Whether you love grunge from the 90s or classic rock from the 70s, this is the fuzz pedal for you. You can adjust the gain and treble after picking the genre you want to recreate.
Designed for those who love music from the 1970s and earlier, this fuzz pedal helps you recreate all those classic sounds. It has three modes that let you pick what type of music you want to play.
This pedal produces an extremely fuzzy sound that might sound too distorted for you. Some users found that adjusting the knobs didn’t really change that sound.
Capable of working with a power adapter or a battery, this fuzz pedal lets you play anywhere. It provides good sound and has a bypass system that enhances those notes when playing any type of music.
Made right here in the United States, this pedal comes in two finishes that let you match it to your instrument. The V2 features a battery connection and is compatible with power adapters also.
The high price tag might put this pedal outside of your budget. One reviewer claimed that the company makes better fuzz pedals that cost less.
With German transistors from the 1960s inside, this pedal will really produce all the classic sounds and notes that you love. It features a funky graffiti design on an aluminum chassis.
This fuzz pedal provides the best of both modern and classic elements because it works with newer instruments but uses old stock from the 60s. The vintage transistors inside produce a classic sound.
One review claimed that the pedal created a squeaky sound and not enough fuzz. Others liked the fuzzy sound produced but thought it was too loud.
The basic design of this model makes it a good choice for beginners because they can access and use all features with ease. The FFM3 works with any boards too.
Dunlop took its classic Jimi Hendrix fuzz pedal and shrank it down to make this mini model, which has the same features. Its compact size is great for playing at home and on the road.
This fuzz pedal may have some quality issues in terms of how the parts work together. It doesn’t work well when stacked with other pedals either.
With this pedal, you can produce fuzzy notes and add as much reverberation and distortion as you want. The six controls across the front let you control all aspects of your music.
Designed for musicians who want to do it all, this pedal lets you adjust the fuzz and five different features and settings. It works with any 9V power supply for added convenience.
This pedal costs more than you may want to spend. Some users found that it worked best at higher settings but not as well on other settings.
When you sit down to play a few licks on your guitar and find that it doesn’t produce all the right tones, it might be time to take a look at the effects pads that you use. An effects pedal is really just an extra tool that works with both your guitar and amp to create a different type of sound. Famous musicians and guitarists use some of the best fuzz pedals today when performing live. You can use our guide to the best fuzz pedal of 2018 to find one for your own performances.
The top fuzz pedals of 2018 come from manufacturers that any performer or musician will know. You may even find some products from the same companies that made your instruments and models that are compatible with keyboards and other instruments too. We know that beginners and less experienced players may not really understand what a fuzz pedal is or how to changes their notes, which is why we’ll go over how the pedals work in a later section. Our shopping guide also covers what to look for in a pedal and the top options. You’ll find the five best fuzz pedals for the year too.
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We have a number of talented musicians and musical experts working for us and set them to work finding the best fuzz pedals around. They used their own experience to make a list of the best features, including the power that the pedal has and how the knobs work. We worked with our team as we consulted with top experts in the industry to see what professionals look for in fuzz pedals and what features are the most important for beginners. No matter how much experience you have, you’ll find one of these effects pedals that is right for you and your instrument.
Fuzz pedals work in the same way that distortion and other types of effects pedals do. While you can always play your guitar by itself or when plugged into an amp, you can use a pedal to give your music a whole new sound. Our team found the best products for you because they spent hours conducting research on different pedals and brands. They looked at the best sellers and the top choices on Amazon as well as the pedals that experts recommend. We also took into account reviews and ratings to narrow down our list to the best five fuzz pedals.
An effects pedal is essentially really just an accessory that works with your guitar. Some of the top models will work with a handful of other electronic instruments too. You can pick a model such as a distortion pedal, which will distort the notes and give songs a gritty and dark tone. We created a shopping guide to the best distortion pedals that you can use when shopping for one. There are also overdrive pedals that add even more grittiness to those notes.
