Table of Contents
Best Fuzz Pedals
Singling out the perfect overdrive or distortion pedal is of utmost significance to every electric guitar player. However while some might take pleasure in normal pedals, a portion of the guitar-playing population simply cannot get enough of that wealthy and sweet fuzz effect.
Who would have thought that the sound of a broken old amp would by some means seize the hearts of music lovers worldwide? Billy Gibbons, Jimi Hendrix, and David Gilmour are just among the well-known names that come to mind on the mention of those pedals.
Choosing a brand new and versatile fuzz pedal should not be disturbing, though. It simply requires some research to make sure that you choose a product that delivers the key options that you’re going to require. You additionally wish to make sure that you purchase a pedal that delivers glorious worth for money.
With this guide, you will discover numerous vital data that may help you choose the perfect fuzz pedal for your needs. For every assessment you learn here, it may be very useful to search for test tracks, so you possibly can hear how every product sounds, which is essential in the case of selecting any piece of music gear.
We just want to let you know that we’ll list these best fuzz pedal reviews in no particular order. They’ll be randomized as we don’t wish to sort them from best to worst.
Listed below are our Top 15 Best Fuzz Pedals for 2023:
1. Electro-Harmonix Nano Big Muff Pi
We remember being blown away the primary time we performed the bass guitar via a Big Muff pedal, amazed by the sheer energy and character that’s offered. We’ve at all times had one on the pedalboard ever since, and this Nano Big Muff makes us even fonder of the Electro-Harmonix pedals mostly because of this iconic pedal.
Designed to sound just like the traditional NYC Big Muff Pi, this compact model offers you all of the bites without the cumbersome dimensions. Electro-Harmonix shrunk the circuitry without making any modifications to the wealthy array of fuzz sounds it produced.
With three traditional controls, you may make changes to the volume, tone, and sustain. The sustain management is especially efficient because it permits you to create lengthy, drawn-out fuzzy melodies where the note continues for some time without dropping any velocity.
It’s fairly unbelievable to look at the unique Electro-Harmonix Big Muff pedals alongside this Nano model. The size distinction is large, but the sound distinction is minimal. We are undecided how they’ve managed it, but when anybody is able to do such a feat then it will be Electro-Harmonix!
There’s a purpose that the Electro-Harmonix Big Muff range has stood the test of time and continues to be one of the crucial standard effects pedals for guitarists and bassists alike. The legendary design, the straightforward controls, and the handful of dependable, high-quality fuzz and distortion tones they produce make them an amazing selection for any musician.
- Singing sustain with attitude
- Compact, rugged nano enclosure
- True bypass
- 9-volt battery included, Optional 9.6DC-200 power supply available
You Can Buy Electro-Harmonix Nano Big Muff Pi at the Links Below!
2. Wampler Velvet Fuzz
It is a well-made, sturdy pedal with a true bypass. The controls are easy and nicely laid out. There are three management knobs for volume, fuzz, and brightness. Moreover, there’s a swap change between big and tight.
Once you’re in ‘Big’ mode, you get that tough, aggressive fuzz. There are loads of bottom end and classic vibes reminiscent of Marshall stacks and Hendrix. The Wampler sounds a bit like a clean model of a Big Muff whenever you’re in ‘Big’ mode, and also you’ve acquired a good amount of fuzz dialed in.
Swap over to ‘Tight,’ and the bottom end tightens up. Things turn out to be even smoother. In this setting, you’re beginning to stroll the road between distortion and fuzz. It’s not a nasty place to be in any respect. There’s loads of versatility available right here.
No matter which mode you’re in, you’ll be able to tame the bottom end by turning up the brightness. This provides you with one other smart way of shaping your tone and provides so attention-grabbing texture to your sound. What’s more, there’s additionally no volume drop whenever you roll up the fuzz.
- Classic fuzz sounds that greatly compress the bass
- Controls: Volume, Fuzz and Brightness
- Switch: Big/Tight
- True bypass
You Can Buy Wampler Velvet Fuzz at the Links Below!
