I wanted to design a pedal that would have that true vintage fuzz sound but at the same time fix some of the things I don’t like about Fuzz pedals. I start by hand selecting old germanium transistors and measure each one individually. Then, I select ones with the correct gain and frequency response to make the best fuzz possible. I then put together the main Fuzz circuit which is based on the original Fuzz Face, but I hand tune the resistors in each guitar pedal so that the sound for every one is exactly how I want it. This is why they cost more; I have to individually hand tune each pedal. However, they can be custom tailored as well for a specific sound (more or less gain etc etc).
Additionally, it uses very few transistors (only 4 at the max) which means that your subtle inflections and guitar playing style will come through. You will love it.
Then, I fix the main two problems in Fuzz Pedals. This is what makes my pedals stand out, especially to people who are fuzz fanatics:
First Problem Fixed: Fuzz Pedals don't sound great with other pedals in front of them, especially a Wah Wah. Solution: I made a custom buffer called FuzzSAFE™ and WahSAFE™ that works extremely well with my 1948 Fuzz Pedal. It adds a little more treble that you were losing. Additionally, you can put other pedals in front and you don't have to worry about the Fuzz sound going south and sounding terrible. It sounds awesome, especially with a Wah Wah because you can get a full Wah range that you normally miss out on. This buffer is attached with a true bypass switch, so when its off, its off and not in your guitar path.
Second Problem: When you turn on a Fuzz, it is often not as loud as your stage volume. Solution: I hate pedals that aren't loud enough, so with my Fuzz pedals I added a clean gain stage that doesn't alter the fuzz sound over most of the range unless if is used as an overdriver. It is designed for a 6dB boost, which is a lot of clean boost. You can make the 1948 Fuzz as loud as you want and never loose your stage level. Additionally, because you can make it so loud, you can turn down the actual fuzz circuit and get new overdrive sounds that were unachievable at stage volume levels before. This clean boost is attached with a true bypass switch, so when its off, its off and not in your guitar path.
A note about the power supply: The way the guitar signal of a Fuzz pedal sees ground is through both the ground and the power supply. For these old vintage pedals, I just don't think they sound right if you use a power supply to power them. Instead, I highly recommend just running it off of a battery and I do not put a power jack on this pedal. I can add one if you really want though. However, this pedal consumes very little power (less than 4mA!) and will last for many hours (>100 hours) on a single battery. My personal preference is to use a cheap battery from the dollar store. I use Sunbeam brand and they are normally two for a dollar.
More Details About the 1948 Fuzz
Handpicked germanium transistors for solid fuzz tone. Doesn’t lose guitar treble and preserves the full range of your wah wah before fuzz. Won’t get all quiet on you and lower your stage volume if you turn the fuzz down on the pedal. Cleans up real nice with the volume rolled back on your guitar. It’s just a real nice surprise. A real nice surprise.
The 1948 Fuzz is completely handmade and has some circuitry that no fuzz pedals have (that I know of anyways). First off, it has that sweet germanium transistor tone and fuzziness. The transistors are hand selected and tested for the correct gain and leakage currents. This is critical to making the circuit sound good. It also ensures that no two pedals sound exactly alike.
So what’s new with this germanium fuzz then? There is a WahSAFE ™ buffer (which can be switched off with true bypass) before the fuzz circuit. Using a little analog circuit black magic, the buffer does not destroy the fuzz sound by overdriving it like other buffers do. Instead, you can flip a switch can get back the high frequency tone from your guitar. The buffer also makes your wah wah pedal before the fuzz sound a lot batter. You can still hear the full range of the wah.
Is there ore new to the fuzz you ask? Well, there is a second transparent gain stage after the actual fuzz circuit. Like the buffer, if can be switched off with true bypass. With it on, using the level control on the pedal, you can dial in new low fuzz sounds without loosing the actual volume of the pedal. I personally hate when you turn down the fuzz gain and then the pedal is lower than the regular stage volume. With this pedal, that will never happen. You can get some great new, low fuzz sounds with the gain rolled back
Please note this takes a little longer to build and ship to you because of the transistor selection process and sometimes there is a waiting list. Right now I use NOS old stock geranium transistors from small bear. With some more semiconductor circuit magic, this may change so stay tuned. Contact me if you have any questions but I can usually get them shipped within a week.
Some key features are:
- Hand selected germanium fuzz transistors. Sweet tone.
- Keep your treble with the WahSAFE FuzzSAFE guitar buffer with true bypass on/off
- Buffer is the same as the individual Clarionix Buffer that I also make and sell
- Dial in new shades of fuzz with Volume Level Boost transparent gain stage after fuzz
- Be Expressive - Extremely responsive to both pick attack and guitar volume
- Completely analog design. Germanium transistor based fuzz circuit.
- No tone sucking. High input impedance and low output impedance
- LED indicator when pedal is on
- True Bypass input and output (will not load other pedals when off)
- Powder coated enclosure with handmade screen printed graphics
- Handcrafted in USA
- Comes with ScreaminFX return policy - full refund if you email me and then return like new within 30 days. I think it is really important to try it with your own rig.
1948 Fuzz Specifications:
- 4.5 X 3 inches powder coated BB enclosure
- Control knobs for Fuzz, Volume, Level (Volume control after fuzz circuit), Buffer (True Bypass On/Off), Level Boost (True Bypass On/Off)
- Retro orange Hammond box with purple graphics
- Pedal has been built with the highest quality parts available
- No power jack - 9V batteries are highly recommended. I can add a jack if you request it.