Germanium or silicon? Dallas-Arbiter or Dunlop? How's it different to a Big Muff Pi? For a pedal that's so simple, fun and effective in use, the famous Fuzz Face can get awfully confusing when it comes down to explaining the jargon. Fortunately, our sister magazine, Guitarist, has put together this guide to help you avoid further fuzz-fusion. Let's start with the obvious question...
What is a Fuzz Face, exactly?
The big, almost-round guitar effects pedal first built by Arbiter of England in 1966, and descended from the seminal Maestro Fuzz-Tone. Denis Cornell (designer for Dallas Music Industries in the late 1960s) explains more:
“The circuit is what they call a Schmitt-Trigger - it’s designed to put an AC signal in and get a square wave out. It kind of ‘triggers’, which is why at very low sensitivities it can’t make up its mind!”
They’re big and round for purely aesthetic reasons, reputedly inspired by the base of a mic stand. The circuit will fit in a much smaller box - there are plenty of small-box FF-clones.