FEA Labs PHF Photon Fuzz

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FEA Labs

The Photon Fuzz gets it name from an active component in the circuit that utilizes infrared light to control the fuzz distortion element. Light is made up of photon particles, so the name represents the action that is at the heart of this very unique fuzz circuit.

The Photon Fuzz was designed with versatile features for both bass and guitar players. There are three controls for the fuzz and its level, with a 3-band EQ to shape the fuzz tone. A dry blend level control is included for bass players and there is an octave distortion level control that is selected via footswitch.

The two controls that define the type of fuzz are the drive and bite. The drive control sets the overall gain for the signal in the distortion circuit. The bite control sets the activation point where the fuzz distortion engages upon the signal and it behaves differently for lower and higher drive settings. Using the bite control with lower drive settings will give the player dynamic fuzz that will react and clean up well with the signal from the instrument. With higher drive settings the bite control will set depth of fuzz and sustain. This combination of two controls for the fuzz distortion allows for a wide range of textures from classic to modern.

For bass players there is a dry level blend. The blending of a dry signal with the fuzz is useful to restore the lower bass frequencies that can get masked with heavy fuzz. This blend control is also very useful for players that want to retain their instruments natural sound and only need a bit of fuzz to cut through a dense mix. The dry signal has two low-pass filters that are selectable from the DIP switch located on the back of the circuit board. This allows the user to run the dry signal with the full audio spectrum or with the higher frequencies filtered. The filters have cut-off frequencies of 1600Hz and 160Hz and they can be used simultaneously for heavier filtering.

The 3-band EQ is an active two stage boost/cut design with the mid band circuit separated from the bass and treble circuit. This two stage design prevents the bass and treble controls from interacting with the mid center frequency and its level.

The octave distortion is selected by a footswitch. The octave is a full-wave rectifier distortion circuit located after the fuzz and its 3-band EQ circuit. This circuit acts as a distortion intensifier of the fuzz, which is ideal for busting out into a solo. As with the dry signal blend, the octave signal also has two low-pass filters that are selectable from the DIP switch on the back of the circuit board. The filters have cut-off frequencies of 4000Hz and 500Hz. These filters are useful to tame some of the high frequency artifacts that this octave distortion method generates.

Standard Features:

  • Small footprint design: 4.5” by 3.5”
  • Activation footswitch (stomp switch) with true bypass when the pedal is not active
  • Octave footswitch (stomp switch) to activate the octave distortion feature
  • Drive, Bite, and Level controls to shape the fuzz tone
  • 3-band active EQ for additional tone shaping
  • Dry blend control with configurable low-pass filter
  • Octave distortion control with configurable low-pass filters
  • Pre-fuzz high-pass filter settings of 55Hz, 110Hz, or 220Hz
  • Dry blend low-pass filter settings of full band (off), 160Hz, or 1600Hz
  • Octave distortion low-pass filter settings of full band (off), 500Hz, or 4000Hz

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