3. ZVex Mastotron Fuzz Pedal
This pedal has a wonderful blue case, and whereas it is roughly the scale of a Nano Big Muff it is oriented horizontally. When you’re daisy-chaining, the Mastotron has an especially low 1mA current draw. Let’s leap right into the controls, and the way it sounds.
The extra familiar controls are volume, tone, and fuzz. Not like a Big Muff that concurrently cuts lows and boosts highs as you flip tone clockwise, the Mastotron only shapes the treble, retaining the bass. The fuzz knob will increase the fuzz depth, as you may imagine.
The Relax/Push knob is fascinating – in case your guitar has sizzling pickups, you may turn it towards relax which provides supply impedance and mellows out the signal. To get the full-on sound of the Mastotron, set all of it the way up to push.
PW is Pulse Width, all the best way to the left is a square wave, and all the way to the right is narrow pulses. This makes your fuzz tone sound extra gritty and lo-fi; it sounds superior however you lose chord articulation, nearly just like the pedal is working out of power.
Lastly, there’s a 3-way Subs switch. Whereas tough to toggle (it’s tiny and wedged between two knobs), it’s one of many “key” options of this pedal because it enables you to determine how much sub-bass you need in your fuzz. To quote the guide, “3 is huge, 2 is medium, and 1 is completely none left.”
- Volume, Tone, Fuzz
- 3-Way bass cutoff
- Relax / Push (input sensitivity)
- Power consumption: approx. 1 mA
You Can Buy ZVex Mastotron Fuzz Pedal at the Links Below!
4. EarthQuaker Devices Hoof V2
The Hoof V2 is known for being a flexible fuzz for both guitar and bass. For the sake of this text, we’re going to take a look at the way it works so nicely for the bass guitar.
Loosely based mostly on the Green Russian Big Muff (typically a fuzz alternative for bassists), the Hoof V2 creates its personal niche through the use of a hybrid of each silicon and germanium transistors.
This provides a nice tone and optimum temperature stability, so you possibly can depend on this pedal on the road. The circuit is housed in a conventional pedal casing with hoofs printed on the face of the pedal.
The Hoof has 4 controls: Level, Fuzz, Tone Knob, and Shift. The Level knob controls the general output of the pedal and the Fuzz knob controls the gain. What helps make this pedal an awesome choice for bass is the mix of Tone and Shift controls that work collectively to provide a good EQ. Too often, fuzz pedals can cut out all of the low end, making a bass guitar sound smaller.
Generally, that is preferred, however with the Hoof, you get to have a large amount of management over your sound. Push the Shift management to the left to chop out the low end and transfer it to the right to extend the low end.
- Germanium / silicon transistor hybrid circuit
- From dirty amp-style overdrive to monstrous fuzz
- Analogue operation
- True bypass
You Can Buy EarthQuaker Devices Hoof V2 at the Links Below!
5. JHS Muffuletta
Three of the controls are identical to any Muff pedal ever made: Volume, Sustain (Distortion), and Tone (EQ). What separates this pedal aside from others is the Mode rotary knob, which lets you select between one of six Muff voices represented by an image that represents their road name. From Right to Left, these modes are known as JHS, ‘73 Ram’s Head, Triangle, ’77 Pi, Russian Black Box, and Civil War.
One widespread complaint of classic Muff pedals is the Tone management, which regularly tapers unevenly and is hardly usable. Nevertheless, JHS used a Green Russian Bubble Font Tone management design throughout all fashions. This doesn’t change the sound of the voices, however, moderately makes the Tone management exceptionally usable.
The JHS setting is much less compressed and has the next output, making it a terrific trendy take on the original. The ’73 Ram’s Head has a darker tone to it, with scooped mids decreasing the gain on deck. The Triangle is particularly articulate and emphasizes low-end response.
The Muffuletta takes five of essentially the most wanted versions of the Big Muff fuzz circuit (a pedal that would simply be awarded Best High-End Possibility by itself) and provides all of them to you underneath one hood together with an original tackle the effect.
- Multi-mode distortion/fuzz
- JHS Mode
- Controls for volume, sustain, tone
- True bypass
You Can Buy JHS Muffuletta at the Links Below!
