Electro-Harmonix has launched the Satisfaction Plus, an updated and expanded edition of its Satisfaction fuzz pedal that was inspired by the gnarly – and world-changing – fuzz sounds of Keith Richards on the Stones classic of the same name.
There were examples of fuzz on record before but the Rolling Stones 1965 hit (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction that’s where it really started for the fuzz-box as a going concern, when Richards used a Maestro FZ-1 Fuzz-Tone to give his riff something that no riff had had before. Richards originally imagined it as a horn part, and later that year Otis Redding (with Steve Cropper on guitar) would record a cover of it that was arguably the song Richards had intended all along.
When EHX launched the Satisfaction at NAMM 2014, it was an homage to that sound, and part of its charm was its stripped back setup, with just controls for Volume and Attack (amount of gain or fuzz that’s added to your signal). The Satisfaction takes this and adds some more features, making it a more versatile option for your pedalboard.
It arrives in Nano-sized enclosure with the Volume and Attack dials complemented by Bias and Tone controls, and a switch toggle between Normal and Fat modes. Part of the original Satisfaction tone’s magic was in that sort of waspish aggression it add but there are occasions you might want some more warmth, more weight – perhaps if the fuzz is a little too reedy when using single-coil pickups.
The Fat mode dials in that warmth, which you can then fine-tune with a Tone control that operates as a tilt-shift EQ adjusting both treble and bass. The Bias will then help you find the sweet spot. It changes the character of the fuzz from open and organic to more spluttery and gated.
All this makes for a lot more control over your fuzz sound. As Electro-Harmonix founder Mike Matthews says, this is an “expanded take on the classic fuzz sounds of the 1960s” and the sound samples on the EHX website give you a good idea of the range the Satisfaction Plus has. You can take it from Keef-style fuzz to stoner rock, creamy leads for blues-rock and beyond.
The Satisfaction Plus is true bypass and runs on 9V DC from either a battery or pedalboard power supply. What makes news of this all so, well, satisfying, is the price. EHX has this listed for $99 street. For more details, head over to Electro-Harmonix.
Earlier this month, EHX hooked up with JHS Pedals for the Lizard Queen Octave/Distortion, the“vintage EHX octave fuzz that never was but now is!”
Arriving in a similarly Nano-sized enclosure as the Satisfaction Plus, the Lizard Queen is a fixed-gain fuzz that reacts with to your guitar’s volume control. With the Octave effect dialled in, roll back the volume – especially on the neck pickup – and you can get some really cool sounds.