Originally manufactured between 1968 and 1977, the Fender Blender is revered amongst fuzzbox fanatics for its distinctive sound, while the likes of Billy Corgan and Kevin Shields have used original units to create vivid fuzz soundscapes.
This new reissued unit preserves the solid-state radio aesthetic, and adds useful updates such as true bypass switching, a nine-volt adaptor socket and improved battery access.
In the light of this, it seems a shame that Fender didn’t opt for another update in the form of LEDs to denote when the effect and tone boost switches are engaged, but then there’s really no mistaking this pedal when it’s switched on.
Like another vintage-FX holy grail that was recently reissued, the Ampeg Scrambler, the Fender Blender is essentially a raucous fuzz pedal with an additional upper octave.
The octave note is most apparent when playing single notes in higher registers, while the pedal’s primitive tracking adds to its identity and gives chords a sizzling, squelchy texture that recalls the Rhubarb And Custard theme; younger readers should think the intro to Mudhoney’s Touch Me I’m Sick and that’s pretty close to what the Blender sounds like.
It’s certainly an acquired taste but used sparingly it can have a dramatic impact on your sound and enliven an otherwise bland mix.