Fuzz pedals became popular during the 1960s and are still popular with many guitarists today. Some of the top classic rock and pop songs of all type feature a fuzz pedal playing in the background. The Rolling Stones used one when recording “(Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” in 1965. Instead of producing sharp or gritty notes, these pedals add a fuzzy or wavy tone to your notes. You can adjust the fuzz up or down to create a clearer tone or a more distorted tone.
A good fuzz pedal lets you become a grunge superstar and play all your favorite Nirvana songs. You can also use one when playing some lighter songs from past decades. As long as you know what to look for, you can get a great effects pedal.
Whether you like the pounding and screeching sounds associated with hard rock or the blaring tones of heavy metal, you’ll want to hook your guitar up to a distortion pedal. Each note that you play will go through your guitar’s cable to the pedal, which transforms those notes into pounding and thumping tones.
When you use an overdrive pedal, you’ll experience even more distortion. The pedal provides a boost to the amp that increases both the tone and the volume of those notes. If you try to use one of these pedals when playing a song from The Beach Boys or another classic band, you’ll find that your songs have a slightly angry edge and that they just don’t sound right.
Fuzz pedals will still distort the notes but will provide each one with a slightly fuzzy sound. This type of pedal will actually clip the top off of each sound wave to give those notes an almost flat tone that sounds just like your favorite songs do.
If you really aren’t sure which type of pedal is right for you, you can look at those that produce multiple effects. We included one of those pedals on our list because it gives you more control over your tones and notes.
Gain boost is a term that manufacturers and musicians use to describe how much bass an amp produces. The amount of gain produced can seriously impact the songs that you want to play. Take for example a pedal that produces too much gain. Instead of your music having clear top and bottom notes, you’ll hear a hissing sound coming out of your amp. A higher boost can also produce more static and feedback that seriously changes the music and can also damage your amp. If you keep using the pedal after noticing those sounds, you may eventually blow the amp.
Other problems can occur when you choose a pedal that doesn’t have enough boost. Gain is important because it actually helps sustain notes. When you play a lick on your guitar, the amp can hold that note for several seconds or more. If the pedal cannot produce enough gain, you’ll have a difficult time holding those notes.
If you buy a cheaper fuzz pedal that does not produce as much gain as you want, you have the option of stacking it with another pedal. This takes some of the pressure off of it and allows the other pedals to work together to produce clear tones and good gain.
Beginners often think that bigger and badder is always better. When they see a new effects pedal, they immediately turn the settings up as high as they will go. As you look at the top fuzz pedals, you’ll find that most models feature black knobs with white letters off to the sides. This tells you which way to turn each one down to the minimum level or up to the highest level. Before you go all out and turn those features up as high as possible, try using the pedal at the minimum levels. You can slowly increase each one until you get just the right amount of fuzz and the sound that you desire.
One thing to keep in mind when shopping for a fuzz pedal is whether you typically play by yourself or with friends in a band or group. Most pedals are suitable for solo play, but not all pedals work as well in a group. You may have issues with the tone control and other features that prevent your notes from blending with the rest of the group. Some pedals can even make it impossible for others to hear you because it cannot keep up with your mates. If you play with others, you need to make sure that the fuzz pedal can handle working with a crowd at any of its levels.
The lettering or markings used on your fuzz pedal help you keep track of the minimum and maximum settings. While you can use it once those markings wear off or down, you can also repair or replace those markings. You can use simple pieces of masking tape that you write or use a little white nail polish to fill in any broken spots in those letters.
When you buy a fuzz pedal with an LED light, a short in the wiring can develop over time because of how you carry and use the pedal. Some of the more common signs of an LED shortage include:
Like other types of pedals, fuzz pedals will work with both adapters and batteries. You typically want to choose one that either comes with an AC adapter or is compatible with one of those adapters. Most of the top models work with any 9V battery. You can remove the cover from the battery compartment on the back and insert the battery before securing this cover. While some 9V batteries are stronger than others, you may still not get the lasting power that you need. The battery may only provide the pedal with a few hours or power. If you leave the battery in when you stop playing, it may be completely dead the next time you want to play.
