The earliest fuzz pedal circuitry was based around Germanium transistors and several boutique manufacturers still produce pedals using them.
As its name undoubtedly gives away, the Germaniac from Nottingham-based Coopersonic is one such stompbox, being based around a single germanium transistor. Featuring true bypass, it can be powered from a battery or standard 9V adaptor.
Disregarding the mania knob for the time being, the Germaniac functions as a basic two-knob fuzzbox with the level knob setting the overall output volume and the fuzz knob piling on '60s-style snotty-nosed garage fuzz, brash and rude with a top-end that cuts through.
If you start messing with the mania knob, things start to get extreme. Not a lot happens until the knob gets towards the halfway point but advancing it creates greater degrees of instability until self-oscillation sets in and you can get a range of wild chainsaw noises and analogue synth-style drones without even touching your guitar (although you can manipulate these with your volume control).
It's not all mayhem though - juxtaposition of the mania and fuzz knobs can yield some sweet spots for
a thicker and harmonically rich fuzz tone. In short, if you like your fuzz to be on the edge or you need some wild noises on stage, the Germaniac may be for you