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Discussion Starter #1
Short of playing or buying 500 of them, how did you find the ones that you are using?

I find listening to someone demoing one is not helping and I am getting frustrated with buy one, sell it, over and over . I did not think that this would be that difficult but this is killing me.

If I find one that seems OK, I only like it with single coils, etc . or my Axis doesn't like it.I do not want to have 4 fuzz on a board. Also the prices are starting to get way past what I would like to pay, or my tastes are too expensive.

Any ideas? or suck it up till I find the perfect one.

Thanks
 

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They’re so reliant on what you play that you will never find the one. Unless you play one amp and one guitar.

Maybe get a fuzz you like and add an eq after it. When you change guitars eq the fuzz to that guitar. Source Audio has a programmable eq
 

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Yup, my experience too that every guitar and every amp sounds different with most pedals and very much with fuzzes. Tho the high gain tone bender variant I made was good with most stuff but very tight not very fuzzy.
 

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A friend asked for a loan of a 60's-sounding fuzz for a track he was working on, so I brought over a handful of them. We auditioned them using his Les Paul, that seemed to have high-output pickups. Those pedals did things I'd never heard them do before at my house.

It's not just output level. Some pedals do not play well with low-impedance sources, or feeding low-impedance inputs. Some are predicated on receiving an input with less bass, or maybe more bass, and EQ correspondingly. That's why I think the Akai G-Drive may have been the smartest distortion ever made. It sports a 6-band EQ before and after the clipping. The clipping itself may not have been something to please all users, but the idea that one might need to tone-shape what you feed it, and sculpt the result, is spot on. Too bad they don't make them anymore.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well that makes some sense to me. I am using a Rams head clone with a Strat and I am ok with it. But yes the Axis pickups are like 16.5k bridge and I think 18.2k neck output wise.
I will try moving my 10 band EQ in front, and then after it to see if it helps. I have never really bonded with these pickups so maybe it is also time to look at something else, Thornbuckers or maybe Doug Aldritch humbuckers.
(if someone on here sold me there Skinpimp Tonebender fuzz I wouldn't be having to do this LOL).(Woody I am away and dont have the list on me)

I am trying to get that Skinpimp because of all the extra options on it for multiple guitars or something like the Sun Face Fuzz with germanium NKT275 transistors fuzz sound/tone
 

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I have 3 fuzz pedals right now: Harben Audio Octave Fuzz, EHX opamp muff reissue and a Way Huge Swollen Pickle.

The HA Octave Fuzz is a clone of the Univox Super Fuzz. I helped fund the Kickstarter that made this pedal possible. Unfortunately, I can’t find any mention of Harben Audio anymore, and their website seems to have disappeared. The pedal sounds great, but I prefer more modern fuzz tones.

The opamp big muff was a no brainer purchase for me. Siamese Dream is one of my favourite albums of all time, and when I saw the video review of Billy playing the Siamese strat, I just had to have it. The reissue was easier on my wallet than the original.

The Swollen Pickle was by chance. I walked into a pawn shop and they had the Pickle and a Pork Loin there for $60 each. I was a broke student at the time, so I bought the Pickle. I really wish I had purchased both though.

And that’s how I found my fuzzes. They just have a way of showing up.
 

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Wow, I would love to hear one of these. Every time I use my Timmy I wonder why more pedals don't put the bass pre dirt and treble post dirt. It improves clarity so much and I've always thought a pre fuzz bass control would make fuzz pedals so much better.

TG

A friend asked for a loan of a 60's-sounding fuzz for a track he was working on, so I brought over a handful of them. We auditioned them using his Les Paul, that seemed to have high-output pickups. Those pedals did things I'd never heard them do before at my house.

It's not just output level. Some pedals do not play well with low-impedance sources, or feeding low-impedance inputs. Some are predicated on receiving an input with less bass, or maybe more bass, and EQ correspondingly. That's why I think the Akai G-Drive may have been the smartest distortion ever made. It sports a 6-band EQ before and after the clipping. The clipping itself may not have been something to please all users, but the idea that one might need to tone-shape what you feed it, and sculpt the result, is spot on. Too bad they don't make them anymore.

 

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I will add that 2 very different but very useful not very expensive fuzzes everyone should try if they are at all interested and haven’t.

