You might think that fuzz is a required taste, for the connoisseurs and old school guitarists but tap into the world of fuzz and you’ll discover an almost unlimited palette of sounds. In this guide we’ll look at a handful of models and how to incorporate these in your rig, with David Gilmour’s tones in mind.
Updated March 2023
David Gilmour joined Pink Floyd in early 1968 and fuzz was pretty much the only guitar pedal you had. Guitarists had to learn how to utilise its potential by manipulating the guitar’s volume and tone controls as well as the controls on the fuzz.
David started out with germanium transistor fuzz and switched to silicon transistors sometime in early 1971. His constant search for new tones led him to discover new effects but it also pushed the sound of Pink Floyd forward.
By 1977, David would favour the Big Muff over the more traditional fuzz but the tone and feel of those classic tones are still there.
Fuzz, Big Muff or distortion?
Whether you should choose a fuzz, Big Muff or distortion obviously depends on your taste but it might be wise to consider what amp you have too. You can use fuzz with any type of amp but the tone will change dramatically depending on how the amp is voiced.
Hendrix, Clapton and Gilmour all used fuzz with British amps that has a distinct mid range character. And they played loud, which added tube and speaker compression. Pairing fuzz with a typically mids scooped American style amp, will sound very different.
For recreating David Gilmour’s tones I recommend fuzz for 1968-75 and Big Muff from 1977 to present.
Read more about how to choose the right pedals for your amp.
Fuzz on the pedalboard
The fuzz circuit is crude and it was designed long before buffers and digital entered the guitar world. These pedals are sensitive creatures and prefer to be left alone between the guitar and your amp.
Fuzz should be placed first in your chain. This will allow you to manipulate its tone with your picking and by adjusting the guitar’s volume and tone controls.
Fuzz should be placed far away from any buffered pedals, like Boss, and preferably without any buffers on the board or, if you do have buffers, in a true bypass loop. Buffers will alter the fuzz character, resulting in a thin, harsh tone.
If buffers is a must on your board, then check out some of the more modern fuzz pedals that has circuits that compensates for this issue.
Vintage circuit fuzz should be powered by carbon or non-alkaline 9V batteries for the most authentic tone. Alkaline batteries and adapter power, may change the character of the pedal.
I have played and tested each pedal in this guide, with guitars and amps that are typically associated with David Gilmour.
The germanium transistor is recognised by its open and often overdrive like character but its also slightly unpredictable and sensitive to temperature changes and battery capacity.
These fuzz pedals responds to your picking and the guitar volume control so you can pretty much get anything from clean to ripping fuzz.
Jam Pedals Fuzz Phrase
The Fuzz Phrase has been one of my go-to fuzz pedals for years. It’s based on germanium transistors but it’s open sounding and slightly more aggressive than most germanium fuzz, which places it somewhere between a typical germanium and silicon transistor fuzz. This one responds incredibly well to your playing and cleans up by manipulating the guitar volume control. You can hear the Fuzz Phrase on Summer Meadows from my album A Fleeting Glimpse.
Gilmour tones: ASoS/Ummagumma/Atom Heart Mother/Meddle
AnalogMan SunFace (germanium)
AnalogMan offer different versions of the SunFace, with different germanium transistors. The NKT275 is classic and my favourite. It’s just so typical of that late 60s tone, from Hendrix to Gilmour and its unique character allows you to pretty much use one pedal for all your tones, simply by manipulating the guitar volume control. Compared to the Fuzz Phrase, the SunFace NKT 275 has a bit less gain and an overall slightly darker character.
Gilmour tones: ASoS/Ummagumma/Atom Heart Mother/Meddle
Dunlop JDF2 Fuzz Face
The standard and iconic red Fuzz Face is based on the germanium transistor for mid to late 60s fuzz tones. To my ears this one sounds a bit too dark and muddy. At least compared to the Fuzz Phrase and Sun Face. Still, there are classic tones here and you can easily dial in that slightly muffled lead on on Atom Heart Mother as well as early Hendrix.
Gilmour tones: ASoS/Ummagumma/Atom Heart Mother/Meddle
The silicon transistor is raw and edgy and not that far from a Big Muff. It has much more gain compared to the typical germanium transistor and also a bit more mid range.
Although not as dynamic as the germanium, silicon fuzz also reacts to your picking and guitar volume and David Gilmour would use the fuzz for both rhythms and leads on songs like Time and Money, simply by adjusting the guitar volume and the input to the pedal.
The JHF1 is based on Jimi Hendrix’s own 1969 fuzz pedal, with BC108 silicon transistors. It’s loud and aggressive but warm and creamy, with a bit of mid range and a low end. This is very close to what David Gilmour used on Live at Pompeii and Dark Side of the Moon and it cleans up well too, allowing you play both rhythms and leads. Perhaps its the iconic look but I love this one!
Gilmour tones: Pompeii71/Obscured by Clouds/Dark Side of the Moon
AnalogMan SunFace (silicon)
AnalogMan offer different versions of the SunFace, all tailored around different silicon transistors. The BC108 is very close to the Dunlop JHF1, it’s actually hard to tell them apart, while the BC109 has a bit more gain and a slightly more open character. The BC108 cleans up quite well, while the BC109 sounds more like an overdrive with the guitar volume backed off.
Gilmour tones: Pompeii71/Obscured by Clouds/Dark Side of the Moon
Modern fuzz circuits address the issue with fuzz being sensitive to elaborate pedalboards, with buffers, digital units and different powering. They also fit a wider range of amps and typical bedroom setups.
These pedals can be a great alternative to the vintage circuit and still give you that classic tone.
TC Electronic Rusty Fuzz
This budget friendly pedal captures the tone and character of classic late 60s and early 70s fuzz, with the characteristics of a germanium fuzz and Tone Bender combined. It has quite a bit of gain but cleans up well with the guitar volume. The Rusty Fuzz has a bit of compression and mid range, which makes the pedal perfect for a wider range of amps and typical bedroom setups. See my full review of the TC Electronic Rusty Fuzz here.
Gilmour tones: ASoS/Ummagumma/Atom Heart Mother/Meddle/Pompeii71/Obscured by Clouds/Dark Side of the Moon
The Rat was designed in the late 70s to capture the tone of a loud Marshall stack paired with fuzz. Pretty much what Hendrix did. It’s perhaps closer to a modern distortion but it has an undeniable fuzz character, with a lot of that Marshall mid range and that characteristic squeeze or compression you get from a fuzz, when you drive it really hard. The Rat fits any amp and setup, so there’s really no way you can go wrong.
Gilmour tones: alternative for any David Gilmour tone
Did I miss something? Please use the comments field below and share your tips and recommendations!
500 thoughts on “The buyer’s gear guide – Fuzz”
listening to your “Pink Floyd” album a Fleeting Glimpse – very good. If I was Gilmour (but I´m not…) I would hire you as my “second” guitar player for my next tour
Have you tried the (almost new) Diamond Fuzz from Electronic Orange?
any thoughts/Comments on that (they make good stuff)
Tusen takk Søren! Yes, there will be a review soon. It sounds very good. A silicon fuzz, with some tweaks.
fuzz face minis are good. ffm1 is great for dark side of the moon and live in pompeii
Hey Bjorn, great site – love the new layout. The passion shows! I was wondering on the topic of fuzz – is there any sort of compatibility between fuzz face circuits in particular and compressor pedals? I know from experience that compressor into FF will pretty much kill the dynamics that make the fuzz face unique. I don’t have a compressor pedal of my own so I’d be eager to hear your thoughts on compressor after fuzz (either directly after or later in the chain) and what to watch out for when setting this up. I have a JHF-1 blue ‘face and it sure is a beast to be tamed… I’m usually running it into an Orange Rocket 15 combo. If you have any other tips regarding this pedal in particular I’d love to hear ’em…
Thanks in advance,
(And by Rocket 15 I of course mean Rocker 15… lol)
If you already feel that the fuzz is hard to tame then a compressor will only make things worse as it will add to the overall gain. I usually don’t use compression with fuzz or Muffs because the circuit is so overly compressed to begin with. To my ears, fuzz usually sounds best on its own, preferably into a slightly cranked amp. That will bring out all the nuances of the tone and add a bit of compression too. If you do need to use compression with fuzz, I’d check out one with a blend control to be able to dial in the right ammount of compression for your fuzz.
I’m on a budget, looking to get a good Fuzz Face, DSOTM sounding fuzz pedal. Between the TC Rusty Fuzz, the Mini silicon Fuzz Face, and the mini MXR 108 Fuzz, which do you think is best? This is for a bedroom setup, with a Blues Jr style amp, and stock passive Strat pickups. I would also like to have some level of clean up with guitar volume. Again, thanks for this amazing resource!!
Hi Chris, they’re all great I think. The Rusty Fuzz is perhaps the best match for your Blues Jr as it has a bit darker tone and some mid range but it also has more gain, which prevents it from cleaning up that well. Depends on your pickups though and how hot they are.
Hey Bjorn! I really really look up to you in all regards music. Thank you for your valued support.
I’m about to pull the trigger on a AnalogMan Sunface, but can’t decide between the BC109C and BC109B.
I’m mostly running a Michael Kelly Patriot Decree with MK PAF-Plus pickups (humbuckers with coil-split button) into a clean Fender amp.
Any guidance to place my order would be appreciated. Thanks!!
Thanks for your kind words! The BC108 is typical for the silicon fuzz, with a warmer character, slightly more compression and less gain although still pretty aggressive. The BC109 has more gain, less compression and an overall edgier tone. The 109B and 109C are very similar and perhaps hard to tell apart. The C is known to have slightly more gain.
Hello Bjorn, do you know the Solid Gold FX-Spanish Castle Dual Fuzz? Is that well suited for Gilmour Tone of the Phase Meddle and Pompeii?
Meedle bis pompejii
I haven’t tried it.
Greetings, Bjorn. What are your thoughts on stacking a JHF1 Hendrix Fuzz Face into an OCD? Any settings on the OCD you recommend? Would be using a Princeton Reverb ’65 RI amp and don’t play very loud at home, just need something to boost the fuzz face. Thanks!
Personally I don’t want to stack fuzz pedals. Especially not silicon transistor fuzz as they already have a lot of gain. The OCD might be too aggressive, even at lower gain settings. I don’t know. I haven’t tried that. I’d keep the gain low and the volume around unity. Depends on what you want to achieve with the stacking.
Late reply but I play exactly this setup and it sounds incredible. I keep the OCD gain below 10/11 o’clock and the tone up above 1 o’clock. I’m trying to simulate a loud bright Marshall. Can keep the PRRI volume on 2 for super quiet evening playing and its still good. Great solution when I can’t crank up my Marshall amp. Sometimes I’ll add a tube screamer between the fuzz and OCD to thicken up the drive and tame some low end.
I find the JHF1 best with the fuzz rolled back slightly. My trick is roll back the guitar volume for a clean sound and crank the fuzz. It’ll be way too bright at first, roll back the fuzz until it smooths out. Then rolling the guitar back up gives a nice thick fuzz but I can get anything from clean to slight overdrive all from the guitar
Hi Bjorn, Congratulations, the Gilmourish website is amazing. Please, have you already tried the Behringer SF300 Super Fuzz, which replicates the Boss FZ-2 Hyper Fuzz, which replicates the Univox Super Fuzz?
Thanks! I haven’t tried that. One of my favourite fuzz pedals is the old FZ3, which is very close to an old Tone Bender.
People day the Behringer Ultra Fuzz UZ400 is a clone of the Boss FZ3. The FZ3 is really a very good One.
Can you make good gilmour tones with the JHS Pedals Smiley – Fuzz?
which overall setup can you recommend to me to get close to echoes?
Depends on what pickups and amp you’re using. Gain pedals especially will sound different on different types of amps.
Bjorn, Your site is obviously a labor of love, and one that is very well done, props to you.
I was a bit surprised to not see any of the Skreddy fuzzes in your list, given that most have a “Gilmourish” lineage. Have you ever tried any of the Skreddys? Curious what you think.
Thanks for the kind words! Tried the Lunar Module breifly but in the Big Muff guide you’ll find several Skreddy pedals listed.
I know David had a Fuzz Face (and also a MXR Phase 90 and a EHX Small Stone) on his The Wall tour board. But I can’t hear any of these effects on the whole tour! Did he even use them in 80-81?
As far as I can tell, he didn’t but the board was designed for the Animals recording sessions in late 1976 so some of the effects dates from that period. Read more about David Gilmour’s Animals and Wall board here.
Hi Bjorn, I want to get an analog man bc109 sun face but they have options of either bc109b or bc109c with the 109c identified as higher gain. Is the 109c the option I would want for the time solo/echoes tones?
There isn’t a big difference between the two. Depends on how hot your pickups are. The 109c may be a better choice for David’s Pompeii/Dark Side tones.
What analog man version and circuits would you use for say Obscured by clouds and earlier
On the Obscured album, he most likely used a BC108 or 109. At least judging by the tone. He started using silicon fuzz in early 1971. Prior to that, I’d go for a germanium.
do you have any experience with, or thoughts about Keely Fuzz Bender?
Haven’t tried it.
Hello Bjorn, perhaps you grow weary of being asked “have you heard this fuzz?” or something similar, but I wondered if you had ever come across this Hot Fuzz pedal from BAE Audio in the USA:
Haven’t tried it. Sorry.
Hi Bjorn. Have you tested the ehx flat iron? Can you give an opinion about this pedal?
It’s based on the RAT but it’s much darker sounding and perhaps closer to a fuzz.
Awesome work you do here thanks.
Where does the proCo rat fall into this category. I know Gilmour likes his rat for playing on money when he used to use the fuzz face.
Would you consider the rat a fuzz or distortion and what settings would you recommend for using it as a fuzz?
The Rat was originally designed to capture the tone of a Fuzz Face being cranked into a Marshall plexi. Very much like Hendrix’ setup. The Rat has a bit of the fuzz character in it, especially when you crank the gain all the way up but I would say it more like a distortion, with a lot of mid range and compression.
Hi Bjorn, thanks for this excellent resource. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referenced this site. I’m looking for a fuzz to round out a board and I’m not sure what will best fit in my rig.
So far it’s a Fender Strat into a Boss Katana with the following pedals: MXR Phase 95 > Keeley Super Phat Mod > Wampler Tumnus > Mooer E.lady > Boss DD-7.
Mostly playing songs from DSoTM right now, but some from Wall, and WYWH.
Thanks for the kind words! A BC108 fuzz would be the closest match for that era although you may want to check out a Muff as well for the post-Animals era. The EHX Green Russian is perhaps your most versatile choice. See this feature too for some tips on choosing the right pedals for different types of amps.
Thanks for the reply! I see in the amps article that sometimes it is preferable to use a distortion instead of a true fuzz on certain amps. Given the other pedals I have to stack with and the amp I most frequently use is there any pedal that stacks better than others, or a reason to go into distortion instead of fuzz?
The EHX Green Russian.
I have been a follower for years and absolutely love the site. Do you have any experience with the Hartman BC108 silicon fuzz? I know Hartman have closed doors, but I have this pedal and really like it. I’m curious as to how it holds up compared to the analog man version.
Thanks for the kind words! I haven’t tried that one but Hartman had some great stuff.
What about the boss fz3? Superb fuzz pedal
Yes! One of my fav fuzz pedals! I’ve been meaning to do a video on it.
What about the Wampler velvet fuzz? Do you think it can reproduce gilmourish tones? ( I’m using a katana 50 and black strat custom shop?
Yes. It’s kind of a Muff meets fuzz. A bit too compressed and smooth for my taste but certainly a versatile pedal that works much better on smaller amps than a Muff or fuzz.
I hit my nano muff with a tube screamer (gain at 8-9 O’clock, vol & tone at 1:30) for solos or just to push it past 11. It gets those tubes cookin!
Which mini fuzz face would you prefer and why for Early floyd for albums, meddle ahm dsotm wywh?
Also out of the fuzz face, germanium, bc 108 and bc 109 which did gilmour use most?
Mojo hand fx Pompeii and Iron Belle ,they are Great Gilmour’s tone!
I’d be curious to see what you think of the Crazy Tube Circuits Constellation Fuzz. Thanks.
Have them send me one and I’ll tell you :)
Hey Bjorn, your work is great!
Since some time I’m working on the original “Time” Fuzz tone. While fiddeling around with different pedals and also experimenting with digital amp simulations like “Amplitube”, I’m not anyware near the desired tone. This is probably one of the most difficult guitar sounds to recreate, maby because David always has been experimental. I know you get in touch with many guitar pedals and other tools to create certain tones and maby you can help me further.
Thanks for your kind words Cedric. Yes, David’s lead tone on Time album version is difficult. You never know how a guitar is recorded. At least not down to the small details. We do know what gear he used but what about mics and mic positions, how was the signal recorded, did they compress or drive the channel strip, they add anything in the mix? Hard to tell. Let me know what kind of gear you use – amp, pickups and pedals – and I’ll try to help.
Thank you for your quick answer! I use a Hugh&Kettner Tubemeister 18 combined with a Laney Lionheart 1×12 Cab. I tried to get the Fuzz sound with the help of different Gain Pedal such as VickAudio’s 73 Rams Head Big Muff or Tree Of Life. Unfortunately I have no physical Fuzz pedal in the moment, so I also tried to use Amplitube to get a digital Fuzz. But this didn’t worked out for me. I compressed the Signal with the Effectrode PC-2A and used the TC Electronic Flashback with the analog Delay. I use a Fender AM Pro Strat or a Fender Mex. Strat with a SSL5 in the bridge position.
