The Super Fuzz is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster
of the distortion box world.
It is not a versatile pedal suitable for everyone. It is limited to making two sounds. Both of them are very good, if extreme, distortion
sounds. They will not, however, make you think of 1000 pound violins
to compare them to. They are more evocative
of the tone of a stun gun
. Seriously, the actual sound produced is abrasive, but still musical. A switch on the front of the pedal, marked tone, lets you pick whether you have low frequencies or not. The knobs
mounted either side of that switch
do give you a little bit of control
to tweak the buzziness to taste
, and to set the distorted sound level with the clean sound, but that switch is pretty much the choice of sounds you get. To actually hear these two sounds, listen to The Cramps
. Poison Ivy Rorschach
uses one as her distortion, and there is no bass to get in the way.
Any interval besides a third (minor
) or a fifth
, will be lost in a muddy
mess. Full chords can be used, but nuances of voicing will be lost most of the time, unless it is a straight major or minor chord. It is not for the more subtle, caring moments in the song. If you are picking a chord loudly, there is an instant of silence before the sound actually happens. It is not long enough to be noticed as a rest, or even a stutter on the guitarist's part, but it is really a perceptible silence at the beginning of the note Even the line noise
quits while it happens. It creates odd sound effects/problems with other effects because of this. Amp selection is almost not worth mentioning, just make sure it does have a clean channel for you to use this pedal with. More distortion will not help at all. You have been warned.
If you did not assume it before, I own a Univox (Unichord) Super Fuzz. Mine is orange with a blue pedal to operate the switch, though I have seen other color combinations, all are equally ugly
. It is not my only distortion, but if I were forced to have only one stomp box
, this would be it. A real one is only to be had used these days. Boss
makes a pedal called the Hyper Fuzz that comes close, but lacks the silence at the beginning of each picked note (I would miss it). If you want to have a real one, but do not have the patience or cash to get one, the schematic
is on the internet. It really should not be that hard to build. I may build one myself, since playing shows with ancient equipment
is bound to cause a problem sooner or later.