AC adapters are a much better option for frequent players because you can use one anywhere you have electricity, including on stage in a music venue and in the comfort of your own home. You’ll want to look for an adapter that has a longer cord though. This ensures that you can play far away from an outlet and that you don’t need to change where you play. Though very few fuzz pedals come with their own power supplies, you can pick one up for around $20 to $30.
When you want to rock out to all your favorite classic bands, this is the fuzz pedal that you want by your side. While modern pedals use newer transistors and internal parts, the manufacturers of this one actually tracked down new old stock from the 1960s. They used the same German transistors that pedals used in the 60s inside the aluminum chassis on this one. Those parts give each note a deeper and fuzzier tone. Despite using some old parts inside, this pedal has all the modern conveniences that you want. The manufacturer guarantees that it will work for you and offers a money back guarantee to those not happy with their purchases.
Many shoppers actually like the look of this model, which has a silver aluminum box design with graffiti effects painted across the front. That design might remind you of the gritty venues where your favorite bands played in past years. The five knobs across the top correspond to a different feature, including drive and gate. You can easily reach down and turn one of those knobs and adjust it while still keeping your hands on your instrument. This pedal also has drive and stability controls too.
Unless you take off the case and open up your fuzz pedal, you may not realize just how much circuitry it has inside. Cheaper pedals have more circuits and require that sound waves move over each one before finally coming out the opposite side and entering your amp. The basic bypass systems that some pedals use will significantly change your notes. You should think about this in terms of the old telephone game you played as a child. By the time the phrase made its way from the first player to the last, it no longer had the same meaning. When you choose a fuzz pedal with a basic bypass system, the notes will go through the same distortion.
Fuzz pedals with a true bypass system create less distortion because the sound waves move right through the pedal and over its circuitry with fewer stops along the way. Those waves will move in a straight line from the input to the output and into and out of your amp. Each note on those waves will have the exact tone and sound that you want. If you aren’t quite sure how this works, you can use the illustrations below to see how a true bypass system operates.
Formulas that change colors as they work are great for those who want to save time. You can check on the product after a few minutes and easily spot any areas that you missed.
One of the best ways to see how a fuzz pedal performs before you spend your money is with a few YouTube videos. Musicians post video reviews on the website and actually show you the fuzz pedals in action. You should look at a few things when watching those videos, including:
Music historians and experts credit Glenn Snoddy with creating the first fuzzy guitar solo. When working on “Don’t Worry,” the audio technician heard a broken tube adding a fuzzy tone to the song, which Marty Robbins recorded. They liked the way it sounded so much that they left it in the song. Snoddy then recorded other artists playing with the same broken tube.
You really can do almost anything with a fuzz pedal. The pedal produces a rich effect that can sound buttery smooth or a little rougher. Though some prefer using the pedal to add a nice wavy effect, others like using these pedals to create tones that almost sound like glitches. One nice feature of models that have a gain boost is that you can use them with or without that boost. If you turn up the gain boost and rock out with a higher fuzz setting, you can then turn down the fuzz and still get the full effect that you want. Some of the ways you can use a fuzz pedal include:
When you see your favorite band play live, you might notice that some of their songs slow down and change slightly right before the bassist or guitarist rips into a solo. The chances are good that those players used a fuzz pedal to produce those notes. You can get the same effects when playing live or recording.
Beginners will like the basic design of this model because they don’t need to fumble with a lot of knobs and use features that they don’t like. It has just two knobs on the front. One of those knobs allows you to adjust the volume, while the other controls the fuzz. You can increase the fuzz when rocking out to classic songs and turn it down when playing lighter music. It also has a built-in LED light that shows you when the pedal has power. While it doesn’t work well when stacked with other pedals, it will work with almost any board.
While fuzz pedals have a number of great uses, you may want to produce some other types of effects too. A good example is a wah-wah pedal. If you ever heard a song that had a slight wailing sound to it, you head a wah-wah pedal firsthand. These pedals work because they actually change the frequency of a note. A wah-wah pedal looks similar to the pedals in your own car. When you press down with your foot, you can create a long or short note and give the note a funky wailing sound. Many disco songs used these pedals. There are other effects pedals that can add funky effects to your songs and adjust the pitch or harmony.