I’d like to get a real Fuzz pedal in the future but I’m not sure which one to buy. The Mercury/Helios Fuzz from Effectrode seem to be a good choice. On the other hand I could get the Sun Face Fuzz from Analogman.
What channel on the HK do you use? The clean channel sounds great but it’s horrible with pedals. I recommend using the gain channel, with the gain set as clean as possible, treble rolled back a hint and a bit of mids boost. You really don’t need a lot of pedals to do Time. A silicon Fuzz and some analog echo will do the job. The Helios is great but I think a more conventional fuzz, like a grey Fuzz Face or the Sunface BC109 will be better.
Thanks! I always use the gain channel with the gain knob at 9:00 to 10:00 and this works great with mild Overdrive and Big Muff Distortion. I will try to get the Analogman Sunface to Germany. Unfortunately it’s quit difficult to ship pedals from Analogman to my country due to „consumer protection“ or something like this.
I know you already made a video about this pedal, but you didn’t play Time back than (Bur Echoes was great listen). A cover of the solo with the original sound would be great in a future video.
Keep it up, your content is great!
I was just wondering if you got a chance to play the new Dunlop Jimi Hendrix micro Fuzz pedal? They are ultra compact; if you have, any thoughts, particularly on the feature that lets you switch between germanium and silicon? It seems many of the Hendrix fuzz pedals seem to work for David’s early 70s tones, and I’m wondering if with the added feature to go between germanium and silicon, if this pedal wouldn’t cover his fuzz tones up until he started using the Big Muff, and would be therefore worth it instead of getting multiple fuzz face clones/reissues. On that note- is a review of (finally!) official EHX Ram’s Head reissue coming soon? Thanks!
I haven’t tried the new mini pedals yet. Not sure if they’re available at this point. Anyway, they’re basically smaller versions of the bigger Fuss Face pedals, which is what David used back in the days.
The new EHX hasn’t been released just yet as far as I know but I’ll do a review as soon as they send me one.
Hello Bjorn, I’m looking to buy a germanium fuzz face for some early Gilmour era tones. I’m considering buying either the germanium Fuzz Face Mini or the red London Fuzz. I can see that you’ve ranked the London Fuzz pretty well among some of the other fuzzes, but I’m just curious as to what your opinions on the Fuzz Face Mini are. How well does it do early Gilmour tones if you’ve tried it? Thanks!
They can all do the job very convincingly. Personally I think the London Fuzz has more character and I like the fact that it has a bit more gain then your typical germanium fuzz.
Dakota, if you want the most authentic germanium Fuzz face clone, MJM who makes the London Fuzz did a run of 45 AVS London Fuzzes, with NKT275 transistors, as well as other original components. I do see one come up for sale occasionally, but you can always go for it’s close to equal Analogman Sunface NKT275. It is also the same as the original circuit, but just a bit less gain than the Authentic Vintage Series London Fuzz, which has a bias knob for dialing it in to any changes the temperature may cause. The Sunface can be ordered with the bias pot as well But if you can find the AVS for $250-$350, you’ll never need another GE Fuzz!!!
Hi Bjorn, thanks for the info and insights, I use your site a lot in my research for new gear…I got a question regarding the Fuzz Face minis: I read that the Hendrix FF (the turquoise one) has more mid range that the “regular” silicon blue one. my Fender Bassbreaker 007 amp doesn’t like mid humped pedals such as Rat or SD-1, do you thing the Hendrix Fuzz Face will be OK with that amp (since it’s a fuzz and already on the scooped side…)? Thanks!
It might have a tad more mids but it’s a scooped pedal for sure so if mids is an issue I’d go for something different.
Hi Bjorn, I’m thinking about buying a Rotovibe as I’ve seen some videos where it sounds good and ive got a thing for old skool pedals (also I note that you recommend it!). However I’m not sure about pairing it with my germanium fuzz. I know buffers cause problems when placed before germanium units but also that vibe and phaser effects sound great when placed before gain. My fuzz is a Fulltone 69, which has an input bias control, so my question is – will this input bias control make it possible to have the rotovibe in front without it sounding harsh and thin, or will the problem be there regardless? Obviously I’d try it out myself but I cant seem to find a local guitar shop that has a rotovibe I can test out.
If that doesn’t work, would the rotovibe sound decent placed after the fuzz, as my amp will be set to medium breakup, or should I instead go for a true bypass vibe pedal, and if so are there any you could recommend that sound good with humbuckers like the rotovibe does? Thanks :-)
I haven’t tried the Fulltone with a RotoVibe but the Roto works nicely after fuzz as well. Especially with a hint of breakup from the amp.
I meant to say the tru-fi color driver pedal.
I have the tru-fi color boost pedal.
Says its suppose to emulate the color boost as a clone, but it has the bc109 transistor which comes in the fuzz face so which sounds am I getting from this pedal, the fuzz face or the color driver? Lol
I’m doing a review of the Tru-Fi and it sounds VERY much like a Power Boost.
Hello Bjorn, I’m a bass player who’s also in a floyd tribute band. I’ve been trying for years to emulate roger waters fuzz sound… I know on your website you state that he used the NKT275 germanium Fuzzface. Are you positive about that? There really no info anywhere on what gear he’s used. I have the BC109 Hendrix reissue going through a hiwatt 405 and 4×10-1×15 cabs. It doesn’t really sound like what I hear on the albums or live stuff… particularly the Hollywood bowl 1972. His tone at that show was stellar!!! I also have an analogman Astro tone that sounds similar to the BC109 and I also use an electro harmonix germanium OD that has one NKT275 white dot. It works great as a volume boost and warms up the mids while making them also slightly clearer. Please help with any info on the fuzz. It would put my mind to rest. Thanks in advance… love your website! When people ask who some of my favorite bass players are, I always mention Gilmour. (Wink wink) http://www.eclipsect.com
I’m no expert on Roger’s gear but I know he used Hiwatt DR103 back in the early days and I’m pretty sure he used a Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face and most likely a germanium one. A silicon doesn’t go that well with bass… that’s my experience at least. I might be mistaken, but I think he also used HH preamps at Hollywood Bowl?
Hi Bjorn! Im wondering if ehx Soul food could be a better replacement for Boss BD-2. Any thoughts?
Oh, a mistaken question. How good is soul food for fuzz?
I don’t think you can compare those two. The BD2 has a transparent tube amp quality, while the Soul Food or Klon has m,uch more mid range and compression. They both act very well as booster but as overdrive pedals they sound very different.
Bjorn, do you or anyone else here have any experience with the band of gypsys fuzz face? I understand it’s not a fuzz face circuit but I can’t find a review of someone using one into a clean amp like a hiwatt. Everyone blasts it into a dirty ass Marshall, I’d like to know what it’s like into o a hiwatt/reeves. I’m guessing this has a similar tone to a big muff. Thinking about getting one to try, not for Gilmour sounds but for myself. Thanks
I haven’t tried it but from what I know, it’s based on a Octavia without the actual octave effect. I’d say that it sounds more like a beefed up fuzz than a Muff although the difference isn’t that big.
Ok thank you. I went ahead and bought one. We’ll see how this goes. Just wanting to try something different. I’ve happily had my own fuzz face in my setup for years now but it’s time to try something else just to see if I like it more. It peaked my interest when I read that it cleans up pretty well with guitar volume despite having so much gain. I’m play a lot of blues, and use my fuzz face for leads. So I’m excited. I bought the big chassis fuzz instead of the little one. That extra mojo from its looks improves the tone right….? Lol
Brad, that paper company .must be paying you good, hahaha! You’re buying gear like I was when I was making 100k+ before I had to retire. I hope you’re still digging the Fralin’s!!
Hit me up brother, KEITH
First of all i follow your side by now ~10 Years <3 honest thanks for all the work you put in this project !
Now a quick question:
On you Analog Man Analogman Sun Face BC109, witch Transistor does it use?
I found 4 Versions on the Analog Side :3
Thanks in advance.
Keep up the good work
Oh… I really don’t know. I need to find the pedal and check. I do think it was the 109B but I’m not 100%.
Hi Phillip, I saw your post and own an Analogman BC10C Sun Face. I opted for a rare Telefunken BC109C transistor for slightly more money. The sound is absolutely to die for. You can easily cop any sounds from very early Pink Floyd thru Obscured By Clouds, DSOTM (specifically the solo in Time) and beyond. The Analogman BC109C is one awesome fuzz pedal. If I were in your shoes I’d go for the limited Telefunken transistor if it is still on offer.
I have a Joe Bonamassa mini fuzz face which if I play it alone directly into my Hiwatt Td20 it sound compressed and a little bit dark, plus his volume is higher than when I use it into my chain. When I use it into my chain pedals it sound thinner, simular to DG 70’ s sound. Why It happening? My chain is: polytune, boss blues driver, fuzz face, 1978 Big muff, mxr univibe, Electric Mistress, mxr phase 90, ammoon echo/delay.
Could be a number of things. Unless you have an exact replica of his rig, it won’t sound the same. From what I rember he’s mostly using Marshall amps, which are considerably darker and more aggressive sounding than Hiwatts. Add his loud volume on top of that and the fuzz will surely sound bigger and darker. Keep in mind too that fuzz pedals don’t like buffers, so you might want to reconsider that BD2. Not sure about the echo pedal. Also, be careful with the treble and presence on your Hiwatt. Roll them down considerably if your tone is too bright. See this feature for more on amp setups.
thanks for your reply on this! I will try to revert the fuzz position in my chain placing Muff after the BD2 and then Fuzz.
Hi Bjorn! First, id like to say im big fan of your work. Second, i would like to buy a fuzz pedal..
Ive a nos gilmour strat, a vox ac30 c2x, and i work with bd2 keeley mod, a cs2, ce3, rv3 and an eleclady.
I used to push all distorcion and overdrive from bd2..and its sounds realy good, but I would like to buy a fuzz to get more like a fuzzy sound..you know..what you would sugest..that combine well with all the rest?
Thanks for your time. Love your videos and site..
Depends on what sort of fuzz tone you want. Vox amps usually doesn’t go that well with fuzz pedals, or, at least for David’s tones. Maybe you’d want to look into something more versatile. See this feature for more.
Hello Bjorn! I was checking the settings for the live in pompeii version of echoes. When you state that clean signal was used on rythm parts do you mean what do you exactly mean? Do you think David had one Hiwatt for fuzz and echo and the other one straight clean? I apologize to comment hear but there is no comment section on tbe pompeii article. By the way, If you get the chance, try the Chasetone 68 red velvet fuzz! Would love to know what is your opinion about that one.
Thanks in advance! (and for all of your work here and on youtube)
His Hiwatts are set for one tone. Clean but with enough pre-amp drive to make them slightly compressed and a bit hairy, without actually distorting. When you hear him play with clean tones that’s just the Hiwatt. He kicks in the fuzz whenever he needs it.
I think it’s also valid to assume that because I’ve seen pictures of his pedals from before he actually had a pedalboard where his pedals are just kind of in a mess on the floor, and none of these have an ABY switch in them which is what he would use to select what amp to use. Because of everything just being strewn on the floor I’d say he probably put the fuzz face and foot pedal for the Binson close enough that he could just kick both on at the same time.
Yes and you can acytually see that on the 1971 Pompeii film. See how they’re placed on the ground and see him lean forward and clearly step on something during Echoes.
Binson for delay, pre amp boost, or both? Thanks for the replies, by the way. I’ve got so much to learn!
He’s obviously using the echo and it seems that he might be adjusting the prea-amp boost for certain parts although I’m not sure how he’s using it. He’s also adjusting the echo level for different parts.
Hello Bjorn,can you help me please i am looking for the fuzz pedal.i already bought the green russian but i am not so happy with that.i have the boss katana 50 ampli so maybe it doesnt work well together and also my use of it.do you have any idea what will be the best solution for me.thanks a lot again
What didn’t you like about the GR?
Hi Bjorn. Fantastic site
I read somewhere that you use a pod x3? I have a podx3live that is hooked into a sad Marshall mg100hdfx but I only wire it to be the preamp and the podx3 live has total control of amps/effects etc. It sounds ok but was wondering if you could share some tones with me, especially the muff and delay stuff. Hope to hear back soon
I don’t really use it that much anymore and I don’t have much to share. It has some really nice and strange effects and delay sounds that I often use to create layers on recordings but I don’t have any Gilmour sounds. Sorry.
Thanks for all the work that went into this.
Genevieve FX ‘Pink side of the spoon’ might be something worth looking at. I have a couple of their pedals and find them versatile and responsive.
Thanks for the tip!
Hey Bjorn. Have you any experience with the JHS Muffuletta? From what I’ve seen, it accurately replicates 8 different muff varieties ranging from the triangle to the ram’s head that he uses these days. Is it worth my time (and money!)?. Cheers.
By “he” I, of course, am referring to Gilmour.
Just discovered your review… Sorry I’ve wasted your time… Great playing though!
Hi Bjorn, I the DOD Carcosa fuzz from eBay. Now it runs against the big Muff with tone wicker. Do you know carcosa? Which would you prefer?
Haven’t tried it.
Great read Bjorn, I am looking for the warmest and creamiest fuzz that is round and like liquid gold—-for the CELLO tone—- what would you recommend?
Depends on your amp and guitar. A vintage style fuzz can sound pretty horrible on the wrong setup. It’s all explained in this feature.
what do you think about ELECTRONIC ORANGE mod. GENUINE PIG FACE (Fuzz) pedal ?
You prefer ANALOGMAN mod. SUN FACE BC109 ?
do you know:
– T-PEDLAS mod. T-FUZZ
– T-PEDALS mod. PONCHO FUZZ
– T-PEDALS mod. BUGGY FUZZ ???????
Never tried the Pig Face. The SF BC109 is very close to those classic Dark Side tones.
you have tried the DANELECTRO mod. COOL CAT FUZZ V.2 pedal ?
I was displaced….
Ladies and Gentlemen (for equal rights), it is an embarrassing effect.
IF YOU CHECK !!!
what about the silicon fuzz face mini from Dunlop Electronics ?
Well worth checking out.
Hello Bjorn, congratulations and thank you for creating such an incredible “Gilmour” resource on the web. I reigiously read all of your posts and have purchased a minimum of 12 pedals based solely on your reviews of various products that are above and beyond the “standard” pedals on the market.
Have you tried the Function f(x) Clusterfuzz? I find this to be a very nice pedal as it has five different fuzz settings (None, LED, FET, Si1 and Si2). The beauty of this pedal lies in the 8-bit potentiometer, whereby a player can dial in exactly the level of 8-bit grunge they are looking for. I also love the fact that the Clusterfuzz has separate Volume and Fuzz potentiometers as well as a highly effective Filter switch. I am a fuzz fanatic and must say that the Clusterfuzz is an incredible fuzz ppedal that allows the individual player to sculpt incredible fuzz tones. I am able to capture nearly every era of Gilmour’s Big Muff/Fuzz sound given the vast array of options available on the Clusterfuzz.
I highly recommend you take this pdal for a spin. It is siply fantastic, in my opinion. Lots to like about his beast of a pedal.
Regards, Chris Filben
Thanks for the kind words and the tip!
I just wanted to let you know that to get stock Fuzz Face sounds out of a Fulltone 70 fuzz you have to turn the Mids knob all the way to the left. Thereâ€™s also an internal trimmer knob to smooth things out if you need to. The Mids knob helps cut through the mix live. I think it works well for DSOTM sounds.
Have you tried Earthquaker Sevices Carcosa
I have been having a lot of fun with it – playi g Gibson 339 into Bugera V22. For the price of it new, i am amazed at what it can do a d does for me
Would appreciate your impression if you have tried it
That’s DOD isn’t it? Haven’t tried it.
DOD carcosa . sorry
I have it going through Earthquaker Devices Westwood.
I mixed up tje names
Big fan of your website, has opened up a whole new world of insights on Gilmour’s tones! Really keen on getting a Sunface with Silicon transistors, but there’s quite a few to choose from. I’ve narrowed it down to BC183 and BC109b. Are you aware of the BC183 – supposed to be a tad warmer?
Interested on both Gilmour tones as well as Hendrix. Which one do you think would fair better overall? I am also curious about whether the BC109b could clean up, with the guitar’s volume, to reasonable extent with a bit of tweakiing.
If anybody else has any insights on this, feel free to share your opinions of course!
Thanks for your kind words Paris! As I’m sure you are aware, silicon transistor fuzz doesn’t clean up as well as germanium. It also depends on how hot your pickups are. There are subtle differences between all silicon transistors and again, how they sound and how well they fit your rig, depends on your pickups and amp. In my experience the 108 is more open sounding, the 109 has a bit more gain and the 183 has a slightly darker tone with more lows.
Thanks Bjorn, appreciate your help!
Hi Bjorn, I was wondering if you have had an opportunity to try out JAM Pedals point-to-point limited edition Black Muck? I bought one on a whim as only 100 of these pedals were made. I’ve had extraordinary results pairing the Black Muck with the Fuzz Phrase. Having both pedals in my pedal chain, I can literally obtain any Gilmour tone I’ve heard on any Pink Floyd or Gilmour solo album.
The Black Muck deserves a shout-out because it is simply awesome! Aggressive? Yes! But at the same time the Black Muck is laid back audio nivana. I cannot recommend the Black Muck highly enough. Admittedly, it exhibits more of Big Muff Pi characteristics than it does SI Fuzz characteristics, IMHO, but man oh man, it sounds heavenly. Thanks so much for all of your incredible reviews.