6. Boss FZ5
The FZ-5 features its traditional aesthetics, with a mix of modern traits and classic fuzz tones. Inspired by the golden period of rock’n’roll within the 60s and 70s, Boss has recreated classic fuzz with their state-of-the-art COSM expertise.
Taking inspiration from pedals just like the Fuzz Face, Octavia, and Maestro Fuzz Tone FZ-1A, they’ve succeeded in creating an in-depth pedal that you just won’t get tired of experimenting with.
In terms of management and parameters, the Boss FZ-5 has a level knob on the top left, a mode selector in the middle, and the fuzz boost management on the right-hand side. The mode management is worth noting because it means that you can select between a collection of presets which may then be additional manipulated utilizing the boost and level knobs.
The LED check light means that you can see when the pedal is switched on or off on stage, and the true bypass stompbox ensures that there’s no lack of high quality when the pedal isn’t active.
The FZ-5 additionally comes with Boss’s generous 5-year guarantee and is constructed to resist the rigors of touring. The boost management is beneficial if you wish to rapidly ramp up the aggression of your guitar’s tone at certain factors throughout a set.
- 3 Vintage sound modes of the 60s & 70s
- COSM technology
- Controls: Fuzz, Mode, Level
- Switch: Mode Maestro FZ-1 A/Fuzz Face/Octavia
You Can Buy Boss FZ5 at the Links Below!
7. Matthews Effects Whaler V2 Fuzz Pedal
From Matthews effects comes an excellent fuzz pedal referred to as the Whaler, which when you come to know what its controls do and the way they work together, permits you to conjure up fuzz tones you can’t live without.
The Whaler’s construct quality is on par with any boutique pedal producer. The case is adorned with superior graphics and features prime mounted jacks, a soft-touch footswitch, and 5 knobs to sculpt your fuzz.
The out knob is just volume. The magic begins with the sustain and squishes knobs, so start with these. Sustain, similar to on a Big Muff, controls the amount of fuzz. Squish dramatically changes the voicing of the Whaler, from a really narrow “velcro” like “squished” sound to a way more broad open, unrestrained fuzz.
The tone knob is where it’s best to head next, which provides you extra highs and fewer lows when turned clockwise, once more like a Big Muff. The body knob permits you to scoop the mids, although for us this was the least dramatic change out of all of the knobs.
It does not sound nice in every setting, and we want the body management to scoop the mids extra dramatically. You may want to study the guide and spend an hour fiddling with it, however when you give it a good shake this has a high chance of turning into your favorite fuzz pedal.
- High-grade components
- Top-mounted jacks make pedal board placement effortless
- Soft-touch footswitch designed for the abuse of the road
- True bypass
You Can Buy Matthews Effects Whaler V2 Fuzz Pedal at the Links Below!
8. ZVEX Effects Fuzz Factory
That is presumably among the best fuzz pedals of modern occasions. The Fuzz Factory has been around for about 20 years however has already cast a well-earned status as being a flexible pedal. The circuitry isn’t based mostly on any particular pedal although it’s honest to say that the sound is straight from the 60s.
The cool factor about these pedals, in addition to the sound, is that they’re all distinctive. They’re all hand silk-screened, and so they’re all hand-polished. They’re additionally all assembled by hand. In a world where there’s so little bespoke anything, it’s refreshing to have the ability to own something simply that little bit special.
The ZVEX Effects Fuzz Factory makes use of two NOS germanium fuzz transistors. Controls are good and easy however can simply dial in a huge number of modern fuzz tones. The management knobs are for volume, gate, compress, drive, and stability.
The sound could be very near the legendary Fuzz Face. The ZVEX Fuzz Factory can produce warm, laid-back Blues type lead tones. Alternatively, it may well produce screaming blood-curdling fuzz mayhem. It may additionally produce just about every little thing else in between.
If you wish to add attack, tonal thickness, create pinched tones, or management feedback pitch, this pedal has you covered. It additionally has you covered to experiment and achieve this much more.
- Classic ’60s fuzz
- Controls: Vol, Gate, Comp, Drive, Bar
- Power consumption: 40 mA
- True bypass
You Can Buy ZVEX Effects Fuzz Factory at the Links Below!
