed circuit using germanium diodes to create monstrous fuzz with a wide array of harmonics.
It has two knobs that control the balance and expands the fuzz. It has a toggle switch that cycles brightens or darkens your overall tone. The power, input, and output sockets are positioned at the top for easy layout on your pedal board.
This super fuzz is loaded with angry and dirty fuzz tone that would fill your audience’s ears.
- This pedal is handcrafted and delicately made to ensure top quality.
- The simple design makes it easy to use especially for beginners.
- This guitar effect pedal has its inputs and outputs at the top that saves you pedalboard space.
- This pedal is quite hard to find.
- There are better fuzzes that have more controls over the parameters and shape of your signal output.
Choosing A Fuzz Pedal For Your Need
Depending on the instrument you play, there is an ideal fuzz that will suit you. Most Fuzzes are made for electric guitars and can be used for other instruments too. However, since the design is tested for electric guitars, its potential can be maximized using the recommended instrument.
There are fuzzes that would work well with electric bass guitars too. They are specially designed to work well with the lower frequency audio signal that bass guitars emit. However, some fuzzes can be used interchangeably.
Best Fuzz Pedals For Bass
The bass guitar is not just a cool instrument that envelops all the musical quality of the band. It can stand out too! With the right skill set and the right amount of fuzz, bass guitars can kill solos too!
- DigiTech DOD Carcosa Fuzz
Carcosa is a vintage silicon fuzz that gives emphasis to the harmonic lows of the bass guitar. It gives the bass signal a mid-boost that brings out fuzz that is full to the ears. It has a toggle option that enables you to configure the pedal according to the amp you are using. The switch will cycle between Demhe, suitable for a high gain amp; and Hali that boosts your low gain amp for a characteristic fuzzy bass.
- MXR M84
MXR designed a special circuit for the bass guitar. M84 maintains its punchiness and clarity even when you crank the fuzz. This makes it a perfect bass fuzz for earthshaking bass solos. One more point that is worth mentioning is the wide spectrum of tones that it can handle. M84 would make every bass solo a remarkable one.
- Darkglass Duality
Duality is something you would get if you want a heavy fuzz without unnecessary noise. The sound quality of this guitar pedal is superb, and the low-frequency response is clear even at high gain. This pedal runs on two distinct fuzz circuits assigned to the duality knob. Cranking the knob to the left gives you a clean sawtooth-like fuzz while the right gives you a modern high gain heavy fuzz.
- Way Huge Russian Pickle Fuzz
This versatile fuzz is a simple to use guitar effect that would work with your electric guitar and electric bass. This pedal is based on the iconic big muff and uses a unique transistor that brings out a revving fuzz out of your electric guitar or bass. The tone control enhances the mids and gives you a fuzz that is full to the ears.
Best Fuzz Pedal For Stoner Rock
There are a few pedals that are dreamy enough to qualify for stoner rock genre. If you are having trouble finding a fuzz for this specific jam, you might want to try DigiTech DOD Carcosa. It’s packed a wide spectrum of tones ranging from heavy fuzz to dreamy wonderland fuzz that will bring you to the future!
Best Fuzz Pedal For Blues
For the classic blues, heavy fuzzes may be a little too much. Wampler has made the perfect fuzz that would give you the versatility and clean tone inside the Velvet Fuzz. This creamy velvet fuzz has a smooth character that would not overpower your track.
Choosing a Fuzz Pedal Based on Type
There are a few different types of fuzz pedals available in the market. Some of them follow the same circuitry, while some are heavily based on iconic fuzz pedals. There are others that are heavily modded to create synth-like dreamy psychedelic fuzz tones. Here are some pedals that might fit your description.
Best Mini Fuzz Pedal
If you are running out of precious pedal board space, a standard sized guitar effects pedal may be a deal breaker. Maybe, another board would be too much of a hassle to set up. But, thankfully, there are some mini versions of the pedals we need in our signal chain.
- Donner Stylish Fuzz
Donner’s Stylish fuzz offers a distinct vintage fuzz tone that would satisfy your rock and blues. It’s amazing that this small pedal was able to accommodate three knobs given its small size. The best thing about this pedal? It’s about half the size of your average guitar effects pedal.
- Valeton Lazaro Modern Fuzz
This pedal is another great contender in the realm of mini fuzzes. It’s half about half the size of regular effects. They were able to fit four knobs in its circuitry without compromising its internal components. This mini pedal, although its small, has bass and treble cut knobs that would allow you to tweak your tone according to your taste and style.
- Mooer Triangle Buff Fuzz
Fuzz is known for its engine-rev like sound. However, some pedals lack sustains and harmonic response. Mooer designed this triangle buff to compensate for that and added a sustain knob to increase the harmonics of your fuzz. This is best for emphasizing fuzzy guitar solos without cluttering your pedal board!
Best Octave Fuzz Pedal
For decades, many musicians have found out how much fuzz sounds better with an octaver. Guitar effects manufacturers and small boutique companies have decided to create a fuzz with octaver in one pedal to spare you of the hassle!
- EarthQuaker Devices Hoof Reaper Octave Fuzz
EarthQuaker Devices is known for the quality and cool designs of the pedals they make by hand. One of the best things about EQD is they listen to musicians and find out what they need. They decided to put on two of their best fuzzes in one pedal and built-in an octaver circuit with it to give you that exemplary music output.
- Fulltone Octafuzz
Octave and fuzz go a long way, and the father of rock and roll agrees with that. Octafuzz is one of Hendrix’s effects in his arsenal, and he has put it to good use. If you loved how Jimmy Hendrix played his music with an octafuzz, this one is the right guitar pedal for you.