I’ve only tried the older Red Muck so I can’t really compare it to the newer versions.
Absolutely fantastic site.
Do you know which transistors are in your Sunface BC109? Are they 109B or 109C? The Analogman site is a bit confusing, but it seems there are a few choices available for the 109.
Also, do you know how the Analogman BC109 compares to the Mojo Hand FX Pompeii? I’m looking for early ’70s Gilmour tones, and the demos for that one are blowing me away.
Thanks for the kind words!
I think mine is a B.
The Pompeii that I got sounded like a fart and I sent it back. Never heard from them again and the pedal was eventually pulled.
The Sunface BC109 is hard to beat but do check out the grey Dunlop FF as well. Sounds awesome!
Hi Robert, I own an Analog.man BC109C. Agreed, the Analog.man website can definitely be a bit confusing. I opted for the BC109C with a NOS Telefunken transistor after discussing various nuances with Mike Piera aka Analog.man. This is an extraordiinary pedal! It absolutely nails the Gilmour Time solo. In my opinion, no other fuzz pedal I’ve tried comes as close to replicating every last nuance of Gimour’s tone circa ’70-’75 as the BC109C. As Mike stated, the BC109C just has a little more of everything when compared to the BC109B. More Volume, more Sustain, more Fuzz. My personal advice would be the BC109C with the Telefunken Transistor. I think the upcharge for the Telefunken Transistor is $15 but well worth the additional cost. I hope this helps.
I actually just reached out to Mike from Analogman directly and he replied and said the Surface he sent to David Gilmour was a B109C transistor.
How about the deluxe big muff in this line up.. Would it even make the cut
Yes, but I haven’t had enough experience with it to make a good review. Yet.
To get the One of these days/Echos fuzz tone would you get thr Sun Face BC109 or the Buffalo FX GERMANIUM FUZZ V3 recommend a 3rd option.
I dont’ think you can get any closer than the SF BC109 given that you have the guitar, pickups and amp for it. The Dunlop JHF1 is also worth checking out.
Hi, what do you suggest for a Les Paul + Mesa/Boogie Mark V? I would like something that cleans up well not can get me to fat fuzz tones as well. Thanks!!!
That depends on your pickups. Hotter humbuckers doesn’t clean up as well as PAFs or similar. I would go for a full range pedal like the OCD, Buffalo FX TD-X or even the Boss BD2.
In the end I preferred the Buffalo Germanium Fuzz V3 and it perfectly covers the sounds I was looking at. It does a good clean up with humbuckers al well and can get me to each nuances of Fuzz Gary Clark Jr uses (just to give you an idea). Iâ€™m completely satisfied!
I`ve heard quite a few fuzz pedals and the one that impressed me the most was the MI Audio GI Fuzz. I have one on my board and it sounds so good and has so much sustain that I rarely use my Pig Hoof anymore. This is the video that sold me on the GI Fuzz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3LSfEEaJmQ Actually, my tone sounds quite a bit better than the tone in the video with much more liquidy sustain, but that`s probably due to the Boss CS-2+eleclady+Boss CE-2+Boonar delay in my signal chain. Replacing the GI Fuzz with the Pig Hoof kills a good amount of my sustain. I think the Pig Hoof may need to be used at a louder volume to really make it shine.
The GI Fuzz is really great and it’s got a lot of extra features making it a versatile pedal. It’s a very different pedal compared to the Hoof, which is a scooped out heavy gain Big Muff. The fact that you can add a bit of presence and mid range to the GI, makes it sound louder, slightly more compressed and sustained.
a great article as always BjÃ¸rn! Have you had the chance to try out the SviSound Ge Fuzz and/or the Jim Dunlop Mini Germanium Fuzz Face – and if so, what did you think of them?
Jeg ville skrive dette pÃ¥ norsk men norsken min er virkelig for dÃ¥rlig :-(
Hi Daniel! Check out my review of the GE Fuzz here. The Mini Germanium is great and way better than its bigger brother. Cheers!
awesome, thank you!
I’m considering buying a JHS Firefly Fuzz but am not quite sure if it’s worth the $175+, do you have any thoughts or experience with this pedal? I’d be using it mainly with a strat through a Marshall DSL 40-C
Never tried it.
I’m using a germanium fuzz face clone at the moment (fulltone 69) but I’ve been told it’s not a good match for my humbucker equipped guitar. I do find that I have trouble cutting through the mix even though I use a clean boost after it for soloing and have a lot of mids in my amp (an ampeg gvt). Is there a fuzz you can recommend that works better with humbuckers? Or would a treble boost type pedal work instead?
Your humbuckers and mid range oriented amp should be able to cut through. Germanium fuzz traditionally doesn’t have that much mids but it’s the total that counts. If you do want more mids, you could add an EP Booster, EQ or look for an overdrive with more mids.
Hi Bjorn, do you think it is worthwhile getting the hand-wired Jam Pedals Fuzz Phrase or is the standard pedal more than adequate? Thank you for your assistance!
I haven’t tried the stock one so I can’t really comment on the differences. If there are any.
Hi Bjorn, I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your sound advice ad the extraordinary dedication you put into the Gilmourish website. I have purchased many pedals based solely upon your reviews.
I opted for the P2P version of JAM Pedals Fuzz Phrase. The pedal is phenomenal in every respect! I cannot comment on “difference” between the standard Fuzz Phrase vs the P2P version as I have never tried the standard Fuzz Phrase. However, I can say that the P2P Fuzz Phrase has become my go-to fuzz pedal.
Thank you! Yes, the FP is awesome!
What is your thought on the Wampler Velvet Fuzz?
It had one when it came out. Thought it was OK but I guess my main issue was that it was not a fuzz nor a Muff. It sounded a bit dark and average to me but I can definitely see the potential for someone using a bright Fender amp.
I’m using a Hot Rod Deville 410 cabinet & EC Strat.
Which pedal do you think would work best?
Check out this feature for some tips on choosing the right pedals for your amp.
Hi Bjorn, great review of fuzz pedals for Gilmour-sound.
Personally, between silicon and sermanium, I prefer the germanium fuzz pedal. They sound more organic, more warm, more articulate, yet fat and aggressive. Silicon fuzz pedals are aggressive too, but overall they sound too harsh to my ears (Time solo in the TDSOTM original recording, for example). For those sounds, I prefer my Dover Drive (I bought it after viewing your video-review) that at high-gain settings offers a nice fuzzface-like tone.
You reviewed the GeFuzz from Svisound a couple of years ago, and I loved the sound you obtained, used for the Atom Heart Mother solo.
In the description, you wrote Lots of headroom, Classic Germanium Fuzz, Cleans up by backing off the guitar volume, and so on, but you didn’t write “Lots of sustain”, as you often do on other pedals’ review.
Do you remember that it lacked of sustain?
If so, do you know otther germanium fuzz pedals with a good sustain? I’m looking for a good Tone Bender replica, with a good sustain and at a fair price (100-200$)
Thanks a lot!
I don’t know why I left that out but it does have a great tone and nice sustain. Still use that pedal. I’m more into silicon fuzz so I don’t have too much experience with a wide range of germanium pedals but one that I really love is the Fuzz Phrase from Jam Pedals. It’s got the classic tone but a tad more gain and overall a bit more open sound.
Hey! I’ve been a fan of Gilmour for years. His solo in Echoes Live At Pompeii is what made me want to play guitar in the first place. I have a band and we want to try to get as close to Pink Floyd as possible, so being the guitar played, that’s a tall order. I have made Gilmourish.com my primary source for learning about gear. I have a question though, when there is a sticker next to a pedal that says “Gilmourish pick” does that mean that that is a pedal you would include on a Gilmour board?
Yes, although I guess some pedals are more typical him than others. Everything is based on my subjective opinion and obviously, whether or not it works for you depends on your guitar and amp.
Hey, thanks so much Bjorn!
Hi Bjorn! What do you think about the Swollen Pickle and Havalina pedals by Way Huge? Would they get close to a Gilmour fuzz tone?
I haven’t tried the Havalina, so I can’t really tell. As far as I know, it’s a germanium fuzz that should go well with David’s earlier tones. The Swollen Pickle is a great sounding version of the Big Muff with a few extra features. Definitely worth checking out!
Love your insight and knowledge . I’m a new guitarist and just starting to get my feet wet. My gear consists of a Epiphone Les Paul Standard Pro with probuckers, Fender Bassbreaker 007 and a Donner Yellow Fall with a TC polytune3 on its way. What recommendations based on my setup should I consider for a fuzz/boost pedal that are wallet friendly. Thanks…
Depends on what you consider as wallet friendly but it’s worth checking out the Dunlop Mini fuzz pedals. The grey and blue are spot on David’s Pompeii/Dark Side tones. Fuzz pedals do need the right parts and the cheaper budget models often fail to produce that characteristic tone. That being said, for your Fender amp I would perhaps consider something a bit more versatile and something that can compensate for the lack of mid range and compression you find in Hiwatt amps and similar. Check out the RAT (or the Mooer Black Sectret) or the Fulltone OCD (or the Mooer Hustle Drive).
Thanks for your recommendation Bjorn.
I have listened to clips of all those pedals and realy don’t much like any of them there all good but there is something lacking at least to my ears in them all.
The Bassbreaker 007 is a bit short on headroom , has a bass/mid forward eq. And goes into breakip quickly so for now I think I will just stack a couple of rc boosters in front of it and tack on a Elady and see were that takes me..
Does that sounder likeep a good option to you.
Yeah, that should work well if you want to use the gain from the amp. Personally I’d go for a AC or Powerbooster, which allows you to dial in a bit more dirt.
Thanks.. more dirt is always a good thing..
Hi Bjorn, First off, your website is awesome and a great resource, thank you. I already got the ProCo Rat 2 (early 90’s) per your recommendation on the site and am getting a great money solo tone with an early 2000’s big box deluxe memory man with the preamp turned up a little as a boost. My question is that I am going to buy an analog man BC108, and analog man has options for either battery only or a 9v power jack. I have read that fuzz’s can sound different depending on the power source. Do you use a power supply with your bc108 or battery only? and/or do you know if there is much if any tonal difference in using a power supply vs battery?
Hi James! There’s not a huge difference but I do prefer using carbon or heavy duty 9V batteries. It just sound a bit smoother and warmer. There is a bigger difference with germanium transistors. They often sound considerably brighter with power supply.
What about the Dunlop Silicon Fuzz Face Mini? Since it’s a silicon fuzz shouldn’t it work great for Gilmour tones?
Yep. Sounds great!
Hi Bjorn! Was just wondering, which fuzz face would you recommend most for Pompeii and Dark Side tones, blue mini silicon or mini Hendrix? Cheers
Both will do but I really like the grey one.
I have been playing around with a Fuzz pedal by Fairfield Circuitry called Four Eyes Crossover Fuzz. The amount of tone shaping control is astounding. It has dedicated circuits for low, mid and high. A frequency knob to set the center frequency and a resonance switch.. It took me me trial and error but within half hour or o, I had some delicious fat fuzz flowing through my Bugera v22
I wonder if you have tried it and what you thought of it
Haven’t tried it. Thanks for the tip!
What do you think of MXR’S la machine?
Haven’t tried it but based on the reviews I’ve heard it sounds like a mix between a classic silicon fuzz and Big Muff, with option for octave.
I think is interesting…I’ll try to find it and try it out
Hey Bjorn, do you have any experience with the Ampeg scrambler, and if so what would you compare it to?
Haven’t tried it…
What a great website! I’d like to know of a few pedals that can nail that Time guitar solo. The Time solo tone is all I care about when it comes to fuzz pedals, as I dont have much use for them other than indulgence when I’m having some fun while practicing. It’s such a beautiful sound and not many fuzz pedals or Time solo covers I’ve seen have been able to nail it. Thanks!
Thank you! What sort of amp and pickups do you have? Check out this feature for some tips on choosing the right pedals for your amp.
I would encourage you to try thr Deep Trip pedals
Hi Bjorn. Out of curiosity, what might you suggest if you were to recommend a couple of non-“fuzz face” pedals for the pre-muff Gilmour silicon fuzz sound?
You mean a fuzz clone or a distortion with a similar sound?
Thanks Bjorn. I guess I mean either a fuzz that’s not a “fuzz face” derivative (i.e. another type of fuzz entirely), or a distortion that has a similar sound – and probably moreso the latter out of those two. I know for example that the silicon Sunfaces by Analogman do a great job, as does the Skreddy Lunar Module, but each are fuzz faces. I’m just wanting to experiment with getting that tone in other ways, if possible. Having read much of your site it seems like a RAT pedal could be used in many places where a muff gives the sound. So in a sense that’s an example of what I’m looking for – a distortion that covers the same ground as fuzz. But what about the silicon fuzz face sound (say DSOTM) – can that be achieved with a distortion pedal?
Hi, sorry for my late reply. The closest relative would be a Big Muff but as the traditional fuzz pedals, a Muff needs the right amp. The Rat is loosely based on the Fuzz Face, although the cirquit evolved quite a bit. It’s an extremely versatile pedal that sounds great on almost any amp. With a bit of tweaking you can get convincing tones for almost any Gilmour era. I don’t think they make the Rats like they used to but check out the excellent, and cheap, Mooer Black Secret or some of the many clones out there. Do also check out the Buffalo Evolution, which is similar.
Hi! Loving your site, your recommendations inspired me to check out a whole bunch of pedals, and indeed purchasing a Dover Drive. My question concerns the somewhat obscure Tortenmann brand, more specifically the TA-200 Grand Fuzz. It’s a, well, grand sounding germanium fuzz that isn’t relying on high volume to sound good.
Have you tried one, or are you familiar with these pedals? I ordered one today, mostly out of curiosity, as there are precious few reviews online. Thanks in advance.
Haven’t tried it so I can’t really tell.
No Swollen Pickle? What kind of Fuzz list is this?
Send me one, and I’ll add it :)
One without a swollen pickle obviously
I have a question ; The Jam Fuzz Phrase pedal you have tried , it was point to point version ? or PCB version . I saw a option in jam site that point to point version and it is expensive more 50â‚¬ . is it worth ? what you think about it .
Mine is PtP. I haven’t tried the PCB so I can’t tell if there’s a huge difference.
Hi Bjorn! I’m in need of your expert advice. I have a Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Fuzz Face in my rig but I can’t quite get it to belt out the Gilmour tones I’m looking for. I don’t know if it’s something to do with the overdrive pedals I’m using alongside it or if it’s to do with the pedal. I have a lovely vintage Peavey Bandit amp that’s got 80w of headroom. I have a Blues Driver and a TS808. Although happy with the JH Fuzz Face, I’ve been considering buying an Analogman sunface given all the praise it has. Do you think it’s worth it? And if not could you give me any tips on how to setup my JH Fuzz Face right? Settings and how to set it up with the overdrive pedals and what not. Thank you!
Hi Nicholas! As I’m sure you know, fuzz pedals are very sensitive to the pickups, amp and amp settings and what pedals you use with it. I’d start by plugging the guitar straight into the fuzz and then the amp. No other pedals in between. This will ensure the purest signal for the fuzz. Set the amp up for the desired tone and then engage the fuzz. I’m not that familiar with the Bandit, but it’s a solid state right and you got the different channels or amp modelling choices. I’d experiment with different setups but keep in mind that to get that smooth fuzz tone, you need lots of mid range and some compression. As for boosting, the 808 is not the best pedal for boosting, as you’ll be colouring the tone a lot, with it’s boosted mid range and compresion. I’d either try to use the FF alone or, with a transparent mids scooped booster.
Thanks for replying Bjorn! I’ve tried tweaking around and i found that the JH-2 sounded great when I boosted it slightly with the blues driver. You once recommended settings to me for that pedal and i find they work well with the Fuzz Face. I’d also like to add that playing around with the volume knob on the guitar makes a huge difference. I think that the JH-2 should do the job so I’ll keep it. Best regards! Have a merry Christmas!
First off, I wanted to say I love your site! I just discovered it about 3 months ago, and have been reading every day. Thanks for making such an awesome an informative resource for David and all this classic gear!
I’ve been playing for quite a long time but have never owned a muff or any kind of fuzz for that matter. I was very inspired by Eddie Van Halen when I was young and always sought out the smooth brown Marshall type of tones as opposed to fuzz tones. That being said, I do really love the sounds that David gets with the muff, as well as Jimi Hendrix with his fuzz face. I like the sounds Toni Iommi gets as well, and I don’t think he ever used a muff, but I bet you could get really close to his sound with one. I really like the sounds you got using the Buffalo Patriot, and I think I’m kind of partial to the Russian circuit muff sounds in general. However the price tag on a Patriot is a little steep right now, so, I was wondering if there is a muff out there you would recommend that is comparable to the Patriot that costs less. Also, I would like to get your opinion on a couple of muff type pedals if you have tried them.. Have you tried the Swollen Pickle from Way Huge, or the Five O’ clock Fuzz from Outlaw effects? The Five O’clock Fuzz is pretty cheap $42.. And I’ve read several good reviews on it.
My signal chain as of right now, goes like this: I use a Jackson Dinky loaded with an EVH Frankenstein humbucker and two Seymour Duncan Yngwie malmsteen single coils into: Boss tuner, Crybaby Wah, MXR Phase 90, Landgraff Overdrive, Ibanez TS9, Boss Flanger, Ernie Ball Volume, Boss DD6 into: a Marshall Plexi Super Lead 100 watt with a 4/12 loaded with Greenbacks, for my big rig, or a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe loaded with a Fane speaker, for my smaller rig. I’m guessing if I had a big muff, I would probably put it either right before the Phase 90 or right after.. So long as it was before the 2 overdrives. Sorry for writing a book with my comment, but your page has really inspired me, and I have Muff fever! Lol.
