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Benson Amps introduces innovative temperature-regulated, buffer-friendly Germanium Fuzz pedal

Benson Germanium Fuzz Pedal
(Image credit: Benson Amps)

Benson Amps has released its innovative new Germanium Fuzz pedal, which seeks to provide consistent germanium transistor fuzz tones in any pedalboard setup, no matter the temperature.

"My whole goal was to make a pedal that works seamlessly in a modern environment," says Benson Amps owner Chris Benson, who relocated to a make-shift RV workshop at the beginning of the pandemic to develop the pedal.

Based on an idea that he had been "kicking around for 10 years", Benson sought to create a germanium transistor fuzz pedal that could regulate its own temperature using internal thermal regulation and offer consistent full-on fuzz tones.

One such feature is the presence of a circuit that gently warms the pedal to a preset operating point using analog components, ensuring consistent tones no matter the external temperature. The heaters will regulate the temperature of the transistors to their optimum point, meaning no internal damage will be done to the components.

A red LED light shows the pedal is warming up, while a green light shows the fuzz has reached its ideal temperature.

Another innovative appointment is the appearance of a buffer and passive pickup simulator coil in the front end of the pedal, which fools the fuzz into thinking it's always being driven by a guitar. 

As a result, the harsh, fizzy sounds that occur when a germanium fuzz is put after other effects pedals are avoided, allowing it to be integrated seamlessly into pedalboard setups.

Thanks to the inclusion of Impedance and Volume knobs on the pedal, the Benson Germanium Fuzz is still able to capture those rolled-up, bright clean-up tones, despite the inclusion of a buffer.

Alongside these two controls is a Gain knob, which can be dialed down to offer a clean boost, or cranked up for an aggressive, throaty fuzz, thanks to the pedal's versatile circuitry.

When paired with the Impedance knob, the Gain control offers up "many colors of tone" and a highly interactive tone-sculpting experience.

Despite the complexity of the pedal's circuit, Benson's fuzz surprisingly doesn't draw too much power, and can be run using normal 9VDC center positive power, or by daisy chaining it to other pedals.

Due to the scarcity of components, the Germanium Fuzz will only be built when parts are available.

The Benson Amps Germanium Fuzz Pedal is available now in Studio Black and Solar White, and lists for $299.

Visit Benson Amps (opens in new tab) for more info.

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.