Best Germanium Fuzz Pedal
Germanium fuzz pedals, for a brief moment, has been replaced with silicon fuzz pedals because of transistor availability in the late 60s. But today, both have its own unique quality, and we can’t really say that one is better than the other. If you want the best of both worlds, EQD made a hybrid by combining silicon and germanium transistors in their Hoof Hybrid Fuzz.
Selecting a Fuzz Pedal on a Budget
Sometimes, the budget comes in the way of having the top-rated brand and model in the market. Maybe you need other effects aside form fuzz, and you have a limited budget for that matter so you would have to make ends meet. Well, owning a fuzz doesn’t mean you have to break the bank.
Best Cheap Fuzz Pedals
The mini fuzz pedals are a great way to start with. In fact, you can set up a collection of mini pedals to complete your rig if you are on a tight budget! If you are looking for mini fuzzes, Valeton’s Lazaro Modern Fuzz, Mooer’s Triangle Buff Fuzz, and Donner’s Stylish Fuzz are among the most affordable pedals you can get.
Best Fuzz Pedal Under 100
With a few more bucks, but still under a hundred, you can check out Digitech DoD Carcosa Fuzz. It’s among the most versatile fuzzes that you can experiment with. It works well with electric guitars and basses which makes them a valuable guitar effect.
How To Use a Fuzz Pedal?
A fuzz pedal is not a difficult guitar effect to master. There are models with as few as one knob to operate with! To understand how to use it, knowing how it works will be of great help.
So, basically, a fuzz is like an evolved distortion pedal. Using germanium, and silicon transistors, your raw signal is processed and boosted to a level that the top ends of the waveform are clipped! That’s how we get that grungy and dirty tight sound.
How do you use a fuzz pedal? Simply crank the fuzz knob to your heart’s content! Some fuzz pedals have high, mid, and low cut filters. This gives you more option to shape your tone.
Another technique you could apply using a fuzz is rolling your volume down to clean up the dirt in your output. Simply roll your volume down to decrease the fuzz in your output. Now, go ahead and crank that knob for an earthshaking fuzz!
What Does a Fuzz Pedal Do?
Isn’t it amazing that these small effects boxes are able to enhance and improve your music with just a flip of a switch? But, what really happens when you press that button?
Imagine your clean signal. An audio signal can be visualized as a waveform. Clean signals have waveforms with round edges and smooth tonal quality. Now, when you run your signal through a fuzz pedal, that signal is boosted to the limits and go beyond the threshold of your audio signal processor. When the signal goes beyond its maximum tolerance, it breaks up, and the sound gets gritty.
The fuzz is like an exaggerated distortion and leaves you with square waveforms that is the remnant of the original signal pushed to its maximum. The result, you get a gritty sound with pronounced harmonics.
What you get is a face-melting engine-rev like sound that will drive your audience crazy!
Where To Put Fuzz Pedal In Your Signal Chain?
Basic guitar effects chain requires some attention to detail. You don’t want to mess around hooking up your guitar effects randomly, or you will get a sloppy and difficult to configure pedal board. So, here’s a basic setup that you could follow to make sure that you get clean and noise-free output.
Guitar input should be linked directly to dynamic effect processors such as a compressor. Hooking up your instrument directly to a compressor will give you a nice clean waveform before sending it to other effects on your chain.
This could be followed by a volume pedal to gain control over your clean compressed signal. Your clean compressed signal could be followed by filters such as wah pedals and similar effects.
Now, you could place the fuzz pedal next to your wah pedal. This section is where you place boost, overdrive, distortion, and fuzz. Since these effects are a relatively high gain in nature, be careful of stacking them as you might get too much noise in the background.
If you have modulation effects in your rig, it’s best placed after these high gain processors. Tremolos, choruses, phasers, flangers, and other similar effects can be placed here.
Lastly, you can place your delay and other similar pedals after the modulation effects. If you have a reverb pedal, you can place it at the end of the chain right before the amp to give your final output a shimmer and swollen character.
Tips For Using Fuzz Pedal
Most fuzz pedals are pretty straightforward and are not complicated to use. One knob fuzzes are not uncommon, and more than four is quite an overkill for a single pedal. It’s pretty easy and fun to learn. Here are some tips that might be helpful in using a fuzz pedal.
- You can clean your fuzz with the volume knob.
You can set your desired tone and fuzz at around 7-8 volume and roll it down to clean up the high overtones and harmonics. Now, when you need to emphasize a few sections, you can simply crank your volume to get more mojo out of your fuzz. Simply roll it back down to clean up your fuzz.
- Be careful when stacking your fuzz with other gain pedals.
Fuzzes and distortion don’t go well together in high amounts. If you have other gain pedals on your rig, be mindful about which you are activating. When you stack fuzz with high gain, you may get too much noise and overpower everyone in the band.
- Make use of the feedback.
Since fuzzes have high gains, you can exploit the harmonics and feedback easily. To get more feedback, get close to your amp and face it. Again, you have to practice and take extra caution when doing this. Too much may not be pleasant to the ears.
- Check the heat.
When using germanium-based fuzzes, it's essential that you monitor the temperature from time. Germanium transistors are known to heat up pretty when driven at max.
Fuzzes have come a long way since they were invented. Since the 60s, hundreds of models have come out. Boutique pedal manufacturer even followed suit and many custom-made fuzzes are now available. With the sheer number of fuzz pedals available in the market, it has become hard to choose which one is right for you.
The good thing is you have decided to do your homework before you make that purchase. Many new models of fuzzes are still based on the vintage circuitry and follow the same principle. However, today, more flavors are added to make fuzz more interesting.
Now, depending on what genre you play and how much you intend to spend, there is a suitable guitar fuzz pedal for you!
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