From Pensacola Florida.
Hi Oz, thanks for your kind words! For the tones you describe, I think I’d either go with an OP-Amp Muff or a Sovtek. Now, the EHX Bass Muff is a great sounding and affordable version of the early 90s Sovtek. Do also check out some of the clones, like the Buffalo FX Patriot, Mojo Hand Colossus or the Muff War from Custom Pedal Boards that I recently did a review on. You might also want to check out the JHS Muffuletta, which has very convincing versions of all the Muffs in one pedal. You’ll find reviews for all of these here on the site.
Hi, greetings from Argentina. I’m Javier. I wonder if you’ve tried the Keeley fuzz head, the red one. And what do you think about it for Gilmour sounds?. Thanks a lot.
Haven’t tried it…
It seems like fuzz pedals are the trickiest to use on bedeoom setups. Which one would you recommend for this application, the Sun Face or the Helios by Effectrode?
Btw, 90% of my pedal choices have been influenced by your buyer’s guides!
What amp are you using? Check out this feature for some tips on choosing the right pedals for your amp.
What a wonderful website you have so much information . Thank you
I’ve read all the guides to buy a big muff . But I’m still a bit unsure of what to choose . I don’t know which one will be best with my gear
I play an American standard Strat with a hot gold lace sensor
My amp is a Peavy Windsor with valve king cabinet.
The pig Hoof sounds great same with the Ram head 73 Vic
Frankly quite a lot of them sounds really good especially with you playing it
Favourite tone is from animal to final cut . I don’t know with my head though it’s not very clean I really don’t know what would be best with it .
Could you please make a suggestion based on my gear one or two choice if you have time I will really appreciate it .
Thank you Bjorn and best wishes
Ps: most of the time I play at home so it has to sound nice at the low-volume .
Hi Paul. Terribly sorry for my late reply. The Windsor is, as you know, in that Marshall territory so you have a lot of compression and mids coming. The Pig Hoof might sound a bit too overwhelming with that amp and while the Vick probably sounds better, I think I’d go for a more mellow sounding Muff, like the Buffalo FX Patriot or even their new M-1. If you want something more budget friendly, then check out the EXH Bass Muff, which is very close to the Patriot and the early 90s Sovtek Muffs.
hi guys, give me reference on the silicon fuzz face mini
Hey Bjorn is a EH Metal Muff good for any DG tones? I mostly use a Univox Superfuzz. thanks
I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m sure you can get something similar with it, but it’s voiced for other types of tones than his. Among the EHX models, I’d look into the Deluxe or the Bass Muff.
Bjorn- have you seen/heard the new Keeley “Dark Side” pedal? Good one to review:
Looks very interesting :)
Thanks for the help. I finally tried a Dunlop Mini Hedrix Fuzz and found what I’m looking for after numerous muffs, distortions and a few fuzz’s. I’m not sure where it falls in but I’d love to see you review the JHS Pollinator at some point.
First of all, i love your site and thanks for all the efforts you made. Based on your reviews I bought the Drybell vibe machine.Buffalo fx Powerbooster, Evolution and today the M1 fuzz arrived from Joe pedals in England.
The M1 fuzz is a unbelievable beautiful sounding pedal, like we always get from Buffolo fx. You can use it as a fuzz alone, but in combination with the Evolution and the Powerbooster, it brings your sound to another dimension. The pedals are so complementary, You can use them alone and together and they are easy to handle.
I’m playing in a small room at bedroom level. With a American Strat from 1976 with Klein Jazzy Cats “john Mayer” pick ups, a Haar Telecaster and a Vox ac15c1 amps. And I think that I come close to the Gilmour sound.
The playing is another story, just keep practising.
I hope Bjorn that in the coming review of the M1 fuzz, that you not only let us hear the fuzz alone, but also a combination for example with the Evolution. Like everyone i’m looking forward for your review.
Please keep going with your beautiful work and I hope that in future you will do a review of the Cali 76 tx-l compressor.
Thanks for the kind words, Jaap!
How about the oxfuzz?
How about it?
I have a Fulltone Soul Bender that I believe works great for many Gilmour tones. What is your opinion?
I pair it with a Full-Drive 2 (which is very versatile) and then a TubeScreamer for boost. What do you think? What is your opinion of tbe FD-2?
Cheers, and thanks for your awesome page!
I don’t have much experience with the Soul Bender but it should do a nice job for the earlier fuzz tones. The Full Drive is great and you can get some nice Tube Driver-ish tones with it. It does have a nice amount of compression and mids, so I would be careful adding a TS on top of that. Depending on your amp, that combo can sound muddy and dark but a more transparent booster, would perhaps be more fitting for the job.
Have you tried the Dunlop FFM3 Mini Hendrix?
I like the big one but can’t give up the real estate.
Yes, it’s the same as the JHF-1, which is great!
Heard anything from Steve Painter about the Buffalo FX M-1 ? I guess you are his go-to guy for a review, since you’ve put Steve on the map with us Gilmour geeks..
I was planning to buy a Pig Hoof, but I gotta wait for this one!.. Allready own 3 of steve’s pedals.. They are AMAZING!! I would LOVE to hear and see you demo it… I’ve got a feeling this might be my missing link between the Patriot, Evo and TD-X..
Review coming up :)
The one thing I realized when using my Eric Johnson Fuzz Face is it loves to pick up radio stations when I back the volume down on the guitar. If I use a passive pot style volume pedal between the fuzz and the guitar that will not happen. It has always seemed to be an issue in the past, when using other silicon transistor based Fuzz Faces. Wondering if Gilmour was having similar issues when switching from Germanium to Silicon Transistor Fuzz Faces.
Those old fuzz circuits have all kinds of issues and one is that they will act like open antennas, picking up radio and electric radiation. It’s just the nature of the circuit and once you try to modify the pedals to eliminate that, they won’t sound the same.
Thanks Bjorn,much appreciated!!Great work!!!
P.S.Where do you find the time to do this?
Ha ha, it’s all fun :)
Another excellent article Bjorn!!
Have you had a chance to test the Dunlop Mini Fuzz Face Germanium?The transistors are slightly mismatched whereas the transistors of the MJM London Fuzz Red,(germanium),are hand matched.Does this have a significant impact on their respective tones?And their Gilmourish.com tones/scores?
I think all the minis are great and worth checking out. I haven’t done an A/B between the two, so it’s hard to tell but the red LF is voiced for more gain. Kind of a mix between a germanium and silicon kind of tone but as for the transistorts, I’m not sure.
Thank you for the information on the first boxes it is extremely helpful and I will make my decision on which way to go because of your article thank you again cheers
Hey Bjorn, long time no talk. Was gonna tell you, I’ve found my own tone. It’s still very gilmourish but I’ve branched out and have found a tone that is mine, I feel, and slightly different than David’s. I’ve achieved it with my colorsound powerbooster and a looper volume control. I have the pedal set to pretty much a fuzz but not quite with a slight volume boost. It’s heavier than David’s overdrive tones but not by much. Compared to a fuzz face the power boost when set like I have it is smoother and I find the bass and treble controls make it a much more versatile fuzz than others. I have my reeves set up with high mids and slightly high bass and treble rolled back, but man the powerbooster will shake the floor. Btw, with this set up all I have to do to make a clean sound or overdrive sound is just roll the guitar volume back. I was inspired to try this setup by seeing and hearing David’s tones on his recent tour. He used an overdrive pedal to create fuzz, I’m using an overdrive to create fuzz. I tried the tube driver for a while, then the powerbooster again, and swapped back and forth for a while but to MY ears, I simply like the sound a powerbooster gives over a tube driver. Where most people like a smooth overdrive with compression, I guess I prefer a more edgy sound with slightly less compression or a more “wild” sound, if you will. Funny how we all have slightly different preferences huh? I’ve learned to accept that, and be proud of what I have achieved and what I prefer. It’s me. Let me know what you think and if you want a sample clip! By the way, have you ever used to powerbooster in this way? Peace out!
Hi Brad! Thanks for sharing! Great stuff :) Yeah, the Powerbooster, and all of those early boosters and fuzz pedals, are extremely versatile once you figure them out (and have the right amp for them). I rarely use the Powerbooster these days but for years I had one on my board and I often preferred it over the Tube Driver for the same reasons as you. There’s something about that edgy, raw character that sounds a bit more ballsy :) Last time I really cranked one, was when I did the Bananaboost MKII review. The fuzz tones I got, almost frightened me :)
Haha it is frightening isn’t it?? Changing batteries is a pain but when I “hit it” I forget about that small issue. Mind if I email you some sound clips sometime?
Please do :)
Great article as always, Bjorn! I wanted to ask your opinion on the Vick audio fuzzstache, which is their clone of the silicon 108 style fuzz face. Would that be suitable to cover the Pompeii and Dark side tones in mind?
I haven’t tried it but I would imagine so.
Hi again, your site is so illustrative, since i’ve discovered, everytime i visit it I learn something new, thanks for all the information. Today i’ve discover that I’m need just a fuzz pedal as main dirt but the problem is the money and my amp. First I took your advice and bought a rat clone (mooer) and surprise me how the good sound (the distortion of my amp is very shitty) motivated me and i did big progressions like never before. But I’m still a novate and i dont wanna expend so much money for now so I’m looking for a fuzz from mooer; both, blue and grey, sound decent and pretty equal to me… i know that they possibly sound like shit in my transistor amp but you rate several fuzzes with good score for low volume. I believe that i will buy the grey one and but im not sure if will have enough distortion for stuff like the echoes solo… what do you think?
Please excuse my english and the fact that i bother you with question about crappy equipment
Thanks for your kind words! Glad you like the site :) What amp do you have? That’s the important thing when considering fuzz pedals. Check out this feature for some tips.
A ibanez toneblaster 15 watts with transistors. I read the article, the combination is midrange set up with a fuzz.pedal i get that, but i don’t know if my amp is more a marshall type or a fender type, If i hear clean it souds darkish and nothing like the bell-straty-twangy sound but the fact that sounds good with the rat clone tell me the contrary(i have a guitar with humbuckers). I love and the sound of, for example, your review of the London Red Fuzz…
Greetings and thanks again
Ever try a deep trip bog? If so , any thoughts?
Haven’t tried it…
You have to try the Amptweaker Tight fuzz. Absolutely the most flexible fuzz I have ever heard or owned. Somehow they’ve addressed the impendence issues with traditional fuzzes and this fuzz is perfectly happy anywhere in the chain and loves active pups. And even with active pups it’s extremely dynamic with the guitars volume knobs. Also, I have been a huge Muff lover for decades and probably own a couple dozen of them. But I have been running this pedal with a BK Tube driver for Muffish tones and I am now thinking about removing my Electric Orange Pig Hoof off my board completely. I never though I’d EVER say that. Check it out. Very highly recommended especially if your using EMG DG-20’s or if you have a crowded pedal board. The sound is massive and beautiful. I love your site. I am better guitar player thanks to you. I’m forever in debt to you. Thanks
Thanks a lot for the tip!
Hi Bjorn. Very important question here.. To get the Pompeii sounds, should my $ go toward a Skreddy Lunar Module, or an Analogman BC109 Sunface?? My amp is a Hiwatt T40 (EL84), I have both single coils and EMG strat, and I have a Vick Audio Overdriver and delays all sorted. Help an indecisive person out! :)
I’d go with the AnalogMan but both sounds great.
I’m working on building a Pompeii – WYWH board at the moment (Currently have a Buffalo FX Power Booster, MXR ’74 Vintage Phaser RI, Drybell Vibe Machine, Dawner Prince Boonar, working towards both a Neo Ventilator 2 and Effectrode Compressor) and I’m wondering whether or not you still recommend the Analogman BC109 fuzz over the other fuzzes currently out right now.
That’s my favourite silicon fuzz but it’s well worth checking out the Dunlop JH-F1 in particular.
Thoughts on the Zvex Fuzz Factory? I used to own one and thoroughly enjoyed it. I ended up selling it years ago. But how would you rate it as far as getting a decent replication of Gilmour’s tone? It’s been a few years since I used it. I know that it was a pretty diverse and crazy sounding fuzz.
Yep, it’s crazy sounding and nothing I’d recommend for David’s tones… :) In my very personal opinion.
FUZZ is my favorite effect for guitar… Big Muff is fuzz, the RAT is FUZZ although most people see it as a distortion… and yes, they are picky and are better placed at the beginning of the chain, but man, does fuzz have so many different characters and tones… I;m a fuzz guy, not a distortion guy, and I think Gilmour is too… listen to “Obscured By Clouds” pure fuzz… up to today he still uses overdrives and fuzz rather than distortion pedals.
I have the Boss FZ-5 and I wholly agree…harsh sounding fuzz. The Octavia fuzz almost sounds like a super Mario game if you turn enough knobs lol, I’ll probably be selling it for an Olympia or Big Muff soon. Very very accurate review!
Thanks for writing this article. It was very informative.
I have an Arbiter FuzzFace with germanium transistors. It sounds great! For a while I’ve had a delay that I haven’t been satisfied with. It’s digital and in general just doesn’t sound very good (not that there’s anything wrong with digital delays, just this one in particular!) For a long time I’ve been leaving either my fuzz out of the chain or the delay because when they’re together everything sounds pretty terrible. Anyway, I’m in the market for a new delay pedal and I’m wondering what I should avoid so that I don’t have the same experience again. I need them to work together. Should I be avoiding digital delays in general? Or are some okay? In the article you said fuzz pedals often don’t play well with digital signals. Does this mean in order to get the great tone I’ve come to expect from my Fuzz Face, I’m limited to analog delays?
Hi Elliott! Vintage style fuzz circuits, like the one you have, don’t like buffers so you don’t want them next to a Boss or other pedals with a buffer. An analog signal path with true bypass will go nicely with it and analog and tape simulation also sound better with fuzz I think. Check out the Buyer’s gear Guide for some tips on delays.
Bjorn, you need to check out the Amptweaker Tight Fuzz Pro.
Germanium, and silicon switch, 60’s or 70’s voicing, a boost section, multiple effects loops (for versatility), a built in noise gate (that can be disengaged), and probably a bunch of other stuff that I have forgotten.
Thanks for the tip :)
I managed to find Mojo Hand FX Pompeii for a very good price recently and bought it despite somewhat mixed reviews.
I know that you have or at least had one so it would be very nice to know my (and many other’s) most trusted expert’s opinion))
I bought this pedal not neccessary to replicate David’s tones from Pompeii but rather to have some BC109 Fuzz Face clone with a fancy floydish enclosure as a bonus.
So if it’s not a drag to you, Bjorn, can you describe your impression from Mojo Hand Pompeii in comparison with some more authentic BC109 FF clones like Analogman’s SF BC109?
I did receive one from MojoHand for a review but it sounded like fart and there was obviously something wrong with it. I sent it back but never got one in return. It was a limited edition pedal so I guess they didn’t bother with a review after all. Later I have heard that a whole batch were faulty and that lots of people complained. I can’t really comment on the actual sound since I’ve never played one that works.
Thanks for reply Bjorn!
I suspected something like that actually since you promised a review and never made one) For what it’s worth, I finally recieved mine and played through it. Definitely there are no loads of gain in this pedal. I find it quite mellow for fuzz. Reminds me my BOSS FZ-3 actually. Adjusting internal trimpot has a very strong impact on sound – from chocking/farting/not usable to open/overdrive like. The usable fuzz is somewhere in between. Don’t know is it faulty unit or not but Brad from Mojo Hand FX told on TGP that this pedal is not for a clean amp. And indeed, adding some gain on amp gets it into Echoes/Time territory but that’s not the way David achieved his sound I guess)
Anyway, cool looking pedal with some usable sounds. Think I’ll keep it for now but I’m definitely eager to try really wild vintage silicon fuzz. Sadly Analogman’s stuff is out of my price range at the time. Cheers!
Hey Mate! First time commenting on your website! Thanks a lot for everything you do for your fellow gilmourish peers! You know I bought the Laney L5T-112 because you recommended it! that’s right! you should get commissions on sales! hehehe. Mate I wanted to ask you something.. you see I bought an amazing custom american black strat from the Sigler Music guys they make this awesome replicas of the Gilmour signature, and I mainly use a Digitech RP1000 pedal board for all my stuff, cause I donÂ´t own any pedals. My first pedal is going to be a Fuzz just because I really want that Echoes live at Pompeii solo tone.. it is fucking amazing isn’t it? For this bedroom setup.. the Laney L5t-112 5W what would you get? money is not a question .. do you think the Fuzz Phrase would be the one to go for? just cause you give more points to the London blue or the Olympia Fuzz? thanks a lot mate! much appreciated!
Hi Tiago! Thanks for the kind words :) I guess the closest match to David’s Pompeii tones would either be the Dunlop JHF-1 or the AnalogMan Sun Face BC109. They’re both as close as you can get to the specs on David’s old Fuzz Face from the 1971-77 era. It should go nicely with the Laney, although you might want to keep the mids fairly high and the tone control down to a minimum for the warmest tone. I also prefer using the gain channel, with the gain around 8:00 (o’clock).
