• Tru-Fi Floyd Fuzz and Colordriver review

    Rarely have I received so many requests for me reviewing pedals as with the Floyd Fuzz and Colordriver from Tru-Fi. Perhaps because they’re so obviously aimed at David Gilmour fans but there’s also a buzz out there suggesting these are worth checking out. Here’s my review. 

    As probably all of you know, David Gilmour started using Big Muffs and the Ram’s Head in particular, around the recording of Animals in 1975-76. It’s been his main distortion ever since in various forms. 

    In early 1972 Pink Floyd premiered a new suite called Eclipse, which would later turn into Dark Side of the Moon. The piece was worked out during their extensive touring the same year and part of the sound was David’s new booster/overdrive pedal, the Colorsound Powerboost. The pedal was used throughout the 70s and later replaced by a Cornish ST-2 and the Tube Driver. 

    Tru-Fi is new to me. I understand they’ve been around for some time but I was introduced to them sometime last summer and the first thing that caught my eye was the super cool pedal designs. Very original and man do these look great on the pedalboard! Size-wise they’re slightly bigger than a Boss pedal. 

    Both pedals are based on original specs. This is authentic and vintage all the way, with familiar controls and sounds. Both runs on 9V and feature true bypass switching. 

    The Floyd Fuzz is slightly more mellow sounding than some of the other Ram’s Head clones out there. Perhaps somewhere between the old BYOC and the new reissue from EHX. You won’t get that overwhelming sensation when you turn it on but that’s not a bad thing.

    It’s got an impressive definition and perfectly balanced highs and lows. It’s definitely mids scooped, like the original, but the fact that it’s slightly flatter frequency-wise, makes it stand out more and it blends nicely with most types of amps. 

    The fairly controlled gain makes it easy to use this Muff with humbuckers and stack it up with a booster and overdrive like the Colordriver. It also responds well when you roll back the guitar volume a hair or two, which is what Gilmour often would do to control the gain to create dynamics in a solo or certain parts of the song. 

    The Colordriver is unmistakably vintage sounding, with a glassy bright character and growling low end. This one’s got a master volume as well, which allows the pedal to do pretty much everything from massive clean boost to overdrive and fuzz.

    Like all Powerboosts, this one needs an amp with a bit of compression and mid range but an EQ will also do the trick when you want to roll back the bright overtones and add a little 800Hz mids. 

    To my ears, these two pedals were made for each other. It can often be hard to combine a wild Muff with a booster that’s got too much mids or lack the headroom but the Floyd Fuzz and Colordriver is easy to set up and match with the right amount of gain and character. 

    See tru-fi.com for more.  

    Post Tagged with , ,

30 Responsesso far.

  1. Bert says:

    Hi Bjørn,

    Thank you for the nice review! I love it how seemingly effortless you produce nice tones with any pedals you take a closer look at.

    After reading the review and watching your video, I headed over to the Tru-Fi website to get a few more details.
    One thing that caught my attention is that Tru-Fi produces two versions of the Colordrive; a 18V and a 9V version.
    Judging from the pictures and the video in your review, you took the 9V version for a spin.

    How would you characterize the overall tone and the tone shaping abilities of the 9V version compared to an 18V clone, e.g. like the Buffalo FX 18V Powerbooster?
    Is there a difference in your opinion which version is more suitable to tame/tone shape a Rams Head muff and achieves better results in producing Gilmour like sounds?

    Thanks and Best Regards,
    Bert

    • Bjorn says:

      The 18V has a bit more headroom and perhaps a hair smoother breakup but it really depends on your pickups and amp too and how well they go with a vintage curcuit such as this. I like the 9V for its slightly edgier tone and it has all the headroom you need.

  2. Jim M says:

    Hi Bjorn –

    How would you rate the Tru-Fi based on the way you scored other pedals in the gear guide?

    Bedroom setup:
    Tones:
    Gilmourish.com score:

    Thanks!

  3. Chris S says:

    Hey, I have a question about gain stacking, how much volume should be boosted when you use a muff/fuzz or overdriver?

    • Bjorn says:

      Depends on what tones you’re looking for and how your amp and pikcups respond to boosting. In terms of David’s tones I wouldn’t boost the gain or volume much at all. He’s blending gain pedals for tone and not as much for actual boost.

  4. Robert W Horton says:

    I’ve had my colordriver for roughly a year now and the switch has been giving me problems. Pedal keeps kicking in and out when tapping switch. I never use my foot always my hand. Pedals stay on table surface never on floor and never leave my home. I emailed trufi but never heard back from them regarding sending a new switch for me to have installed or replacing the broken switch. Love the pedal when it worked. I love the soft switch that whampler uses. Any ideas?
    Thanks Robb h.