9. Old Blood Noise Endeavors Haunt
Before founding OBNE, Brady Smith produced quite a lot of models of a gated fuzz referred to as the Gatekeeper underneath his Little Axe Effects moniker. Primarily based on the sound clips online of the Gatekeeper, it appears seemingly that a tweaked and refined model of this pedal went on to turn out to be the Haunt, one of many fuzz pedals launched by OBNE.
As a circuit from a smaller builder, we’re not 100% certain as to what the precise topology of the Haunt is, aside from that it is transistor-based, and doubtless within the prolonged family tree of the Big Muff or Tonebender because of this. No matter what’s underneath the hood, the Haunt is a flexible pedal with more than enough crazy on tap in case you wish to get actually wild.
OBNE additionally not too long ago launched the Alpha Haunt, which additionally has a parallel ‘enhance’ circuit and a three-band active EQ with sliding controls, if you need much more management over your fuzz tone.
The Old Blood Noise Endeavors Haunt pedal is constructed around gated fuzz, with the potential of producing an array of tonal choices. Though there are 5 controls and a pair of switches, it won’t take long to familiarize yourself with the completely different combos that produce distinctive and excessive fuzzy guitar tones. For the worth, it’s a fantastic little pedal.
- Gated Fuzz with wide tonal spectrum
- Controls for Vol, Fuzz, Gate, Mix and Tone
- Mode toggle switch for selecting between 2 silicon transistor combinations
- True bypass
You Can Buy Old Blood Noise Endeavors Haunt at the Links Below!
10. Walrus Audio Jupiter V2
The Walrus Audio Jupiter V2 is a drop-dead attractive fuzz pedal, with tone to match. It has some actually attention-grabbing tone-sculpting features past the conventional “Big Muff” triad of knobs.
The same old suspects are there – Level, Fuzz, and Tone knobs. All have a pleasant response and big selection, letting you actually brighten or darken the tone, and there is loads of sweet fuzz on tap.
The Bass toggle switch is just a bass-cut. Toggled to the left, the pedal’s stable low-end goes away. This added management is sweet in a band recording context when you do not wish to compete with different bass frequencies. The Mode swap provides Jupiter with a ton of versatility. It is a 3-way toggle that, as the guide says, “switches between arrangements of clipping diodes.”
Set to the correct place, the Jupiter sounds mid-scooped, and loads like a Green Russian or Triangle Big Muff (all different knobs being equal). Within the center place, it nearly takes on a ProCo RAT-like quality, albeit with extra “fuzz character” and extra bass.
The left position seems like the center place on steroids. It is big and it is messy and extra distortion-like. As if that wasn’t enough, it has one of the nicest pedal artwork we have ever seen.
You Can Buy Walrus Audio Jupiter V2 at the Links Below!
11. Death By Audio Fuzz War
From the pedal’s name to its measurement, to its artwork, the Death By Audio Fuzz War comes in making a statement. This larger-than-life fuzz is definitely amazingly articulate for how massive and gnarly it may well go.
The pedal’s chassis is prepared for battle. It is massive hefty and metallic and is adorned with graffiti-like graphics. Except for a footswitch and a red indicator light, three knobs are used to dial in your fuzz. The volume knob works on the output, fuzz controls the gain, and tone brightens or darkens the signal.
With the tone at 12 o’clock and the fuzz all the way down, it is surprisingly highly effective. As you’re taking the fuzz to about 8 o’clock it begins to get “buzzy,” and around 12 o’clock it is got an implied growl that nearly kind of flanges within the background.
The Fuzz War’s tone is deep and richly advanced (you may actually appreciate it through some open-back headphones). Past 12 o’clock the fuzz knob would not drastically alter the sound, however even around three o’clock where the tone is big, you may nonetheless articulate chords.
That is where the Fuzz War actually shines, is that somehow regardless of the “thick wall of fuzz” as the guide says, you may nonetheless hear the individual notes in a chord up and down the neck. The Fuzz War may be very bass-heavy in comparison with the likes of a Big Muff. It additionally has far more pronounced mid-frequencies. At equal volume knob settings, it is also a bit louder.