Hi Bjorn – great site; many thanks for your invaluable contributions. Question on stacking fuzzes with other drive pedals, particularly Silicone fuzzes. I have play a Strat > Analogman modded Tube Screamer > Dr. Z that is setup with some moderate breakup (Blackface meets AC30).
Would using a drive pedal as more of lighter drive (so it doesn’t compress) into a Silicone fuzz be as unwieldy as Germanium? I’ve heard horror stories :-)
Thank you for your input.
Well, the silicon fuzz has more gain and an overall more aggressive tone so you’d need to be careful with the total amount of gain to avoid too much noise and feedback. Still, a transparent booster like a Powerbooster or similar goes nicely with a silicon fuzz. I’d keep it fairly clean but with a slight volume boost to tighten up the fuzz. The treble and bass controls can be used as an EQ if needed.
I have a Analogman BC108 on order and wanted to get your opinion on where it should go in my pedal chain. I’d like to be able to place inbetween the send and return of my TC sentry noisegate to keep it quiet but not sure if that would work. See my chain below:
Guitar > pure tone buffer > tc electronics tuner > dunlop mini wah > effectrode PC-2A > drybell vibe machine > mojohand fx nebula IV > bk butler tube driver > tc electronics sentry noise gate (in) > tc electronics sentry noise gate (send) > vick audio 73 ram > buffalo fx patriot > buffalo fx evolution > mooer eleclady > costalab chorus > tc electronics sentry noise gate (return) > tc electronics sentry noise gate (out) > earnie ball volume pedal > echosex 2 LTD > tc electonics nova delay > boss RT-20 > neunaber wet reverb > boss rc-1 looper > lehel little dual ab box switch> two hi tone amps in stereo.
Thanks as always :)
Hi Kris! Those vintage style fuzz pedals don’t like buffers so be sure to keep it away from any… you have several. The Sentry might be a way to go but the best way to place it, is first so that it can see and interact with your pickups.
Have a few days off from the 9-5 here coming up and will have some time to experiment. I think I’ll place it first in the chain and see how loud the noise floor is, and then try in it in the loop and go from there. Keep up the good work man, appreciate all that you do.
Bjorn, which silicon transistors do you think are best for Gilmour tones? the BC109B or the BC109C
I haven’t done an A/B test so I can’t really tell… I guess you’d have to have pretty good ears to hear a difference.
Hello! Which of the Analog Man sun faces do you think is the best? cheers
What sort of fuzz are you looking for? I like the BC109 but it does’t work for the early stuff, where you’d need a germanium transistor model.
it would be for a Meddle – WYWH kind of fuzz. I’m between the BC108 and the 109
You could go either way. They’re very similar.
I have the opportunity to buy a Buffalo FX CVIII Silicon Fuzz. What do you think of it ?
A good substitute for the Analogman Sun Face (quite expensive with the shipping costs and the customs fees) or not ?
Thanks again man for your help !
I think they sound different. The SunFace is perhaps a more accurate replication of the original silicon Fuzz Face but the Buffalo works better on smaller amps and bedroom setups.
Thanks Man ! I wil use my Fuzz in a “bedroom” setup so the Buffalo might be a good option.
Which notes do you give it to the Buffalo â€¨–> Smaller amps/bedroom level / Gilmourish.com score ?
It’s been a while since I’ve used it but I remember it sounded really nice on both a Laney Cub and Peavey C30.
First of all, thanks for this incredible site, its so informative, well designed and useful :)
I’m looking for a versatile, yet simple, fuzz/muff. I’m checking the Millie Fuzz by 6 Degree FX and also the Olympia Fuzz. Since you have review them both, what would you reccomend? Are they comparable? Are they capable of fuzz face and muff tones? Do you know any other fuzz face+muff capabilities fuzz?
Thanks in advance!
Thanks for your kind words, David! Deciding on a fuzz depends very much on what amp you’re using. Fuzz pedals can be very moody and often doesn’t work that well on smaller combos and typical bedroom setups. You’ve heard the reviews of both the Millie and Olympia, so I’m sure you can agree that the Olympia is the most Muff-ish of the two. With the right amp you can tweak this one for some really cool sounds that will give you a versatile setup. You might also want to look into the Earthquaker Hoof Fuzz.
I currently have a BC109 Sunface (and love it, but truly, don’t get to crank my amp too often) and I was wondering what you pair yours with?
You mentioned that Carolina works best alone (thanks for the reply on that, that’s where I’m going for a noise/sound fx board I think), but I’ve never paired/boosted my Sunface with anything before. I’ve kinda been looking at an Xotic EP Booster as a last minute addition to my board, but I’m not sure if it (or the SL as it sounds like it’s a tiny version of the Wampler you use) would work well with the Sunface.
Whatever you pair it with, do you put the booster before (closer to guitar) or after (closer to the amp) the fuzz?
Actually, I prefer using fuzz alone on a slightly cranked amp. That produce a very smooth and saturated tone, with lovely sustain. In terms of replicating David’s tones, you might want to look into a Powerbooster of some sort, like the Buffalo FX Powerbooster or Vick Audio Overdriver. Pairing one of those with a fuzz (fuzz > booster) on a clean amp should give you the tone you’re looking for :)
Have you tried the Electronic Orange Genuine Pig Face? Their website claims its a silicon fuzz face clone and I jut wanted to know where it stands with the other silicon fuzzes on your list.
Haven’t tried it.
My guitar chain starts with a guitar, mxr buffer, dynacomp… etc.
If I want to put a fuzz in the chain, should I put it right after the guitar and then to mxr buffer, dynacomp… etc?
I know that fuzz pedals sound better being away from buffers.
I will be waiting for your review from David’s london concerts. ;).
Depends on the fuzz and the buffer but the rule is to keep them apart. You might want to place that fuzz in a true bypass loop.
I’ve got a Buffalo FX CVIII fuzz for sale.
Steve is no longer building them up and rather than selling it over eBay, I’d like a member of the Gilmour geeks to have it.
If interested contact me par email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks BjÃ¸rn for letting me post these message
Hi Bjorn! What would you think about the MOJO CROSSTOWN ? Would it bena good choice to cover all type of fuzz sounds? I already have the IRON BELL. Would you think it will be redundant? I m more interested in DSOTM sounds mainly!
I haven’t tried it so I can’t really comment on how it sounds. It’s a hybrid fuzz, so in that sense, it should be very versatile and go well with the earlier Gilmour tones. Depending on how well your amp takes fuzz pedals, you will probably find it more authentic sounding for the earlier days than the Iron Bell.
Greetings Mr Bjorn! After a few google searches for a silicone/germanium fuzz in one pedal I came across the JDM Union Fuzz (http://www.joedocmusic.com/jdm-pedals-union-fuzz-switchable-germaniumsilicon-fuzz-pedal/).
It is hand built and features switchable germanium and silicone fuzz, true bypass, and some pretty neat controls! It even has a knob for that dying battery type fuzz tone. It is only $129. Do you have any experience with this pedal? Does it look like a worthwhile pedal? Or do you have any recommendations for a 2 in 1 silicone/germanium fuzz? Thanks!
P.S. Do you happen to have any guides on recording, in particular, recording vocals? Thanks again!
P.S.S. I just bought your solo album new off Amazon, hasn’t come in yet, but I am looking forward to it! :)
I haven’t tried that pedal so I can’t really tell. Don’t have much experience with hybrid fuzz pedals. Thanks a bunch for buying the album! Thanks for the support!
Excellent excellent article (though as new owner of the Boss FZ 5 I was hoping for a better review!) Have a small scale setup and thought tat type of pedal the better option. Perhaps not though! Cheers, JP
Hi BjÃ¸rn, I am french (sorry about the mistakes…) and I would like to know what pedal do you prefer and mainly what are the main differences between the iron bell from Mojo hand fx and the 73 Ram’s head from Vick audio… Just to have your think.
Btw you are so talented, your reviews are so useful. Thank you !
Thank you, Thomas! The ’73 Ram’s Head is a straight clone of the early 70s Ram’s Head. It also has a mids switch for either boosting or neutralising the mid range. The Iron Bell is kind of a mix between a Big Muff and a more conventional distortion, like the RAT. It has much more mids, a more saturated tone and less of that gritty Muff character. Between the two, I’d say that the ’73 is more authentic, while the Iron Bell is more versatile.
I have a fuzz face silicon mini bc108 it works very well with humbuckers but sounds pretty bad with single coils when the guitar’s volume it’s on full, it sounds like a voice in front of a fan that kind of effect,do you know how can I solve that problem for those Pompeii and dark side of the Moon tones? I’m using a laney lionheart 5w and my start pickups are 69 fender custom shop
What are your amp and pedal settings?
Bass 8 middle 5 treble 3 tone 5 volume normally between 2-4 and my pedal level kind of 70% and fuzz 100% when the fuzz it’s about 70% starts to make that sound before 70 % doesn’t make the sound but sounds thin and kind of dead sound also I should mention I’ve tried on both channels
Are you using the bright channel on your amp? If so, I’d switch it off. Also, you might want to try the gain channel, with the gain at 8:00 o’clock. Try to lower the tone a bit and increase the mids. I’d also roll down the gain on the fuzz to about 90%.
Same results only less aggressive the noise but anyway thank you so much for the tips :)
I’m trying to pick the right gain pedal for my setup, a 20w Orange Micro Terror, which I usually gig with and have set at pretty high volume. I was originally thinking about the Vick 73 Big Muff, but it just seemed like a bit too much gain for my taste. I really like the sound of the dunlop mini fuzzfaces, but I can’t decide between the Hendrix or the standard blue. Is my amp too small to get a good tone out of a true fuzz pedal? I was thinking maybe the blue because it has a little more gain to compensate for the smaller amp, but I do like the mellower tone of the Hendrix, just afraid it might not get the same effect on a small amp.
Oh yeah forgot to mention, I’m looking not only to get the classic tones like Gilmour from Dark Side and Hendrix, but also tones like Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys and Jack White
Hi Tom! I haven’t played the Micro Terror myself but the Terror series don’t have a lot of headroom… as far as I can remember so at least for replicating David Gilmour’s tones, you might find a Muff with amp will be a bit too overwhelming. The Fuzz Face pedals will probably work better although you will limit yourself to Hendrix and early Gilmour. personally, I’d look into something a bit more versatile, like the TD-X or Evolution – both from Buffalo FX. Check out the linked to reviews :)
Thanks Bjorn, given the price and pedal footprint (my brother is bringing it out to me in Vietnam and has to carry it in his bag) I went for the blue fuzzface, I may look into those buffalo FX pedals when I come home at the end of the year. I’ll let you know how the fuzz works out with my amp.
Please do :)
Hey Bjorn, I’ve had the blue mini fuzz for a few months now, and we’re becoming good friends after a getting to know you period; it was a little harsh at first but I’m starting to find the sweet spots. It gets a great crunchy rhythm tone for Black Keys and Jack White songs with the guitar volume rolled back just a bit, and gets a great overdrive when rolled back a little more. On its own its good for Hendrix leads and gets really rowdy with the guitar volume all the way up. Seems to be working pretty well with the Micro Terror. You were right about the Gilmour tones, it isn’t spot on for later sounds, but it still works well enough. I’ve been boosting it for leads with a TS9, which evens out the eq and gives great sustain, but is still a little harsh on the highs and sounds a bit grainy. I’m planning to get a Spark Booster when I go back home in December to use as a clean boost and to boost the fuzz, so hopefully that solves that problem (also it makes it so i don’t have to adjust the TS9 from mild drive to clean boost throughout a gig). For $100 it was well worth it.
Thanks for sharing, Tom!
Waiting on a $70 Silicon 2N2222 NPN handwired no-frills fuzz from the bay. Supposedly equivalent to a BC109 according to youtube. Tried a BC183 and resold it. If this doesnt do the trick Im just gonna have to bite the bullet and get a real sunface, but fingers crossed :)
Man, how can there only be one builder of realistically priced fuzz faces?
I have a fulltone ultimate octave. Do you know this pedal?
Its a fuzz with octave effect. You can play with both or just with the fuzz.
Do you have any opinion about this pedal?
I play a strat with sll5 and cs69 pups tro a hiwatt t20.
Yep. It captures those classic Hendrix octave sounds very well. Perhaps not a typical Gilmour pedal :)
Hi Bjorn, a not-Gilmour related question…
did you have the time to take a look at the Band of Gypsys Hendrix Fuzz Face?
sounds nasty! :)
I haven’t had the chance yet. Can’t find it here in Norway. It sounds promising though and, based on the reviews I’ve heard, very similar to the red London Fuzz from MJM.
What are’you thinking about the Grey Faze (or Blue Faze) from Mooer ? Iv’e seen you reviewed the Electric Mistress and the Big Muff clones from this serie.
They’re OK. I think there are better sounding fuzz pedals out there but they’re worth checking out.
for your love of OC44 FuzzFaces…
Did you ever have the joy of trying an Analogman TI/UK Sunface…?
ItÂ´s pure heaven.
No I haven’t. Need to track one down :)
Hey Bjorn, have you tried the Eric Johnsons signature fuzz face from dunlop? Can you tell me anything about it? It looks kinda intresting to me
I haven’t. From what I understand it’s a silicon model. Perhaps a tad more well behaved than the typical BC108/109 but I’m not sure.
I’ve been checking out your reviews and guides again, as I do often, (Great info in here). One thought occurs to me.
How many pedals do you have now? Have you traded some of them out, or is there a storage room filled with pedals now?
(I ask only because I am curious, also, it may help defray some of my girlfriend’s concerns with my own pedal-mania.)
Ha ha, well… At one point I did have a ridiculous collection but these days I’m more concerned with tone so I have a few nuggets stored away, a couple of pedal boards and perhaps 25-30 single pedals that I often use for recording or for experimenting. Other than that I trade and sell.
Just show her this and you’ll be allright… ;)
Have you tried the Buffalo FX Stiletto Fuzz? It is a very versatile fuzz that can also be used as a treble booster.
Hope you are doing a review of this pedal soon.
Haven’t had the chance to try it out yet.
Love all of these pedals! Any opinion on the BlackArts Pharaoh fuzz?
Never tried it…
Thanks Bjorn. Well, I’m running two amps, and use a buffered A/B/Y pedal, the Radial Twin City. In your opinion, should I use a passive A/B/Y instead?
Also, I’m thinking about getting the BC109 Sunface, how close does the Crosstown come to the Sunface?
You’d probably get a more uncoloured tone from the fuzz, with a true bypass switcher. The Crosstown is a hybrid fuzz, with both silicon and germanium transistors. Tonewise, I think it’s closer to a germanium fuzz than a silicon, so I don’t think you can substitute the BC109 with it.
Great guide so far, I’m starting as you did with fuzz! Lot’s of great models here, only wish you could have tested the MJM AVS London Fuzz, like the Analogman, it features NKT275 transistors, and it has a bias control for temperature changes. It is by far the Ge with the most gain, and bottom end I’ve tried. It doesn’t get muddy, and can get almost into Si territory, but is totally responsive to the volume control. I know you can’t review them all, but I the nk you missed a real diamond here!
Keep up the great work my friend, Keith
I probably did… ;(
You’ve reviewed several of Michael’s pedals, so I assume you have a relationship with him. He was only going to make 45 because well matched pairs of NKT275s are hard to come by. However, I think he was just doing a few at a time, and may have a few left. I don’t know how it works, but maybe you should express some interest in whether he has one available for reveiw. It’s truly a work of art, if you remember the gut shots I sent you, I don’t believe I ever seen the; inside of a pedal that was so beautiful. I’d love to have a transparent case for it!!
Peace Bjorn, KEITH
Yeah, maybe I should talk to him :) Love the Foxey Fuzz and 60s Vibe in particular.
Yeah, he’s got some serious mojo in his pedals, everything of his I’ve heard is great!! Definitely an artist, I keep going back to that gut shot I posted on the Gilmourish Facebook page. It just looks like something special, and sounds better than it looks!!!
Do you have any thoughts on the Deep Trip BOG or Kryptone pedals? They’re recreations of the Silicon Fuzz Face and Tonebender mk1, respectively, but are designed to sound good even after a buffer.
Never tried them so I can’t really tell.
Thanks for all the great work. You are such a help on the quest for the goldtones.
I have a couple questions. I have a MojoHand Crosstown and I love it. I saw you like it as well from reading the comments here.
For the best possible tone out of the Crosstown, is the rule the same as other fuzzes? Should I keep buffered pedals 2 or 3 pedals away from it in my chain? Also, as far as boost pedals go, what would you recommend putting after the Crosstown for going to eleven?
Hi Nick! Yes, you should avoid having it near buffers. Preferably, no buffers at all in the chain. The Vick Audio Overdriver is excellent in combo with fuzz. If you want to brighten things up a bit you might also want to check out the TopTone Shine Boost.
I was looking at getting a fuzz pedal, and the 2 that attracted my attention were the buffalo FX.
Unfortunately, they don’t seem to be doing them anymore.
I am more looking for a fuzz to replicate the sillicon era sound, and mainly to play in bedroom rig.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated…
My favourite is the BC109 from AnalogMan but the Dunlop JHF1 is very good too and worth checking out. Keep in mind though that fuzz pedals needs a bit of volume to sound good. I wouldn’t recommend one unless you’re certain your amp can handle one.
The BYOC ESV fuzz 108 is based on the Dallas Arbiter and is not too bad of a pedal but I don’t know if I recommend doing it unless you are just curious. The BYOC Leeds fuzz is a much better pedal for Gilmour tones. I will say though, that the Octave Fuzz based on the Octavio is an amazing pedal and it has become a staple on my board and I hope this baby stands the test of time because I love it!!
