Popularized by Jimi Hendrix along with other psychedelic guitarists from the late 1960s, the first Fuzz Face was among the most distinctive guitar effect pedals of its time – not least due to its housing. The iconic “flying saucer” shape of Fuzz Face pedals was said to be influenced by the foundation of a microphone stand up and stood out on the pedal racks of players that used them. While some of the Fuzz Face clones available these days have a far more familiar rectangular casing, the great news is they will be able to provide the fuzzy distortion the original Fuzz Face guitar pedals were so prized for.
The circuitry in the original Fuzz Face was based on germanium. This contributed to the pedal’s distinct sound but also made them much more temperamental. In the 1970s, companies started experimenting with using silicon circuitry instead. You will find modern Fuzz Face clones with both, and based on the style of yours either one could provide you with the good you are searching for. Below we have selected what we think about the four best Fuzz Face clones. Have a look, why do not you.
Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face Distortion
Dunlop Fuzz Face clones replicate the original pedals to a tee, including the flying saucer housing, that gives this pedal a vintage look to go with the vintage sound. Their Jimi Hendrix model is a reproduction of the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face from 1969, the pedal Hendrix used on Electric Ladyland.
The internal construction (see full specs) uses a BC 108 silicon transistor with a hand wired circuit board that matches exactly with the page layout of the original. And it does not simply provide you with a faithful replication of the fuzz. With the gain turned down, you will get a perfect emulation of the clean tone Hendrix used on the classic recordings of his. This’s among top Fuzz Face pedals period.
Fulltone’ seventy BC-108C Fuzz
This 70 BC Fuzz is a re boot of Fulltone’s well known 70 Fuzz pedal. Probably This newest model uses BC108C silicon transistors and shrinks the circuitry to fit into an even much more compact housing – great in case you have already received a great deal of effects pedals vying for space. Like previous Fulltone seventy Fuzz models, this pedal (see full specs) has a mid knob in addition to a volume and fuzz knob, giving the sound of yours much more clarity and boosting the presence of yours in the general mix along with giving your sound a good deal of extra snarl.
If you’ve a Marshall amp, particularly one of the older 4 input models, this pedal is the best fit to offer you that classic’ 60s tone. Regardless of what equipment you use, it is able to give you that Hendrix fuzz you are craving. This’s a solid contender for the most effective Fuzz Face clone for the investment.
Mooer MFZ3 Grey Faze Fuzz
For a smoother fuzz that is still got that vintage flavor, check out the Grey Faze pedal from Mooer. It uses a germanium transistor the same as the Fuzz Face models of the’ 60s, putting it in a remarkably compact steel housing that is sold for a portion of the price of other Fuzz Face clones. There is not a great deal of frills on this one, although it does come with a true bypass for the signal of yours and a fuzz dial to set the amount of grit in the sound of yours. When you are searching for the true germanium transistor sound at an inexpensive price point, the Gray Faze is the best option of yours.
Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi with Tone Wicker
The original Big Muff was renowned for its distortion and sustain, and the Big Muff Pi takes the power in an vintage direction. It provides you with a sustain control in addition to the tone and volume dials, letting you shape the tone of yours even much more than previous Big Muff models. The display has 2 switches you do not find on various other fuzz pedals. Flipping the tone switch takes away the overall tone control and gives you the full fuzz effect in one fell swoop, while the wicker switch pushes the overdrive to a higher level. The outcome is a modern and powerful take on the fuzz face idea – and is among top Fuzz Face clones on the market.
Probably the most significant impact you will find between various Fuzz Face clones is in the make of the transistor. The original Fuzz Face models used germanium (the element, not the flower) as a semiconductor within the transistor. Germanium is very difficult to find, although, and in addition has its flaws. It is able to have trouble handling especially high frequencies and is much less consistent across transistors. This led pedal makers to turn to the considerably more abundant and much more stable silicon as a semiconductor. You will find a lot more silicon than germanium transistors in use in Fuzz Face clones made today, but both continue to be employed by modern pedal manufacturers.
With regards to sound, germanium transistors tend to offer a warmer and rounder tone overall, with a smoother distortion that gets much more subtle as you bring down the gain. Germanium also reacts much more to temperature fluctuations. in case you reside in a temperate zone, the pedal is going to sound different in winter than it’ll in summer; it might also have another sound in case you make use of it outdoors. Electrical charges also can build up in germanium, that means your pedal does not sound quite the same tomorrow as it did today. For proponents of germanium based fuzz, these quirks give the pedals the vintage charm of theirs.
The most effective way to sum up the real difference in sound of a silicon transistor is usually to say it is brighter or edgier compared to germanium. The distortion is sharper but more consistent throughout the range, unlike germanium, which responds differently to high frequencies than it does to low ones. Silicon transistors are better in a position to provide you with similar sound each time. They are also far more consistent across pedals and do not change in response to temperature fluctuations. The fuzz you get from silicon based transistors could typically be described as really a modern day distortion, one that you are able to rely on no matter where or when you make use of it.
While the germanium vs. silicon question is the effort of debate in the guitar community, the fact is you will find great pedals that make use of both. Which one is much better is much more a matter of individual preference. You will find both materials in use in likely the greatest Fuzz Face clones, which we have mentioned above. Listening to them in action may be the easiest way to figure out for yourself which style is the best one for you (and with the proper online vendor as Amazon with the good return policy of its, you are able to do just that). Good luck!