- From subtle tone colouring to overdrive and fat distortion
- Tone control with multi-curve shaping filter
- Volume, fuzz and tone controls
- True bypass
You Can Buy Death By Audio Fuzz War at the Links Below!
12. EarthQuaker Devices Erupter
The Erupter was designed as the final traditional fuzz, using each final trick within the guide to attain perfection. In case you might be questioning what traditional pedal is the Erupter attempting to emulate or copy, this pedal is definitely no clone.
The engineer behind the circuit design spent two years swapping transistors and resistors, including and removing controls, till the Erupter emerged as the proper crushing-tone fuzz pedal. Transformer-based pickup simulator to ensure no tone loss throughout any guitar in your assortment, tearing via any impedance mismatches that traditional fuzzes are well-known for.
On the component level, the Erupter accommodates a full palette of the highest quality elements, together with two low-gain specially-matched NOS silicon transistors, new-stock half-watt carbon composition resistors, Sprague and BC capacitors.
The Erupter accommodates just one Bias management, with the fuzz stage internally dimed and the Volume pre-set to a common unity stage. This single knob confines important power, able to deliver an unbelievable range of classic fuzz tones.
EarthQuaker mentioned, “okay here is the sound, we hope you prefer it” – and we very much do. If you can live with the volume jump, there’s one thing very refreshing about plugging a fuzz pedal in and sounding superior without having to mess with tons of knobs.
- Silicon transistor circuit
- Reacts dynamically to the way of playing and adjusting the guitar
- Can be placed anywhere in the signal chain
- True bypass
You Can Buy EarthQuaker Devices Erupter at the Links Below!
13. Way Huge Swollen Pickle MkIIS
The unique pedal with the funny name, they don’t call the Way Huge Swollen Pickle a “Jumbo Fuzz” for nothing. In terms of fuzz boxes, that is arguably the most versatile pedal we got on the list.
The pedal is a beautiful and attention-grabbing metallic textured green, with white & yellow text. The three major knobs are good and big, and the foot switch requires a little bit of pressure to press (it is a true bypass).
The battery door is mounted on the front of the pedal and is extraordinarily simple to access. The pedal sits on four rubber feet that you would be able to take away to access the inside.
Let’s get this out of the way – the Swollen Pickle sounds superior, and it turns out to be a modern traditional fuzz for a purpose. It is certainly one of many “primarily based on the Big Muff” kind circuits, however, with related settings, it tends to sound “bigger” and extra bass-heavy than a Muff.
The Swollen Pickle sounds much less centered and constrained than a Big Muff, feeling virtually a bit unwieldy relying on your settings. We’re reminded of a RAT in some methods, and in that sense, the Pickle can sound a bit like a fuzz/distortion hybrid. Nonetheless, in case you’re contemplating a Big Muff and crave extra controls and extra low-end, the Swollen Pickle might be for you.
- Controls for Loudness, Sustain, Filter, Scoop and Crunch
- Internal trim pots for voice and clip
- Metal housing
- True bypass
You Can Buy Way Huge Swollen Pickle MkIIS at the Links Below!
14. TC Electronic Honey Pot Fuzz
TC Electronic proves it does not need to be boutique or break the bank to be a really successful fuzz pedal. It is described as a fuzz that “blurs the borders between fuzz and distortion.”
The TC Electronic Honey Pot is housed in a relatively giant and heavy enclosure, however, the box feels like it might take a beating. The graphics are pretty minimal, 9V of power is required, and the footswitch is soft-click (true bypass when disengaged).
Operation is super easy, because of the three very acquainted knobs – sustain, volume, and tone, precisely the same as a Big Muff (it is said that the Honey Pot’s circuit relies on a Big Muff).
Side by side with a Nano Big Muff Pi, the sound is instantly more pronounced within the mid-range. That is most likely what TC meant by “blurs the borders between fuzz and distortion.”
Turning the sustain all the best way down provides you an especially muffled “dying battery” kind of sound. Set to the middle, we discovered the amount of fuzz to be missing a bit. It wasn’t till we dialed sustain to 2 o’clock and up that the Honey Pot actually began to sing.
