Designed by Ed Sanner in the mid-60s, the FUZZRite was one of the most popular first generation fuzz pedals. The first 200 or so made had germanium transistors and go for suitably crazy sums nowadays; these were temperature-sensitive so you couldn't be quite sure how it was going to sound on a given day. A quick redesign produced the common silicon variant which went on to sell in very large numbers from the late 60s onwards. A good original example will set you back around £200 on a good day. Notable players: Stephen Stills in Buffalo Springfield (esp. "Bluebird"), The Ventures, Davie Allan and The Arrows (check out "Blue's Theme" - best. fuzz. ever.), although the jury's out on weither they had the germanium or later silicon version.
What we have here is my take on the later silicon FUZZRite. Controls are nice and simple - volume, and the somewhat unique "depth" control; the circuit is based on two transistors, much like the Fuzz Face, but instead of the signal cascading from one transistor to the next (as in the FF), the output of both transistors are mixed together via the depth knob. This makes for some pleasing and unique out-of-phase type sounds and interacts nicely with the pedal's volume control and the volume knob on your instrument. The clone is built with top quality components (heavy duty die cast aluminium enclosure, Neutrik jacks, Alpha pots and footswitch and all ceramic caps for that distinctive FuzzRITE bark), and is true bypass wired so it won't sap your tone when not engaged. A standard Boss-type 2.1mm centre -ve DC jack is included, and battery nerds are catered for with a Zinc Chloride PP3 that also comes installed. It's also worth noting that this is based on the complete schematic and not the not-quite-complete one that's floating around cyberspace.
Trashy freakbeat nastiness when played nice and loud though a clean set of valves. Pour onto an already overdriven amp for searing phasey psychness. It has bags of output, and stacks very well with other fuzzes - try putting a Big Muff after it for total obliteration. Much like the Fuzz Face it cleans up very well if you back off your guitar's volume a bit, so you can control the amount of fuzz while playing without having to reach down to the floor. Unlike more modern designs, it's nice and responsive to playing dynamics and gets truly aggressive when you hammer the strings. Also, as already mentioned, the "out-of-phase head-to-head" transistors in the circuit give this box its own flavour. I love these.
Clips - recorded with Line 6 Backtrack+Mic, using Laney 15W valve amp and '75 Fender Musicmaster:
- short riff into clean amp, max depth
- short solo, clean amp, max depth
- short riff into overdriven amp, max depth, max vol (WARNING: GETS LOUD!)
- the obligatory bit of 'Spirit In The Sky', max depth again
- solo with depth at about 12 o'clock
- run with depth at about 9 o'clock (some nice phase-cancelling happening)
- bit of Stooges, full depth
- some Davie Allan, full depth
Some more clips, also recorded on the Line 6 but using WEM Dominator III valve amp and a Fender American Standard Telecaster:
Check out the instruction manual for more info.
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