    • Robert W Horton says:

      I Heard back from tru-fi and they’re happy to look at the pedal for me. After having the Awsome pedal for nearly a year now that’s awesome. All I asked was any ideas for a new switch knowing its been a year. Very happy their taking the pedal back to fix emedietely.
      The tru-fi colorboost is my always on and favorite pedal. Its my core sound. I prefer my Tru-fi colorboost pedal over my colorsound powerboost.
      Thank you.
      Rob h

    • Bjorn says:

      These switches should last but you might need to check the soldering and connections. Replacing the switch should be easy if you know you’re way around a soldering iron. Why they don’t reply I don’t know.

  5. Les says:

    Bjorn, I received my new Colordriver today and will probably play well into the night. She sounds really fine paired with my 50’s Gold Top LP P90 and Deluxe Reverb reissue. No more mud on the neck pickup! I love the control of gain and tone available, as well. My Strat, though, sounds best with the Buffalo TDX. Go figure! I’ve managed to find my tone with two different setups of different colors. Can’t thank you enough for the helpful reviews – and – your playing is amazing, man!

  6. KEITH says:

    So, what’s the deal with the gear guide? Will it be back? I sure hope so!

    Peace Bjorn, Keith

  7. Yeph says:

    Hi Bjorn,

    Where can one buy these pedals in Europe. I’ve read a review about he best Tube Driver replacement. 1) was the Buffalo, but Thomann doesn’t sell it. And from UK or US everything is to expensive. Same problem with tru-fi. I bought the green Fuzz and its really very good. I have at least 7 Fuzzes but most are modern. I have the Fuzz-god but always more in the aim to reproduce Hendrix. In the test of the Tube Driver replacements there is at olac 2) the Mxr fet driver, I own, but it sounds fet, ehhh flat.

    My best guess was to take my J.Rockett Archer an another good smooth pedal. I nevrr liked it very much because of the smoothness before but in the aim to reproduce the tone of David I used my JHS Morning Glory. Both together make a very creamy sounding Gilmour tone. But they are rather expensive.

    Always in search for Hendrix and more of it with modern pedals, I came back to my E HX Mod 11. I always run a uni-vibe (tc-electronic) and wanted something to make this sound even more aggressive. So the mod 11 has several positions that are really helpful. 1 Trem with a second option and a harmonic trem with 3 options. But what about the flanger which for me sounds floydish. So I used both one behind the other. Because there are 2 flangers and I liked the second more for Hendrix I first tried this one. Yeah very close to E-lady but more vintage, but the first of them is for me 100% E-lady without the possibility to fix the flanger. But also the trems are very useful for Floyd-tones. You don’t want to replicate David 100%, do you?

    What I found apart of these is “Dimension D” on Line 6 and the “Comet Trail” from Line 6 for more than Hendrix or Floyd.

    But I heard a live performance from D. Gilmours first solo album on Y.tube and was impressed by the live sound very close to the record. This is an enigma for me. But someday I will try to reproduce it.

    Thanks a thousand times for your tests and I would really be happy to know where to buy these pedals in Europe, above all the buffalo. For flangers I have to many of them. ;-) And the fuzzes depend on the set-up, the most easy to use is the Wampler Fuzz. Very smooth an clear.

    Kind regards an a lot of luck for your own projects,

    Eddy
    Luxembourg

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Eddy, a lot of these so-called boutique pedals are only available through the builder’s websites or through selected retailers. Thomann and other major stores rarely have these kind of pedals but focus more on more well known and cheaper brands. Contact Buffalo FX and Tru-Fi directly. Great customer service.

      • Yeph says:

        Hi Bjorn,

        Thank you very much for your quick answer. I will do exactly what you suggest me to to. I think the Buffalo is a must-have, because you also ike it. Sometimes Thomann buys pedals for me but they are probably cheaper contacting them directly. Have a nice day and please keep on with your blog. Ciao

        Eddy

      • Yeph says:

        Hi again,

        I just read that you would test one pedal if someone send it to you. I could send you the EHX Mod11 to try it. But its extremely cheap and I only start tio learn how to use the harmonic trems, which sound awesome behind the uni vibe. The ordinary trems also give the sound more brilliance (vintage). The harmonic ones alone can simulate a mistress-like effect, but I never owned one, only the e-lady and the Mobius, which is also very good, with a preset called silver flanger.This year is the 50th HENDRIX DEATH YEAR anniversary. So I use the EHX Mod 11 and I feel really Jimish (big) ;-) but my second love is Pink, David but also Roger. I can understand Roger because of his depressions and somehow paranoid behavior. David is so cool and I could listen to his solos for hours when I was young. Together they were unbeatable. When I learned the Comfortably numb solo I was surprised how simple it is and how much he repeats the same notes again and again. But the sound …………..