Before spending money on a fuzz pedal, you should make sure that it’s compatible with any of the other pedals that you might use. As a beginner, you probably just want a basic model that works with your guitar. Once you reach a higher level though, you’ll want to stack pedals together and change up your songs. As long as you have enough cables and clear inputs and outputs on each pedal, you shouldn’t have any troubles stacking and using them together.
If you focus too much on what the pedal looks like, you might buy one with a great design that doesn’t produce all the tones you want. One feature you should consider is the type of transistors used inside. Manufacturers today typically use either silicon or germanium. Germanium is a metallic material that some prefer because of the notes produced. Those notes tend to sound a little warmer and brighter. This material will also work at all sound levels. If you turn the volume down, you’ll still get a fuzzy sound.
Transistors made from silicon work better at higher volumes than lower settings. It produces a clean and bright sound that will continue as you crank up the volume. Silicon transistors typically produce cooler notes though.
You’ll also find a few models that use new old stock transistors. New old stock refers to older parts that are still in their original packaging but were never used. Companies use those transistors to give a fuzzier and more vintage sound. If you ever wanted to sound just like The Stones or any other treasured band, you’ll want one of these pedals. They give you the benefits of vintage pedals without any of the hassles of owning an older model.
The odds are good that you care more about the sound produced and the way the fuzz pedal works than where the company made it. Some guitarists stick to those produced in certain countries though because they feel the sound quality produced is better. It really comes down to a choice between fuzz pedals made in Russia and the United States. American made products appeal to those who want to support the country and stimulate the economy. One thing to keep in mind though is the actual construction of the pedal. Some companies buy parts from overseas and assemble the pieces together, which allows them to say they made those pedals in the United States. You may want to look at where the actual parts come from before you buy.
While Russian fuzz pedals are popular with a number of musicians, these models are harder to come by today. You had more options during the 1990s and early 2000s, but the number of companies in the country making the pedals decreased over the years. A handful of other countries make fuzz pedals as well. The most common are those made in Germany and other parts of Europe.
You should avoid any fuzz pedal made in China. While these models are often fairly affordable, they use cheap parts that will wear out quickly. Some of the cheapest foreign made pedals even use plastic cases.
Each of the six knobs that you see will correspond to a different feature. The length knob allows you to extend the tone of your notes, while the diffuse knob produces softer and lighter tones. With the dampen and drag knobs, you can create the right notes each time you play. You’ll also find reflect and mix knobs that help you customize your music. When connected to a 9V DC power adapter or supply, an LED light will come on to tell you the pedal has power. This is really the best fuzz pedal for those who want to create their own unique sounds.
If you love a vintage sound but don’t want to rely on an old fuzz pedal, look for those made by Electro Harmonix. The company started making guitar pedals in the late 1960s. Though the design of these pedals changed over the years, they sound the same way they always did. You can shop for limited edition and special models that mimic the design of the company’s original fuzz pedal too.
Cleaning is just one way to properly maintain your fuzz pedal. You can use the same cleaning process on distortion and other types of effects pedals too. There are two different options you can use.
The best and most convenient way to clean your fuzz pedal is with a spray cleaner designed specifically for effects pedals and electronics. You can spray a small amount directly on the pots and then turn the pots in both directions to make sure that the cleaner gets deep inside. Experts recommend using a lubricant on those pots too. You’ll apply a small dab of the lubricant to the pots and then twist them again. The right lubricant will work on other areas of the pedal, including the tip and barrels.
Isopropyl alcohol is a simple product that you might have in your bathroom or your medicine cabinet already. When applying this liquid, you can use an ordinary cotton swab. A second swab wiped over the surface will remove any excess liquid. As the alcohol dries quickly, you can leave it on the pedal and let it dry naturally without causing any damage. Distilled white vinegar mixed with water works equally well.
Do not use any type of lubricant that you use around your house or any bathroom/kitchen spray cleaners on your fuzz pedal. Those products can significantly damage the transistors and other internal parts.
