Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

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stevejamsecono
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Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by stevejamsecono » Thu May 21, 2020 11:02 am

I've never really been much of a fuzz guy. I like how a lot of fuzz pedals sound, but my playing style seems to cotton more to the more dynamic responses that I can get from overdrive pedals. Given that, I've found myself always on the look out for drive pedals that retain the string sounds and dynamics that I like, but have a bit of a fuzzy edge. My favorite that I've heard so far for this was a friend's Crowther Hot Cake. She plays it through a cranked up AC15 and that sound was incredible. Fizzy and spitty like a good fuzz but the string clarity was still totally there.

What else is out there that ya'll like for this kind of thing? I know Rats seem to come up in these discussions as well.
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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by Gavanti » Thu May 21, 2020 11:37 am

The Hudson broadcast and ssbs mini both range into fuzz territory.

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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by HH1978 » Thu May 21, 2020 11:42 am

Catalinbread Formula 5 is very dynamic and can go into fuzzy territory. It tends to sound too compressed running at 9V (though it has loads of character that way), but at 18V it might be what you're looking for. I don't have any experience with the more recent Formula 55, so I can't confirm it does the same thing. It's a totally different circuit because the JFets used in the original have gone out of production, so I wouldn't take a bet on getting the same sounds from it.

Or a Solasound Power Boost/Coloursound Overdriver clone. As a boost/overdrive, think Gilmour Wish you were here/Animals era. Really spanky. If you push it, it will go into fuzzy territory easily. Make sure to choose one with a master volume, because those things are LOUD! Vick Audio makes a good one, but there are lot of other options.

I'm ashamed to admit that I don't have any experience with a RAT... yet.

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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by beauzooka » Thu May 21, 2020 11:43 am

I suppose it depends on your definition of fuzzy, but I like the good old Fulltone OCD for that sound.

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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by OffsetUsername » Thu May 21, 2020 12:16 pm

Ehh, the Tonetuga FX Clockwork MultiDriver might get you there. Mike Hermans did a demo on it. It seems to be primarily a drive with fuzz territory possible. You'd have to find the sweet spot to let the dynamics dictate going between the two.

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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by marqueemoon » Thu May 21, 2020 12:23 pm

A Rat is an interesting pedal because it can do very sustained synthy stuff at high drive and filter settings, but you can't really get it to do anything remotely spitty/gated/crumbly sounding which I think is what the OP is asking about, and is more what I think about when I hear the word fuzz.

The Henrietta Choad Blaster/Chord Blaster belongs firmly in this fuzzy drive category I think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w0gESjrK9Q

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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by echobaseone » Thu May 21, 2020 2:00 pm

Red Llama might be just the thing. It's a very gritty and sustain-y kind of overdrive. The range isn't great, but if you consider it sort of a one-trick pony, it's a hell of a trick.
I once bought the Earthquaker Bellows "Fuzzdriver", and it was pretty good, but it couldn't displace my Red Llama. Another one you might consider is the EWS Fuzzy Drive.

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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by fuzzjunkie » Thu May 21, 2020 2:13 pm

My favorite fuzzy-overdrive/underfuzz is the Throbak Overdrive/Boost. It’s based on the Colorsound Overdriver mentioned above with some modern features like a master volume (absolutely necessary) and a Silicon/Germanium switch. Cranked it’s a low gain Fuzz Face with nice cleanup. It replaced the Rat and SHO combo I was using. The OD/B is more dynamic and less compressed compared to the Rat, and more tonal options than the SHO. With the silicon/germanium switch it’s 3 pedals in 1.

Other fine examples of that circuit are the Prescription Electronic Rx and the Basic Audio Futureman.

Skreddy makes 2 great pedals in this category, the Lunar Module and the Screwdriver. I think the Screwdriver is probably what you want. There’s also a Hybrid Fuzzdriver, (it’s named something like that,) if you need a little “More” on the Fuzz Face side.

For a little “Less” and depending on the amp, a Rangemaster type pedal, or Hot Cake (also mentioned previously) might be the ticket.

The Overdive/Boost sits between a Fuzz Face and Rangemaster, but with the addition of very dynamic tone controls. It can do a lot; from sparkle clean boost, to tweed breakup, Marshall crunch, to low gain Fuzz tones.

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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by stevejamsecono » Thu May 21, 2020 3:20 pm

marqueemoon wrote:
Thu May 21, 2020 12:23 pm
A Rat is an interesting pedal because it can do very sustained synthy stuff at high drive and filter settings, but you can't really get it to do anything remotely spitty/gated/crumbly sounding which I think is what the OP is asking about, and is more what I think about when I hear the word fuzz.

The Henrietta Choad Blaster/Chord Blaster belongs firmly in this fuzzy drive category I think.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w0gESjrK9Q
Oooo. I totally forgot these existed. Reasonably priced, too!
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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by sessylU » Thu May 21, 2020 3:40 pm

Another shout for Red Llama. Weird how it's fuzzy and harsh, but still hi-fi and clean sounding.

I suppose drive but not fuzz is what distortion is? That middle ground between the two.

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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by somanytoys » Thu May 21, 2020 9:03 pm

I don’t have any experience with a Rat either.

I recently got a Hotcake. I’ve wanted one for years and years, but other things kept coming up and I’d forget about it. I use it with any AC (4 or 15), and it’s just magical.
It’s more of the same with a little hair when set lower, pretty upset sounding at higher settings, and absolutely screaming when dimed. In the most beautiful way. But I’ve only tried it with the Voxes so far.

A lot of pedals go really well with some amps and not so well with others. That’s always something to keep in mind, as well as the guitar & pickups.

I had an SSBS Mini, cool but it wasn’t really for me. I also bought an EQD Westwood, which seems similar to the Mini (to me). I’m still trying to work it in somewhere and see where it shines.

I also have the Throback OD/B, it’s expensive but it’s a great pedal. Very versatile, from smooth to raging.

Mad Professor makes the Amber, a fuzz/distortion blend that’s pretty nice, and dials down well with the guitar’s volume knob. I had that one, I sold it but kept the Golden Cello, which is the same circuit with a slapback delay.

What equipment do you plan to use this with? That might help you narrow your search a bit.
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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by MC3 » Thu May 21, 2020 9:48 pm

Death By Audio Interstellar Overdriver does it, and its dead simple

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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by OffYourFace » Thu May 21, 2020 9:58 pm

Red Llama for sure but there's a mod to make them a bit beefier. I think you just need to change a few caps. My friend Ben used to make one called the Bunny Drive. I wish I kept that pedal since he no longer makes them. It's a super simple ckt and cheap clones are easy to find.

Other than that, the Rat for sure. Just get the JHS modded one (Pack Rat) with the toggle switch.

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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by Owl » Fri May 22, 2020 12:02 am

Have you checked the Magnetic Effects White Atom?
Wide range of use.

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Re: Fuzzy drive pedals that are not fuzz pedals

Post by PorkyPrimeCut » Fri May 22, 2020 12:30 am

Another shout out for the RAT and the OCD.

I've lost count of the amount of times I've wrangled with my actual fuzz pedals, always frustrated that they've taken an edge off my tone.
Then I'd switch to the OCD and within seconds have almost exactly what you describe. Clarity & definition.
The same can be said for the RAT, when dialled back, but it's definitely a different beast. In terms of retaining the natural sound of your strings & picking response, but also adding a bit of colour & crackle, I'd go with the OCD.
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