Fuzz guitar tones make up the backbone of rock and roll music. From the earliest strains of Link Wray ripping out Rumble, to Dave Davies and The Kinks virtually inventing the heavy metal riff on You Really Got Me and All Day And All Of The Night, guitarists have been searching for their perfect holy grail of fuzz.
ZZ Top even advertised their later period album XXX as “Drum, Bass and Fuzzy Guitar”
In recent years, lots of effect pedal builders have been putting out fuzz pedals. Fat Tone Guitars has no less than 42 fuzz pedals in stock today.
What drives these pedals? Small transistors, primarily made of either silicon or germanium. I’m not going to bore you with what makes these transistors work or how they sound (although I might in a later post), but I will provide some sounds of each of these fuzzy little gadgets.
Example of a silicon transistor powered fuzz pedal: MXR M108 Silicon Fuzz
The MXR Silicon Fuzz has that biting tone that is reminiscent of classic silicon based fuzz pedals. Similar to a silicon based Fuzz Face.
Hybrid silicion/germanium fuzz pedal: Earthquaker Devices Dirt Transmitter
The EQD Dirt Transmitter is a versatile little monster that responds very well to the volume knob on your guitar.