Hey BjÃ¶rn, is there any of the BYOC pedals you can recommend ?
[All of them I guess. They make some really nice stuff so it’s more a matter of choosing the tones you need. Their Large Beaver Muff, Analog Chorus and Classic Overdrive TS808 are among the finest on the market IMO. – Bjorn]
I have a boss bd2 keeley and dunlop jimi hendrix fuzz face JHF1, I know the bd2 not work very well with the fuzz face for being buffered, what I wonder is whether doing my bd2 one mod (true bypass) work well with my fuzz face
[If you mod it with true bypass then it will work. – Bjorn]
In regards to using a fuzz pedal at bedroom levels…..would it work if I used a power attenuator on my amp (which I already own)?
P.S love the site, i’ve learnt quite a bit-thanks!
[If you intend to get overdrive from the amp then yes. If you’re running the amp clean then an attenuator won’t have any effect. Better to use a booster like the Vick Overdriver to smooth out any harsh frequencies from the fuzz. – Bjorn]
Hi Bjorn, first of all Great Site, so many useful info and video. I would like to spoil myself for my birthday and get a good fuzz, unfortunately where i live there is no chance to try them. And I cannot decide between : Mojohand Colossus or Iron Bell? Earthquake Devices Clove Hoof or Hoof? Or Catalin Bread Manx Loaghtan? They nearly sound the same on you tube. And I like the versatility the chance to have couple of different good sounds on the same pedal. Many thanks for your time
[Between the ones you list I personally prefer the Iron Bell :) – Bjorn]
So what is a good pedal to stack after a silicon fuzz face ( I have the JHF-1)? Looking to get a better sound and push the fuzz at lower amp volumes when I play at home. Tried the DLS MKIII and was disappointed in it. Anything you can recommend?
[Sorry for my very late reply. I prefer a transparent booster and it got to be true bypass. Buffers will mess up the fuzz. You can’t really beat the combo of a silicon fuzz and Powerbooster. The Vick Overdriver or Buffalo FX Powerboost are excellent. – Bjorn]
Any tips on making the Bd2 sound like germanium guzz face? Cheers bro
[It’s easier to get it to sound like a silicon FF but lower the tone all the way, crank the gain and keep the volume at about unity. – Bjorn]
Hey Bjorn, just wanted to take a second and say thank you for your great site. It is a pleasure to go through your reviews… very very good information and insights.
Got myself the MJM London Fuzz (the new one with the Bias Knob) and I am totally happy with it, but would love to test the Jam Pedals Fuzz Phrase too… Would you say there is just a subtle difference or are they very different from each other, so I should consider getting them both? Thanks in advance and keep up the good work, my friend!
[Thanks a lot for your kind words, Tobi! I haven’t tried the LF with the bias but assuming that it’s more or less identical to the standard model I would say that it’s quite different from the Fuzz Phrase. The FP has that typical germanium overdrive tone, with moderate gain and an overall dark tone. The LF has more gain and lies somewhere between a germanium and silicon fuzz tone wise. They do cover the same ground but if you love your fuzz I’d get both :) – Bjorn]
what about z-vex’s fuzz factory? any reviews on it?
[Not here. – Bjorn]
Hello Bjorn sorry for the typos In my comment above. I am using my phone. I recently got an Ehx Little Big Muff Pi and It is excellent, just great tone and I Boost It with An Ehx Lpb-1 Power Booster Nano and It Makes It Sing And Really Cut Through the Band Mix. My Number One Overdrive Is An Ehx Hot Tubes Overdrive( unbelievably superb). I agree The Danelectro CoolCat CF-2 fuzz Is Really Good Atleast On My Rig. I Use A Crate V5 and A V18, Orange Micro Terror 20w Hybrid, Jet City Jca22H (Mike Soldano Designs them), and A Fender SuperChamp. My Number 2 overdrive I Designed And Built The “Pusha-T” (Lol Push A Tube) uses A JJ 12AX7 and It Shines On Mid To Higher Volumes. Some People Don’t Understand That Muffs, fuzzes And Tube Drivers Need a Cranked Amp To use Their Full Potential. I got Me A Strat Btw A Fender Standard Maple Neck/F.B. I Love It I Have 2 Les Pauls, A Customized Tele With A Strat Neck And A Strat Now. Speaking Of Vibe Pedals I Have A BBE Soul Vibe That Is Great For Dsotm, Pulse ( Gilmour is Def. Using A Univibe On The Time Solo, I Love That Tone And That Version of The Solo Its Different Especially When He Slides Up To The 16th Fret D String Second Octave Pentatonic/Natural Minor Position 1. I Think His Delay(s) are Higher In The Mix Or Something. I Know You What Part I Am Referring To….just So Liquidy And Sustainful. Last thing Buddy I Really Want A Laney Cub12 but Where Or What Website Can I Go To Order One. MusiciansFriend Doesn’t Carry Laney Are Those British Amps?
[Yep, those are British. I don’t know who’s carrying them but do a few searches on the net and I’m sure you’ll find a dealer. Great amps covering a lot of ground :) – Bjorn]
Hi Bjorn ,
Have you tried Foxrox Hybrid Fuzz ? Trying to nail Dogs tone , I have BK butler and it seems to match well although its a fuzz , your views as always highly appreciated
[Never tried it… – Bjorn]
Since discovering your site about a month ago, I have been in a pedal buying frenzy (please don’t tell my wife). I wanted your opinion regarding a nice fuzz pedal that would work well with my Peavey Classic 30 to get some nice DSOTM and Pompeii fuzz. I have seen you recommend the Mojo Hand Iron Bell Fuzz but have you had an opportunity to try the Skreddy Lunar Module Mini Deluxe or the Mojo Hand FX – Pompeii?
I appreciate your feedback and everything you do in the name of music.
[Hi Carlos! The Iron Bell is more a Muff, so it’s perhaps more suited for Animals/Wall and later works. Most of the silicon fuzzes listed in the guide should do nicely. I’ve had great success with using most of these on a Classic 30. If you want something a bit more versatile than a fuzz, then the Iron Bell is an excellent choice. You might also want to check out the Buffalo FX Evolution. – Bjorn]
Thanks again for a great site!
The Analogman NKT-275 that you’ve listed in this guide, is that the “Normal gain” version, witch is no longer available from analogman?
Have you tried and compare the high gain or very low gain versions?
[Mine is from 2005 or 2006 so I guess it’s from the first batch of the UK NOS transistors. Very transparent and cleans up incredibly well. Never tried the other models. – Bjorn]
what is your opinion regarding the blue faze mooer?
[Get the Dunalop Mini Fuzz Face instead :) – Bjorn]
Hi again Bjorn, when you say first in line, do you mean before my tuner too?
[Yes. The fuzz circuit, and the germanium in particular, is very sensitive to other pedals and should be placed right after the guitar so that they can “see” the guitar pickups. This will give you a much better tone and a more natural fuzz tone. The pedal will also respond much better to the dynamics in your playing and the use of your guitar volume control to control the gain amount. – Bjorn]
I recently picked up the Vick Audio Midnight Sun fuzz. Absolutely nailing tones from Pompeii to Animals. Worth checking out. The price of the pedal is insane as well.
They are out of stock at the moment, but they are expecting more supplies to build more in the very near future.
[Thanks for the tip! I’m doing a review of their ram’s head very soon :) – Bjorn]
I would like a low priced fuzz for Pompeii/DSOTM tones.
I would like to be able to get the Time sound and Echoes in Pompeii sound.
My rig is also quite noisy so preferably a very low noise pedal.
Do you have any recommendations?
Great site, can’t wait for another review!
[Any of the models suggested here could world for just that but it depends very much on what guitar and amp you have. In some cases you’re better off with a more amp friendly pedal like a RAT. – Bjorn]
Hey Bjorn, quick question. Have you had any experience with the Skreddy BC109? If so, how would you compare it to the Analogman BC109? I’m particularly going for the Live at Pompeii “Echoes” tone. Thanks in advance!
[I haven’t had the chance to try it yetâ€¦ – Bjorn]
Hopefully you can help me out since you’ve established yourself as one of the most knowledgeable Gilmour Tone Hounds around…I’m looking for a fuzz to get specifically dark side of the moon tones and I’ve narrowed it down to these…it think:)
1. Wampler Velvet Fuzz
2. Mojo Hand Iron Bell Fuzz
3. Analogman BC108/109
Can you help me pick one of these…specifically for massive solos like Time and Comfortably Numb.
Thanks for you time in advance!
[Those two songs have a very different tone, Time having fuzz and Comf Numb a Big Muff but to be able to cover both I’d go for the Iron Bell. – Bjorn]
Great post as always! Quick question- would you place a Compressor before or after a fuzz?
[Usually, you’d place it after not to interfere with the fuzz cirquit. – Bjorn]
Bjorn let me start from thanking you for all the hard work you put into this site. I am a muscian from Danville, Va U.S.A. and your band Airbag rocks and a lot of people in my music circle turned me on to Airbag and I love it. I have a band SoVaGriT and wil be releasing our first album this year through a local recording label. Gilmour is one of my infkuences along with Gary Moore, Knopfler, SRV, Frusciante, Hendrix, Mccready (Pearl Jam), Jerry Cantrell to Clapton and many others. Anyway, I think you should include the Danelectro CoolCat V2 Fuzz I can coax any tone out of it. The CoolCat is the high end Dan-0 pedals and I got mine for 70 bucks, true bypass, metal case, Volome, Fuzz, and two tone shaping features treble and bass, but the best part is the internal controls such as input sensitivity and 3 dip switches for adding in different L.E.D.’s. I love my big muff but the coolcat does it for me. Also, I run an electric mistress flanger between my gain and delay/reverb pedals but at the end of the chain I run a Neo Mistress flanger for rotating speaker effect and it works really great. When I get my second amp Jet City jca22h 20w 1×12″ ( They are amazing) and my third amp VHT Special 6 watt 10″ hand-wired I will use the vht as my rotating effect speaker. I use Tri-Amps for a big sound and mixture of tones/sounds. I’m using a modified Crate V5 with groove tubes 12AT7 and 6L6s with a greenback Celestion 10″ combo at home and for recording and it is the best tone I have ever heard. I am a big gilmour man and can naail his tone but I dont use strats. I use Les Pauls, Les Paul Juniors (For slide gtr only), and a Fender Telecaster with a Strat maple neck, strat neck pickup and it is so sweet. I love P-90s and my go to guitar is a Les Paul with P-90 neck and bridge and my custom.Telecaster. I am an electronics technician for a communicatons company and a Luthier by trade so that really helps me in modding and desgn/build. I have buiilt over ten pedals and sold all but 3 the Boomer Rang Analog Delay, Lazy Hound Phaser and my baby my Pusha-T Overdrive. Sorry but I wanted to introduce myself. I am Justin B. from SOVA, Usa.
[Hi Justin! Thanks for your kind words and for sharing! – Bjorn]
Hello Bjorn and thank you a lot for this article and your overall helpfulness! Anyway, I made my own germanium fuzz face pedal, almost a direct clone of the original circuit, add 2 things –
1. A charge pump inverting the voltage so I can use an NPN adapter with the PNP germaniums
2. An adapter jack, as stated
However, my tone with it sounds rather, well, bad with this pedal engaged, despite the rest of my pedals sounding fairly good. I have three ideas for what this could be coming from, and possibly a combination of 2, or some of all three.
1. I’m using a rather cheap LP clone with rather high output, muddy-sounding derps of pickups
2. The adapter? Would using a carbon zinc battery make a big enough difference to be worth the effort of having to replace every so often?
3. I have a rather large board, and my fuzz comes directly after my tuner (all the pedals near it are true bypass though). Could this make a difference, since you say vintage style fuzzes aren’t big fans of digital circuits & buffers? My silicon fuzz sounds fine though, it’s just this one.
I’m getting a Squier CV50s strat soon (Don’t have a lot of money, prefer it over the mexi standard anyway), so that may help, and I’m considering adding a looper specifically for the GE fuzz, and I wouldn’t mind putting a battery in it if it will improve my tone.
What are your thoughts?
[Sorry for my late reply, Michael. There could be a number of things but your pickups and amp will definitely determine how the pedal sound. Carbon batteries makes fuzz pedals sound smoother and warmer. An adapter isn’t wrong to use but make usre it’s a good quality one and that it is providing the right voltage and ampere. I also recommend to have fuzz pedals and germanium fuzzes in particular, right after the guitar. That way the pedal will respond much more natural your pickups and the dynamics of your playing. – Bjorn]
I would love to hear an evaluation of the Wampler “Velvet” for the Fuzz roundup.
I am now trying to work towards David’s sound ant thought this may be a viable option.
However, I am coming from keyboard land, and being a newbie, I need to rely on your opinions to educate myself.
Thanks very much.
[The Velvet Fuzz is listed in the Big Muff section :) – Bjorn]
Any opinions on the mini silicon fuzz face (dark blue one)
[Basicallu the same as the grey but a bit more gain and an overall more aggressive tone. Great for Pompeii and Dark Side :) – Bjorn]
Just a quick addendum about the Castledine, or an orginal late 60s Vox , or Crybaby made by Thomas organ. In that time, Strats had. 1 uf caps, and had they had the .047, or. 022 most of your modern Strats have, DG may never have happened upon the seagull. The Castldine is a direct clone of those old Thomas Organ Wahs, and will not do the Seagull effect with a cap below. 1 uf. Stu hasn’t given me a solution other than going o a .1, as oppossed to changing the Wah. The. 1 will darken the guitars tone slightly, but then, thats what every 60s Strat had, therefore I don’t see it as anything but more authentic!
Peace Y’all, Keith
Bjorn, correct me if I’m wrong, but the use of wahs with input buffers are what messes with vintage fuzz, but specially designed output buffers are there to specifically make the Wahs “Fuzz Friendly? That’s what Stu put in my wah, but a fuzz friendly output buffer keeps the wah from doumg the seagull effect, so my Castledine has a switch that cuts the buffer out of the circuit, and reverses the in/ out jacks at the same time! Very nice 66 Italian Vox clone, with handmade Halo inductors, as well as hand wound ICAR style pots, and dropped into a mint condition, first run Vox 847 case, the Wah is just about the same as Gilmour, and Hendrix used, and has that very vocal sound that the very rare Italian made Vox, and Crybaby’s had. They were only manufactired in Italy in 66-67 I believe, and as usual, Stu captured the tone as close as you can get!
[Hi Keith! Sorry for the late reply. Sounds like a great wah and one that solves several issues :) – Bjorn]
Hi, I’m thinking of buying the mini jimi hendrix fuzz face, do you think that it sounds as good as full size one
Also a lot of people say to place the fuzz first in the chain, but I have crybaby 95q and a mxr dyna compressor, which should both go in front of distortion pedals so should I change the effect order or do you have any ideas about what should I do?
[The mini Hendrix is identical to the bigger version. Old style fuzz pedals should always be placed first, between the guitar and the next pedal. This because fuzz pedals sound better when they get the load from the guitar’s pickups and the buffered wah will mess up the circuit. If you can place it first then I also recommend having fuzz pedals in a true bypass looper. In any case, try different setups and listen with your own ears. Different placements will alter the fuzz character but it’s not wrong but rather down to taste and preference. – Bjorn]
Thanks for updated guides! Fuzz is king in my mind for basis of tone. The Caroline is an interesting choice for those with neighbors. I wonder if it’s that much better than my BC108 for bedroom use or should I not be concerned. Also, was hoping to see the Helios in your update. How does it rate against the other Germanium’s? Again, thanks for everything!
[The Caroline is very close to a BC108 but slightly brighter and perhaps a tad closer to a Muff. There are lots of pedals I didn’t include but they’ll be featured in a future update :) – Bjorn]
Like the updated Gear Guide very much! In regards to the Fuzz Faces…Some great pedals on here but I am a little amazed that you have not reviewed the Skreddy Lunar Module (regular or deluxe). This is my go to pedal for silicon fuzz and especially Gilmour DSOTM tones. The deluxe version is very versatile. My second favorite, but more for a Hendrix type tone, is the Roger Mayer Axis. Again, great updates to the site and I really like how much you have expanded (esp. echoes, vibes and other categories previously missing). Great job as always! …100JH
[Thanks! I’d like to feature the Lunar but unfortunately I haven’t been able to try it out yet and I don’t want to review anything based on stuff I read and hear on the net. Once I get one in my hands, I’ll do a review. Similar models like the AnalogMan BC109 and even the Caroline, is also perfect for the Pompeii/Dark Side era :) – Bjorn]
Hey Bjorn. Can’t comment on the Skreddy Lunar Module per se but have just built a Guitar PCB clone kit (DSOTM aka Luna Fuzz) and it nails the Time/Money tones as well as the earlier Meddle fuzz face tones. Has 2 tone knobs so a very versatile pedal too and can cover a lot of other genres/artists. Pretty easy build (my first build with limited soldering experience) too so comes highly recommended!
[Thanks for the tip! – Bjorn]
I’d like to know what fuzz can complete my pedalboard.
I have a fuzz factory (ac 128) a new big muff germanium (can’t remember transistor)
And big muff pi (silicium).
On overdrive I’ve a od 808 and a ht dual.
Which vintage clone could bring me something new ?
My fuzzes are more qualified for earlier era ? Am I wrong ? If
Thanks for your help.