The Honey Pot is a pleasant little fuzz pedal. It is an extraordinarily inexpensive way to get fuzz on your board, and it options some good touches like a true bypass. We want the knobs to have a barely greater range. It will not get you the precise tone of a Big Muff, however, for this value range, it is undoubtedly close enough.
- Heavy fuzz
- Controls: Volume – tone – sustain
- Power consumption: 100 mA
- True bypass
You Can Buy TC Electronic Honey Pot Fuzz at the Links Below!
15. Donner Fuzz Seeker
One other affordable possibility, the Fuzz Seeker is the most recent offering from fast-growing pedal producers Donner. With a dual-footswitch design, this pedal seems distinctive. Each of the footswitches has LED indicators above them in an effort to see the on/off status or the standing of the octave effect.
Equally effectively suited to guitar or bass, the Donner Fuzz Seeker is an octave pedal and a fuzz pedal in a single. Merely step on the Octa footswitch and your sound is remodeled with the addition of upper octaves.
When this effect is mixed with a touch of fuzz, it abruptly sounds just like the wailing tone of Hendrix’s legendary Octafuzz. There’s a random component to the octave effect that offers it a singular and unpredictable sound. It’s excellent for grabbing the eye of viewers throughout a guitar solo.
In the event you love the octave-driven fuzz tones of guitarists like Jimi Hendrix or Jack White, the Donner Fuzz Seeker offers close reproductions at a very fair worth. We’d advocate this pedal to those that like just a little bit of unpredictability from their guitar tones.
Unlike a lot of the different choices on this list, it’s primarily based more on octave shifting than fuzz alone. When the 2 effects are mixed, the outcomes are certain to make your guitar stand out within the mix.
- Convenient compact size, suitable for any music style
- Aggressive octave fuzz pedal suits for both guitars and basses
- OCTA foot switch for adding upper octave overtones
- True bypass, LED indicator shows the working state
Difference between the Overdrive Pedal, Fuzz Pedal, and Distortion Pedal?
When selecting effect pedals to boost your guitar tone one of the confounding things to come up with as a beginner is a distinction between overdrive, distortion, and fuzz. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, however, they’ve refined variations in meaning.
Overdrive pedals are the mildest of the three, producing hotter overtones at quieter volumes and harsher distortion as volume or gain is elevated. A distortion effect produces roughly the identical amount of distortion at any volume, and its sound alterations are way more pronounced and intense.
A fuzz box alters an audio signal till it’s almost a square wave and provides advanced overtones. Described this way, the lines between them appear pretty clear. However, for fledgling guitarists, their precise application can nonetheless seem fairly murky.
Add to that the fact one company’s distortion can typically be labeled as one other’s overdrive, and what you get is a recipe for some severe head-scratching.
True distortion pedals sometimes contain a circuit that’s designed to generate a higher amount of inside distortion and sometimes have further stages to supply a lift in the output stage. One may equate this with distortion that might happen within the preamp tubes of a high gain tube amp.
Once more, a distortion pedal produces roughly the identical quantity of distortion at any volume, which isn’t true of an overdrive pedal. Fundamental distortion boxes might be constructed around a simple network of transistors, op-amps, and clipping diodes, to each increase the signal and alter the waveform.
Usually, fuzz pedals should not mean to simulate an overdriven or distorted amp. Fuzz is a more durable, harsher, and buzzier distortion than overdrive, and is normally thought of as more durable and harsher than distortion itself. To essentially comprehend what a fuzz pedal appears like, listen to the second half of the solo in Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze.”
If you are after some vintage fuzz tones and the unique and original fuzz sound, then you will be able to get that with some of the vintage fuzz pedals we listed above. We didn’t include any particular tone bender pedals, but that is another topic that we plan to cover soon. Also, you will be able to find many affordable fuzz pedals, varying from classical to modern fuzz sounds.
Most fuzz pedals will give you a signature sound since the warmth and tone control they provide is recognizable for these boxes. Having the right guitar pedals on your pedalboard is truly important and other fuzz pedals will only improve the classic guitar sound.
In case you are having any questions about the topic of fuzz pedals we covered in this article, please let us know in the comment section below and we will be more than happy to help you out!