The DOD Carcosa is almost 3 different very usable sounds, I bet almost anyone can find something for 2 different guitars, maybe even at the same settings.

@Ronbeast mentioned the OpAmp Muff reissue, I own an original, I have built clones, always loved them but haven’t always needed one. The $99 at L&M reissue nails it and the secret sauce is remove the tone stack and get a ton of thick grindy mids back. It won’t be for everyone, it’s the heaviest classic Muff, but it roars. I even use it on bass.
 

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Wow, I would love to hear one of these. Every time I use my Timmy I wonder why more pedals don't put the bass pre dirt and treble post dirt. It improves clarity so much and I've always thought a pre fuzz bass control would make fuzz pedals so much better.

TG
My Rocktron Austin Gold also has a Pre-Bass control. It's a great thing
 

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Picking fuzz pedals seems to be one of the most difficult pieces when making a pedal board. Everyone likes slightly different flavours, and that’s compounded with different setups.

I don’t like the tone of my humbucker guitars through any of my fuzz pedals, but I love my strat through them all, so I tend to use the strat if I’m playing with fuzz.

I think your best bet would be to find an album or a musician that has the most irresistible fuzz tones that you can find and then buy that pedal or one based on it. It’s still a crapshoot, but more like wading through a kiddy pool than the ocean.

As bad as it is, I think you’ll just have to deal with the fuzz sounding better with certain guitars than others. I think that’s a reality that a lot of us make peace with.
 

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IMO, the only way to figure it out is to buy a classic (or reissue of) and see what it sounds like. Only once you really understand what you like/don't can you determine what one is good for you. Go buy a Russian Reissue Big Muff and figure out why you don't like it.

C
 

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That's why I think the Akai G-Drive may have been the smartest distortion ever made. It sports a 6-band EQ before and after the clipping. The clipping itself may not have been something to please all users, but the idea that one might need to tone-shape what you feed it, and sculpt the result, is spot on. Too bad they don't make them anymore.
The G Drive was a real winner in theory.

The pre and post eq was very powerful and intuitive but the core distortion circuit was so bland that no amount of tone sculpting could save it.

So close....
 

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I have two on my board.
1) EHX Big Muff Triangle Pi Re-issue from 2018 and
2) Earthquaker Black Ash Endangered Fuzz - Limited Edition

Both sound completely different. # 1 is a deeper sounding, growly pedal best with bridge pickups. #2 is more of an OD/Dist sound and more subtle and sounds good with all pickups. Both have good controls that let you dial in what you want. Both together sound terrible :)
 

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This is a very good question.

First of all I can corroborate what Keto says - it is very versatile. And has a switch cryptically labeled Demhe/Hali which voices it for either humbuckers or hum-increasers. It can do gated sputtering, to fuzz to approaching smoother distortion.
The DOD Carcosa is almost 3 different very usable sounds, I bet almost anyone can find something for 2 different guitars, maybe even at the same settings.
But I would also add getting a fuzz with a powerful EQ section would be a good swiss-army fuzz. One of Wampler's calling cards is that he puts a powerful, often active, EQ on his pedals. And he just happened to have released a new fuzz called the Fuzzstration (called this becuase of your very problem choosing a fuzz) with a 3-band EQ. I've not played it, but it should be pretty versatile. Plus it has a switchable octave, to further increase its capabilities.

 

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I've got a few of those myself, though most were self-built. One is part of a multi-distortion box with a couple of toggles to change parameters in the circuit - tonestack corner frequencies, and insertion/removal of clipping diodes. The earlier Sola Tonebender is essentially a Big Muff, but only uses clipping diodes for one stage, rather than reclipping as the stock unit does. It's a pretty flexible, and moddable, circuit. Hence so many issues and copies.
 

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I've got a few of those myself, though most were self-built. One is part of a multi-distortion box with a couple of toggles to change parameters in the circuit - tonestack corner frequencies, and insertion/removal of clipping diodes. The earlier Sola Tonebender is essentially a Big Muff, but only uses clipping diodes for one stage, rather than reclipping as the stock unit does. It's a pretty flexible, and moddable, circuit. Hence so many issues and copies.
Some day, if I study hard, listen to my parents, and eat my vegetables I will be able to understand these things.
 
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