Best Fuzz Pedals – Our Top 7 Choices For 2017! - NGD!

Best Fuzz Pedals – Our Top 7 Choices For 2017!

By on June 14, 2017
fuzz pedal reviews

If you are looking for a good fuzzy tone, a fuzz pedal is where it is at.  Luckily, there are a huge number of different models to choose from in this realm.  Instead of checking all these out, why not take a look at our seven main choices and decide which to buy from our list.

Best Fuzz Pedal Comparison Table

ImageNameReview
Catalinbread Karma Suture Harmonic FuzzRead Review
Earthquaker Hoof FuzzRead Review
Electro-Harmonix Big Muff PiRead Review
Red Witch Fuzz God IIRead Review
Boss FZ-2Read Review
Dunlop JDF2 Fuzz FaceRead Review
Way Huge WHE401 Swollen PickleRead Review

What Is A Guitar Fuzz Box?

Have you ever wondered where some of these guitar sound effects come from or asked yourself (or perhaps out loud) ‘what is a guitar fuzz box?’ If yes, then you are in the right place. Keep reading.

What Is Fuzz?

We all love a good guitar riff accompanied by amazing sound effects. In fat, one of the best things about an electronic guitar is the wide range of sounds that we can get from it one it is connected to the relevant pedals and amplifiers. Even more interesting, is the reality that some of the sound effects that we have come to enjoy from guitar riffs came about from using faulty equipment. One such sound effect is referred to as ‘fuzz.’ Fuzz, in essence, is the name given to a special kind of distortion that came about from guitarists using faulty equipment.

A guitar fuzz box is a guitar effects pedal that mimics the special ‘fuzz’ distortion that became popularly emulated during the 1960s and ever since. Of course, there are different kinds of guitar fuzz boxes that musicians can purchase and they are not created equal. Some guitar fuzzboxes offer up a higher quality sound than others. Fuzzboxes are also available at different price points. As such, it is important that new and seasoned buyers alike do the necessary homework to ensure they get the best bang for their buck.

A good way to decide on which fuzz box option may be best for you is to check the independent reviews of users. Independent reviews provide great insight into what you can expect. Comparison variables include quality, price, and even after purchase customer care options. Whatever you may be looking for, ensure you get what you pay for.

Choosing A Guitar Fuzz Pedal

There are several fuzz pedals in the market, and one needs tips on how to shop for the best. The pedals also have different guitar effects. It can sometimes get quite confusing when one sets out in the market to shop for a pedal. In this article, one will get tips on choosing a guitar fuzz pedal and what to look for while shopping for one.

Flavor

Notably, fuzz boxes belong to one of the three categories: either overdrive, distortion or fuzz. Overdrive applies when one needs to boost a gain in the amp causing a distortion while distortion processes and transforms a guitar signal prior to hitting the amp. Lastly, fuzz amplifies the distortion into a square-wave clipping. This knowledge helps in distinguishing fuzz pedals from the rest.

Fuzz factors

During a pedal test, one should play chords, single-note riffs and leads. There is usually an exaggerated distortion when the true fuzz pedal functions. The fuzz pedals only handle fifth diad chords, popularly known as power chords.

Gain boost

Using a fuzz box when playing a lead should produce a gain boost that is sufficient. An extra gain results in an increased sustain and an excessive gain results in a hiss, feedback and noise. However, it all depends on a customer’s preference on the gain. Importantly, the boost that comes from the gain control should equate to the volume of the guitar, during the bypassing of the effect.

Tone control

During the audition of a fuzz pedal, one should check whether the tone cuts through over the other sounds. A pedal that produces a tone that cuts through the rest is not efficient. Asking a friend to jam along helps one to identify whether the weird sound of the pedal vanishes during a performance. Even though a pedal produces a tone that sounds weird when one plays alone, the tone should vanish once the fuzz box compliments other equipment in a band. People should always go for another pedal once they notice the cutting-through effect.

Settings

The best way to test a fuzz box is through starting with zero effects and working the way up to the maximum levels. Sometimes starting with the maximum levels creates an extreme distortion that does not sound any good. It is possible to attain the best levels when one uses a fuzz box in its in-between settings. It means that the efficiency of a fuzz pedal does not lie in its extremes, but rather in the well balanced ups or lows. The solution usually lies in the tweaking of the control knobs.

Design

An efficient fuzz box should have features that are aligned to its excellent performance. To begin with, the control knobs should have clear marking, and they should appear on a place where they cannot easily crush when a user steps on the pedal. A bypass switch should click when turning on and the LED indicators should mark the on and off status of the pedal.

Battery

One cannot fully trust batteries when operating a fuzz pedal. Sometimes they can die off when least expected. An AC adapter comes in handy at all times since one can easily plug in the pedal to a power source once the batteries die off. It is of the essence to buy a pedal that uses both AC and DC power supplies.

Bypass

In case you are wondering how to go about Choosing a guitar fuzz pedal and what to look for, go for a fuzz pedal with a true-bypass circuitry. This feature enables guitar signals to pass over the electronic circuit once the effects go off without affecting their tone or gain. One should avoid a triple bypass and stick to the true-bypass only.

What Is Germanium Fuzz?

If you are new to the world of guitars, then you may be asking yourself what is Germanium Fuzz? The truth is that this is a helpful tool you can use to help you get the sound you are looking for.

This is a distortion pedal. The other option many people will choose between with this is a silicone fuzz pedal. Each of these can be a great pedal for you to use. However, the difference here is that they are designed for different sound settings. The germanium fuzz pedal was the first to be used in the music scene. In fact this is what Jimi Hendrix used to get his unique guitar effects.

Another thing you should keep in mind when you are trying to understand what is Germanium Fuzz is more of how it works and the limitations it has. Compared to silicone it does have a couple drawbacks. The biggest is that it is affected by temperature. This means it will produce a different sound in an outdoor concert than it will in  climate controlled environment. The best sounds are produced in a cold setting which is why some musicians have opted to throw their pedal in a freezer.

There is a lot of versatility in what these pedals can do for your music. However, most people find it takes a little time to adjust to the pedal so they can get the results they are looking for out of it. As with any other aspect of music it will take a little practice and fine tuning to find what will give you the sound you are trying to achieve and how you can reproduce that sound on a regular basis. But the sound effects from the pedal are definitely worth the investment of your time and money.

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