The fuzz pedal is one of the earliest and most enduring effect pedals that have been used by great artists in virtually every genre. Let’s explore the basics and try to find whether you need a fuzz pedal or not?
Generally, the fuzz pedal is used to add stunning fizz character to the sound to make it more flexible and versatile. It creates a harmonic saturation in the tone and provides a wooly thickness to it by adding extra power and sustain to the audio signals.
Fuzz is nothing but a special type of distortion effect where harmonic overtones dominate the overall sound by cutting out extreme frequencies from the harmonic palette and overall emphasizing the remaining ones.
What Does a Fuzz Pedal Do?
Whenever someone required rough and heavily saturated tones, fuzz pedals are often one of the great choices for guitar players. It produces sound through audio clipping by emphasizing the upper-band frequencies and cutting away some of the middle frequencies to create a harmonic saturation in the sound.
It provides you with a completely new effect by adding an extreme clipping to your guitar’s tone. Although, this makes a fuzzy tone relatively harder to hear in a dense band mix, but the saturation it offers is undeniable.
Fuzz pedals becoming more and more popular as these ultra stamp boxes allow you to get saturated distortion tone without even cranking your amplifier to higher volume. I love how they deliver an all-new artificial tone by adding extra power and sustain into the audio signal.
Any decent fuzz pedal can add sputtering fizz character to almost any kind of music and instantly take it from a subtle grainy texture to woolly thickness along with pretty nice touch sensitivity.
Where to Put Fuzz Pedal in Signal Chain?
As a general rule, the fuzz pedal should be placed as early as possible in the signal chain to add a nice distortion to the unmodified tone. Many players prefer to put a fuzz pedal after the tuner, compression, and wah pedal but before modulation and other time-related effect pedals.
If you try to put the fuzz pedal at the start of the chain (Even before tuner, compression, and wah pedal), it interferes with the way those pedals interact with the tone.
For Ex: If the compression pedal goes after the fuzz pedal, in order to smooth out the level, it end-up boosting the distorted fuzzy effect too much, which results in a kind of muddy-sounding tone.
Also, it’s always recommended to place fuzz pedal before modulation, pitch shifters, time-related effect pedals because the main job of these pedals is to tweak the tone rather than alter it completely.
How to Choose the Best Fuzz Pedal for Yourself?
Personally, I think fuzz pedal is a very subjective kind of effect and thus choosing the best fuzz pedal is came down to personal preference. But, these are some of the common factors you must consider before you make your choice:
Type of the Transistor:
There are two main types of transistors used in a fuzz pedal and they play quite an important role in terms of the fuzzy tone you get.
The fuzz pedals that come with silicon transistors are considered of producing higher gains and a relatively brighter sounding tone. Whereas those with germanium transistors tend to deliver a warmer sounding tone that can be cleaned up nicely even at a low volume.
Bottom Line: There is no competition! You should choose between them based on the tone you’re looking for from your fuzz pedal.
In most cases, it doesn’t matter which type of fuzz pedal you choose as budget is still one of the important factors that ultimately decide the overall quality of the pedal.
Not always but the more money you invest in gear, the more value you’ll get in terms of tone versatility, durability, and the playing experience. BUT: that doesn’t mean you can’t find a good fuzz pedal on a tight budget that is perfectly suitable for your needs.
Most of the fuzz pedals are essentially similar in terms of their functionality (circuit-wise), but what truly makes one pedal different from another is other features like EQ, Octave, Tone, and many more.
These added features make the pedal more versatile by providing you extra control over the fuzzy tone to sculpt it to a greater extent.
The fuzz pedal can’t break an amplifier. Although theoretically, it seems possible to blow up an input stage of an amp but it required a super high output boost that isn’t available commercially.
What Fuzz Pedal Did Hendrix Use?
Hendrix uses Dallas-Arbiter Fuzz Face Pedal to achieve his extremely crazy and versatile sound. It comes with a pair of germanium transistors that delivers that aggressive and defined tone to his tracks.
Final Thoughts: Do I Need a Fuzz Pedal?
Along with the distortion and overdrive pedal, the Fuzz pedal is the most commonly used effect pedal. It is definitely worth it to try out a fuzz pedal and how it makes your tone more flexible and crazy sounding!
With that said, if you find this article helpful, please share it with your guitarist friends, and also feel free to write down your thoughts in the comment below.
Hii, My name is Vishal Dorge and I am from India. I am the Creator of this site and want to help people just like you and me who enjoy music through the heart and want to learn it, especially about the guitar. Read More About Vishal Dorge Here