The best time to replace your fuzz pedal is when it no longer delivers the performance that you want. A good fuzz pedal can take you from the doo-wop sounds of boy bands from the 1960s through the grunge era of the 1990s and then transport you right into the present day. If your musical interests change and the pedal cannot keep up with those changes, it’s time for a replacement.
Another sign that you need a new fuzz pedal is when your old model doesn’t deliver all the sounds that you want. When you buy a new pedal, you’ll probably spend a few days experimenting with all the features and creating the perfect amount of fuzz. If you change to a new cable or replace your old amp, that old pedal may not work as well as it did before. When you upgrade your amp, you should consider upgrading your fuzz pedal too.
We also recommend replacing any pedal that produces too much distortion. That distortion can create a screeching sound or a squealing noise that turns off listeners and makes you want to cover your own ears. No matter how many adjustments you make or what cables you use, eliminating those sounds may require a replacement of your fuzz pedal.
Depending on how much experience you have, hooking up your fuzz pedal for the first time can be a breeze or an extremely frustrating experience. With the tips below, you’ll have no problem setting up that pedal to make it work with your guitar and amp.
You can use these same tips when troubleshooting your fuzz pedal. Troubleshooting lets you try out the various settings and get an idea of what problems exist and how you can fix those issues.
An easy way to take your fuzz pedal to the next level and to get even more out of it is with a process called stacking. This lets you stack and use multiple pedals together and allows you to create your own pedal board. You’ll want to make sure that you buy pedals that produce the sounds that you need and models that will work together.
When designing a stacked system, you really need to consider which pedals are best for your rig. You typically want at least one fuzz pedal and one distortion pedal. Some guitarists may want to use some of the lesser known pedals such as a wah-wah pedal in addition to a volume control option.
You can then put all those pedals on the floor and decide on the layout that you want to use. While some players like putting the fuzz pedal on one end, others like placing it in the middle. The closer that it is to the amp, the fuzzier its sounds are. If you move it further away from the amp, those sounds will sound crisper and clearer. It’s then a simple matter of running shorter cables from the input and output jacks on each pedal to the other pedals and your amp and guitar.
Even if you use a fuzz pedal in a cooler room, it can still overheat because your playing causes the temperature of the circuits inside to rise. You must keep an eye on the temperature of the pedal as you play.
Though you can get a cheap guitar for around $100, you need to spend at least a few hundred to purchase an instrument that can keep up with all your playing. The cost of an amp and cables, as well as any other accessories that you need, can add even more to your total costs. Once you shell out money for all that equipment, you may not want to spend even more on an effects pedal.
While some experts will only recommend expensive products, we managed to find some more affordable products too. The amount that you’ll pay for a fuzz pedal starts at around $30. Our choice for the best of the best pedal actually retails for less.
After playing around with that pedal, you might feel comfortable upgrading to one that retails for up to $100. These high-end pedals allow you to do more mixing and create a more customized sound. If you want to sound like Cobain or any other guitarist though, you’ll want to spend at least $100 on a fuzz pedal. Some of the top pedals that guitarists use on tour can retail for $300 to $500 or even more. Those pedals produce reverberation and volume that fans can hear throughout a stadium or venue.
A: Some musicians want to create a more authentic sound and spend money on vintage fuzz pedals from the 1970s or earlier. You can find older models available for sale online. Those pedals might cost just a few dollars or hundreds of dollars. You may have problems finding someone local who can repair those pedals though or find replacement parts.
A: Though you hear a lot of talk about classic bands and artists who used fuzz pedals, some modern acts do too. Queens of the Stone Age use the pedals both in their live shows and when recording their albums. Jack White uses fuzz pedals when performing with The White Stripes and when creating solo music.
A: One of the more basic pedals that any musician can use is a volume control pedal. You can connect it to your amp or to your instrument before you play. It sits right on the floor in a convenient location near your feet. When you want to increase your volume, you can tap down on the pedal with one foot. Though not a must-have pedal, it comes in handy when recording and playing live.
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