[Depends on your guitar and amp. Seems that you’ve pretty much covered Gilmour tones but if you want something new, then perhaps a Caroline Olympia Fuzz? It’s a mix between a fuzz and Muff. Very versatile and the tone is awesome! – Bjorn]
Simple and dumb question: when pedals are supplied by battery power, will the battery lose power if the pedal remains off but connected on the setup? Thanks as always.
[Yep, they will. Always disconnect when you’re using battery. – Bjorn]
Sorry, I didn’t read your article about the Dallas Arbiter before. Now it’s clear, silicon indeed!
[Cheers :) – Bjorn]
Are you sure that the Dallas Arbiter Fuzz Face used by DG on Live at Pompeii had silicon transistor? Did he use any germanium fuzz face on his career? And did YOU try the BBE Free Fuzz silicon or the Dunlop Mini Fuzz Face (blue – silicon / red – germanium)? Thanks as always!
Your opinion on the MJM 3 knob (bias adjustment) London Ge fuzz for lower amp volume levels.
[I haven’t tried it so I can’t really tell. In general, fuzz pedals on lower volume tend to sound a bit thin and harsh. Perhaps Keith here can fill in on the London Fuzz? – Bjorn]
Thass, EHX has really stepped up their game as of late. The new pedals are great. The Soul Food is amazing and the OD Glove is a great high gain pedal. (Don’t really think it’s a Gilmour sound, but it is still out standing.)
The Muff Nano is a great and inexpensive muff. It doesn’t quite sound like a Ram’s head or Sovtek, but you should still get some killer sounds from it. It stacks really nicely with the Soul Food to smooth it out.
As far as the rest of their recent line up, they are all great for what they do, and of course the prices. If you want them for Gilmour sounds though look elsewhere in Gilmourish for something that will get you closer to David’s tones.
If price is an object and you are looking for something for Gilmour sounds consider the Mooer Black Secret. A really good ProCo Rat clone. I believe that Bjorn has talked a lot on settings for ProCo Rat’s to get Gilmour-like sounds. :)
[Thanks for the input, Pete! The new EHX stuff is great! – Bjorn]
I can’t tell the difference in sound between the Effectrode Helios Fuzz and the Analogman BC108 Sunface: I own both and they sound great. At least I can’t tell the difference where I operate them which is pretty much all out fuzz. They do a great Echoes -Live at Pompei immitation. The Helios takes 1.5A 12V supply and takes up more space on the board, but the Sunface is battery only.
I think I was seduced by the romance and promise of the Helios tube circuit – I should have just stayed with the Analogman.
One of these is redundant and needs to go up on E-bay but I can’t decide which!.
[Well, I disagree. They’re two very different sounding fuzz pedals and I’d keep both :) – Bjorn]
A question about Sunface 109. From youtube videos, is the one I like most of silicon fuzz pedals.
Does it clean up well, to get overdrive-crunch tones, or I would need to use a volume pedal too?
Thanks a lot!
[Silicon fuzz pedals doesn’t clean up that well. It’s part of their nature. They have lots of gain and an overall bright tone, so if you want a more versatile fuzz, for both leads, overdrive and clean boost, then you might want to check out a germanium model. – Bjorn]
Amazing site. Any comments regarding the flood of overdrive/ distortion pedals from EHX?
These potentionally fit into my hobby budget, (under the radar), better than some of the awesome pedals posted here. A high end pedal will cost me a high end handbag for the wife.
[LOL :) Sorry, I haven’t tried it yet so I can’t really comment on it. Anyone? – Bjorn]
Do you have any experience with Basic Audio pedals? I’ve been reading a lot about the scarab deluxe, spooky tooth, future man, foxy lady etc.. The scarab’s supposed to be the holy grail desert island fuzz.
[Never tried any of their pedals but I know they get a lot of praise. I will claim though that a desert island pedal is very subjective – both for the one’s using it and on which rig it’s used on. Fuzz pedals, above any pedal, can behave very differently on different types of rigs. – Bjorn]
Hi Bjorn, is do you know any silicon fuzz that could sound ‘vintage’ (well i mean “good” haha,) in a solid state amp?
[Depends on the amp. Not all tube amps can handle a fuzz either. One of the more amp friendly silicons that I’ve tried is the Buffalo CVIII fuzz. You’ll find a review here on the site. – Bjorn]
Hey Bjorn – 1st off, Your Guitar Playing is Very Tasteful & you Truly Capture Gilmour’s Tone & Phrasing. Much Respect & Admiration. My 2 Questions are as follows: #1 = What is the pedal that Gilmour is using on The Live Version of THE BLUE ? ( it slides up in octaves ) # 2 = I have been searching for a VIBE PEDAL and ( there are many options ) – but the Electric Orange MOONVIBE ( really seems to be the Best & most Authentic Sounding ) . . . to my ears.
Any input on whether you prefer the Mark 1 vs the New Mark 2 ( and how easy is it to obtain ? ) I wrote to Electric Orange, & it seems like a Major Production to Obtain One in NYC . . . Thanks Brother.
Michael / Astoria / NYC
[Hi Michael! Thanks for posting and your kind words! Let’s goâ€¦ 1. It’s a Digitech Whammy pedal. David also used it on Marooned from Division Bell. 2. Unfortunately, Electronic Orange only offer their pedals through their web site. If you ask me, it’s worth waiting for and the MkII is awesome. Very authentic and works great with almost any amp and guitar. If you don’t want the hassle, then check out the DryBell Machine Vibe :) Cheers! – Bjorn]
Yeah bjorn, i dunno what happened, tried it twice? Maybe it was too long? :) Anyways, here goes again! First off thanks for your awesome website! Although not particularly a gilmour listener myself, the info here is superb!
I’m more of a qotsa and stoner rock kinda guy, and am looking for a fuzz like that. I have a tim, wavecannon en screwdriver, but want something new. Play on a tele p90 with tweed amp. I’m thinking bearfoot honey bee for OD, bearfoot arctic white or apple red, or jam fuzz phrase for fuzz? Problem is I don’t really know if i’m a silicon, germanium or muff guy. All i know is, i like stacking pedals, and i like a tight bottom end with just a hint of sag/velcro, with strong mids and a warm top end. Nothing too high gainy or fizzy wall of fuzz. But i do mostly power chords so it cannot be a solo fuzz that gets lost or farts out doing chords! Any opinions?
Also, thinking of a strymon mobius but really want a good vibe. Do you know how it compares to the drybell, jam retro or effectrode? I really like the swoosh of the clips of the jam but like the expression pedal in the drybell. Can the mobius compete in sound quality??
Thanks so much for any help you can provide!
[Given your taste in music I think I’d either go for a germanium fuzz and stack it with an overdrive or a Sovtek type of Muff, like the EHX Bass Muff or Wc Box of War. That will give you the tones or at least something in the ball park depending on your guitar and amps. I don’t have that much experience with the Mobious, so I can’t really comment on that. My favourite at the moment is the DryBell. – Bjorn]
Sorry forgot to mention I do more chordal work than solos so I like string seperation and definition, especially in the bass end!
[Not sure if there was a comment before this? – Bjorn]
So why the low rating (3/10) on the Dunlop JDF-2 for bedroom small amp use? What is wrong with it at lower volumes etc? Just curious.
[Well, first of all, all the scores and ratings are based on my opinion exclusively. It’s no official gospel so you need to make up your own verdict. Anyway, I don’t think the JDF-1 performed that well on lower amp volume. Much of the low end was lost and the pedal got harsh and not as musical as I’d wanted it. The mini version does actually sound a whole lot better. – Bjorn]
Thanks Bjorn!, no problem for the late reply, i’ll
order the buffalo fx’s silicon fuzz and try uit out.
[Cheers! – Bjorn]
Hey Bjorn, i wanted to ask what you think about this fuzz in general, i play on a classic rock band and own some fuzzes (the Blue Dunlop one and the Fuzz Phrase from jam pedals), i usually record with them, but when i go live it’s difficult to cut throught the mix, so i went to search for some fuzz with increased mid range for live shows. I wanted to know your opinion about this Fuzz: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7l9uBSJfAsM
If it doesn’t appeal to you, what Fuzz would you pick for that mid range boost?
[Sorry for my very late reply. I haven’t tried the Muzz Fuzz so I can’t really tell. Fuzz pedals may sound huge alone or on clips like these but placed in a band setup they tend to drown completely as they lack that mid range. It’s just the nature of the design. The Buffalo CVIII silicon and Germanium fuzz pedals are designed with a tad more midrange and onboard controls for adding even more and shaping the tone for a better band performance. It makes the classic fuzz circuit sound smoother and not as aggressive but you’ll cut through that dense layer. You’ll find a review of both here on the site :) – Bjorn]
I was wondering if you had any experience with the Dunlop Eric Johnson Fuzz Face? I’m looking at trading a distortion pedal for it. From what I can tell seems like a great sounding fuzz.
[Never tried it. – Bjorn]
Bjorn, have you checked out the ‘Solidgoldfx’ “If 6 Was 9” BC183 fuzz yet? It has an external bias adjustment and sounds pretty good. Also noticed you felt the Wampler Velvet fuzz was too dark, the demos don’t seem to reflect that so much, so found your observation interesting.
[Haven’t tried the Solidgoldfx yet… The Velvet Fuzz, as any pedal, will sound different on different setups. It’s not the darkest pedal out there but it’s designed to sound like a stacked fuzz or Muff with a Marshall and for that it’s considerably darker than most other models. Also, it’s no doubt that the pedal is designed to capture David’s tones and I think they could have done better at that. Still, it doesn’t really sound like anything else and it’s great for brighter amps and bedroom setups. – Bjorn]
Thanks for your input BjÃ¸rn. I guess I will be needing a boost-pedal for the Iron Bell/Colossus.
At the moment, I have a Xotic RC-booster, but I`m thinking of adding either a Throbak OB or Wampler Plexidrive as well..
[The Iron Bell and Colossus doesn’t really need boosters as they have lots of gain and tone on their own but a transparent one, like the RC or Throbak would make them sound a bit more open and add a bit more top as well. – Bjorn]
I`ve been spending way too much time on this site, and have started buying a few pedals again (!). Regarding the Mojo Hand pedals, you list both the Iron Bell and Colossus sound-characteristics as DsoT/Pulse, the sound I`m after…but how to choose?
Regarding delays, what do you recommend? I`ve been looking at the El Cap and Flashback, but am also thinking going Catalinbread (Echorec or Belle Epoch).
My amp is a 65 Amps Soho (EL84) and I use a Fender Strat Plus and Gibson R6.
[I think the Iron Bell is a more versatile pedal. It nails the classic Muff tones and the more distortion-like G2 and RAT. Which delay you want depends on what tones you’re looking for. Since you’re into David’s latter tones I would recommend a digital delay for those pristine repeats. The Flashback is great! – Bjorn]
Hey Bjorn. Just want to say this is an AWESOME site! Such a wealth of information. I am striving to get a fuzz tone similar to what is found on the KQED broadcast (Think “Green is the Colour”). In short something that cleans up nicely, but can get aggressive. I was looking into getting the Hendrix mini FF. Reading the comments, I know you haven’t tried the minis but it is apparently 1:1 with the JHF1. Do you think the Hendrix FF is suited to what I am looking for?
[Thanks Phil! The JHF1 is a silicon fuzz, which what David used for Pompeii and Dark Side. It’s too aggressive and bright sounding for those earlier tones. You need a germanium fuzz like the SunFace NKT275 or the excellent Buffalo FX Germanium Fuzz V2. The germanium fuzz has that warm overdrive quality that cleans up with your guitar volume :) – Bjorn]
Thanks for your answer Bjorn!!
Just bought an ElecLady and im waiting for it to arrive home
Cheers Bjorn, thank you for your great advices!
[Cheers, Tom! – Bjorn]
Hey! How have you been Bjorn? I hope you’re fine
Well, i was wondering if the Mooer Blue Faze could be as good as a Hendrix’s Fuzz Face, what’s your opinion?
Good Luck in everything Bjorn!!
[Hi Tom! It’s a nice budget model and you should be able to nail those classic fuzz tones with it, baring in mind that fuzz in general are very moody… :) I do think there are better options out there though, like the grey and blue Dunlop Mini Fuzz Faces. Cheers! – Bjorn]
Hey b’jorn, I could use some help. I’ve been playing for two years now and have recently found this site. I’ve been reading the hell out of it and it seems as if I read myself into confusion. I’m chasing the DSotM tones. I have an American Standard Strat. w/ a SSL5 bridge, Custom Shop ’69 Middle & a Custom Shop Fat 50’s neck.
Fender 65 Princeton Reverb Reissue
Just Ordered a Buffalo CVIII & Catalinbread Echorec.
I’m ready to order a JHS warble Tron & a Buffalo FX booster.
am I heading in the right direction I play mostly @ beadroom levels I would like to learn DSotM front to back and nail the sound. As it drives me nuts when the sound isn’t quite right. Also could suggest and easiest song to start w/ from that album. Thanx Coop
[Hi Cooper! Always start with the amp and set it up for a nice and warm clean tone that will be the basis for all your tones. Fender amps tend to be on the bright side you need to be careful with the treble. See this feature for some amp setup tips. David’s setup for DSotM is pretty basic so you rarely need more than just the overdrive for the rhythm parts and a fuzz for the leads… and of course delay. Volume is essential but obviously that’s hard with a bedroom setup so you need to compensate for the hard driven amp. try blending the booster and fuzz for the lead tones and try to use slightly more aggressive settings, with a bit more gain. You can also try to set the volume of the pedals higher than unity to produce a slightly boosted tone. This will create the impression of a tube amp that’s pushed hard. Hope this helped. – Bjorn]
Have you had a chance to check out any of the Fuzz Face Mini’s yet? Just picked up a germanium one and it really sings.
[Nope… They’ve arrived in my town now so I plan on giving them a try very soon :) – Bjorn]
Bjorn, I rethought my gain pedals a bit after your comments. Accepting that the Velvet fuzz is a darker tone fuzz I started using my Dr Scientist – The elements and a distortion/ overdrive instead of just over break up and the velvet as a just over break up less fuzz tone. Taking advantage of the headroom it offers. Seems to work much better, and stacking the two gives me a better tone than the other way. Not ultimate – but it will do until I can research a better fuzz tone for my needs, but definatley better results last night at rehearsal. Thanks
[Glad it worked out :) – Bjorn]
yeah thought you’d say that – thanks
love gilmourish.com – from the backing tracks , album info , pedal reviews to gear and tone advice – I’m on it all the time – I really appreciate the time and effort you put into it for all us guitar gilmour floyd freaks
[Thank you, Terrance! – Bjorn]
Good morning, I recently got the Velvet Fuzz – Wampler. It seems too dark. I set my amp for where I like it clean – then go to my board for the set up there. Should I just increase my treble or presence on the amp to get the brightness I want form the pedal or should I move on from this pedal to get something else?
hot rod deluxe tweed 1 x 12 jensen speaker – strat noisless > boss tuner>dod comp>Wampler velvet fuzz> Ep Booster > dr Scientist The elements Dist> then off to delays
[Well I agree with you. The Velvet is very dark and muddy. Once you start boosting the treble and presence to match a pedal you’re messing with the tone so it’s always wise to set your amp up first and then the pedals. If the pedals don’t match the amp then perhaps you need something different. Not all pedals will match any amp… – Bjorn]
What do you think about the BenRod Red Fuzz? Thanks you;
[Never tried it so I can’t really tell… – Bjorn]
Hey there Bjorn, thanks a lot for all the great work you’ve done educating people on fuzzes. I’m in a bit of a quandry. I’m in the market for a new fuzz. I typically prefer the Hendrix type tones, but do occasionally dable with the Gilmour sustaining leads. I’m torn between the JAM Pedals Fuzz Phrase, and the new Wampler Velvet Fuzz. That first video Wampler put out of the Velvet Fuzz with Travis jamming some Hendrix pretty much sold me on getting that pedal (at least eventually), but I’m recently discovered the Fuzz Phrase, and am having a hard time deciding which to get first. Any help, thoughts and opinions would be greatly appreciated. My main guitars that I play through are a ’72 Gibson Les Paul deluxe with mini humbuckers, a 2012 Gibson Les Paul studio faded, and a Fender Stevie Ray Vaughan signature strat. These run through different pedals depending on mood, but I’ll often use a Bogner Ecstasy Blue pedal or a Catalinbread Dirty Little Secret MKIII for some flavor. All of this runs through a Mesa Boogie DC5 (Tungsol 6l6 power tubes, JJ 12ax7’s for the preamp). Thank you, and keep up the great work!
[Sorry for my late reply, Justin. Both pedals are great. The Fuzz Phrase is obviously the more vintage sounding and closer to the original Fuzz Face that Hendrix used. The Velvet Fuzz is perhaps closer to a Big Muff, although with a more fuzz-ish flavour. Personally I find it a bit bland and in terms of fuzz I’d go with the Fuzz Phrase any time. I also think the FP would go better with your setup. My thoughts anyway… – Bjorn]
Bjorn, forgive my stupid question, maybe it’s a problem of translation, and I read it a lot on your texts. In Brazilian portuguese we don’t use that term at all: what does it mean when you say “low end” or “high end” when describing the sound of a pedal, for example? Cheers!
[No worries, Roger :) Low end means the lower frequencies – the bass. The high end means the treble. Usually it’s the crossing point between the bass and low middle and trebble and high middle :) – Bjorn]
“(…) once you get to know the pedal, finding its sweetspot on your rig, theyâ€™re really some of the most fun pedals to play around with.”
