Of all the early fuzz-pedal circuits, the Fuzz Face is by far the sweetest sounding, with smooth and even sustain, harmonic overtones that complement the base note and chords (instead of fighting them), and compressed attack that provides violin-like tones.
Jim Dunlop has introduced its new MXR Custom Shop La Machine pedal. The pedal serves up thick, shaggy retro fuzz that’s tailor made to drive the raw sounds of ’70s-style hard rock and modern garage rock.
Featuring a unique circuit design, the MXR FET Driver captures the rich, creamy sound of an overdriven tube amplifier by cascading an op-amp gain stage into a FET stage. This pedal thickens up lead tones with musical, amp-like distortion and sustain without the fragility and inconsistency associated with tubes.
The Havalina Germanium Fuzz from Way Huge Electronics is a germanium-powered fuzz box inspired by a vintage three-transitor design was a psychedelic shot-heard-round-the-world for guitar players, ushering in the new sound of rock.
When the Echoplex EP-3 came out, guitar players were hooked by the way its preamp sweetened up their sound. Soon, the EP-3 made its way onto the records of top guitar players—from Jimmy Page to Eric Johnson—as much for its tone conditioning ability as its tape echo effect. Now, you can put the EP-3’s legendary secret sauce right on your pedalboard.
If you look toward your mantle this holiday season and notice that your stocking overfloweth, you can thank me next year for maybe half the items you’ll find in it. It took me some time to compile a list of gear I believe will delight many guitarists but that also includes essential tools they’ll need or could use the most.
Originally intended to mimic the sound of a muted trumpet, it didn't take long for guitarists like Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa to make that sweet, sweeping "wah-wah" sound an integral part of the rock and roll lexicon.