Fuzz pedals comes in all shapes and sizes these days and while some offer a take on one of the original late 60s circuits, others delivers something different and new. The Millie Fuzz from 6 Degrees FX is just that. Hereâ€™s my review.
Itâ€™s only recently, during the last few years, that Iâ€™ve really come to appreciate the fuzz pedal. Iâ€™m not talking about distortion nor Big Muffs, but the old classic fuzz. Whether itâ€™s germanium or silicon based, those old circuits produce a timeless tone and once you really get to know them you realise how versatile they really are.
Fuzz pedals are as fashionable as ever. Especially with the explosion of boutique builders and clone makers. Whatâ€™s interesting these days though is that many go beyond the classic circuit and modifies it into something completely different. The Millie Fuzz is based on a Fuzz Face but sort of blended with a Big Muff, which gives it a completely unique character and tone.
The pedal is housed in a rugged chassis, with controls for level, tone and gain. It runs on 9v battery or DC adapter and feature true bypass switching. There are two switches. One for on/off and a â€œBurnâ€ switch, which adds or stacks an extra gain stage on top of the first for more saturation and bite. There are also two trimpots inside the pedal allowing you to adjust the bias on the burn channel and the overall mid range.
My first impression is that this is a surprisingly quiet pedal for a fuzz. Hardly any noise when you switch it on. Itâ€™s also got slightly more mids and a hint of compression compared to most fuzz pedals, which makes it easier to match with brighter amps and pickups. The standard fuzz mode sounds very much like a classic germanium fuzz. Paired with a Strat, I have no problem dialling in those Hendrix and early Gilmour tones. It sounds warm and it responds very well to your picking and guitar volume.
The pedal really shines when you kick in the burn channel. It adds a lot more gain, mid range and saturation. Definitely more of a triangle Big Muff than a Fuzz Face but still that raspy and edgy fuzz feel to it. The sustain is incredibly rich although it require some serious volume from your amp to get there.
I have two complaints though. Iâ€™d prefer it if the controls had labels. Itâ€™s no rocket science, I know, but on a dark stage I donâ€™t want to have to think and search. The other, which isnâ€™t really a complaint, is that when you turn the gain all the way up, the pedal starts to spit quite violently. A cool effect and it can be adjusted to some extent with the internal bias control but personally I prefer a more linear gain structure.
But the idea with the Millie Fuzz isnâ€™t to make just another fuzz clone. This is a unique pedal and it sounds great! Itâ€™s also a very good choice if youâ€™re considering a fuzz for your bedroom setup. Check out 6degreesfx.com for more details.