Couldn’t agree more ! The Analogman Sun Face BC108â€¨ is in my gear for only a few weeks and I can’t stop using it… This the most easy-to-use and funny thing I ever got ! Its DSOTM flavour is a major advantage but it stays for other tunes as well.
Many thanks Bjorn for sharing the fun xD
[Cheers! – Bjorn]
Bjorn – I know there aren’t enough hours in the day even in extreme northern latitudes, but have you tried your AM bc109 with the new BFX Power Boost? I’d be interested to hear the results, they’re both kinda high on my wishlist.
[Yep! Sounds great! The fact the Buffalo is a bit darker than the ThroBak suits the fuzz very well on my bright Reeves. – Bjorn]
Of all the fuzzes listed (or not listed) above, which would be your highest recommendation to nail DSOM and Pompeii/Meddle tones that has those searing, saturated, buzz-saw tones? (Think the studio version of the “Time” solo and and 70’s Echoes tones.
[Not considering pickups and amp and which works with what pedal… the AnalogMan Sunface BC109 without doubt. – Bjorn]
Hey Bjorn, what do you think about the two new Fuzz Face Mini?
[Haven’t tried them yet, so I can’t really comment. What I know is that the grey is identical to the bigger version, which I think sounds great. The blue is a bit more aggressive. The red, a germanium, is supposed to be better sounding than the bigger version. – Bjorn]
Hello Bjorn, What you think you pedal Keeley Fuzz Head? Thank you.
[It’s nice but a bit too modern sounding for my taste. – Bjorn]
Hello my friend, congratulations for the site! Serves me reference and guidance. I am Brazilian I live in Barueri Sao Paulo.
I want to ask about the pedal Mojo Hand Pompeii is going to present an impression on him.
Thanks for your time dedicated to this page because I am a regular viewer.
Sorry my poor english.
[I will have a review up very soon! – Bjorn]
Thank you for putting together such a brilliant site. I wanted to get your thoughts on the Foxrox Hot Sillicon Fuzz. Have had a chance to try it out?
[Thank you David! I haven’t had the chance to try the FoxRox yet so I can’t really comment on it. – Bjorn]
Any chance you got to test out the Effectrode Helios Fuzz? Heard a couple sound clips but was wondering if you had the chance. Effectrode doesn’t have many misses. Sure looks the part. Peace and Pink.
[Haven’t had the chance yet but I’ll try to get my hands on one. – Bjorn]
Just a little question, what’s your opinion about Tech 21 FuzzBoost on Medle, Pompeii and Dark Side Of The Moon tones?
[I haven’t tried that one myself but judging by the clips I’ve heard I guess it will work nicely. Seems like it’s got some nice features for further tone sculpting. – BJorn]
Hi there Bjorn. I’d like to know your opinion on a few Fuzz pedals, provided you’ve actually gotten around to try them, of course. There are I’m specially interested in: The new Fuzz Face Minis (specially the FFM3 Hendrix model), the Buffalo FX CVIII Silicon and the ever popular Skreddy Lunar Module.
Can you share your thoughts on any of them? Do they sound vintage enough and work well with a booster? Thanks man, you’re the best!
[Haven’t tried the mini’s but I see they get some nice reviews. The grey is apparently a straight 1:1 of the larger version and that one sounds great. The Lunar I haven’t tried yet. The Buffalo sounds amazing. Perhaps my fav silicon these days… The Shape controls allows you to tweak the pedal for all kinds of setups. Very versatile. I’ll have a review up on all the new Buffalos very soon. – Bjorn]
Hello to Bjorn, and all. I just wanted to take a moment to let everyone kniw that I spoke with Michael at MJM a couple of days ago, and he has one AV$ London Fuzz left, and a very few more of the original 45 to build. I bought #15 in March, so if you’re intetested in an incredible Germanium fuzzface clone, I’d act quickly. I have almost no need for a Si Fuzz for Gilmour tones with the AVS, as while it isn’t as wild, and untamed as a BC-108, or 109, it does have enough gain to cover most of DG’s Si Fuzz tones. Smooth as silk, or on the edge of a bucking broncho, The AVS is beautiful in every sense. I haven’t used either of my bc-108’s once since I dialed the AVS in with my Spark boost, and now that I just received my Throbak, I may not use Si for Gilmour again.Don’t wait too long if you want the fine AVS London Fuzz, they won’t be around long!
I would like to buy a fuzz for Gilmour’s tone of Dark Side Of The Moon!
Except from analogman could you tell me one or two choises for this sound?
I prefer silicon fuzz from germanium!
Thank you very much!!!
Sorry for my English..
[All of the silicons in this guide will do the job. The Olympia Fuzz is very versatile but check out the new silicon fuzz from Buffalo FX as well. I’ll have a review up soon. It’s awesome :) – Bjorn]
Hi! I’ve been listen to Fuzz Phrase demos and it seems a very transparent fuzz. Does it function well with tube amp hi-gain settings? (dirty channel, but with a JTM45 based amp, for example). I loved sound of this fuzz in demos, but I love my dirty channel, so I’ve got a couple of songs that I eant use dirty channel and use a fuzz for more harmonics and a more radical tone in solos (radical, but that sounds good). I’ve got a couple of songs with clean channel, but I know by demos that this fuzz shines with this config.
[I think most germanium fuzz pedals works best with a little dirt from the amp. It adds a bit more balls and character to the tone. The Fuzz Phrase has a nicely balanced tone with more presence and dynamics than most germaniums. I haven’t experimented that much with pairing it with a cranked amp but I would imagine that it would fit the combo very well :) – Bjorn]
Hey Bjorn, I just saw the Wampler Velvet Fuzz and it sounded pretty great. Have you tried one?
I am also stuck between the Wampler Plexidrive and the Mojo Hand Rook Royale. I think the Plexi is more my taste but the Royale has the versatility. Is the the Plexi a little brighter with less mids? Confused, please help. Oh, and best site ever.
[Just got the Velvet Fuzz. It’s nice but it didn’t blow me away. More like a distortion really, like the RAT. The Plexi Drive is based on the JTM45. Compared to the Rook, it has a bit more of that vintage flavour, less mids but also more presence and it works nicely as a booster. – Bjorn]
Hi Bjorn, first post on the site, though I’ve been visiting for quite a while and quite often haha. I can’t decide what my next addition to the board should be. I want a fuzz, but I don’t know which one to get. I was looking at the Sun Face and the Iron Bell. My guitar is a black strat. I have the Fat 50, CS69, and SSL5, which I just recently put on it, and man do they sound good. My amp is a Marshall AVT50 half stack – which I actually like. I read a lot of reviews of people saying its crap, but I think its actually really nice sounding and clear when you crank the volume, which I do a lot. My neighbors probably hate me. So what do you think? Also for the sunface, i don’t know which transistor to get. 108 or 109? I’m a huge fan of David’s DSOTM live a Wembly fuzz. Last question, haha, on the sunface page, the power jack is an option, but they say the battery is better. I use the voodoo labs pedal power 2. Should I stick with the battery or get the power jack? Or just go with the Iron Bell? Thank you!
[Thanks for your post, Brandon! First of all, the Iron Bell is a Big Muff and not a fuzz. It’s got a typical Muff tone (an circuit) although, compared to most other Muffs it’s more in the distortion territory. Great pedal though and incredibly versatile. The BC108 and BC109 are very similar but the 109 has a bit more gain, low end and a slightly darker tone. I prefer this one. I’m not that familiar with the AVT but it should be able to handle a fuzz. I recommend setting it up for a mild crunchy tone to allow a boost for the fuzz, like Hendrix did. I strongly recommend carbon non-alkaline batteries for fuzz pedals. – Bjorn]
First of all, THANKS FOR THE AMAZING PAGE!! Have learned a lot of it.
I’m going to buy a Dunlop FFM1 or FFM2 I think, and I was wondering lots of stuff. First of all my guitar is an Gibson SG Classic with P-90, and probably will also buy a Fender American Special Stratocaster FSR Vintage Blond and change the pickups to Fender 57/62. My amp is a Marshall V8080, 80W combo, have tried tube amps for like 800 dolars, and the sound of this amp is amazing if you know it as I do.
About the fuzzes, I think the FFM2 (Germanium Transistors) it’s a little bit dark and doesn’t “colapse” as well as the FFM1 (Silicon BC108) does, but is more versatile and you can get more sounds I guess, and if a put the cruch with low gain on clean, I think I could get to get the silicon BC108 Gain and “colapse” or bite, so I mightr get more sounds. But if you think only on the pedal, I like a little bit more the Silicon Fuzz Face.
My questions are, Do you think my amp can handdle this fuzzes? Can the FFM1 fuzz face be versatile as FFM2 is? Do you recomend me another Fuzz in the $100USD-$200USD range that can get you gilmour tones and also a lot of other sounds?
Thanks for everything and your website is amazing!
Pedro from Chile!
[Thanks for your kind words, Pedro! I haven’t tried your amp so I can’t really tell but in general, Marshall and fuzz pedals are a great match. Especially if you set the amp up for a hint of crunch, like Hendrix did. Depending on how loud you can play, that combo will make the pedals sound open and dynamic. Again, I haven’t tried this specific Marshall model so I can’t tell for sure. Check out the new Wampler Velvet Fuzz and the ones listed in this guide as well. – Bjorn]
it would be very cool if you could make a review of the new wampler Velvet Fuzz sounds awesome.
Keep rocking Bjorn!
[Sounds like an awesome pedal. PGS just did a great demo of it. – Bjorn]
Hey Bjorn, just a quick question regarding fuzz and signal path. I’ve got a bc109 Sunface which runs into a Colordrive and finally a Catalinbread Echorec, then either my AC15 or a Fender blues deluxe. I find myself constantly going back to my Triangle Big Muff because the Sunface simply won’t behave! I suspect it has something to do with the digital circuitry in the echorec as when it’s bypassed the fuzz is fine. Whenever the sunface is engaged alongside the echorec, it sounds raspy and thin. Why make an echorec clone if you can’t put a fuzz through it?!?? Have you got any ideas on how I can get around this, short of replacing the echorec? Perhaps re-biasing the sunface?
[I have yet to try the Echorec so I can’t really tell why fuzz reacts badly with it. From what I understand, it has option for both true bypass and buffered switching? Have you checked this and switched to true bypass? I don’t think rebiasing the fuzz will make any difference since it works nicely on its own. I suspect that it’s the Echorec that’s causing problems and not the fuzz. – Bjorn]
Hey man have you tried the 2 new silicon fuzz face minis? What did you think of them? How would you rate them compared to the big vintage Hendrix fuzz face and the analog man bc 108? & 109? How good are they at bedroom setups? And lastly what are some good overdrives to pair them with? mainly for bedroom level….. Bjorn thank you so much man, these articles are tremendously helpful!
[I haven’t had the chance to try them out yet but based on the demos I’ve heard they sound pretty good. Need to A/B test with the bigger models to make up an opinion about the differences. In general I’d go for a transparent booster with fuzz and it should be true bypass. Personally I can’t think of a better match than the Colorsound Power Boost. Sounds amazing with a fuzz. Check out the new reissues from Macari’s or some of the excellent clones like ThroBak Overdriveboost or the Electronic Orange Bananaboost. – Bjorn]
Hi there…….i am new to this website…..you do a very good job with all the information you provide…i don’t really have a real pedal to start with…..but instead I use this app ampkit on my iPad…..so far I have come really close to getting the right tone for songs like another brick part 1……but I’ll really appreciate if you could tell what settings would be best for some of the other songs……I think these apps are the best ways to get introduced to all the tones as they are cheaper…. I would appreciate it if you could write something on it….thanks….
[Hi and welcome to the site! I don’t have that much experience with digital processing and effects, so I’m afraid I’m not much help. Check out this feature for some general tips. – Bjorn]
Additional info to my FF question: I will run a Voodoo Lab Giggity after the fuzz, ala James Santiago. Tried it with the EJ model, but it didn’t help at low volumes. Thinking it maybe because the EJ is biased so low, I can’t get a good sound with my rig. Hear it was designed for a loud Marshall amp setup like he uses live.
So if I am using a 15 watt Egnater amp, which of the two Dunlops, red germanium or Hendrix silicon would work better for those ‘bedroom’ level volumes? I tried an Eric Johnson model, and it sounds pretty weak on higher register notes. Very informative site by the way.
[The germanium and silicon fuzz are very different so it depends on what tones you want. If the germanium sounds dark and too mild on your setup, then you might want to check out a silicon. It’s considerably brighter and more aggressive. The Olympia is also a good alternative with a typical silicon tone but with more mids and a tad darker than normal. – Bjorn]
I own a sunface bc108 which i love but i find it nearly impossible to put any pedals in front of it. Even a simple clean boost setting on my ocd creates a feedback loop between the pedals. I also am having trouble finding another good higher gain distortion for good lead stuff besides my sunface. I own a blues jr and have a strat. I also am not sure which muff clone would work well with a blues jr because of all the midrange. Im looking to get those animals type tones since i already have a sunface for dsotm stuff. – Thanks, Best Reguards
[I’d keep the path clean before any fuzz pedals. They seem to operate best with just the feed from the guitar pickups. Place any booster etc after the fuzz and keep it away from any buffered pedals. I’ve found that Sovtek Muffs sound best on the Blues Jr. Depends on the pedal and your pickups of course but models like the Musket, Hoof Fuzz, Iron Bell, Box of War, Colossus etc all works nicely with the Jr. All of these also sounds best alone without a booster. – Bjorn]
As too the earlier post, no, I have decided 99% that I’ll get the Throbak, but since the TC seems, via your comments to be fine for boosting the fuzzes, and the Musket doesn’t really benefit from boosting, I was thinking that the perfect use for the Throbak would be as a srand alone Overdrive, as it’s gain structure would do well at pushing the reeves’ tubes into fine sounding breakup on it’s own. I’m not great at outting thoughts about this stuff into words. Hope that was a bit clearer. Tc for boosting vintage fuzz, Musket for Muffish tones, and Throbak for dedicated Overdrive? Sound about right? I’m as you likely kniw, shooting for Jeff Beck, Cream, etc, and Gilmour from his first Floyd tracks- Animals!
Peace, Love, and Gilmourish, Keith
[Yes, that would be a great setup I think. The Throbak has a bit smoother breakup than the CPB so I think it works better for overdrive. – Bjorn]
Hey Bjorn, love the new guide, very disappointed that you couldn’t review the Authentic Vintage Series London fuzz, which like the Sundial, has a bias control, and NKT 275 “Holy Grail” transistors. I think it would score a 10, and give any Germanium fuzz a run for it’s money. But alas, only 45 units were made! Second, while you give the JH-F1 a good score of 8, it should be mentioned that the Sunface bc-108, is based on , and tuned to sound like the JH-F1, according to Mike from Analogman. His post confirming this can be found on The Gear Page, under Hendrix Fuzz Face, or by checking his posts. I think the worst thing about the JH-F1, is the fact that it has Dunlop stamped on it. Otherwise, it’s a great Silicon fuzz!
Peace, Love, and Gilmourish, Keith
[The JH-F1 does indeed sound great but although Mike says his is based on it they certainly doesn’t sound identical. The SunFace has a slightly more presence I think and seems to have a bit smoother edge to it. I haven’t examined the guts to tell why there is a difference. Besides, I understand that Mike has based the SunFace on it… he hasn’t cloned it. Nevertheless, an interesting comment from him. – Bjorn]
Concerning the sunn face ntk275 version. Do you know if they are the red or white dot Ntwk 275
Check out the AnalogMan site for details.
Hey Bjorn, after several days away from my beloved Gilmourish, I felt a little odd not having posted, and after reading the post above, actually have a real question! So, since all I really need for boosting my fuzz, is a clean boost, ( the TC does smooth those out well), and since I believe you said the Musket’s pre-gain eliminates the need for boosting it,Should I put the Spark Boost between my fuzzes and Musket, or leave it after the Musket , and since I’m a tad poor until the back’s all straight, I should be fine without the Throbak, or CPB, and can basically once getting an overdrive, use it for just that, Overdrive? Follow me?
Nice to be back, Keith, the old one! Ha-ha.
[Nice to have you back Keith :) Hope your back is OK! You might as well leave the TC after the fuzz and Musket. Doesn’t matter if you’re gonna use it with the Musket or not. Didn’t quite catch the other Q. You’re asking about an alternative for a cheaper overdrive? – Bjorn]
Bjorn, You have got to check out the Two new Muff pedals that Burgs has demo’d on his site. One is a combination Rams Head and Triangle :-)
[Yep. I have been playing with the Morph for a few days now. Great pedal and a review of both this and the Buffalo Ram’s Head is coming up! – Bjorn]
thank you for your quick reply Bjorn. which one will you recommand for boosting one of these silicon fuzz? I cannot consider anything above $150 so i have in my mind Vintage fx colordrive or TC Electronics Spark Booster.Now i have watched reviews for both and demo in youtube. both seem nice but colordrive has this wierd gain that is not required( in my opinion ) for a booster or overdrive pedal. but the clean boost when with low gain sounds great on it. and then spark booster has this very little gain which sounds like a reasonable overdrive and it is much more versatile and also clean boost sounds ok. so im now stuck between these two. I should mention I have a Fender Blues Junior III amp. so what do you suggest if you have tried both? thank you
[I’d go for the TC. A very versatile pedal and I think it works better for boost. My experience is that fuzz sounds better with a hint of gain after it so the TC will work nicely. – Bjorn]