Colorsound Fuzz Box
Aha! Another reissue Colorsound from the fine folks at Macaris. This time around it’s the legendary one knob Fuzz Box. It clearly says so on this beautiful blue pedal, that is an original design of Dick Denney, based upon the original pedals Dick handmade for Colorsound in the nineties and put together according to the actual hand drawn circuit diagrams dating from the sixties.
The legend takes place at Dick Denney’s bungalow in the nineties. If his name doesn’t ring a bell, well it’s the same Dick Denney who designed the Vox AC30. Well, so the legend goes that one of the Macaris guys was sitting down with Denney talking valve echo when he produced a circuit board he designed back in 1961 (!!!). It was still in his drawer. The board had one control that did everything at the same time - gain, volume, nastiness, fuzziness! It went into production straight away and it was called the one knob fuzz. Back in the sixties, Dick Denny produced a similar circuit for the Jennings Rotosound fuzz.
Well, it looks like a vintage Colorsound pedal with the familiar artwork of Alan Murrays. But the artwork has been slightly restyled, looks stunning. Deep blue, with the yellow/orange Colorsound logo and the “Hit it” pointer near the footswitch, Fuzz Box in yellow in a red star shape and the knob … one big knob to control the fuzz volume. Instrument and Amplifier sockets are reversed. No Led, no adapter socket, takes 9V battery only. No battery lid either.
Also, the original tooling was used to make the casing, but it’s a lot sturdier as the vintage pedals.
Bottom plate has a label with the serial number and inside a swirly signature of miss Linzi Haynes, who assembled the pedals.
In order to get to the battery, you have to take off 2 screws on the side panels, and you’ll need a small flat screwdriver to get the bottom plate off. Inside there’s a battery holder for the 9V battery and a tiny little circuit. It looks so lonely and empty in there.
A couple of carbon comp resistors, a couple of caps and a pair of metal can silicon trannies, a BC109 in the first stage and a BC108C for the second stage. Not much.
But what a sound ! It’s not the thickest fuzz, it’s not the warmest fuzz, it’s just a really pleasing, smooth and refined sounding fuzz that will put a smile on your face. It sounds very seventies glamrock. Soundwise it sort of sits in between a Tonebender and a Fuzz Face, combining the best of both worlds really. And all with that giant single knob. It's a volume control. The amount of fuzz is fixed, but dial will also get you more oomph, bite and fuzziness. Turn it down for a thick crunchy sound with a fat bottom. As you might expect from a silicon fuzz, it doesn’t really clean up nicely if you roll back your guitar volume, but you can roll it back a little more on guitar and turn up the fuzz control all the way up for some serious crunch.
Also, the Fuzz Box loves to be fed into a slightly overdriven amp and it stacks well with other dirt pedals. No saggyness, no sputter, it just sings and screams happily and it retains low end very well and it has so many useful sounds, all from that one knob. Great for solo stuff, great for trashing out chords.
The Colorsound Fuzz Box is living proof of how a simple design can do the job just as well. Well, it’s a Dick Denny design after all, and the man certainly made a couple of benchmark products, and this one knob fuzz design is one of the lesser known ones. It is a really, really great fuzz.
If I had to choose between an AC-30 or this pedal, I’d get them both.
- More info: Colorsound Fuzz Box (D*A*M reissue)