        Bye

        Eddy

        • Bjorn says:

          Thanks for the offer Eddy! Very generous. I don’t review pedals unless a company send me stuff. It’s free marketing for them. I have the Mod11 and might be using it in a video later on. Great sounds and value.

          • Yeph says:

            Hey, very nice for your quick answer and I’m looking forward for the test. Until then I will probably buy the buffalo. Howdy!

  8. Walter H. says:

    Bjorn, here you go again! You find us all the most exciting and unique gear, Thank You!
    I went to the Tru-Fi web site and found that all Tru-Fi pedals are available with many options. The Floyd Fuzz is available as a Triangle, Rams Head, Green Russian, Creamy Dreamy ( what ever that is) and more. There are several color choices and plate colors too. All around $159.95-$169.95 USD! They are made in the USA in Maine.
    I think that You tested the Rams Head version? I don’t have luck so far with my rig and Big Muffs but I’m willing to try anything to get the tones I’m missing.

    I have 3 guitars with all Humbuckers. 1-American made Fender Strat with a Black Cobra & Sidewinder. 2-PRS SE Custom 22 with their 2017 std pickups. 3-Epiphone Les Paul Custom Pro Koa with a ProBucker 2 & ProBucker 3. My chain starts with a Pigtronix Philosophers Tone compressor, Jam pedals Ripple, Buffalo PowerBooster, Vick Audio Tree of Life, then my modulation with an
    MXR chorus, Echorec, Elady, Svisound Echozoid, Wampler Ethereal, MXR M300 Reverb. I’ve also have a pen MXR Phase 95 in my effects loop and a MXR Carbon Copy and a Svisound Overzoid + as extra fun stuff too rotate in and out as my mood or songs need. I have a Truetone CS7 power supply and I use a Laney Cub12 R combo with JJ Tubes. I’m sure you can see your influence to my set up.
    Which version and where would you place the Floyd Fuzz?
    Thank you for All you Do for All of Us!
    Walter H.

    • Bjorn says:

      Hi Walter, I have great success with Sovtek Muffs on Cub amps myself so I guess the Green Russian.

      • Walter H. says:

        Bjorn. My EHX Green Russian Reissue arrives next Wednesday!
        I found an incredible deal today on EBay, lots less $$$ then the Tru-Fi Floyd Fuzz ?
        I’ll add it after my Compressor & followed by a Buffalo FX Power Booster then aVick Audio TOL.All those are true Bypass. Then the next two are an MXR Analog Chorus then a Catlinbread Echorec are buffered. Are they to close to the GR & How can I tell if they are? My whole chain and guitars are listed in the comments above.??
        How close would you say a buffered pedal should be?
        Also, What settings for the GR do you recommend I Start with?
        Any thoughts?
        Walter H.

  9. Lee says:

    Hey B, can i ask, the Laney speaker cab you have, it has Celestion V30s, do you have a photo of them please? There’s a 2×12 for sale 5 mins away from me with two of those in it however, when i looked on line to see what they should look like it appears there are a couple of versions available..any help would be appreciated, cheers ;-)

    • Bjorn says:

      The cab is in my studio and I have to unscrew the back. Mine came with two G12H speakers, which I replaced with V30s. I know the cab is also offered with one of each.

  10. Paul Ewing says:

    I love the Tri fi Color driver. I heard it beside an original and it could fool in a blindfold test. The price is cheap at a $160.00 USD. The case is a knockout! It really captures the vibe of the era without being needlessly large!

  11. Aaron says:

    Great stuff thanks Bjorn, nice playing on YouTube video as well ! I recently grabbed a Colordriver and am looking forward to playing around with it. Right now my only amp is a Fender Deluxe Reverb, so maybe I’ll add an eq pedal to help with the mids…

  12. Frollo says:

    Hi Bjorn! Thank you for this review that I think we’ve all been waiting for! The Colordriver seems to sound very nicely but which one do you recommend between the colordriver and the Bananaboost? I play on a L5 Lionheart. Thank you in advance! And keep going your great work! you’re a real great source of advice and not only for the Gilmour tone! See you! Max

    • Bjorn says:

      Sorry for the late reply. Both sound great but I do prefer the Banana with the Lionheart. It’s slightly warmer sounding, which seem to compliment the amp very well.

Leave a Reply to Bert Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.